NRLA's anti-social behaviour plan shared with minister
The NRLA has written to housing minister Felicity Buchan reiterating its calls for the Government to beef up plans to clamp down on anti-social behaviour in the PRS.
Chief Executive Ben Beadle shared harrowing accounts of members’ experiences at the hands of anti-social tenants at a Government roundtable last month as well outlining the impact this has on landlords, fellow tenants and neighbours.
He also used the event to outline the NRLA’s proposals on ways the Government’s rental reform plans could be developed to strengthen its stance on anti-social behaviour.
Ben wrote to Ms Buchan, who was at the meeting with other stakeholders, to reiterate the association’s stance, that the existing plans to tackle anti-social behaviour do not go far enough when it comes to tackling the issue swiftly and effectively.
In the letter he outlined steps the Government could take to ensure landlords have confidence in the system, saying it must:
- Require the courts to prioritise possession cases in instances of anti-social behaviour
- Produce statutory guidance on ‘low-level’ anti-social behaviour and the circumstances in which it is reasonable to grant possession
- Require local authority and police action on anti-social behaviour to be recorded on the Property Portal
- Implement the recommendations of the Victims Commissioner’s 2019 report on anti-social behaviour
- Require local authorities and the police to report annually on their work to address statutory nuisance and anti-social behaviour
- Allow private landlords to apply for ‘demotion orders’, enabling a court, at its discretion, to end a tenancy where a tenant’s conduct is ‘capable’ of causing a nuisance – something currently used in the social sector
Action on anti-social tenants is one of five key issues the NRLA is focussing its campaigns work on in relation to the Government’s rental reform white paper.
In a recent NRLA survey half of landlords to respond said they’d had to repossess a property because of a tenant’s anti-social or criminal behaviour. Of these 67% struggled to collect evidence and 83% had no help from their local authority.
Ben said: “Anti-social behaviour in the private rented sector is often characterised by persistent, ‘low-level’ nuisance that falls below the threshold needed for action to be taken by police or local authorities. It is nevertheless a significant issue for those living with it and the cumulative consequences of such behaviour should not be underestimated.
“We were encouraged to hear broad agreement on the need for more effective mechanisms for tackling problem behaviour at the round table last month, and have this week written to the Minister offering to work with her to develop our proposals into effective workable solutions.”
To read the letter in full click here.
To read about the NRLA’s proposals on rental reform in more detail click here.