The government claims that private and social landlords will be given more powers to evict disorderly tenants as part of new measures to address anti-social behaviour.
No details have been provided of how the repossession process will work. However, the announcement has been welcomed by landlord trade bodies, who have previously warned the government that the scrapping of Section 21 in the Renters Reform Bill will cause major difficulties in evicting anti-social tenants.
The Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan will establish a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of anti-social behaviour. It is promised that the police and local authorities will be given the powers they need to tackle anti-social behaviour problems.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stated “Anti-social behaviour undermines the basic right of people to feel safe in the place they call home.”
“The public have rightly had enough – which is why I am determined to restore people’s confidence that those responsible will be quickly and visibly punished.”
“This action plan maps out how we will tackle this issue with the urgency it deserves and stamp out these crimes once and for all – so that wherever you live, you can feel safe in, and proud of your community.”
A new online reporting tool is to be developed over the next twelve months where the victims of anti-social behaviour can quickly and easily report incidents.
Sixteen hotspot trailblazer areas will receive funding for increased police presence alongside other uniformed enforcement patrols, or to trial a new ‘Immediate Justice’ scheme to support quick and visible punishments. A few areas will trial both and then both schemes will be rolled out across England and Wales from 2024.
The policy aims for offenders to face swift and visible justice, increased fines, and enhanced drug testing as part of a new crackdown. Nitrous oxide, commonly known as “laughing gas” will also be banned.
Ben Beadle, CEO of the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) stated “Anti-social tenants blight the lives of fellow renters and their neighbours, and the plans to end ‘no explanation’ repossessions risk making it harder to tackle such behaviour.”
“Whilst we will study the detail of the Government’s plans carefully, we welcome its commitment to strengthen the ability of landlords to evict unruly tenants. It follows extensive campaigning by the NRLA to ensure swift and effective action can be taken against those causing misery in their communities.”
“The law must be on the side of the victims of anti-social behaviour and we are glad that the Government agrees.”
The NRLA surveyed its membership and discovered that 50% of landlords have at some point attempted to repossess a property because of anti-social or criminal behaviour. Analysis showed that 84% received no help from their local authority and 75% had no assistance from the police.