How do new antisocial behaviour proposals affect landlords?

by Sarah Ashcroft

Incoming proposals to reform the way authorities deal with antisocial behaviour could have significant implications for landlords.

Although antisocial behaviour affects everyone in the community, landlords can be exposed to issues more often as owners of privately-rented accommodation.

Whether dealing with complaints from tenants about neighbours, or misdemeanours by tenants themselves, landlords need to be aware of their options when it comes to dealing with antisocial behaviour.

Changes being considered by the government include enabling people to report antisocial behaviour online, as well as over the phone and in writing.

Significantly, whatever means victims use to report incidents, police will be required to respond to complaints within 24 hours.

Current laws will also be simplified, in principle making it easier for authorities to punish offenders. Leaving rubbish in gardens, or more serious offences, could fall under the remit of the new Community Protection Notices, which enable officers to issue £100 on-the-spot fines.

The new plans have been developed in response to concerns among some communities that reporting antisocial behaviour does not always deal with problems.

In addition to the police, landlords can also contact local authorities about antisocial behaviour. Issues falling under council jurisdiction include abandoned vehicles, graffiti, noise and damage to public property.

Landlords have a responsibility to deal with nuisance tenants. Often, this can be done with the support of local authorities and police.

Failure to deal with an antisocial tenant can result in local authorities taking action against the landlord.

Measures can include authorities taking over temporary management of your property, in an effort to deal with problems.

Making background checks, such as recommendations from previous landlords, is one way to avoid renting property to an antisocial tenant.

The government urges landlords to avoid renting property to tenants who have a history of antisocial behaviour because they can be more likely to cause problems in the future.

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Published on: May 25, 2012

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