The National Landlords Association has warned that evicting council house tenants who took part in the recent riots may shift the problem of anti-social behaviour into the private rented sector.
It says there are currently no tenant checks which will show up if tenants were forced to leave social housing because of their part in the riots.
Several local authorities decided that taking the hard line with people involved in the riots, who were prosecuted for anti social behaviour and housed in council controlled accommodation was the right thing for them to do.
No forethought was applied to their (local authorities) flawed logic and rather than deal with the problem they have decided to back heel problem tenants into the private rental sector for individual landlords to deal with.
David Salusbury, chairman of the NLA, said: “The NLA is concerned that these evictions will simply move these problem tenants into the private rented sector. There is currently no system in place for private landlords to perform background checks on tenants exiting social housing, leaving them ill-equipped to manage their tenancies effectively. Local authorities cannot deal with the problem of anti-social behaviour by expecting private landlords to blindly absorb convicted tenants.“It’s difficult to see how this initiative will resolve the deeper problem of anti-social behaviour.”
Yet again it is a case of NIMBY-ism (Not In My Back Yard) with local authorities failing to act to protect private sector landlords as they do not value the necessary service that they provide. By shifting the problem tenants from council houses into the private sector they are just shifting responsibility and blame away from their already “overstretched” resources and onto the shoulders of unsuspecting private landlords.
This shameful approach by some council’s will be further compounded when local authority benefits sections attempt to recover housing benefit overpayments from the tenants that they have evicted and who have ended up in the private rental sector.
Without prior warning or even so much as a polite notification the local authorities will begin deducting money from tenants rental payments, that are sent directly to the new landlord. Meaning that not only will they be housing the dregs of society that the council are no longer prepared to tolerate, but they will be financially worse off for doing so.
Landlords will need to be vigilant when accepting applications from prospective tenant that was previously housed by a council. PRS landlords need to run a check with the relevant local authority enquiring about any overpayment or anti social behaviour orders that the tenant may have.
The local authorities may well try to hide behind the Data Protection Act (1988) but landlords are entitled to ask for clarification under the Freedom of Information Act (2000). Do not be put off!
Landlords should not have to suffer just because the local authority has taken a zero tolerance approach to people involved in the rioting.
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