Landlords Seek Greater Power Regarding Eviction

There has been a lot of hubbub in the news lately surrounding the argument about whether social landlords are going to be given the power to evict troublesome tenants that caused mayhem during the riots last week. Ministers have revealed that they would back the decision for councils to evict tenants that were involved in causing wanton destruction on our streets. The general consensus of the public also seems to be that social landlords should be given powers to boot out unwanted, violent tenants.

However, where would they all go? Surely this is not the answer as these people will then have to find new accommodation elsewhere. Many people, including Labour MP’s, have warned that by evicting troublesome tenants, the problem can only worsen, as the evicted individuals and families will simply have to move elsewhere, perhaps to a neighbouring borough.

David Cameron

Labour’s Kevin Barron has said: “Removing people for unacceptable behaviour from social houses, for them to be put into other communities and taking that unacceptable behaviour with them, does not solve the problems.”

Meanwhile, David Cameron has given his full support for social landlords to be able to evict tenants: “What I do think can be part of solving the problem is saying to people in social housing: if you misbehave, you can be thrown out of your house.” He then went on to add: “I think there may be opportunities, possibly through the new criminal justice and sentencing legislation, to make sure we are better at confiscating things from people when they commit crimes.”

Ed Miliband, on the other hand, has urged for caution when it comes to making rash, knee-jerk decisions. He was quoted saying: “Knee-jerk solutions often don’t work. Solutions that you come up with on day one may not be such a good idea on day ten. So let’s work through the solutions and come up with the right kind of response. What I would like to see changed is the law which sees ‘looting tourism’. If we can stop people going outside their borough to escape eviction, it can only be a good thing.”

In addition to these discussions, there have also been calls to speed up the eviction process. The Residential Landlords Association, last year, sent a petition to Downing Street calling for a “fast track” eviction process.

The latest example of a landlord that had to wait months before being able to evict a tenant came last week when Glenn Schofield’s house was destroyed by troublesome tenants. Carpets have been pulled up, windows smashed, the kitchen ripped out, banisters left hanging off, paint had been thrown across walls and the toilet had been badly blocked. The ceilings upstairs had also caved in. The property is now a total right off and will have to be rebuilt from the ground up. Whilst Landlord Insurance can cover landlords against malicious damage caused by tenants, Mr Schofield was furious about how long it took for him to evict the tenants. He stated: “It’s almost indescribable. I’ve done everything by the book but I don’t understand why it has taken so long.”

Experiences like this are admittedly rare; however, troublesome tenants are certainly not! It is a certain necessity, and responsibility, for those with the power to speed up the eviction process in order to stop tenants abusing the trust, and good will, of many landlords around the country. Being a landlord should not have to be a living nightmare, yet for Mr Schofield he is seemingly still living out his nightmare even after evicting his tenants.

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