Scrapping s21 evictions could lead to more anti-social behaviour

Without urgent change, plans to reform the private rented sector could become a charter for anti-social behaviour, the National Residential Landlords Association has told a House of Commons committee.

Latest data shows that around a third (32 per cent) of landlords asking tenants to leave their properties have done so because of the anti-social behaviour of those self-same tenants, NRLA chief executive Ben Beadle told the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Select Committee.

Under Government plans to end Section 21 repossessions, landlords will be reliant on convictions if they are to have certainty about tackling problem tenants. However, recent polling indicates that the public have little faith in the ability of the police and councils to tackle anti-social behaviour.

According to the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, of those who experienced anti-social behaviour in the last year, only a quarter (26 per cent) reported it to the police or local authorities. Only 41 per cent of these respondents were satisfied with the way in which their matter was addressed by these institutions.

And, said Beadle, a survey of almost 3,500 landlords and letting agents found that of those who had served a notice to a tenant due to anti-social behaviour, 84 per cent had received no assistance from their local authority. Three-quarters (75 per cent) said they had received no help from the police.

Without urgent changes to the Government’s planned reforms, the NRLA warned that it will become more difficult to tackle behaviour that blights the lives of neighbours and fellow tenants.

The NRLA is calling for the implementation in full of the Victims’ Commissioner report on anti-social behaviour. Alongside this, the police and local authorities should be required to check the planned property portal when tackling nightmare tenants and work closely with landlords to take swift action against them. The courts should also prioritise possession cases brought as a result of such behaviour.

‘Anti-social behaviour blights the lives of fellow tenants, neighbours, and communities alike’, said Beadle. ‘It is vital that it is tackled swiftly wherever it is found.
‘The Government’s proposals simply do not achieve this, and we are calling on new ministers to look again at the plans. Without change the reforms will become a charter for anti-social behaviour’.