Grant Shapps: Swifter justice for 'neighbours from hell'

Published on Wednesday, 23 May 2012 10:57
Posted by Scott Buckler

Nightmare tenants whose persistent antisocial behaviour causes misery and fear for their local communities will face swifter justice, Housing Minister Grant Shapps has announced

Mr Shapps said that proposed powers announced today would significantly speed up the eviction process and, for the first time, tackle riot related offences even if they are committed away from home.

At the moment it can take over a year to bring nightmare neighbours to justice - during which they can continue to cause chaos in their local area and misery for their fellow tenants and community.

The Minister said that the powers proposed today - part of a wider package of measures in a new Government White paper - would make it easier to evict tenants if they or any member of their household has previous convictions for anti-social behaviour - cutting out repeated and expensive court proceedings and achieving a better balance between the rights of tenants and the needs of their victims.

Response to the Riots

Mr Shapps also said that landlords would have a new additional power to take eviction action against tenants if they or any member of their household is convicted for riot-related antisocial behaviour - whether that behaviour takes place in their own back yard or across the UK.

The measure, put forward in response to last year's riots, will ensure that those committing this antisocial behaviour in the future will face the consequences of their actions.

He said that the law abiding majority would be disgusted that people who cause chaos in a riot would still benefit from the valuable support and resource of social housing. The proposed new powers would ensure tenants will not escape the justice they deserve just because their offences take place outside their own community.

Housing Minister Grant Shapps said:

    "For too long communities have been forced to suffer vicious neighbours from hell in misery, while seemingly endless court proceedings held the rights of the perpetrator above the rights of their victims.

    "While eviction should always be the last resort, communities should not have to live in fear of their neighbours while they wait for justice to be done.

    "The powers set out today would make it easier for landlords to take swift, decisive action against their most anti-social tenants, taking previous convictions into account and cracking down on riot tourism by ensuring that a local border won't stand in the way of tackling the worst offenders."

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