20. Memorandum submitted by the National
Federation of Residential Landlords
I have been asked to make a late submission
on behalf of the "National Federation of Residential Landlords".
Because of the lateness of the day and also in an attempt to bring
some sense or reality into the current situation applying on the
ground, I have taken the liberty of including a brief resume of
a real situation that happened to me. I have also attached a document
at the end illustrating some of the actions our members consider
could assist those living near Anti-social Tenants.
History of a Typical Private Rented Sector Anti-social
Prospective Tenant Male age 23. Working and
recently living with his father. Father has just thrown him out
and he is staying temporarily at a friend's already over-crowded
house. No past tenancy history. Recommended by one of my tenants
as being well behaved and likeable. His employer spoke highly
of him. He wanted to stay in that area. Social Sector couldn't
fix him up. He had no furniture therefore the Social Sector wouldn't
have been any good as they do not provide furnished properties.
Offered furnished property in semi low demand
area at £60 per week. He had no bond or guarantor and would
be paying weekly in advance. Unfortunately he lost his job within
two weeks of moving in. He then claimed housing benefit and Job
seekers allowance but there were delays all round.
Maximum Housing Benefit could only be £45
per week because of age. Had he been in the Social Sector he would
not have been subject to this totally discriminatory capping,
and full rent would be paid for a property in the already subsidised
sector could he have found one. No income at all as delays in
JSA claim. Therefore HB couldn't be paid. Complaints started coming
in from neighbours about noise/CD player/parties at w/ends, drunkenness,
fighting in the street etc. Following my having a quiet word with
him it went quiet for a week or so. Unfortunately more complaints
of parties of up to 15 people and loud music, fighting in street.
Police called by neighbours.
First Payment of HB £360 24 March 2004
Arrears are now £420
Section 8 notice served Grounds 8 and 10
Second payment £180 to 25 April
Arrears now £480
More complaints I spoke to him told him to get
it sorted or he would have to go
Third Payment 19 May
Arrears now £540
He said he would leave as soon as he could.
More complaints. Got on to Environmental Health Department re
noise as did neighbours. Unfortunately Burnley don't employ a
noise abatement officer for outside normal hours but they did
send a warning letter.
28 May 2004
I got called out by neighbours at 2.00 am on
a Saturday morning. Music blaring out I was invited in after knocking
on the door and told him to turn the music off which he did but
almost immediately turned it back on again. Was this harassment?
I had recently been made aware that he had hot
wired the electric meter. I thought I could smell burning from
the meter cupboard, opened it causing much shouting and consternation
from the seven guests and, because of safety concerns I removed
the wire, and retreated outside, quickly followed by the drunkard
tenant and drunken friends. I was physically threatened by his
guests and left the area, leaving the neighbours having their
doors and windows attacked.
It seems that the Police, who I and neighbours
had called earlier, turned up eventually at about 3 am. They were
greeted by plenty of verbal abuse, told to go away and totally
The electricity was hot wired again and music
recommenced until about 6 am. The EH people received more complaints
and an official notice sent out. I called on the tenant again
and told him he must leave ASAP and that I was going to submit
the documents to court.
An amended section 8 notice has been raised
based on grounds 8, 10, 11 and 14. We could therefore ask for
early expedition of the hearing but will have to wait for two
weeks again. Section 14 will be almost impossible to prove as
neighbours do not wish to go to court and fear for their own safety.
I spoke to the tenant again who pointed out
that he had removed the music player and that he didn't wish to
be involved in a court hearing. He stated that he will not cause
any more annoyance to neighbours and that he didn't want to lose
his CD/radio as this was the only thing he owned in the world.
He said that he was trying his best to find somewhere else but
no one else would have him in Burnley, because of the problems
he was having, he is now trying to find a place in Accrington.
He isn't causing a problem to neighbour at the
moment and spends much of his time at a friend's house. No rent
has been paid since the end of May.
I feel concerned for him but feel that I have
little choice other than to go to court. The initial cost will
be £135 plus about £300 for the solicitor should I use
one. The first hearing will be in about six weeks time from giving
the tenant the section 8 notice. If I am successful he will be
given between two and four weeks to leave by the court. If he
fails to turn up the Judge will probably adjourn for two weeks.
If he then fails to turn up he will be given two to four weeks
to leave. Should he fail to leave at the appointed time then I
will have to go to court again to arrange for a bailiff to throw
A member of our Association was told by the
court Bailiffs, in a similar case, that they couldn't attend legally
for four weeks following the granting of possession.
A grand total of around 16 weeks, at a cost
of around £1,000 in legal/court fees plus further loss of
rent of around £1,000 totalling up to a rent loss of around
During this time he will no doubt be continuing
to cause upset to those living in the area. At this moment in
time some neighbours are actively seeking to move house.
I have decided to bribe him out. He has accepted
my offer of £200 cash coupled with a free car ride to Accrington
with his belongings. The fact that he had been threatened by a
gang, allegedly involved in a petrol bombing incident on the next
street was probably the deciding factor from his point of view.
He will move in with friends and is effectively
Lost rent equates to £840
Saving on alternative course was around £1,000
How will licensing of landlords resolve the
Just a few thoughts added below as to what measures
could be put in place to prevent similar occurrences in the future
or at the very least give us the tools to deal with the problems
effectively. I would point out that Ground 14 cost a Social Housing
provider £60,000 in court costs, following delays and appeals.
1. Ensure a reversal of the Social Housing
Sectors Exclusion Policy.
2. Allowing the police to respond to requests
for information re prospective tenants from landlords.
3. Tenant Accreditationor Passport
type record system/Local Authority referencing systems to be put
4. Landlord Associations to keep tenant
records for use by members.
5. Ground 14 to be mandatory and actionable
within 14 days.
6. Local Authorities must employ a sufficient
number of Noise Abatement Officers with immediate powers of seizure.
7. Tenant to lose the eight weeks notice
period under grounds 10, 11 and 21 when ASB ground 14a proved
8. Ground 8 to be modified to two weeks
if ground 14 applies.
9. All legal cost to be payable by the tenant
even if on a low income. To be deducted from DSS income if tenant
or partner is in receipt of same.
10. Local Authorities to implemented bond
schemes. Tenants to lose entitlement to bond scheme monies if
ASB proven within the family or friends/visitors.
11. Landlords of all tenures who have a
history of accepting unruly tenants and fail to engage with the
Local Authority ASB teams to lose the right to manage the properties
12. ASB referral clause to be inserted in
to the tenancy agreement.
13. Local Authorities/subsidised social
housing providers to ensure unruly tenants are housed in particular
areas and swamped with those who can assist them with their problems
on an ongoing daily basis.
14. Government to educate the general populace
in respect of the individual's responsibilities to a regularly
15. Put the needs of the majority before
the perceived rights of the minority.
25 February 2005