A consultation exercise has shown that Scottish people overwhelmingly support their government’s plans to give landlords more power to get tough on bad behaviour by tenants in social housing. Groups representing both landlords and tenants have come out in support of the plans to allow landlords to take into account previous anti-social behaviour when allocating social housing.
By a large majority the people consulted also felt that it should be made easier to evict anti-social tenants from their social housing accommodation. Landlord insurance clients will probably agree that dealing with difficult tenants is one of the least attractive aspects of running a let property portfolio. As well as creating problems for the landlord these tenants can cause misery for their neighbours.
According to the Scottish Housing Regulator there were 24,000 complaints about anti-social behaviour in Scotland in 2009-10. The proposed new rules will affect the allocation and management of 600,000 homes in the socially rented sector.
A group representing tenants and landlords has been set up in Scotland to take these proposals forward and they will eventually be part of a new bill to be placed before the Scottish Parliament.
Tenants in England and Wales usually find that the best way of dealing with badly behaved neighbours is to keep meticulous records of each incident and make an early complaint to the local authority, housing association or police as appropriate. Housing associations will usually take action if there is evidence of repeated anti-social behaviour by a tenant. As much evidence should be collected as possible, for example statements from other neighbours who have been affected by the behaviour. There is a useful guide to help people cope with anti social behaviour on the Citizens Advice Bureau website www.adviceguide.org.uk