Private landlords are yet again being asked to police the behaviour of their tenants by councils eager to shift the financial burden of managing waste and noise away from their own budgets.
In Liverpool, a meeting of 20 landlords taking part in an accreditation scheme were ‘reminded’ of their responsibilities in preventing problems.
The council told the group that officers were called out to more than 600 visits following complaints about house in multiple occupation (HMO) problems from neighbours so far this year.
However, housing law only makes landlords responsible for what happens on their premises –not in the streets outside or further away from the property.
Councillor Ann O’Byrne, cabinet member for housing, to take action in carrying out adequate checks asked landlords to reference tenants to cut the risk of letting to someone likely to behave anti- socially and to include antisocial behaviour clauses in tenancy agreements.
“Anti-social behaviour causes misery for neighbours and damages communities, “she said. “We are looking to landlords to work with us in tackling this issue. We expect all landlords, to take reasonable action to prevent and, where necessary, to remedy antisocial behaviour.
“Most landlords are responsible and want to work for the good of their tenants and the wider community. We will support them in carrying out their responsibilities so that together we can stop antisocial behaviour.”
Councillors in Coventry are considering article 4 directions to restrict new student HMOs.
The council is also citing waste and noise as problems for residents in neighbourhoods with high numbers of student HMOS.
Measures to tackle antisocial behaviour include clearaway waste days to blitz neighbourhoods with rubbish problems and tougher environmental health enforcement to turn down noise issues.
Meanwhile, York councillors are to review how article 4 directions rules are working 12 months on.
The city’s direction stops more than 20% of homes in any neighbourhood and 10% on homes in any 100 metre stretch of a street becoming an HMO or shared house for more than three tenants.
Councillors claim that the scheme has shifted the problem of student HMOs and antisocial behaviour around the city as property investors open new HMOs in area not covered by the directions.