CIH praised for help in developing new anti-social behaviour proposals
NEW legislation will help landlords tackle anti-social behaviour more effectively, according to the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH).
The long-awaited draft bill on anti-social behaviour was unveiled by the Home Office earlier today, with crime prevention minister Jeremy Browne singling the CIH out for its contribution.
Current measures are to be dramatically reduced and the two key tools for registered housing providers will be an injunction for the prevention of nuisance and annoyance and a community protection notice.
CIH chief executive Grainia Long said: “CIH and our members have been instrumental in helping the Home Office develop this legislation.
“Anti-social behaviour is not just a social housing problem, but landlords do play a vital role in tackling this issue and its underlying causes. These new measures will help them deliver a victim-centred approach. Streamlining the legislation will reduce confusion for landlords, and allow judges to familiarise themselves quickly with the new tools and powers.
“We are also very pleased that the Home Office has listened to calls from the housing industry not to remove the powers of the injunction - currently one of the most well-used and cost-effective tools available to landlords.”
Jeremy Browne added: “I want to thank the Chartered Institute of Housing and its members for their involvement in the development of these proposals. As we move one step closer to these new powers coming into force, I look forward to that relationship continuing to ensure that all victims get the service they deserve.”
The draft bill sees the current anti-social behaviour injunction replaced by the injunction for the prevention of nuisance and annoyance, which has been strengthened to apply to minors. It also has provision for optional positive requirements to tackle the underlying causes of anti-social behaviour, and has been made available to other agencies including local authorities and the police.
Grainia Long said: “Breaching the new injunction will be a trigger for mandatory possession and possible eviction. Judges will be aware of this, so landlords must take care to use them appropriately.*
“While we are pleased that the Home Office has recognised the effectiveness of the current anti-social behaviour injunction and extended its use to other agencies, we do have some concerns. Partners will need to communicate more effectively with each other to avoid duplication, and there is a question mark over who will pay for the action if several agencies are involved.
“Police and local authority cutbacks have been well publicised and we have to be careful that landlords aren’t always expected to pick up the bill.”
The Home Office is due to carry out pre-legislative scrutiny on the draft bill early next year, to which the CIH has been invited to submit evidence. It is expected to become law by 2015.