National Federation of Residential Landlords (NFRL) President Mike Stimpson says: “We do not believe that any person should be responsible for the behaviour of another. Under the new proposals by the government this will be deemed a criminal offence. A landlord found guilty of the anti social behaviour of his or her tenant will lose their ability to rent out property as well as getting a criminal record – and the tenant who has behaved badly could well get away scot-free.”
The NFRL has put in over £50,000 towards a judicial review of the legislation in Northern Ireland.
These rules have been brought into action in the province first of all – and the NFRL believes that they will form a part of the Government’s Law of Tenure Bill to be introduced next year in the U.K.
“This is Government passing on the responsibility for the irresponsible behaviour of one person to a landlord,” says Mr. Stimpson. “It’s crazy that a landlord should be responsible if a tenant comes home from the pub with a friend and that friend decides to misbehave in a neighbour’s garden. We don’t have the power to do anything and yet we could face criminal charges if we fail to act. Landlords do not condone anti social behaviour and are prepared to act within the terms of the tenancy agreement.”
The NFRL sees the Northern Ireland challenge as vital in order to create a legal precedent – and possibly get any proposals removed from the English Bill. The challenge will come under specific provision of Human Rights legislation.