HL Deb 31 January 2005 vol 669 c2WA
Lord Hylton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

  1. (a) what statutory and other responsibilities landlords in Northern Ireland have for monitoring the behaviour of their tenants, including the behaviour of visitors to rented properties;
  2. (b) how it is intended that landlords should assess this behaviour; and
  3. (c) what statutory and other responsibilities landlords have to take action if behaviour is bad. [HL813]

Baroness Amos

There is no statutory obligation on landlords to monitor the behaviour of their tenants and visitors. However, when problems relating to anti-social behaviour are reported all landlords have powers to apply for injunctions against tenants or visitors and, in order to support such applications, landlords would be expected to monitor the behaviour of those concerned to produce evidence of their antisocial behaviour. The Housing Executive's Statutory Registration Scheme for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) includes special control provisions designed to prevent HMOs from adversely affecting the amenity or character of the area in which they are situated. If the person having control of or managing an HMO does not take such steps as are reasonably practicable to prevent the behaviour of its residents from adversely affecting the amenity or character of the area, then the Housing Executive can treat this as a "relevant management failure" which can lead to the revocation of the registration or a refusal to register the property.

It is expected that landlords use their own discretion, taking cognisance of the views of the police, district councils and local communities and the evidence gathered as a result of their own monitoring.

Under the terms of the Housing (NI) Order 2003 public sector landlords, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and registered housing associations, have powers to seek repossession of a property from a tenant if that tenant fails to ensure that any individual residing with them, or visiting the property, behaves in a reasonable and appropriate manner. The Northern Ireland Housing Executive has additional powers under the Anti-social Behaviour (NI) Order 2004 which permits it to seek an anti-social behaviour order against any individual over the age of 10 years of age who causes harassment, alarm or distress in housing executive estates.