Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us »
Council plan crackdown on tenancy rule-breakers
BAD council tenants and housing fraudsters are being targeted in a crackdown on those who breach their tenancy agreements.
Basildon councillors will discuss a new tenancy and estate management strategy at a forthcoming cabinet meeting to start a push against those who flout their tenancy agreements.
If the strategy, as expected, is approved, a three year action plan will be developed alongside residents, with a more rigorous approach to fraud and tenancy breaches.
The council are planning to improving housing facilities including modern, fit for purpose facilities and tackle anti-social behaviour. It also wants to better manage communal areas and sheltered schemes to reduce the risk of fires and trip hazards.
Phil Turner, deputy leader and cabinet member for housing and landlord services, said: “We are taking a robust approach to those who flout their tenancy agreements by making their neighbours’ lives hell with anti-social behaviour. Those who think they can steal from the public purse by committing housing fraud will also be dealt with accordingly.
“We are also taking a zero tolerance approach to those who fail to store items properly in communal areas in a bid to minimise the risk of accidents and fires.”
Basildon Council has the power to evict tenants who breach the terms of their tenancy through Possession Orders.
The original plan was introduced in 2010 and wasn’t scheduled to be reviewed until 2013 but due to recent changes including changes to how services are delivered and departments moving, it has been brought forward.
The tenancy team moved from Pitsea to the Basildon Centre in November in a bid to improve relationships between departments.
The Echo reported in November that more than 11,000 council houses, a quarter of the council properties in Basildon, were below the standard of a decent home, including Brooke House which has been plagued by problems.
Mr Turner said: “The council is currently undergoing a huge decent homes programme to improve the condition of council properties but we also want to improve the lives of those living in them by dealing with bad tenants swiftly and effectively.”
Basildon Council will discuss the plans at a cabinet meeting on Thursday, December 13.