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New rules could see unruly tenants booted out after a year
NIGHTMARE tenants who trash their council homes could be booted out of their homes after a year under new plans.
Basildon Council is considering whether to adopt government proposals which would allow them to evict nightmare tenants after a year.
Under the policy - called flexible tenancy - being rolled out from April next year, the authority would be able to carry out a review of a new tenant's first year in their property.
The move would mean Basildon Council could evict anyone who trashes their home or breaks the law by sub-letting it.
They could also move on a person who has become divorced or widowed and is living alone in a large home, or help a family who has increased in size but is living in a propertly that is too small.
Those who pass the 12-month review would have their tenancy reviewed every five years.
Discussing the meaures at a meeting of the council's cabinet on Thursdsay Phil Turner - deputy leader and cabinet member for housing - said the move would not only allow the authority to boot out residents' who don't respect their homes but will allow people to downsize or move to a larger home.
Nigel Smith, leader of the Labour party, said he feared the move would leave tenants fearful that they could lose their homes every five years.
He said: "I fear people will have sleepless nights wondering if they will be allowed to stay in their home.
"I also fear it will stop people making genuine complaints as they will fear they will be seen as a trouble maker and lose their homes."
But Mr Turner accused his political rival of "scaremongering" and said the move could help relieve the pressure on the council's housing waiting list, which is already 5,000 strong.
He added: "This policy comes in the faces of mounting pressure on our housing stock.
"It will give us an opporunity to manage that stock.
"Do you say to a family 'you've got to wait a year because we have got a single lady or man who has no family living in a house on their own'?
"We want to manage that position and give someone the opportunity who is in a three-bedroom home to downsize while providing someone else with the chance to have a home.
"We also want to move on people who don't respect their council properties or who regularly cause anti-social behaviour.
"We won't be knocking on people's doors telling them they have go to get out. This will be handled by a compassionate group of professionals who's business it is to deal with their needs."
The flexible tenancy, which received unaninmous support from the cabinet, will not affect current tenants or those eligible for sheltered accomodation.