Any local authority tenants who persist with anti-social behaviour in Westport should be thrown out. That’s the view of Westport Town Council Cathaoirleach Christy Hyland, who argues that the council should act strongly in such cases.
“I want to issue a warning that any tenant of this authority who engages in anti-social behaviour, it won’t be tolerated. Any tenant who causes disruption to people’s lives, it will not be tolerated in any shape or form. They’ll be dealt with,” Hyland told last Thursday’s meeting of Westport Town Council.
Speaking afterwards to The Mayo News, Cllr Hyland said that a lot of people living in proximity to local authority houses in the town had to put up with too much disturbance from some tenants.
“The normal, decent people that live in these areas are entitled to peace and quiet. If these people have to be put out, they will be put out. There’s one house in Westport where visitors arrive into it and when they do all hell breaks loose and the neighbours have to suffer all of that. We have to put a stop to that,” he said.
Meanwhile private landlords who participate in the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) can have their rental payment deducted from them by the Council if they fail to deal with anti-social behaviour in their premises, writes Anton McNulty.
Mayo County Councillors adopted their Anti-Social Behaviour Strategy 2010-2014 at yesterday’s (Monday) monthly meeting of the council which gives the Council greater powers to deal with anti-social behaviour in local authority housing.
Councillors welcomed the new document which will give them the power to make a complaint to gardaí on behalf of a resident who may be intimidated by the person involved in anti-social behaviour.
Cllr Michael Kilcoyne proposed that a clause be inserted into the document which would allow the Council to withhold payments to private landlords who do not co-operate with the council on the issue.
“I suggest that a clause be inserted in the terms of the agreement to say that if a landlord does not co-operate with this document then Mayo County Council can stop the payment of rent. Nothing makes you face a matter more like the non-payment of rent and by hitting you in the pocket,” he said.
He was supported by Independent councillor Frank Durcan who said that he knew families who wanted to sell their house but couldn’t because of anti-social behaviour. He added he knew of a landlord who rented out up to 45 former council houses and the only thing that mattered was getting paid rented at the end of the week.
Senior Executive Officer, Padraig Flanagan told the meeting that the difference between this strategy and others was that this also covered former council houses owned by individuals. He explained that under the RAS agreement, if landlords did not co-operate regarding a tenant’s anti-social behaviour, a number of options were available to the council which included stopping the payment of rent. Mr Flanagan said that any person who is guilty of anti-social behaviour is automatically not entitled to rent supplement for ten years and the council are not obliged to house them elsewhere.