Court ruling makes it easier to evict tenants with criminal records

Landlords will find it easier to evict tenants with criminal records for serious matters such as sex offences following a ruling by the Court of Appeal.

It had already been established that tenants could lose their homes if they committed a serious crime during the period of the tenancy.

The Appeal Court has now taken that a step further by saying that tenants could be made to leave for past crimes committed before the tenancy began.

The case involved Raglan Housing Association and a man who was convicted of downloading indecent photographs of children from the internet on to his computer.

The offences were committed while he was the tenant of a cottage owned by Raglan. However, by the time Raglan discovered his conviction, he had transferred his tenancy to another of its cottages nearby.

Before this case it was generally accepted that a tenant could only be evicted for serious crimes committed during the tenancy.

The Appeal Court ruling changes that perception and makes it clear that the law allows for previous crimes to be taken into account. It could prove a useful measure for landlords who only discover a person’s criminal past after the tenancy has begun, especially if there are complaints against that person for intimidating or anti-social behaviour.

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