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Fast action on naughty neighbours; MOVE TO CHANGE NEW TENANTS' CONTRACTS.

NEIGHBOURS from hell could be swiftly evicted from council homes in Leamington and Warwick by a tough new housing law.

Warwick District Council is considering imposing introductory tenancies, to stop lengthy legal wrangles with antisocial tenants and rent dodgers.

The legislation, already enforced in neighbouring districts, would allow housing officers to act more quickly in dealing with troublesome families.

New tenants would sign a special 12-month contract, leaving them with no defence against a council possession order if they broke the rules.

The new approach could be in place by April next year if it wins support from the authority's housing committee.

Sheila Francis, the Warwick council's housing needs manager, said: "Introductory tenancies may be more effective in targeting the problems of antisocial behaviour, harassment, nuisance and rent arrears.

"The council would offer non-secure tenancies for the first 12 months. If they are not breached, they would be made secure afterwards.

"It is a faster method for the council to gain the property back in the first year if the tenants are a serious nuisance to neighbours or are repeatedly avoiding paying their rent.

"Obviously we don't have the sort of problems experienced in many metropolitan boroughs, but there are instances where an introductory tenancy could help."

New tenants would lose some rights during the 12 months, including the right to buy and repair homes.

Councillors will decide whether to introduce the new measures at their meeting tonight.
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Author:Keay, Rebecca
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Oct 13, 1999
Words:238
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