New powers are to become available for Harrogate Borough Council, speeding up the eviction of council housing tenants involved in anti-social behavior or criminal activity.
Final approval has been given by the General Purposes Committee to implement Absolute Grounds for Possession, an element of the 2014 Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act.
This will enable the council to end secure tenancies and speed up possession of property when a council tenant has been found guilty of such crimes.
Paul Campbell, Harrogate Borough Council’s Director of Community, said the powers would be used to improve protection for victims and witnesses.
He said: “The Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act of 2014 gives councils and Housing Associations more powers to deal with and evict tenants who are guilty of serious anti-social behaviour and criminal acts.
“Once adopted, we hope to be able to provide better protection and faster relief for victims and witnesses of anti-social behaviour.”
Figures obtained by the Advertiser through a freedom of information request show the council evicted nine people from council properties across the district between 2014 and 2016.
All were a result of rent arrears.
Committee member,Coun Matthew Webber said the new powers will be restricted to serious cases.
He said: “With these powers the council do not have to reinvent the wheel if the case has already been through court.
“If this is the case the council will have the powers to access the property, but there are still checks and balances in the system.”The powers will come into effect when an amendment is made to the constitution at full council on July 19.