Nick de Bois, MP for Enfield North, has tabled a ten-minute rule bill in the Houses of Commons in a bid to change the law to allow the housing ombudsman to intervene between neighbours and landlords.
The Tory MP is campaigning for more rights for the neighbours of anti-social households.
De Bois presented his Housing Ombudsman (Power to Settle Disputes Between Neighbours and Tenants) bill to Parliament on Tuesday. He is seeking new powers for the Housing Ombudsman to intervene in disputes between landlords of HMOs, including hostels, and neighbours. Currently, the rules only allow the ombudsman to step in between a landlord and tenant
On his website De Bois claims there were 195,231 HMOs last year in London alone, 10,000 more than the previous 12 months. He says return on investment is higher for HMO landlords.
De Bois’ bill would hold absentee landlords responsible for anti-social behaviour without having to introduce a special licence or blocking the HMOs. Landlords would be tracked down by the housing ombudsman and would be forced to enter into negotiations with neighbours.
"Presently it can be very hard to even try to locate and identify landlords when residents are seeking to enlist landlord help in resolving what can be a very disturbing cycle of anti-social behaviour, that all too often take too long for authorities to sort out, if at all,” he said, “I want to put a stop to this, by giving the neighbours who are the victims of anti-social behaviour the right to deal with the landlord of properties – which I believe will help resolve the problem in a more timely fashion. Good landlords will want to stop bad behaviour if they are aware of it, and where there are landlords that don't care then this bill will force them to take action."