The Daily Mail reports that under a Community Protection Notice there will be £100 on-the-spot fines introduced for those who use their gardens as rubbsh dumps for items such as old sofas or fridges.
The report says:
The powers will apply to privately owned homes as well as council houses. Officials will target only those guilty of ‘persistent, unreasonable behaviour’.
They will be given a warning and told to clear the rubbish away. If they ignore the notice, they will then be guilty of a crime.
Officials do not want to target law-abiding householders who are forced to have rubbish in their gardens at certain times of the week because of the complicated recycling policies introduced by many councils.
And the law will be worded to protect homeowners from over-zealous council officials patrolling the streets looking to make money by issuing on-the-spot fines.
Excellent news. As the report says one householder who indulges n this behaviour can "blight an entire street". But will councils enforce the new rule? Will the courts back them up?
Councils already have the power to act against their own tenants who break their tenancy agreements. My council's tenancy agreement, which has pretty typical provisions, lists under the "care and upkeep" section of "tenants obligations":
To keep any garden belonging to the dwelling tidy.
Failure to observe obligations such as this means that security of tenure is forfeited.
The proposed new power is welcome. But councils should also do more to use the powers they already have.