10. Previous Convictions
10.1 Section 20B(6)(b) states that landlords may impose a suspension where:
“The person has been, or has resided with a person who has been, convicted of–
(i) using a house or allowing it to be used for immoral or illegal purposes, or
(ii) an offence punishable by imprisonment which was committed in, or in the locality of, a house occupied by the person”.
10.2 This means that landlords can suspend an applicant (including a tenant applying for a transfer) from receiving an offer of housing for a period where they, or someone they live or have lived with, have been convicted of a crime that has been committed in or near the property where they were a tenant. Landlords will want to consider carefully the nature of the crime and whether the behaviour that led to the conviction has had an impact on the people living in, or in the locality of, the house before suspending a tenant or applicant on this basis.
10.3 Punishable by imprisonment means that the offence carries imprisonment as a possible penalty. A prison sentence does not need to have been imposed. For example a community payback order may be given by the criminal court as an alternative to a prison sentence.