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Council orders HMO landlords to clear graffiti within four weeks

A council is ordering all of its private rental sector landlords to clear graffiti from external walls within four weeks of it being reported.

Belfast council says it is landlords’ responsibility to clear up graffiti on external and boundary walls within four weeks of its appearance.

Since June 1, some 50 HMOs in the city have been in breach of the regulations according to a report recently considered by the council.


The report says that in two parts of the city - Holyland and Botanic areas - there had been 40 incidents of graffiti, with 38 removed by landlords, and in the Stranmillis suburb there was one incident, again removed by the landlord. 

However, on the Lisburn Road there were 10 incidents, with only two removed. 

Belfast council’s corporate communications team has told the Belfast Telegraph newspaper: “The vast majority of landlords have been cooperative when contacted by our team.”



Responsibility for the removal of graffiti varies from council to council.

Some expect landlords to remove it at their own expense, although often without enforcement; other councils have graffiti-removing teams who will do the work without direct charge to the landlord, if the offending material is on walls which abut public footpaths or walkways. 

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    At least Belfast give landlords two weeks to remove graffiti. Coventry City Council on the other hand give no time limit as part of their HMO license conditions require not only walls are free from graffiti but walls windows and sills are clean,weeds are removed and spalling bricks are replaced.

    I wonder just how enforceable such conditions are? Anyone got any experience?

    Jim Haliburton
    The HMO daddy

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    How about taking some action against the graffitti 'artists'?

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Sounds very much like a 'replay' of Brown v Hyndburn 2018 waiting to happen.
    We would very much like to assist any Landlord in defending against such action.

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    Cleaning up graffiti should be down to the government and local authorities. If they don't have people to do that, the alternative is better law enforcement. If they are not prepared to prevent or repair the damage done, they need to ease up over rules on citizen justice. I don't support citizen justice because that appeals to the wrong kind of person.

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    Richard, well said if I may say so, too much of this going on the people who comit the crime are exempt.
    A bit like when LL gets fined for Tenants making noise or when they have pulled the fire alarms from the Ceiling even though
    he is powerless to stop them.

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    Why not ask residents to clean the graffiti? They live there and might be able or incentivised to stop it or report it if it caused them work or expense.

    Theodor Cable

    And I suggest that they likely know who is doing it, they should get rewarded by the local council and those who do it should be made to manually do all the cleaning up..........

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    Why not ask residents to clean the graffiti? They live there and might be able or incentivised to stop it or report it if it caused them work or expense.

    Theodor Cable

    In Germany, all grafitti is expected to be removed by the owner of the property, and if it does not happen, the police get involved.

    You rarely see grafitti in Germany, and strangely the local comunities tend to "sort out" the people who do it.

    It is an excellent method of treating these people as they deserve. It very rarely happens a second time.

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    Do I suppose if they are Council Tenants living there, they Council will remove it at Taxpayers expense, who do we give the Bill to.

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    its the kalergi plan--victims are criminals

    criminals are victims

    blame bliar for the overt politicization of local councils

  • John  Adams

    Banksy best going into hiding, the Council's going to get you.


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