A GOVERNMENT minister has said that the council “already has strong powers” to tackle the problem of party houses in Poole.

Brandon Lewis MP made the statement after receiving a letter about the notorious problem of homes in Canford Cliffs and Branksome Park being let out by the night for raucous parties.

In his response the minister for housing and planning wrote: “Local authorities already have strong powers to force private sector landlords to tackle anti-social behaviour of their tenants.”

Signposting ‘selective licensing’ as a means to address the issue, he added: “Councils can require landlords to obtain a licence for each property within the designated area.

“Where a landlord fails to effectively deal with anti-social behaviour, the licence can be revoked and the landlord will no longer be able to rent out the property.”

He was responding to Parkstone Councillor Sally Carpenter’s letter to Eric Pickles MP, in which she called for legislative changes to tackle the notorious problem.

Mr Lewis referred to legal powers available to police and council to tackle antisocial behaviour by tenants, concluding that local officials “have sufficient powers to deal with these matters.”

Terry Stewart, president of the Branksome Park, Canford Cliffs and District Residents’ Association, said: “This problem has been going on since August 2011 and the council has failed to get any kind of grip on it.

“Here is a statement from the minister for heaven’s sake saying the council can get a grip on it – but as before the council are rejecting any suggestions.”

Cllr Carpenter told the Echo she had been back in touch with the MP – forwarding on a response from Borough of Poole’s enforcement officer which detailed the actions being taken by Borough of Poole.

She added: “I have asked if there is anything else we can possibly do that we are not doing – and I am awaiting his response.

“It’s appalling that people have to suffer with these party houses. I feel like there should be more enforcement, more government legislation to stop this happening because it’s miserable for these residents.”

Residents of Canford Cliffs and Branksome Park have been beset by noise and anti-social behaviour from homes rented out for big family, stag and hen parties – to the extent they have formed their own Party House Action Group.

The problem was set out by Poole MP Robert Syms at a Westminster debate in the spring. He outlined a catalogue of complaints including drunken revellers playing football in gardens at 3am, prostitutes arriving at all hours, thumping music all night, blow-up sex toys left in full view of the street and drunks climbing trees.