The UK government has published its Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan, detailing the new powers that will be given to landlords to evict unruly tenants.
Landlords and law-abiding tenants will benefit from stronger laws and systems to ensure those who are persistently disruptive are evicted. The government will seek to halve the delay between a private landlord serving notice for anti-social behaviour and eviction and broaden the disruptive and harmful activities that can lead to eviction. They will also provide a clear expectation that previous anti-social behaviour offenders are deprioritised for social housing.
The action plan, backed up with £160m of funding, will include changing laws and tightening regulations to clamp down on anti-social behaviour, giving landlords and housing associations more powers to evict unruly tenants who disrupt their neighbours’ lives through persistent noise or by being drunk and disorderly.
For those living in the private rented sector or in properties owned by Private Registered Providers, the government will ensure landlords can act more quickly than ever before to evict anti-social tenants. Through their reforms for renters, the government will make grounds for possession – the legal reasons a landlord can evict a tenant – faster and far easier to prove. This will mean landlords can take immediate action – rather than giving two months’ notice and waiting for the end of a fixed term, as they currently need to when relying on Section 21. The government claims that they will support tenants and landlords by:
a) ensuring that all private tenancy agreements include clauses specifically banning anti-social behaviour – making it easier for landlords to use the breach of tenancy ground to evict anti-social tenants.
b) making the notice period two weeks for all anti-social behaviour eviction grounds as part of our reforms for renters. They will also ensure that landlords are aware of existing tools – such as injunctions and Criminal Behaviour Orders – to crack down on anti-social tenants.
c) planning to expand the discretionary eviction ground, to make anti-social behaviour easier to prove in court: clarifying that any behaviour ‘capable’ of causing ‘nuisance or annoyance’ can lead to eviction.
d) speeding up the process of evicting an anti-social tenant by working with His Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) to explore how to prioritise anti-social behaviour cases in Possession Lists in the courts.
e) bringing forward legislation which will set out the principles that judges must consider when making their decision, such as giving weight to the impact on landlords, neighbours, and housemates and whether the tenant has failed to engage with other interventions to manage their behaviour.
f) preventing short-term lets importing anti-social behaviour into communities, such as noise problems or drunken and disorderly behaviour. They will do this by setting up a new registration scheme giving local authorities the data to easily identify short-term lets in their area. If a let proves problematic, they can take action against guests and owners. The government will publish a consultation on the registration scheme shortly.
To find out more about the UK Government’s Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan in full please see the full guidance below.
- Press release: Action plan to crack down on anti-social behaviour
- Policy paper: Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan