Evicting anti-social tenants set to get easier
New legislation, the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Bill 2013-14, will allow landlords to evict tenants on the grounds of anti-social behaviour – even if the offence did not occur in or on the grounds of the property.
Anti-social behaviour is a growing problem, not just for landlords but as a country as a whole. Last year, there were over 2.3 million reported incidents of anti-social behaviour (approximately 6,300 a day).
Under current legislation, landlords are able to evict tenants causing nuisance or annoyance to occupiers of the neighbouring property such as excessive noise or intimating behaviour. However such incidents are highly subjective, can be difficult to prove and require neighbours to appear in court to provide evidence.
However Clause 89 of the new bill will see the introduction of a new mandatory ground for possession by private landlords. This means if one or more of the following conditions are met, the court will have to grant an order for possession:
- The tenant, a member of the tenant’s household or a person visiting the property has been convicted of a serious offence
- The tenant, a member of the tenant’s household or a person visiting the property has been found by a court to have breached an injunction to prevent nuisance and annoyance obtained under Clause 1 of the Bill
- The tenant, a member of the tenant’s household or a person visiting the property has been convicted for breach of a criminal behaviour order
- The tenant’s property has been closed under a closure order obtained under Clause 73 of the Bill and the total period of closure was more than 48 hours
- The tenant, a member of the tenant’s household or a person visiting the property has been convicted of a breach of a notice or order to abate noise in relation to the tenants’ property under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Solicitor and Head of GW LET, Rob Denman, comments:
“It is important however that landlords are not under the misconception that the new Bill allows them to automatically evict anti-social tenants. It is not the eviction process which has been changed but the grounds on which a landlord can evict a tenant. GW LET can offer professional advice and assistance for anyone looking to evict a tenant.”
Content correct at time of publication