The detail of the Government’s anti-social crackdown have been published, including how landlords will be given more powers to eject tenants who misbehave quicker and more easily.
Called the Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan, it includes a promise that Minister plan to “change laws and arm landlords with the tools to ensure that anti-social tenants face the consequences of their actions”.
The measures, which will be included in the expected Renters Reform Act, 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 says.
This will include:
- Ensuring 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.
- Making the notice period two weeks for all anti-social behaviour eviction grounds as part of our reforms for renters.
- “We will also ensure that landlords are aware of existing tools – such as injunctions and Criminal Behaviour Orders – to crack down on anti-social tenants.
- Expanding the discretionary eviction ground to make anti-social behaviour easier to prove in court and clarify that any behaviour ‘capable’ of causing ‘nuisance or annoyance’ can lead to eviction.
- Speeding up the process of evicting an anti-social tenant by working with the courts system to explore how to prioritise anti-social behaviour cases in Possession Lists.
- 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.
Evictions expert Paul Shamplina says: “At Landlord Action we’ve been pushing the Government to give landlords an alternative to Section 21 notices once this type of eviction is abolished by the Renters’ Reform Act, most likely next year.
“It’s good news that Ministers have been listening to us and other voices within the landlord community. Landlords need to be able to quickly evict tenants who behave badly within their properties.”