Eviction for antisocial or criminal behaviour

Landlords may try to evict tenants for criminal or antisocial behaviour. Find out what can happen if you're being evicted for antisocial behaviour.

Get advice about eviction for antisocial behaviour

Get advice immediately if you have been threatened with eviction because of antisocial behaviour. If you do nothing and the behaviour continues, you could end up homeless. The council's homelessness services may not have to help you with housing.

Use Shelter's directory to find an adviser in your area.

Alternatively, contact Civil Legal Advice. You may be able to get help from their legal advisers if you qualify for Legal Help funding. Be prepared to answer questions about your income and savings so the helpline adviser can tell you if you qualify.

Eviction of council and housing association tenants

A council or housing association landlord can ask a court to evict you if you, someone in your household or someone visiting you has been involved in antisocial behaviour. 

Antisocial behaviour includes:

  • causing a nuisance to your neighbours
  • harassing your landlord, their staff or contractors
  • using your home for illegal purposes, such as drug dealing
  • being convicted of a serious offence
  • committing an offence during a riot
  • breaching a criminal behaviour order

Tenants are usually held responsible for the conduct of people who live with them. This includes their children and sometimes the people who visit them.

You risk eviction for antisocial behaviour that takes place in the surrounding area to where you live. You can also be evicted if you commit an offence during a riot anywhere in the UK.

The council or housing association has to follow certain rules to evict you. It should only use eviction as a last resort.

The court looks at whether it is reasonable to evict you even if you have been involved in antisocial behaviour. The court could then decide to suspend or postpone an order to possess your home on condition, for example, that you do not re-offend.

Where the antisocial behaviour has already been proved in another court, for example you have breached a criminal behaviour order, the court may have no choice but to evict you.

Find out more about the eviction of council tenants and housing association tenants.

Alternatives to evicting council and housing association tenants

Rather than trying to evict you, council and housing association landlords may take other steps first. 

These include applying for a criminal behaviour order or asking the court to demote your council tenancy or housing association tenancy. Your tenancy could be demoted for a year or longer.

While your tenancy is demoted, your landlord could evict you very easily if the antisocial behaviour continues.

The council or housing association then decides if they need to take any further action. This may depend on: 

  • how serious the antisocial behaviour has been
  • if they have already tried to take action in other ways
  • if the behaviour has improved

Eviction from other types of council or housing association tenancies

If you or your someone in your household behaves antisocially, you could also easily be evicted from:

Get advice immediately if you receive any papers saying that your landlord is going to apply for a court order to evict you. If you want to stop the eviction, you will need help from an adviser to challenge the decision.

Use Shelter's directory to find an adviser in your area.

If you are evicted because of antisocial behaviour, you may find it difficult to be re-housed as homeless as the council may consider you made yourself intentionally homeless. You could also be excluded from council waiting lists because of unacceptable behaviour.

Eviction of private tenants

Most private tenants have an assured shorthold tenancy. This is a type of tenancy that makes it easy for a landlord to evict you, providing you are given the correct notice.

Other private tenants may also be evicted fairly easily. The rules on how and when you can be evicted depend on the type of tenancy you have, and what your tenancy agreement says. For example, if you are an excluded occupier, meaning you share your home with your landlord, you may only be entitled to 'reasonable notice'. The exact notice you're allowed is not defined by law.

Most private tenants can be evicted for the same reasons as council and housing association tenants.

Use our tenancy checker to find out what kind of tenancy you have and what procedures the landlord has to follow. Get in touch with an adviser to find out if there is anything you can do to keep your home.

Use Shelter's directory to find an adviser in your area.

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