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Mandatory ASB ground: Secure tenancies

This content applies to England

A mandatory ground is available for seeking possession of a secure/flexible tenancy where antisocial behaviour has already been proved in another court.

Five specified conditions

In the legislation the ground is referred to as the 'absolute ground for possession for anti-social behaviour'.[1]

The court must award possession if any one of five specified conditions below is met, the landlord has served a notice of seeking possession (NSP), and complied with its obligations in respect of the tenant's right of review.[2]

Social landlords should follow the Pre-action Protocol for Possession Cases by Social Landlords before pursuing possession proceedings

Condition 1: Conviction of serious offence

The tenant, or anyone living in or visiting the property, has been convicted of a serious offence that was committed on or after 20 October 2014:

  • in the locality of the dwelling house, or
  • elsewhere against either a person who lives, or has a right to occupy accommodation, in the locality, or
  • elsewhere against the landlord or someone employed (whether or not by the landlord) in connection with the landlord's housing management functions.

A serious offence for this purpose must be one of the specific offences set out in the legislation.[3]

Condition 2: Breach of IPNA

A court found that the tenant, or anyone living in or visiting the property, had breached a provision of an injunction to prevent nuisance or annoyance (IPNA)[4].

The breach must have occurred:

  • in the locality, or
  • elsewhere if the IPNA was granted in order to prevent harassment, alarm or distress to:
    • a person who lives, or has a right to occupy accommodation, in the locality
    • the landlord or someone employed (whether or not by the landlord) in connection with the landlord's housing management functions.

Condition 2 was not available until 23 March 2015 when Part 1 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 came into effect.

The condition is not met where the breach of the IPNA only relates to a failure to participate in a particular activity.

For more information see Injunctions to prevent nuisance and annoyance.

Condition 3: Breach of a criminal behaviour order

The tenant, or anyone living in or visiting the property, has been convicted of a breach of a criminal behaviour order[5] that prohibits an activity:

  • in the locality, or
  • elsewhere when the criminal behaviour order was intended to protect:
    • a person who lives, or has a right to occupy accommodation, in the locality
    • the landlord or someone employed (whether or not by the landlord) in connection with the landlord's housing management functions.

For more information see Criminal behaviour orders.

Condition 4: Closure order

A closure order[6] has been made on the tenant's property and access to the property under the order (and/or a closure notice) has been prohibited for more than 48 hours.

For more information see Closure Orders.

Condition 5: Noise nuisance

The tenant, or anyone living in or visiting the property, has been convicted of an offence under section 80(4) or 82(8) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 as a result of breaching an abatement notice or court order in relation to noise nuisance committed on or after 20 October 2014.

For more information about these offences see Abatement notices and Action by occupiers.

Condition not met

Conditions 1 to 5 will not be met if an appeal against the conviction, order, or finding is:[7]

  • pending
  • successful.

Notice requirements

The time limits for the service of the NSP on the tenant vary according to which condition is being relied upon.

For further information about the requirements of the NSP see Notices: Secure tenancies.

Tenant's right of review

An NSP served by a local authority or housing action trust must inform the tenant of her/his right to request a statutory review of its decision to seek possession.[8] A secure tenant of a private registered provider of social housing does not have this right.

The tenant must request a review within seven days of service of the NSP.[9] The landlord does not have the power to extend the time allowed in which to request a statutory review.[10]

The tenant's request must:[11]

  • be in writing
  • set out the grounds on which the review is sought
  • state whether s/he requires an oral hearing.

The landlord must give the tenant five days' notice of the hearing date and/or the requirement to make written representations where the tenant has not requested a hearing.[12]

The review must be carried out:

  • before the date after which court proceedings can start as specified in the NSP[13]
  • by someone senior to the person who made the original decision to seek possession[14]

The landlord must notify the tenant of its review decision in writing, and set out its reasons if the original decision is upheld.[15]

Other grounds for possession for reasons of antisocial behaviour

There are also three discretionary grounds for possession for reasons of antisocial behaviour available to landlords of secure tenants:

  • Ground 2 – nuisance or annoyance, or the illegal or immoral use of the property
  • Ground 2A – domestic violence
  • Ground 2ZA – offence committed during a riot.

For more information see Discretionary grounds: Secure tenancies.

Wales

The information on this page applies only to England. Go to Shelter Cymru for information relating to Wales.

[1] s.84A Housing Act 1985 as inserted by s.94 Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, and Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (Commencement no.7, Saving and Transitional Provisions) Order 2014, SI 2014/2590.

[2] s.84A(1) and (2) Housing Act 1985.

[3] Sch 2A Housing Act 1985 as inserted by Sch 3 Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

[4] made under s.1 Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

[5] made under s.30 Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

[6] made under s.80 Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

[7] s.84A(8) Housing Act 1985.

[8] s 83ZA(3) Housing Act 1985 as inserted by s.95 Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014; s 85ZA(1) Housing Act 1985 as inserted by s.96 Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

[9] s.85ZA(1) and (2) Housing Act 1985 as inserted by s.96 Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

[10] Harris v Hounslow LBC [2017] EWCA Civ 1476.

[11] s.85ZA(2) Housing Act 1985 and reg 2 Absolute Ground for Possession for Anti-social Behaviour (Review Procedure) (England) Regulations 2014, SI 2014/2554.

[12] regs 5 and 6 Absolute Ground for Possession for Anti-social Behaviour (Review Procedure) (England) Regulations 2014, SI 2014/2554.

[13] s.85ZA(6) Housing Act 1985.

[14] regs 5 and 7 Absolute Ground for Possession for Anti-social Behaviour (Review Procedure) (England) Regulations 2014, SI 2014/2554.

[15] s.85ZA(4) and (5) Housing Act 1985.

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