Council and housing association tenants: eviction for antisocial behaviour

Coronavirus update: evictions are on hold

All court action for eviction has been put on hold until at least 23 August 2020. 

Your council or housing association can't get a court order to evict you until after that date.

Eviction for antisocial behaviour

You can be evicted for antisocial behaviour caused by you, a household member or visitors to your home.

Antisocial behaviour includes things like:

  • causing a nuisance to your neighbours
  • threatening your landlord's staff or contractors
  • using your home for illegal purposes, such as drug dealing
  • being convicted of a serious offence
  • breaching a criminal behaviour order

The antisocial behaviour can be in your property or in the local area

How your landlord should deal with reported antisocial behaviour

Eviction should be a last resort.

Your council or housing association should:

  • discuss any complaints with you
  • give you a chance to stop the behaviour
  • offer mediation or tenancy support if this would help

You can ask to be referred to a community mental health team or drug and alcohol service if you think these issues are affecting your behaviour.

You may be able to stop the eviction process going any further if you accept any support offered or agree to mediation

The eviction process

The 3 stages to the process are:

  1. Notice from your council or housing association
  2. A court hearing which you should attend
  3. Eviction by bailiffs if the court has ordered this

When to get legal advice

It can take a few months from the notice until an eviction takes place.

The court can sometimes stop an eviction at the hearing or before the bailiffs come.

Get legal advice as soon as you get a notice

When the court can stop an eviction

The court may be able to stop an eviction if you have:

Most council and housing association tenants have one of these types of tenancy.

Reasons for eviction

Your landlord must prove a legal reason for eviction at the court hearing.

This is called a 'ground for possession'. There are 2 types of grounds:

  • discretionary - the court can stop an eviction if you keep to certain conditions
  • mandatory - the court must order eviction if your council or housing association follows the correct process

Check your notice

Check which grounds for possession the council or housing association has used.

Your notice may contain more than one ground for possession.

There are different grounds for secure and assured tenants.

Discretionary grounds for possession

You have a better chance of keeping your home if the council or housing association only use discretionary grounds.

The most common discretionary grounds for secure tenants are:

  • Ground 1 - rent arrears
  • Ground 2 - nuisance and antisocial behaviour

The most common discretionary grounds for assured tenants are:

  • Ground 10 - rent arrears
  • Ground 11 - late payment of rent
  • Ground 14 - nuisance and antisocial behaviour

What the court looks at with a discretionary ground

The court looks at the effect of the behaviour on your neighbours and employees of the council or housing association.

If your landlord also uses a rent arrears ground, the court will look at the level of arrears and if you have come to a repayment agreement.

The court will probably order eviction if the antisocial behaviour is very serious and ongoing, or if a criminal offence has been committed.

You may be able to keep your home if you can show that the behaviour has already stopped or will stop immediately.

For example, if the behaviour was caused by:

  • mental health or drug and alcohol problems - and you now get support
  • someone else in your home - and you can show they no longer live there or visit

The court could make a suspended possession order in cases like this.

Mandatory grounds for possession

In serious cases of antisocial behaviour, your landlord can use a mandatory ground to evict you. The court can't stop an eviction if your landlord can prove a mandatory ground.

The court must make an outright possession order if the council or housing association can prove a mandatory ground at the hearing.

This sets a date for you to leave your home.

Ground 8 for housing association tenants

Your housing association might use this at the same time as another ground if you owe at least 8 weeks' rent.

They can't use this ground if you owe less than 8 weeks' rent by the time of the hearing. Try to reduce your arrears below this level if you can.

Mandatory antisocial behaviour grounds

Your council or housing association can only use these grounds in specific situations. For example, if you've been convicted of certain offences in the local area.

Your landlord is using a mandatory antisocial behaviour ground if your notice:

  • lists Ground 7A and you have an assured tenancy
  • states the court will be asked to make an order under section 84A and you have a secure tenancy

Get legal advice immediately to check if your landlord can use this ground

Other types of tenancy

The court can't usually stop an eviction if you have a different type of council or housing association tenancy. Your landlord must still follow the correct eviction process.

Find out more about the process if you have a:

If the bailiffs are due

A notice of eviction from the bailiffs means the court has issued an eviction warrant. The notice tells you the time and date of eviction.

You can only ask the court to stop the eviction at this stage if the eviction order was made on a discretionary ground.

Get legal advice before you apply. The court might not be willing to stop the eviction if there is ongoing evidence of antisocial behaviour.

Find out what happens if the eviction goes ahead

Help from the council after eviction

You can ask the council for help if you're facing homelessness following an eviction.

You can do this even if you're being evicted from a council tenancy.

The council could decide you're intentionally homeless if you ask for help.

This doesn't mean that the council doesn't have to help at all. You're still entitled to a personal housing plan to help you find a new home.

You also qualify for emergency housing if you're in priority need.

Get advice if you are facing eviction

It may be possible to challenge your eviction.

Get advice as soon as you can.

Last updated 05 May 2020 | © Shelter

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