Council and housing association tenants: eviction for antisocial behaviour

Council or housing association landlords can evict tenants for criminal or antisocial behaviour.

Get advice if you are facing eviction

It may be possible to challenge an eviction. Get advice as soon as you can.

You may qualify for legal aid (free advice and representation) if you're on a low income. If you don't qualify, there are options for free legal support

It helps if you have documents such as the notice from your landlord and any court papers with you when you ask for legal help.

Eviction for antisocial behaviour

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

You can be evicted for antisocial behaviour that takes place in your home or in your local area.

Antisocial behaviour includes:

  • 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

You could be evicted because of the behaviour of your children or adults who live with you or visit you.

You can also be evicted if you or an adult living with you commits an offence during a riot anywhere in the UK.

Rules for eviction for antisocial behaviour

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

If you have a secure tenancy or an assured tenancy, your landlord must prove a legal reason for the eviction to the court. This is called a ground for possession.

Discretionary grounds for possession

If your landlord can prove you've been involved in antisocial behaviour, the court decides if it's reasonable to evict you.

The court may make an outright possession order if the behaviour has been very serious and caused ongoing problems.

If you attend the court hearing and can show that the behaviour has stopped or will stop, the court may suspend a possession order.

This means you can stay in your home as long as you keep to the conditions in the order.

Mandatory grounds for possession

In serious cases of antisocial behaviour, your landlord can use a mandatory ground.

The court must make an outright possession order if your landlord has followed the correct process and can prove any of the following:

  • conviction of a serious offence or noise nuisance in the area
  • breach of a nuisance injunction or criminal behaviour order
  • a closure order has already been made

The offence could be committed by you or anyone living in your home or even visiting the property.

When your landlord doesn't have to prove a ground

You're at high risk of eviction if you behave antisocially and have any of the following types of tenancy:

Your landlord must still get an eviction order from the court if you have an introductory, starter or demoted tenancy. They will get the order automatically if they follow the correct process.

You can be evicted without a court order if you behave antisocially and you're in emergency housing following a homeless application.

Rehousing after eviction

You may find it very difficult to find somewhere to live if you're evicted because of antisocial behaviour. The council could decide you're intentionally homeless if you ask them for help.

You could also be excluded from council waiting lists because of unacceptable behaviour.

Private landlords usually want a reference from a previous landlord. They may not accept you as a tenant if you've been evicted for antisocial behaviour.

Last updated 10 May 2017 | © Shelter

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