Antisocial behaviour grounds for possession for social tenants

Sanctions against secure, assured, introductory and demoted tenancies on grounds of antisocial behaviour.

This content applies to England

Antisocial behaviour grounds for possession

There are a number of grounds for possession that social landlords can use to seek possession from tenants guilty of antisocial behaviour. For information about how a landlord can plead a ground for possession see Notices: assured tenancies and Notices: secure tenancies.

Except in respect of the mandatory grounds for possession for antisocial behaviour (section 84A Housing Act 1985 and ground 7A, Sch.2 Housing Act 1988) the courts must consider whether it is reasonable to award possession and, in doing so, must take into account all relevant factors, including the impact on neighbors and likelihood of the conduct recurring.[1]

Discretionary grounds: antisocial behaviour

For secure tenancies, the grounds for possession are set out in Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1985. Ground 2 is a discretionary ground, which applies to nuisance or annoyance to neighbours or the landlord, or using the premises for illegal or immoral purposes. Ground 1 for breach of the tenancy agreement may also be used. For further information see Discretionary grounds: Secure tenancies.

For assured tenancies, the grounds for possession are set out in Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1985. Ground 14 is a discretionary ground, which applies to nuisance or annoyance to neighbours or the landlord, or using the premises for illegal or immoral purposes. Ground 12 for breach of the tenancy agreement may also be used. For further information see Discretionary grounds: Assured tenancies.

Mandatory grounds: antisocial behaviour

With effect from 20 October 2014, a mandatory ground is available for seeking possession of a secure or assured tenancy where antisocial behaviour has already been proved in another court. 

Domestic abuse

Local authorities can use ground 2A to evict tenants where one partner has left the house and is unlikely to return because of domestic abuse to themselves or another family member by the other partner. Private registered providers of social housing can use ground 14A to take possession action against perpetrators of domestic abuse.

Offence during a riot

From 13 May 2014, a discretionary ground for possession for antisocial behaviour is available against secure (ground 2ZA) and assured (ground 14ZA) tenants, or members of their household, have convicted of offences committed at the scene of a riot anywhere in the UK. 

Introductory and demoted tenancies

Social landlords use the following tenancy types to deal with antisocial behaviour:

Introductory tenancies provide a probationary period for some new local authority tenants. These allow local authority landlords to evict tenants who breach the terms of their tenancy agreement within the first year of their tenancy, without having to prove a ground or satisfy the court that it is reasonable to grant possession.

Demotion gives local authority or PRPSHs a less drastic alternative to repossession where a tenant is causing nuisance through antisocial behaviour.  Tenants of local authority demoted tenancies have similar rights to those with introductory tenancies, and tenants of PRPSH demoted tenancies have similar rights to those of assured shorthold tenants. 

Last updated: 19 March 2021

Footnotes

  • [1]

    s.85A(2) Housing Act 1985; s.9A(2) Housing Act 1988; New Charter Housing (North) Ltd v Ashcroft, 8 March 2004, CA.