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Anti-social behaviour crack down - what landlords need to know

In March 2023, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced the government will be taking a stand against anti-social behaviour, including greater protection for landlords. The action plan highlights the introduction of a property ombudsman and shorter eviction notice periods to give housing associations more power in addressing disruptive tenants nationwide. Read on to discover how this action plan will ensure people have access to safe homes while shielding rental owners from uncomfortable situations - it's good news all around!

New Ombudsman means greater support for landlords 

The government has taken a proactive approach to support landlords in difficult situations. By introducing an Ombudsman, the process for evicting tenants with antisocial behaviours will become more streamlined and efficient - taking some of the burden off those who need help quickly. Although the appointment of the new body has not yet been released this is seen as a positive move - showing commitment to helping affected property owners. 

“We are exploring ways to increase mediation in the Private Rented Sector, for example with the new Ombudsman to support landlords when tenants commit low-level – but high impact – anti-social behaviour. This will prevent avoidable evictions.”

Swift evictions where necessary on the horizon 

The Government have unveiled a plan to help landlords evict anti-social tenants in half the time - taking it from an 8-week period down to just 2. 

Currently, landlords have two ways to evict a tenant - via a Section 8 or Section 21 notice. 

A section 8 notice means the landlord has a legal right to evict a tenant - which includes anti-social behaviour. However, this process can currently take up to two months, which is why many landlords opt to remove a tenant via a Section 21 notice. 

A section 21 notice, although often a quicker route, is likely to be abolished via the Renters Reform Bill.

With the looming threat of renters reform legislation, landlords can breathe a sigh of relief as this new plan gives them greater protection from some extended eviction notices.

“We will support landlords by making the notice period two weeks for all anti-social behaviour eviction grounds as part of our reforms for renters. We will also ensure that landlords are aware of existing tools – such as injunctions and Criminal Behaviour Orders – to crack down on anti-social tenants.”

Easier to prove in court 

The last thing a landlord wants is to fall into a frustrating legal battle with tenants - but there's now some help on the way! The Government will implement measures that make it simpler for landlords to prove anti-social behaviour cases in court. So if this nightmare does become reality, you can take comfort in knowing you have extra backing from your side of the fence!

“We plan to make anti-social behaviour easier to prove in court: clarifying that any behaviour ‘capable’ of causing ‘nuisance or annoyance’ can lead to eviction.”

Changing laws and a greater police presence

Local laws are taking a tough stance on dangerous substances, like nitrous oxide. Unfortunately, this has become an all-too-common problem associated with anti-social behaviour in some areas - which is why stricter policing measures have been put into place to help protect the community and make sure tenants adhere to their lease agreements. Tenants who violate these regulations could face swift and immediate eviction as a result - making it easier for landlords to remove an unruly tenant from their property.

“Landlords and law-abiding tenants will benefit from stronger laws and systems to ensure those who are persistently disruptive are evicted.”

The pressure on landlords in dealing with anti-social behaviour can be immense. Landlords should ensure they are up to speed with the government's action plan and that they clearly understand their rights when it comes to evicting unruly tenants if needed - and we can help. MakeUrMove will be keeping you in the loop with all of the government's plans to ensure that rights are respected when it comes to anti-social tenants - stay tuned for updates on our blog or get in touch to learn more about how our award-winning property management services could help you.

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The Government has announced plans to scrap “no-fault evictions” by consulting on new legislation to abolish Section 21 evictions on 15th April. This will bring an end to private landlords evicting tenants from their homes at short notice and without a good reason.