Landlords to be given more powers to evict unruly tenants

The UK Government has announced an action plan to crack down on anti-social behaviour giving more powers to the police to target perpetrators with swift and visible justice in England and Wales.

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16 areas will be funded to support either new ‘hotspot’ police and enforcement patrols or trial a new ‘Immediate Justice’ scheme. A select few areas will trial both interventions and following the initial trailblazers, both schemes will be rolled out in 2024.

A new reporting tool will also be developed over the next twelve months to act as a digital one-stop shop where people can quickly and easily report incidents of anti-social behaviour.

Under the zero-tolerance approach, nitrous oxide or ‘laughing gas’ will also be banned. The drug is now the third most used among 16 to 24-year-olds in England and both the police and the public have repeatedly reported links between the use of the drug and nuisance or anti-social behaviour.

Renters’ Reform

The UK Government’s plan to reform the private rented sector outlines tougher enforcement on nuisance tenants, and Propertymark has long campaigned for striking the right balance between protecting tenants from unfair evictions whilst allowing landlords to take possession of their property in reasonable circumstances.

A New Deal for Renting Consultation Response
13 Sep 2019
A new deal for renting consultation

We submitted a comprehensive 39-page document in response to the Government’s consultation on planned changes to the eviction process in England.

The Future of Renting front cover
13 Dec 2021
The Future of Renting

The Future of Renting features our recommendations to the UK Government and its plans to reform the private rented sector in England. We want to help shape and influence the UK Government’s Renters’ Reforms White Paper which is due to be released in 2022.

To let board sign with ARLA Propertymark board sticker attached.jpg
26 Aug 2022
Renters’ reform risks dwindling stock even further

Propertymark has submitted written evidence to the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee who have opened an inquiry into the UK Government’s plans to reform the private rented sector in England.

Faster grounds for possession

The Action plan highlights that sustained acts of intimidating or disruptive behaviour will not be tolerated and should lead to the eviction of the tenant involved. The UK Government will be changing laws and arming landlords with tools to ensure that anti-social tenants will face consequences including making the grounds for possession faster and easier to prove.

Other measures include: 

  • ensuring all private tenancy agreements include clauses specifically banning anti-social behaviour
  • expand the discretionary eviction ground, to make anti-social behaviour easier to prove in court and speed up the process of evicting by exploring how to prioritise these cases in Possession Lists in the courts
  • preventing short-term lets importing anti-social behaviour into communities, with a new registration scheme to give local authorities data to easily identify short-term lets to act against if a let proves problematic. A consultation on the registration scheme will be published shortly

Clarity for letting agents and landlords needed

Whilst Propertymark is pleased that the UK Government is responding to our calls for better enforcement of anti-social behaviour, we need to see clarity on how the measures will work in practice and when the new legislation will be in effect, until then landlords will continue to struggle to evict nuisance tenants.

It is encouraging to see the UK Government acknowledge that there is an issue with anti-social behaviour within communities and after calling for reform we are pleased to see the Action Plan include measures to speed up the eviction process and support landlords and agents to gather evidence. 

Given the lack of capacity in the existing court system, we reiterate our call for a dedicated housing court to ensure better access to justice for landlords and tenants. A key element is ensuring that tenant behaviour can be better evidenced in court and the cases of most concern are prioritised.

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Timothy Douglas Head of Policy and Campaigns | Propertymark