The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (“the Act”) introduces major changes for court proceedings relating to the anti-social behaviour injunction and anti-social behaviour possession proceedings. The Act introduces new mandatory grounds for possession for secure and assured tenants which have been in force since 20 October 2014. These grounds for possession will be triggered if any one of the following five conditions are met:
Condition 1 - Conviction of a ‘serious’ offence;
Condition 2 – A proved breach of an Injunction made under the Act;
Condition 3 – A proved breach of Criminal Behaviour Order made under the Act;
Condition 4 – A property is or has been subject to a closure order under the Act and access has been denied to the property for more than 48 hours;
Condition 5 – There has been a conviction for breach of abatement notice regarding noise from a property.
The focus of this blog is Condition 2 and the problems secure and assured tenants potentially face.
Let us remind ourselves of Condition 2 in full:
“Condition 2 is that a court has found in relevant proceedings that the tenant, or a person residing in or visiting the dwelling-house, has breached a provision of an injunction under section 1 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, other than a provision requiring a person to participate in a particular activity, and-
(a) the breach occurred in, or in the locality of, the dwelling-house, or
(b) the breach occurred elsewhere and the provision breached was a provision intended to prevent-
(i) conduct that is capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to a person with a right (of whatever description) to reside in, or occupy housing accommodation in the locality of, the dwelling-house, or
(ii) conduct that is capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to the landlord of the dwelling-house, or a person employed (whether or not by the landlord) in connection with the exercise of the landlord’s housing management functions, and that is directly or indirectly related to or affects those functions”.
We are still waiting for the introduction of the new Anti-Social Behaviour Injunctions under the Act. But when the new Injunctions are eventually introduced, where a tenant who is subject to one of the new Injunctions under the Act is found to have breached their Injunction, they also face losing their home as their Landlord would be able to use Condition 2 as a mandatory ground for possession in any possession proceedings which may be started.
Condition 2 is not only limited to the tenant. It also applies to another member of the tenant’s household or someone else who may visit the tenant. So if someone falling into that category has breached their Injunction then the tenant risks eviction. This obviously puts tenants in a very precarious situation.
It remains to be seen whether Landlord’s will be keen to use the mandatory grounds for possession. I suspect some Landlord’s may reserve the use of the mandatory ground for possession in the most serious cases of anti-social behaviour.