A tenant has narrowly avoided being evicted from her council property for anti-social behaviour. Sheffield City Council started Court proceedings against the tenant due to her repeatedly causing a nuisance to her neighbours by threatening them and even at one point physically assaulting them. The court made a finding that such behaviour had happened and that the tenant was in breach of her tenancy agreement. She was subsequently made the subject of a suspended possession order to remain in place for the lifetime of her tenancy.
This means that this tenant must improve her behaviour otherwise she will lose her home. A suspended possession order is a court order which essentially means that whilst the tenant has been found guilty of breaching their tenancy agreement, the court has agreed to give her another chance to change her ways and avoid eviction. She will get to stay in her home provided that she does not commit any further breaches of her tenancy. If it is alleged in the future that the tenant has then breached her tenancy again, her landlord can apply to court for a date to be set for her eviction. This is known as a warrant of eviction and it sets the date when the bailiffs would go round to the property to change the locks and remove anyone from inside.
Even if a landlord applies for a warrant of eviction, a tenant still has a chance to stop the eviction from going ahead. They can do this by making an application to court asking it to suspend the warrant. The application can be submitted to court any time up to the date of the eviction. The court would then list the application for a hearing at which it would hear evidence from both the tenant and landlord and then make a decision about whether the eviction should go ahead.
Our specialist housing solicitors can provide advice to tenants about making such applications and can also help represent tenants at all stages of court proceedings to try to avoid eviction.