Troublesome Tenants in small close?

Troublesome Tenants in small close?

by Readers Question

Guest Author

17:01 PM, 10th July 2018, About 6 years ago 4

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We are a small close of residential tenants where elderly and disabled people live. Approximately three months ago a flat in the close was let to a single female.

She moved in almost immediately with a person we suspect is her brother. Since they have moved in they have called rude and obscene comments at other residents, dropped their underwear to show their behinds, ordered pizzas for other neighbours without authority, thrown bottles of water at elderly severely disabled residents above them, in the past week we have had the owners of the properties called out three times during the night to check on them, on which occasion they have abused those that have called, the Police have been in regular attendance and two nights ago a child was taken away by ambulance, but returned early morning.

The parent of one of those involved is as abusive as their offspring. We have had the Housing Association call to make investigations and they say that it is a complicated case as Social Services are involved and they cannot do anything as there has been a change in law, we have been told that there has been a change in the tenancy of which none of us have been notified.

We are met with arrogance from the Housing Association, our MP fails to respond. The elderly people are in a state of great stress and anxiety as their tenancy states for over 55s only, and these who move in and out are all under 20. What can we do next with no co-operation from anyone?


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7:13 AM, 11th July 2018, About 6 years ago

This should be easy if the local council and police are willing to apply for an anti social behaviour order. Indeed the council now have power to issue such orders themselves and the criminal /recipient has to appeal if they don't like the order.
The name of the new powers escapes me but contact both your local councilor and the Environmental Health Dept of the council and tell them what is going on.

Darren Peters

11:48 AM, 11th July 2018, About 6 years ago

If the housing association are not helping keep on at the council about this fact. Also there may be a local noise patrol in your area in which case check what they can do.

Robert M

11:26 AM, 14th July 2018, About 6 years ago

Hi Paul

I'm sure that the landlord of the property, whether it be a private landlord or a housing association, will not want the bad behaviour to continue, however, the reality is that they have to have solid evidence of the behaviour (has anyone been keeping a daily diary, or has video footage of the incidents?) before they can do anything, otherwise it is just one person's word against another.

Once there is solid evidence of the behaviour, then it comes down to whether it is the landlord's responsibility to deal with it (and whether they have the legal power to deal with it), or whether it is something that is the responsibility of the police, council, social services, etc.

If there is sufficient solid evidence, and it is the landlord's responsibility to do something about it, then the landlord is restrained from dealing with this other than through very lengthy legal processes. As the tenant has recently moved in, they presumably have a 6 or 12 month tenancy agreement, so the landlord may have to wait until 2 months prior to the end of the fixed term before they can serve a s21 Notice (giving the tenant 2 months notice of the intention to end the tenancy), so if tenant moved in say 1 month ago on a 12 month tenancy, then it could be another 10 months before the landlord can even serve a s21 Notice.

Once the s21 Notice has been served and the notice period expired, the landlord still cannot evict the tenants, instead he has to make an application to the courts, await a hearing date (and any adjournments), before eventually being given a possession date, i.e. a date when the court says the tenant must move out by and hand back the property to the landlord (this is usually 21 days after the court hearing date).
- However, if the tenant does not move out on that date, the landlord still cannot evict the tenant, instead he has to apply to the court for bailiffs to carry out an eviction, which could take another couple of months before the bailiffs come and evict the tenant and the property is then vacant again.

This very lengthy process is laid down in law to protect tenants' rights, but it also prevents landlords from evicting bad tenants which means that the law forces suffering neighbours to endure the anti-social behaviour for many many months! The landlord is often powerless to act in these cases because of the laws that protect the tenant from eviction. The landlord is powerless to do anything about this, only the Government can change this imbalance but they have no plans to do this, in fact they plan to make it even more difficult for landlords to evict tenants (good or bad), and this could result in neighbours being forced to endure anti-social behaviour for 3 years, before the landlord is allowed to evict the bad tenant. (This is the Government's proposal to bring in 3 year minimum term tenancies).

Robert M

11:30 AM, 14th July 2018, About 6 years ago

The police, and the councils, are the only ones with legal powers to address the anti-social behaviour, e.g. via Anti-Social Behaviour Orders, but they usually just try to pass the buck and say it is for the landlord to deal with. However, as already stated, the landlord does not have the legal power to deal with this, except via the very lengthy process of eviction.

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