Tenancy Management

Call of the week – anti-social behaviour

Call of the week
James Wood
Written by James Wood

Many landlords will experience anti-social behaviour from a tenant while providing homes.The RLA recently undertook the largest ever non-governmental survey of the PRS. In this research we found 51% of section 21 users had done so at least partially because of an anti-social tenant.  Even more had done so because of damage and rent arrears. This week’s call was a typical example of a landlord dealing with an anti-social tenant.

The landlord ran a HMO of four people, each of them renting out a room in the property separately.

A tenant had signed a six-month tenancy about four months earlier. Until recently they had been quiet and paid their rent on time, but recently they had started dating somebody new.

The landlord then received a number of complaints regarding the new boyfriend’s threatening behaviour to other tenants. One female tenant in particular had already asked if she could surrender her tenancy early out of fear.

The landlord had called because he wasn’t sure what to do in this situation.  The reports of anti-social behaviour were consistent from all the other tenants, but none of them were willing to provide a witness statement to help the landlord gain possession of the room. 


They were concerned for their safety while this person was being allowed into the property by the other tenant. 

The landlord was aware that Section 8 could be used in these circumstances, but without evidence he was not sure what he could do. He’d already tried to talk to the tenant with the anti-social boyfriend but had been told to mind his own business.

We advised the landlord that as the tenancy was nearing an end and the tenant was refusing to listen, he could always consider using a Section 21 notice. As this would not require any witness statements, it would at least guarantee bringing the anti-social behaviour to an end even though the notice period was longer.

Under the government’s proposals to remove Section 21, there are sadly no real improvements on dealing with this kind of situation. The landlord and tenants would be left struggling with this anti-social behaviour.

John Stewart, policy manager, said “Despite, the rhetoric, so-called ‘no fault’ eviction primarily a result of poor tenant behaviour.

“The RLA is concerned that unless more safeguards are put in place in cases like this, many landlords will be tempted to leave the market.”

About the author

James Wood

James Wood

1 Comment

  • I do not think Section 21 should be removed as it is the one guarantee for landlords for evicting tenants, section 8 as the above example has said, witnesses or evidence are needed, also my experience is the Judges can be biased and do not always uphold the law, Section 8 will take longer and more costly and time consuming in evicting a difficult tenant. Society and legal entities lean towards support and compassion to those in rental properties that supposedly all landlords are rich and tyrants which we know is not the case. There could be easier laws for longer tenancies if a landlords chooses this and maybe a default clause in all tenancies that there is a break clause on both sides, and that all tenancies will default to a periodic tenancy unless section 21 served so that all Tenants know if this option what the situation will be and can ask the landlord what there plan is. If this law passes we will go back to the 70s when landlords would not be able to access their own property and be homeless themselves. Landlords should not be responsible for the homeless crisis which has come through selling off council properties and the doubling of immigration every 10 years (shown on the census) since we signed the Maastricht Treaty that has cause the Council list go up 80% since 1998. I hope the RLA fights the suggestion of removing Section 21 100%, there is danger to Landlords if this is removed

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