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Renting Homes in Wales – Housing Law Reforms

8th August, 2013

Today we continue our series of articles about proposed changes to residential lettings in Wales.

Anti Social Behaviour

Since the Housing Act 1996, there has been a steady increase of powers available to social landlords to tackle anti-social behaviours. Mostly significantly, making the security of tenure of local authority tenants conditional on the responsible behaviour of the tenant as well and their family and visitors.

The introduction of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 streamlined the procedures for obtaining injunctions. It provides for three different types of injunctions to respond to the problems of anti-social behaviour by tenants.

The Injunctions are:
1. An anti-social behaviour injunction
2. An injunction against unlawful use of premises
3. An injunction against breach of tenancy agreement.

The Anti-Social Behaviour Act also provides a mechanism for reducing the security of tenure of a secure tenant by demoting them. The court can only grant the “demotion” order if the tenant, resident or visitor has used the premises for illegal purposes or the tenant has been causing a nuisance or annoyance and the court is satisfied it is reasonable to make the order.

Recommendations for tackling future anti-social behaviours

1. All occupation contracts should contain Prohibited Conduct terms – including domestic violence
2. Breach of the terms will justify possession proceedings in the usual way.
3. The landlord can seek injunctions for breach of terms.
4. The granting of an injunction to community landlords can be linked with an Exclusion Order, excluding the person injuncted from the premises.
5. Injunction proceedings and possession proceedings can be dealt with together.
6. Landlords can seek the demotion of a secure contract holder to a standard contract as an alternative to eviction.
7. There should be a duty placed upon social landlords to respond to anti-social behaviour.

Tomorrow we take at look at the new proposals for supported housing.

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