A consultation on ways of making it easier for social housing providers to evict problem tenants has recently closed. It is proposed that landlords be given the right, in appropriate circumstances, to evict tenants who have been proven to have acted in an anti-social manner. The proposals are described as part of ‘a radically simplified and streamlined toolkit of powers for social landlords and other agencies to tackle anti-social behaviour’, which it is hoped will reduce the time lag between an application for possession being made and the order being granted. This currently averages seven months. The average cost of a possession order varies between £6,500 and £9,500.
The proposals would allow a court to grant the landlord possession in cases in which there has been violent disorder or theft linked to violent disorder (looting), and would apply where the guilty party is the tenant or a member of their household. It would not be necessary for the misbehaviour to be linked to the vicinity of the property occupied by the tenant.
Other grounds on which a possession order may be sought are serious housing-related offences, breaches of Anti-Social Behaviour Orders and behaviour giving rise to a closure order (normally involving drug dealing).
What is strikingly different from the current position is that the possession order will be mandatory. It will not depend on whether the repossession is reasonable or proportionate.