13 May, 2014
From today, two new discretionary grounds for possession, which were introduced by the Anti Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014, are available for use by social landlords.
The new provisions have been inserted as grounds 14(aa) and 14ZA in the Housing Act 1988 which relates to assured tenancies; and as grounds 2(aa) and 2ZA in the Housing Act 1985 which relates to secure tenancies.
The first new discretionary ground, ground 14(aa) or 2(aa) depending on the type of tenancy, will apply where a tenant or a person residing in or visiting a property is guilty of conduct causing or likely to cause a nuisance or annoyance to the landlord of the property or to a person employed in connection with the landlord's housing management functions.
This ground gives social landlords the opportunity to seek possession of a property where tenants or their visitors are abusive towards staff or contractors, regardless of where the behaviour occurs. The ground will assist social landlords in dealing with tenants who are abusive towards call centre staff and receptionists. It is also likely to be useful when dealing with tenants who are vexatious or unreasonable complainants.
The second new discretionary ground, ground 14ZA or 2ZA depending on the type of tenancy, provides social landlords with the ability to seek possession of a property where a tenant, or an adult residing at the property, is convicted of an indictable offence which took place during, and at the scene of, a riot in the UK.
This ground was introduced in response to the 2011 riots in London and Manchester. The ground permits landlords to seek possession, regardless of how far away from the tenant's property the riot occurred.
The new discretionary grounds have potentially far reaching implications for tenants because they afford social landlords additional powers to seek possession where anti-social behaviour occurs outside the locality of the property.
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