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Landlord survey: anti-social behaviour

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Anti-social behaviour by tenants is the bane of many a landlord’s life, according to a nationwide survey conducted by the Residential Landlords’ Association (RLA). More than half of all landlords surveyed gave such behaviour as one of the principal reasons for issuing a Section 21 “no-fault” notice of eviction.

Among the principal reason for Section 21 notices, however, were rent arrears and the extent of damage caused by a tenant.

In an example given by the RLA, a previously well-behaved and model female tenant had taken up with a new boyfriend.

Before long, the boyfriend turned aggressive towards other tenants in the building and behaved in a threatening manner towards them. This was enough to make at least one of those tenants hand in their notice to quit the let accommodation.

Because none of the affected tenants was prepared to give a witness statement about the extent of intimidation they experienced at the hands of the threatening boyfriend, the landlord had difficulty in gaining repossession, under a Section 8 eviction notice, from the tenant responsible for the anti-social behaviour.

Even in the absence of written witness statements from other tenants, however, the landlord was still able to issue a Section 21 notice of eviction.

The example illustrates the extent of anti-social behaviour and the problems it causes for landlords. But it also highlights the potential recourse to a Section 21 notice. It also throws into stark relief the serious concerns expressed by many landlords at the government’s past intention to abolish Section 21 altogether – a move we reported in a posting dated the 16th of April 2019.