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Enforcement of Tenancy Conditions

If you breach any of the terms of your tenancy the action we can take against you ranges from the use of warning letters right through to taking away your tenancy.  Of course the action we take will be dependant on the seriousness of the offence.
 
Here is a summary of some of the actions we may take:
 
Good Neighbour Agreements

We use these agreements to promote positive behaviors between neighbours.  They set out, in the form of a non-legally binding contract, the mutual rights, responsibilities and expectations between neighbors and us, as landlord.
 
What they are used for:

  • Reinforcing the tenancy/lease agreement
  • Addressing local concerns around nuisance and disorder
  • Setting out desirable forms of behaviour and promoting ‘neighbourliness’
  • Promoting shared community standards and expectations, for example around the use of shared gardens
  • Contributing to wider anti-social behaviour strategies and community regeneration initiatives
  • Making it clear what we as a landlord will do in response to ASB

With the type of property we manage and the nature of ASB complaints, we are more than likely to use this type of tool for a neighbour dispute. They can be implemented at any stage and can be used by themselves or along side other remedies or referrals such as mediation.
 
ABCs

Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABCs) are written agreements between a young person, the local police, and Partners, in which the person agrees not to carry out a series of identifiable behaviours which have been defined as antisocial.
 
The contracts are primarily aimed at young people aged between ten and 18, but they can be used for adults, and a variation of the scheme has been developed for children under ten
 
ASBOs

Anti-social behavior orders (ASBOs) are court orders which forbid specific threatening or intimidating actions.
An ASBO can ban a person from:

  • threatening, intimidating or disruptive actions
  • spending time with a particular group of friends
  • visiting certain areas

ASBOs are in effect for a minimum of two years, and can be longer. They are designed to protect specific victims, neighbours, or even whole communities from behaviour that has frightened or intimidated them, or damaged their quality of life.

These are civil orders - not criminal penalties – so they won’t appear on a suspect's criminal record. However, if that person breaches an ASBO, they have committed a criminal offence, which is punishable by a fine or up to five years in prison.

Demotion of Tenancy

Demotion Orders are a useful tool for dealing with ASB that has the effect of taking away your security of tenure. This can be useful where landlords want to send out a strong signal to tenants but would like to continue working with them to change their behaviour.
 
This may be the case in situations where the problems are low key or where the problems are caused by a child and the parent is attending parenting classes or receiving supportive intervention to help deal with the behaviour.
 
Injunction

Injunctions are civil orders obtained from the County Court. An injunction prohibits the person concerned from engaging in the behaviour detailed in the injunction.
 
Injunctions are quick to obtain. The civil (balance of probabilities) and not criminal (beyond reasonable doubt) rules of evidence apply to injunctions. This means that injunctions require a lesser burden of proof than a criminal prosecution, which may lead to a more certain outcome. They are aimed at stopping the anti-social behaviour rather than punishing the perpetrator.
 
Notice of Seeking Possession

A Notice of Seeking of Possession (NOSP) is notification to you that we (on behalf of the council) intend to seek possession of your property. We will serve this notice before making an application to the court.
 
The notice must fix a date – at least four weeks ahead – after which a court action may be started. If action is not started within a further 12 months the notice is no longer valid, however, we can serve a new notice.
 
In cases involving nuisance and anti-social behaviour, we can serve a Notice of Seeking Possession on a tenant(s) and start proceedings immediately.
 
You would have the opportunity to present your side of the case to the court when the application is heard and you may be entitled to legal aid.
We must have grounds for serving a NOSP. Examples of reasons we may serve a NOSP include:

  • You are in arrears with your rent or your have broken a condition of your tenancy
  • You or anyone living with you, have caused annoyance or nuisance to your neighbours (anti-social behaviour). It is the council’s policy to evict proven perpetrators of racial harassment and other serious anti-social behaviour.
  • You or anyone living with you has been convicted of using your home for illegal or immoral purposes
  • You or anyone living with you has damaged your home or a communal
  • You made false statements to obtain a tenancy
  • You refused to leave a property let to you temporarily while your permanent home was being repaired or modernised
  • You have given or received money as part of an exchange 
  • You have a permanent home elsewhere 
     

Eviction

Our tenancy agreements contain a clause making it clear to tenants that anti-social behaviour or illegal activity (whether by the tenant, people who live with the tenant or visitors) is not acceptable and may lead to the loss of their home.

We should ensure that their tenants are made aware of the importance of meeting the terms of their tenancy agreement and more generally the importance of fulfilling their responsibilities by not behaving in a way that is unlawful or damages the quality of life of others

The majority of tenants behave responsibly and abide by the terms of their tenancy agreements. However, when things go wrong and a tenant fails to meet the standards of reasonable behaviour established by their tenancy agreement, then we may seek to protect the rights of other tenants and the wider community by enforcing the terms of the tenancy and evicting them from their home.
 

© 2008 Partners For Improvement in Islington
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