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Can courts cope with more eviction cases under new law?

The letting agent’s trade body Propertymark is concerned that the court system could buckle if eviction case numbers rise as a result of new powers over rogue tenants.

The UK government has announced an action plan to crack down on anti-social behaviour giving more powers to the police to target perpetrators with swift and visible justice in England and Wales.

The action plan highlights that sustained acts of intimidating or disruptive behaviour will not be tolerated and should lead to the eviction of the tenant involved. The UK government will be changing laws and arming landlords with tools to ensure that anti-social tenants will face consequences including making the grounds for possession faster and easier to prove.


Propertymark says that while it is pleased about the proposal - following its own calls for better enforcement of anti-social behaviour - it says it needs to see clarity on how the measures will work in practice and when the new legislation will be in effect, as until then landlords will continue to struggle to evict nuisance tenants.

Timothy Douglas, head of policy and campaigns at Propertymark comments: "It is encouraging to see the UK government acknowledge that there is an issue with anti-social behaviour within communities and after calling for reform we are pleased to see the action plan include measures to speed up the eviction process and support landlords and agents to gather evidence.

"Given the lack of capacity in the existing court system, we reiterate our call for a dedicated housing court to ensure better access to justice for landlords and tenants. A key element is ensuring that tenant behaviour can be better evidenced in court and the cases of most concern are prioritised."

Under the action plan’s wider proposals, some 16 areas will be funded to support either new ‘hotspot’ police and enforcement patrols or trial a new ‘Immediate Justice’ scheme. 

A select few areas will trial both interventions and following the initial trailblazers, both schemes will be rolled out in 2024.

A new reporting tool will also be developed over the next 12 months to act as a digital one-stop shop where people can quickly and easily report incidents of anti-social behaviour.

Under the zero-tolerance approach, nitrous oxide or ‘laughing gas’ will also be banned. The drug is now the third most used among 16 to 24-year-olds in England and both the police and the public have repeatedly reported links between the use of the drug and nuisance or anti-social behaviour.

  • Roger  Mellie

    well first someone has to collect the evidence and meet whatever the threshold is for anti-social behaviour, then (if you're in London) you should look forward to possibly something approaching 9 months for a court date. It could be a couple of years before an anti-social tenant is dealt with.

  • jeremy clarke

    Could buckle under pressure?
    From what I hear and read, it has already buckled and would likely go into meltdown!


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