It appears that a “wider range of behaviours” are likely to be taken into account in future when tenants are considered for eviction on grounds of anti-social behaviour.
In a debate hosted by the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Select Committee - an all-party group of MPs scrutinising the new Renters Reform Bill - officials from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities explained how judges will be able to consider this “wider range” before using their judicial discretion in ASB eviction cases.
DLUHC deputy director Guy Horsington told the committee: “We’ve heard that landlords find it hard sometimes to evidence anti-social behaviour and therefore by making the change we said we would – that is, to expand it so that it brings in a wider set of behaviours – while maintaining judicial discretion, that should help landlords who are genuinely trying to deal with a problem tenant,.
“We are taking measures to help landlords prove genuine anti-social behaviour that is discretionary, and we’re also maintaining our mandatory ASB grounds when there has been a proven criminal offence.”
There has been no detail given as to the behaviours in question, but at the same Select Committee hearing the Housing Minister Rachel Maclean said her department would provide guidance on what fell within the “wider range” to help judges reach decisions, although she emphasised the final decision would be the judge’s alone.
Meanwhile there are just a few days of the current Parliamentary session remaining - the Commons breaks for the summer recess next Thursday - so it is all but certain that the Second Reading for the Renters Reform Bill will not be heard until at least early September, when MPs return for business.
Even then there may be only a short period before a brief breaks in the Commons for the annual party conferences in late September and early October.