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Plans to Speed Up Evictions for Problem Neighbour

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 20 May 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Neighbours Tenants Eviction Antisocial

If you’re suffering badly from the curse of the neighbours from hell, you may be able to breathe a sigh of relief very soon, due to the prospect of new legislation that will enable beleaguered residents to get their stress-inducing neighbours evicted speedily for causing a real nuisance.

The process of getting a problem neighbour evicted has been painfully slow in the past, even when neighbours have been involved in really antisocial behaviour, and under new rules, certain ‘offences’ will automatically give the authorities greater powers to evict troublemakers, especially if the problem neighbours are indulging in illegal activities.

It’s been estimated that around 3000 tenants a year are subject to eviction proceedings because of their antisocial behaviour, but the process of actually evicting them is lengthy and can take up to seven months. This means that the behaviour carries on, making the lives of the other residents a misery and giving the troublemakers even more opportunity to wreak havoc.

Evicting problem tenants is also extremely expensive – in some complex cases ousting a 'neighbour from hell' can cost in excess of £20,000.

Examples of Antisocial Behaviour

As recently as July 2011, it was reported that an Oxford family had finally been evicted following two whole years of complaints from their neighbours about their swearing, loud music, fighting and even allegations about prostitution. In Peterborough an elderly woman claimed that she had become a prisoner in her own home for ten months after a new neighbour moved in and began a hate campaign against her.

What Are the Plans?

Housing minister Grant Shapps announced at the beginning of August 2011 that he planned to dramatically speed up court processes – some of which have been known to take over a year. To counteract this, he plans to introduce new mandatory possession powers which will allow any past convictions that a problem tenant has for serious anti-social behaviour to trigger off eviction proceedings. This should mean that the process of evicting antisocial neighbours will be sped up and give the rest of the neighbourhood a break from their antics.

Some of the offences which are likely to trigger eviction proceedings are:

  • Any breach of a previous anti-social behaviour injunction, if it was taken out by a social landlord (the rules won’t apply to private tenants or home-owners)
  • Any conviction for a serious housing-related offence – these would include criminal damage, violent behaviour against neighbours or drug dealing.
  • Closure under a closure order - for example in cases where a tenant has been using a property for dealing drugs.
Some of the powers being brought in to make life more bearable for residents, councils and housing associations include mandatory grounds for possession in cases of people who have an established track record of antisocial behaviour.

These specific types of anti-social behaviour order will also be recognised in both criminal and civil courts, which will cut out the need for two sets of legal proceedings against troublesome tenants who have been indulging in criminal behaviour.

Why are The Government Taking Action Now?

The government have realised the misery that can be caused to law-abiding and considerate tenants just through the actions of an antisocial few, and have decided to level up the playing field and stop taking the rights of the people causing the problems more seriously than those who blatantly abuse their neighbours.

It’s been decided that in extreme cases, faster action is needed to avoid situations where an entire neighbourhood becomes a no-go area, and the area goes downhill, just because of the actions of one family or even one tenant.

Ministers are also keen to introduce probationary tenancies that will last for up to a year, enabling local authorities and housing associations to throw out problem tenants easily if they don’t behave properly and respect their neighbours.

Neighbours From Hell in Britain

The moves have been welcomed by pressure group Neighbours From Hell in Britain, who champion the rights of residents blighted with problem neighbours. The group said that its members had been overwhelmingly supportive of any changes in the law which gave the police, councils and courts the powers to act swiftly.

A spokesperson for the group said that individuals who were, or had been, living with problem neighbours agreed that the current legal process in place to deal with a neighbour from hell takes far too long. He added that the process didn’t support the 'victim' of the behaviour. A survey of 1000 victims revealed that half didn’t actually believe that antisocial behaviour orders made a difference, and said that noisy neighbours were the biggest problem.

Consultation

A government consultation, ‘A new mandatory power of possession for anti-social behaviour’ is available online on the Communities and local Government website. The deadline for responses to the consultation is 5pm on Thursday 27 October 2011.

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My council tenent neighbour physically attacked me , she admitted to police she assaulted me, it has been ongoing for yrs then finally the attack, I now fear to leave my home will she be evicted?
Soozie - 20-May-17 @ 1:42 PM
I live in a convete house with a flat below and above me. The guy down stairs plays music early hours in the morning before work which I don't mind at all as I believe that if you make sound then I can to. Same goes for the lady upstairs or so I was thinking. She has wood flooring in her flat and I can hear her walking, using the shower talking etc andbanging early hours in the morning. Every single day. Normally 11pm when she goes to sleep and early hours in the morning. Are floor and Celin are very thin and you can hear everything. My problem is this. I work 6 to 7 days a week every week and once or twice a month I like to have friends over for a meet up when I get a weekend off. No party or anything just friends having a chat and a few drinks. Baring in mind I work late hours ever other week. I did come to an agreement with the upstairs tenant which I stuck to, and i still stick to. This is once every other Friday night. most times as I've been doing a lot of overtime at work i wouldn't see my friends for over a month. I had friends around 3 weeks ago on are agreed day (friday) she is complaining now I have received a notice about noise nuance. I can't understand this due to are agreement it's also infuriating that I've been trying to live with her everyday noise but I have one night that ends usually about 2am in the morning. And she complains? I would like for some kind of advise on this situation as it's now becoming a problem that I've been living with her noise but I can't have a convo with a few friends for one evening after two weeks of long shift work. We also live next to Clapham Junction station so the sound of trains is always present. I can't hear my tv at night due to this and trying to keep the level of sound down when I get home from work. But I also hear her upstairs banging and walking around even as I'm typing this she's walking around with what sounds like shoes on wood flooring and I have work be at work for 7am tomorrow morning. Any and all advise would be greatful.
Marley - 29-Oct-16 @ 12:11 AM
Trust me my neighbours are filthdirty loud wall bangingno morals no respect for them selves or othersfor some reason they think everyone owes then, alcholics, letting a crack dealer use their home to serve fromin exchange for rock, had a 19yr old Stayin there and was pimping her out , theres been stabbings in there, andtheres 2kids under 10 too all this is ifront of them poor kids,to top it offthe mother is doing sexual things withTHE LANDLORD for money no need to say no more reallynotthings going to change
bee - 14-Oct-16 @ 11:16 AM
I live in a converted house whereas i have flat downstairs and neighbours upstairs. They are council flats. My neighbours are heroine addicts and deal drugs from their flat. I have been punched in the face on my doorstep for not giving them a cigarette, the noise is unbearable banging and shouting constantly into early hours. They signed a no contact order with council which meant they had to not come near me but they have broken it numerous times. The council are not doing anything at all, if anything they are scared of them. Theyve had front door bashed in by police etc. I need help but dont know where to turn
Tina Sutton - 7-Sep-16 @ 10:51 PM
my neigbbour moved in about 3 years ago everything was fine at firstthen out of the blue i get a letter from council telling me that i was doing diy at unreasable hourswhich i wasnt since then ive had police come roundcost me for two skips when they made lies up about my garden .i have had 2 heart valve replacements i explained to police and council im decorating the house but i get out of breath so it takes time.if i do more than a hour or 2 .my neigbour banging on walls screaming absenites they had a go at my partner and her elderly mother .its as if nothing will stick to them and whenever i go to police or council its as if they dont beleive me last week he attacked me with a weapon which luckily i got on my phone and he is being charged but there still making my life unbearable im a home owner and they are council so im getting know help .they have had cameras put in by police when i go outside they stand behind curtains trying to get a reaction its a nightmare any advice
t31ry - 7-Jul-16 @ 10:56 PM
To none and ellyphant, Can relate to both of your experiences and am very sorry. We have had the neighbours from hell for the past ten years. They are long term tenants whereas we have a mortgage. Where to start, abuse, swearing - both adults and children, bottles thrown at fences, our children, car, their wider family and friends joining in, fences smashed, blocking us in the list goes on and on! They have mocked my problems with depression and have no thoughts for anyone except themselves and their gang of loyal fellow alcoholics. Keep hoping they will move but landlord is a greedy old tax dodger, and they are crafty!
Belle - 4-Feb-16 @ 11:53 AM
None We had the very same problem. Vile vile neighbours. They destroyed just about anything we had including our sanity. Letters from the Council made them worse. The only way out was to downsize property. The council found us somewhere within a week. After 12 blissful years of peace we now have a very large annoying Roma family that has ruined our peace again!!!
Ellyfant - 17-Dec-15 @ 4:42 PM
My elderly parents have horrible neighbours. My parents don't keep in the best of health and their neighbours who are also retired seem to get a kick out of their failing health.They mimic and ridicule them, swear and give hand gestures and call them names and cause no end of problems, captured on cctv. It goes quiet for a while then it all starts again. The community police are aware of things but when they say they will get in touch they never do yet Tonight the police appeared at my parentsdoor.Next door had reported them for trimming the garden hedge in october to keep it tidy.The hedge is on my parentsown boundary and is being trimmed by a professional tree cutter due to the fact they cannot do it themselves.Police said they had to come out because they had reported it but also said there was nothing they could do. We've all lost faith in the police. They won't come out when you need them yet they come out for silly things.
worried - 5-Dec-15 @ 8:28 PM
I am having lots of problems with a tenant next door to me. He parties all day and nights with his druggies. screams andparty daily. This has been going on since he moved in in 2012 till2015. I keep reporting it to landlord but they say their hands are tied and can't evict him due to no other witnesses. In the mean time he's harassing me and abusing me by kicking my wall and screaming. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
don - 23-Sep-15 @ 7:59 PM
Hi this is about my daughter she lives alone with her son a young women with a baby moved next door to her my daughter my related to her as she is also a single parent then the neighbours mother moved to the other house next to my daughter she is now is sandwiched between the two houses well the husband of the woman has come out of prison and they have been bullying my daughter the mother slapped my daughter across her face for moving her bin so she could get in the car .the police were called about the assault on my daughter had did nothing the father threatens my daughter with violence he has also threaten my grandson .my daughter has an eating disorder and cause of this is thin and they take advantage of this to bully her the police did not charge the mother for assault even though it happened in the street in front of neighbours .i have lost my trust in the law a victims rights count for nothing .she has been through the council and agency's to help her my grandson is in his last year at school but he falling behind cause he is so worried for his mum they say go to this place and that place but these people don't give a dam.
soniasky - 20-Sep-15 @ 9:12 PM
We completed a mutual exchange to our property but now things have become very apparent why she was so desperate to move, the first week here was great, I truly thought we had landed on our feet but things had gone downhill at a very fast rate which has set off my anxiety and panic attacks (had been doing very well for a long time) It seems my neighbours house is the 'go to' place for all the local teenagers to gather and have loud parties that literally shake the windows drink and drugs... Thursday night it got that extreme I had to stay at my mums for the night, when we were leaving they were mimicking the 'meltdown' I had (I had a previous problem a few years ago when I complained about neighbours and they threatened to burn down my flat!)... There is no time frame as to when this happens, like just on a weekend or in the evening, it can literally start at any time of any day so I am constantly living on edge waiting... Now for the bit that really worries me, the backlash from these people. They are really not nice people and very much have the 'I am untouchable' attitude. I had a friend round the other day and her daughter was looking through my fence into my neighbours garden, they threw a bottle at her, I have been told that they blew up a car belonging to someone that dared to go against them. I have spoken to all the appropriate authorities, I have put a complaint in against their HA, spoken to my HA ( although they say they cant enforce any action as they are not their tenants) my children's schools, environmental health, doctors and am currently waiting on the local PCSO to call back who have all been fantastic and said they can write reports if needed. I have been told my best option is to move but because the local council see us as adequately housed that is by no means a quick fix, or I have the option of another mutual exchange, but it weighs very heavy on my conscience the thought of bringing in another family to this situation, although at the same time I need to think of the safety of my family and my health. I get told 'hopefully they will be evicted' but that worries my because they know where I live! I cant even let the children out to play in the garden without me because I don't know what will happen, lets face it, they think nothing of throwing a bottle at a child and blowing up a car, what else are they capable of?! I really cant think straight to see a way out of this... Sorry for the long winded post but i literally feel trapped!
none - 12-Sep-15 @ 6:33 PM
We completed a mutual exchange to our property but now things have become very apparent why she was so desperate to move, the first week here was great, I truly thought we had landed on our feet but things had gone downhill at a very fast rate which has set off my anxiety and panic attacks (had been doing very well for a long time) It seems my neighbours house is the 'go to' place for all the local teenagers to gather and have loud parties that literally shake the windows drink and drugs... Thursday night it got that extreme I had to stay at my mums for the night, when we were leaving they were mimicking the 'meltdown' I had (I had a previous problem a few years ago when I complained about neighbours and they threatened to burn down my flat!)... There is no time frame as to when this happens, like just on a weekend or in the evening, it can literally start at any time of any day so I am constantly living on edge waiting... Now for the bit that really worries me, the backlash from these people. They are really not nice people and very much have the 'I am untouchable' attitude. I had a friend round the other day and her daughter was looking through my fence into my neighbours garden, they threw a bottle at her, I have been told that they blew up a car belonging to someone that dared to go against them. I have spoken to all the appropriate authorities, I have put a complaint in against their HA, spoken to my HA ( although they say they cant enforce any action as they are not their tenants) my children's schools, environmental health, doctors and am currently waiting on the local PCSO to call back who have all been fantastic and said they can write reports if needed. I have been told my best option is to move but because the local council see us as adequately housed that is by no means a quick fix, or I have the option of another mutual exchange, but it weighs very heavy on my conscience the thought of bringing in another family to this situation, although at the same time I need to think of the safety of my family and my health. I get told 'hopefully they will be evicted' but that worries my because they know where I live! I cant even let the children out to play in the garden without me because I don't know what will happen, lets face it, they think nothing of throwing a bottle at a child and blowing up a car, what else are they capable of?! I really cant think straight to see a way out of this... Sorry for the long winded post but i literally feel trapped!
none - 12-Sep-15 @ 6:16 PM
Hi, we've had a neighbour who's had numerous loud parties, doors slamming, strong smell of cannabis, climbing balconies and just recently involved in an incident with a gun. We've reported this, however the housing association say they need other neighbours to report the incidents too. Despite giving them a police incident number. Is this correct, I would have thought something as serious as a firearm would result in a quick eviction... Any advice?
Shambles - 4-Sep-15 @ 5:55 PM
bird - Your Question:
For the past three years I have lived next door to a drug addict. He smokes weed morning noon and night which pours through my home, when my kids smell this they start acting crazy through intimidation. My neighbour also gets funny ideas into his head and gets us 'back' for stuff he thinks we are doing. Him and his partner can't seem to understand the effects that their illegal activities do to my kids. I've told the council and kept logs but nothings being done about them

Our Response:
Maybe try the police too? Call them on the non emergency 101 number.
ProblemNeighbours - 26-Aug-15 @ 10:08 AM
For the past three years I have lived next door to a drug addict. He smokes weed morning noon and night which pours through my home, when my kids smell this they start acting crazy through intimidation. My neighbour also gets funny ideas into his head and gets us 'back' for stuff he thinks we are doing. Him and his partner can't seem to understand the effects that their illegal activities do to my kids. I've told the council and kept logs but nothings being done about them
bird - 23-Aug-15 @ 4:54 PM
Cat - Your Question:
Hi, I've got 3 chronic health conditions; endometriosis, Crohn's disease and Lupus, so I need a relaxed and calm atmosphere to avoid a flare. The flat I live in I fled to while leaving an 8 year abusive relationship and I've been here 2.5 years now. About a year ago a young single lad moved into the flat next door to me and all was alright for a bit, some friends came round regularly but were polite to me (and still are to my face). But quickly things started to change, his friends were round at all hours making noise in the communal hall and buzzing my intercom in the wee hours, waking me up. Then people started coming round looking for him saying he'd stolen and damaged property, various people have smashed nearly all of his windows and they knock my door asking about him also. He's had underage people in his fiat drinking and taking drugs, I've had people asking about him dealing drugs. Then my flat got broken into a few months ago and I'm terrified. Neither he nor his 'guests' have ever directed any animosity towards me, in fact they're quite nice and polite to me, but given their overall demeanour and criminal behaviour I find that more concerning (I have a criminology degree). I'm mostly concerned that someone hunting him down may target my flat thinking it's his and myself or my cats could be hurt, or I could become a target if I reported his behaviour, I can't have police at my door as he knows them all (a huge red flag if his police interactions)!!

Our Response:
Unfortunately, the police are really your only option here, if moving elsewhere is not a feasible choice.
ProblemNeighbours - 17-Aug-15 @ 10:24 AM
Hi, I've got 3 chronic health conditions; endometriosis, Crohn's disease and Lupus, so I need a relaxed and calm atmosphere to avoid a flare. The flat I live in I fled to while leaving an 8 year abusive relationship and I've been here 2.5 years now. About a year ago a young single lad moved into the flat next door to me and all was alright for a bit, some friends came round regularly but were polite to me (and still are to my face). But quickly things started to change, his friends were round at all hours making noise in the communal hall and buzzing my intercom in the wee hours, waking me up. Then people started coming round looking for him saying he'd stolen and damaged property, various people have smashed nearly all of his windows and they knock my door asking about him also. He's had underage people in his fiat drinking and taking drugs, I've had people asking about him dealing drugs. Then my flat got broken into a few months ago and I'm terrified. Neither he nor his 'guests' have ever directed any animosity towards me, in fact they're quite nice and polite to me, but given their overall demeanour and criminal behaviour I find that more concerning (I have a criminology degree). I'm mostly concerned that someone hunting him down may target my flat thinking it's his and myself or my cats could be hurt, or I could become a target if I reported his behaviour, I can't have police at my door as he knows them all (a huge red flag if his police interactions)!!
Cat - 16-Aug-15 @ 2:21 PM
"As recently as July 2011, it was reported that an Oxford family had finally been evicted following two whole years of complaints from their neighbours about their swearing, loud music, fighting" - After over three years of living directly beneath a couple who would argue and smash things around at any given hour, door slam, blast out music so loudly I couldn't hear my laptop with my ear right next to it, and who more than once intimidated me when I asked them politely to try to show some consideration, 2 years would seem miraculously fast here. Though they did finally move out - To be replaced with a much more quiet, dangerously aggressive alcoholic. I dare not get my hopes up this legislation makes it into law, and my housing association (for the first time in memory) do something to improve the quaility of life for the residents here.
FearFutility - 14-Jul-15 @ 3:30 AM
I live in Oklahoma in a apartment. The down stairs neighbor harasses me on a daily basis. I'm going through a workman comp case I just had one of 3 surgeries needed. She is addicted to pain pills 2 days after knee surgery she attacked me. I have called police a bunch. And told the manager a lot. Please help asap
patty - 29-Jun-15 @ 9:38 PM
I have a women beating beer drinking glass smashing wall punching new nneighouur above me for 8 days so far of hell. I have crohns so I cannot be put under stress.have foned police and they have been out I've also been advised to tell my housing officer and get a report pack
Mramerica69 - 6-Jun-15 @ 10:29 PM
i have live in absolute hell for at least 11years plus i have been so let down by stoccport homes with dealing with antisocial behaviour my health work and everything is at a all time low . im certain that they do not care as they tell me things and do not do them im almost certain because of me complaining justly they hope it will die down which it has not i am a decent person and they know about my health but still let the problems happen if i wrote the fulll story here no one would beleive me they do not even contact my lodger to verify things they are slowly killing me
none - 19-Mar-15 @ 1:19 PM
Hi: - I am writing on behalf of my husband and myself with regards to a problem that has been going on for over 2 years in relation to a nuisance neighbour. It all started in 2012 when we were moving into a ground floor 2 bedroom flat, problem after problem occurred before we even moved in, the whole place was flooded, and brand new carpets ruined. The Housing Association had all their team up trying to locate the problem, no leaks were found, and the conclusion was that a hosepipe had been pushed through the letter box resulting in total damage / ruin to the carpets. Two days after moving into the flat, I went out to the car and found that it had been keyed, two lines all round the doors and body work, tyres slashed, resulting in having to buy 4 new tyres. A few days later we complained to the neighbour above about the incessant noise, thumping, bumping, banging, his reply to this was abusive language on several occasions. After reporting him to the Anti Social Behaviour Officer of our Housing Association, he received written warning that it had to stop, the abusive language was toned down, but it did not stop his personal remarks about my husband and myself. Even though we made several reports to the H.A., they did little about it, then the damage started again, smashed fencing, smashed gates, during the course of this time, the Police were involved, but little was done by them, unless we could prove that he did the damage there was little they could do. We purchased CCTV equipment, a voice recorder, and other pieces of equipment in order to keep our property under surveillance. Eventually another ASBO was assigned to our case and the H.A., were kept informed by email / telephone of what was going on, eventually our neighbour was issued with a Warning of Harassment, and told to leave us alone. He then started another hate campaign, deliberately trying to damage the CCTV equipment, all of which was caught on camera. The ASBO promised the earth, an injunction / possession order were going to be taken out against him, again to no avail. After two years we found a solution the problem ourselves, by finding a similar flat on another part of the estate, we informed the H.A., about this and were promised by email a management transfer. Two days later we had an interview with our Housing Officer who told us that we could not have this property, but another one had been found for us, a one bedroom bungalow, we told them that this would not be suitable as we needed two bedrooms due to my husband's health. Even after driving up to see it, we found it was again not suitable for our needs. The bedroom would only take a single bed comfortably, and this meant that if we took it we would have to get rid of three quarters of our personal belongings and furniture in order to move into this place, even to the point of having to get rid of our dog, who is my husband's pet. We wrote to the head office to the Chief Executive and issued a complaint about the way th
Saffy - 19-Jan-15 @ 4:18 PM
@Zooey.Is the house next door a council or housing association property? If so contact them about the behaviour. There will be certain terms in the tenancy agreement which they are possibly breaking (such as littering, nuisance behaviour etc). Similarly with a private rental, have you attempted to contact the landlord? You can report anti social behaviour to the police and also take a private court action if it is really extreme. There's some good information here
ProblemNeighbours - 9-Jan-15 @ 12:23 PM
Hi for the past 3 years a single parent and her 3 kids have been renting the house next door. She doesn't work and seems to be getting everything paid for. She screams at the kids morning noon and night she is drunk best part of the time. She let's her kids hammer the football at our wall and fence all summer, a fence has had to be replaced due to them running along it which was invading our privacy also. Any time we have told them about this they make out that is us who is over reacting. I know she allows the kids do what they want they throw rubbish in to our back garden and used baby wipes. She puts on a posh voice so most people don't know what she's like. We have worked hard to pay for what we have and it makes me sick to the pit of my stomach that someone can just come and cause disruption like they have and aren't even paying a single penny. Any advice would be very much appreciated. Thanks.
zooey - 7-Jan-15 @ 8:30 PM
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