Removal of statutory breach of tenancy injunction from ABCPA 2014 will cause a headache for landlords, predicts Kirsty Varley

Removal of statutory breach of tenancy injunction from ABCPA 2014 will cause a headache for landlords, predicts Kirsty Varley

When the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (ABCPA 2014) received Royal Assent in March, many changes were enshrined in law. While there is, at the time of writing, no commencement date for the changes, the intention is that they will come into force at some stage and so need to be given their due consideration.

Statutory breach of tenancy remedy?

In dealing with anti-social behaviour and tenancy enforcement, the tools and powers have been simplified in the main, and social landlords in particular are likely to welcome most of the changes to the remedies. There is one exception to this, however, and this is the removal of the statutory breach of tenancy injunction. The statutory breach of tenancy injunction is introduced in the Housing Act 1996 (HA 1996) and would have survived due to Cl 13 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Bill. Clause 13 of the Bill was removed by the House of Lords in late 2013, and never replaced. The remedy that landlords relied on before HA 1996 remedies would be under contract law. If the court considered that damages would be an adequate remedy, it may not have been minded to grant an injunction. Damages are of course a deeply unsatisfactory alternative to an injunction.

Clause 13 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Bill (5) stated: “the following provisions of this part apply to a tenancy injunction as they apply to an injunction under s1”. This then went on to state that orders had to specify how long they were for, and could only be for 12 months if the tenant was under 18. It also specified that a power of arrest (if attached) could be for a shorter period than the prohibition that it was attached to, that it could be made on a without notice interim basis and the manner in which it could be varied. It further detailed how orders were to be appealed, and provisions relating to

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