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Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003

Section 13: Injunctions against anti-social behaviour on application of certain social landlords

29.This section repeals sections 152 and 153 of the Housing Act 1996 and introduces new provisions allowing certain social landlords to apply for injunctions to prohibit anti-social behaviour which relates to or affects their management of their housing stock. Subsection (3) introduces new sections 153A, 153B, 153C, 153D and 153E into the Housing Act 1996.

30.New section 153A(1) provides that the conduct to which that provision applies is conduct which is capable of causing nuisance or annoyance (even if no complaint has been received) and which directly or indirectly relates to or affects the landlord's management of its housing stock.

31.New section 153A(2) to (5) sets out the conditions that have to be met before an injunction against anti-social behaviour can be granted. An injunction may be granted against any person whose behaviour could cause nuisance or annoyance to anyone in any of classes of people listed in S153A(4). These include:

  • Anyone who has a right to live in property owned or managed by the landlord (for example, tenants, licensees, long leaseholders and their families)

  • Anyone who has a right to live in any other property in the neighbourhood (for example owner occupiers, tenants of other landlords).

  • Anyone else lawfully in such property or in the neighbourhood. This could include anyone visiting family or friends, using local facilities, passing through, or working in the neighbourhood.

  • Staff employed in connection with the management of the landlord’s stock.

32.The conduct need not cause any such nuisance or annoyance to any specific individual. It is sufficient that it is capable of having that effect.

33.New section 153A(5) provides that the anti-social behaviour need not occur in the vicinity of the landlord's housing accommodation. However the behaviour will still need to be related, at least indirectly, to the landlord's management of its accommodation. For example a landlord should be able to apply for an injunction to protect a tenant who has been regularly harassed by other residents of an estate even if the incident itself which gave rise to the injunction application happened elsewhere. The anti-social behaviour in this example is clearly related to the tenant's occupation of a home owned or managed by the landlord.

34.New section 153B allows specified landlords to apply for injunctions where someone has used or threatened to use their housing for an illegal purpose. This could cover, for example, drug dealing or use of the premises as a brothel.

35.New section 153C allows the court granting an injunction under new sections 153A or 153B to attach a power of arrest or to exclude a person from specified premises or a specified area where there is the use or threat of violence or a significant risk of harm to any person mentioned in new section 153A(4) (see above). Consequently a power of arrest will be available in cases where there is a significant risk of harm even if there has been no actual or threatened violence. Significant risk of harm is defined in new section 153E(12). It could include emotional or psychological harm. This could apply, for example, in cases of racial or sexual harassment. The existing provisions, which are being repealed, only allow a power of arrest when there is either violence or threatened violence together with a significant risk of harm.

36.New section 153D applies in relation to injunctions sought by a local authority, a housing action trust, a registered social landlord or a charitable housing trust on the grounds of a breach or anticipated breach of a tenancy agreement by a tenant. If the behaviour is prohibited by the terms of the tenancy agreement and satisfies the criteria described in paragraphs (a) and (b) of new section 153D(1) (as outlined in the next paragraph), the court may exclude a person from specified premises or a specified area and attach a power of arrest to any provision of the injunction.

37.The breach (or anticipated breach) of the tenancy agreement must relate to conduct which is capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to any person. The tenant may have engaged or threatened to engage in the conduct directly or have allowed, incited or encouraged another person to engage in such conduct. In addition the conduct must include violence or the threat of violence or a significant risk of harm to any person.

38.New section 153E includes provisions supplementing sections 153A to 153D, including provisions for the variation or discharge of an order. New subsection 153E(2)(b) confirms that an injunction under new section 153A, 153B or 153D may exclude someone from his own place of residence. New subsection 153E(4) allows an injunction under sections 153A, 153B or 153D to be made without notice having been given to the respondent, although the respondent must subsequently be given the chance to make representations. Subsections (4) to (7) of section 13 make consequential amendments to housing legislation to give effect to the new provisions for injunctions under new sections 153A, 153B and 153D of the Housing Act 1996.

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