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Q: The anti-social behaviour in my HMO is a serious problem. What is my landlord's responsibility?

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last updated: 12 Sep 2014 report a problem

If a tenant’s behaviour is causing problems for other tenants, the landlord of the property is legally required to take ‘reasonable steps’ to deal with the problem. If those responsible for the anti-social behaviour live in a licensable (HMO) then the license conditions will require the landlord to take reasonable and practical steps to prevent or minimise anti-social behaviour by the occupier/s. If the landlord does not take the steps required, then s/he will be in breach of the license conditions and this can result in the license being revoked.

Different situations need different solutions. The landlord may take steps to resolve the situation with the tenant through reasoning or the use of a mediation service. Sometimes problems happen because the occupier cannot cope in the accommodation without support. Where a tenant appears to be having severe difficulties coping, perhaps because of mental health problems, or where there are concerns about the young or elderly, it might be appropriate for the landlord to contact Social Care Services to be involved.

If there is serious anti-social behaviour from a tenant, landlords can apply to Court for possession (that is to end the tenancy) using ‘Ground 14’ for an assured or assured shorthold tenant.

There may be some extreme cases, where the tenant is very disruptive or violent. If they might be a danger to others, the landlord can consider asking the Court for an injunction against them. An injunction could, for instance, stop the tenant returning to the premises for a period of time or prevent them from behaving in a dangerous or threatening way.

It is advisable to keep detailed records of any incidents that occur and if you feel the landlord is not taking reasonable steps to resolve the situation you should contact the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and/or your local authority:

Disclaimer: This information is derived from personal experience and should not be relied upon as a definitive or accurate interpretation of the law.