Local Authority Tenants and Anti-Social Behaviour
Anti social behaviour
Anti-social behaviour covers a wide range of unacceptable activity and can ruin lives and create an environment where more serious crime can take hold.
In general, response to anti-social behaviour is a matter for the Garda Síochána, however local authorities also have powers to deal with tenants who engage in anti-social behaviour.
Where a local authority tenant does not keep to his/her tenancy agreement and engages in anti-social behaviour, the local authority can take action against that tenant, possibly leading to eviction or exclusion from a local authority unit or estate.
What is the role of the local authority
Every local authority has a statutory duty to adopt and review an anti-social behaviour strategy for the prevention and reduction of anti-social behaviour in its housing stock.
You can get a copy of the strategy from your local authority.
Local authorities also have powers under the Housing Acts 1966 to 2014 to manage their housing stock, including, in the case of anti-social behaviour, powers to recover possession of dwellings and to seek court orders excluding persons from social housing accommodation or estates for periods of up to 3 years.
Local authorities are also empowered to refuse to allocate, or to refuse to sell, dwellings to persons engaged in anti-social behaviour.
If anti-social behaviour is affecting you or your family, you can expect the Garda and the local authority to treat the problem seriously, and take action.
Part 2 (the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2014 has given greater powers to local authorities to deal with those who do not meet the terms of their tenancy.
The 2014 Housing Act also provides measures to protect the identity of persons who inform a local authority of breaches of tenancy agreements and who might be intimidated if their identity became known.
How to report anti-social behaviour
Local authorities can issue tenancy warnings to those who are in breaches of their letting agreement by engaging in anti-social behaviour or allowing members of their household to engage in such behaviour.
A tenancy warning in respect of anti-social behaviour must direct the offending tenant to take action to stop the anti-social behaviour and must also warn the tenant of the possibility of repossession proceedings being initiated if the behaviour does not cease.
In very serious anti-social behaviour cases, the local authority can decided not to issue a tenancy warning and can apply directly to the court for repossession of the unit or for an exclusion order against the person involved.
Repossession Orders and Exclusion Orders
If the breach of tenancy continues during, or is repeated within, 12 months of the tenancy warning coming into effect, then the authority may either:
- Apply to the court to have the local authority tenant evicted; or
- Where appropriate, apply to the District Court for an Excluding Order against the household member who caused that breach
- The order may exclude that person from a specific house or from an entire estate and it may forbid intimidation or other interference with a tenant or anyone else
As a local authority tenant you can also apply directly to the court for an Excluding Order against a member of the household who is engaging in anti-social behaviour.
Consequences of anti-social behaviour
Local authority tenants engaged in anti-social behaviour can be evicted for their behaviour.
A local authority can refuse to let a dwelling or sell a dwelling under the tenant purchases schemes to those involved in anti-social behaviour.
The Department of Social Protection may refuse or withdraw Rent Supplement for a private rented dwelling where the person in question was evicted, excluded or removed from local authority housing on the grounds of anti-social behaviour
Who do I contact if I am affected by anti-social behaviour?
If you are a local authority tenant who is affected by someone's anti-social behaviour, and the offender is also a local authority tenant, you should contact the housing department in your local authority.
If you have been issued with a tenancy warning , Exclusion Order or a Repossession Order you should seek legal advice.