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Antisocial behaviour of tenants and eviction

If you are a tenant in a council house or private let, it is possible that you could be evicted for antisocial behaviour in certain circumstances. This will depend on who your landlord is and what kind of tenancy you have.

Get help with eviction

If your landlord is trying to evict you, you must get advice immediately. Our section on eviction gives some more general information but it's important that you get help without delay. You can get help from an adviser at a Shelter advice centre or Citizens Advice - use the Advice Services Directory to find an agency near you.

If your landlord is trying to evict you on grounds of antisocial behaviour, the action you can take will depend on who your landlord is and what kind of lease you have. This page explains the main differences in relation to eviction for antisocial behaviour. If you're not sure what kind of tenancy you have, use our tenancy checker to help you to work it out.

Eviction of council and housing association tenants for antisocial behaviour

If you rent your house from the council, a housing association or housing cooperative, your landlord can't evict you without a good reason. There have to be specific reasons and your landlord has to follow legal procedures.

However, it's important to realise that it is possible for you to be evicted for antisocial behaviour. Lots of different types of behaviour could count against you - check out the page about antisocial behaviour for more information and some examples.

There are two main grounds your landlord could use to evict you:

  • antisocial behaviour or behaviour amounting to harassment
  • nuisance, annoyance or conduct amounting to harassment.

Antisocial behaviour or behaviour amounting to harassment

This ground can be used if you, or someone living with you, has caused alarm, distress, nuisance or annoyance to the people around you by being noisy, destructive or verbally abusive, or by failing to control pets. The behaviour need not have happened in your home but could have happened in your neighbourhood.

If this ground is used against you, your landlord must demonstrate that it would not be reasonable to re-house you somewhere else. For example, if the behaviour has been directed towards one neighbour, your landlord would have to show that the behaviour would probably happen no matter where you were housed, and that it was not caused by a dispute with a particular neighbour.

Nuisance, annoyance or conduct amounting to harassment

If your landlord can prove that your behaviour or the behaviour of someone living with you has caused problems in your local area, they can apply to the court to have you evicted on the basis that you will be given new accommodation in another area.

Conversion of tenancy from SST to SSST

If your landlord can't evict you on either of these grounds, they may try to give you fewer rights by converting your lease from a Scottish secure tenancy (SST) to a short Scottish secure tenancy (SSST). Our section on council, housing association and housing co-op tenancies explains more about your rights under these different tenancies but, if you have been told that your tenancy will be converted from a SST to a SSST, you must get further advice immediately as it could have a significant impact on your rights and make it easier for your landlord to evict you for antisocial behaviour.

Further information

Find out more about eviction from council housing.

Private tenants

If you rent your home from a private landlord, you will probably be either an assured or short assured tenant and the tenancy rights you have will depend very much on the kind of tenancy agreement that is in place. Likewise, the procedures your landlord will have to follow to evict you will depend on what type of tenancy you have. Read our section on eviction of private tenants for more information on the different procedures and get advice from a Shelter advice centre or Citizens Advice immediately.

If you are a private tenant, your landlord might try to evict you for antisocial behaviour if you or someone living with you:

  • has been causing a nuisance or annoying your neighbours, or
  • has been convicted of using the property for illegal purposes or letting it be used for illegal purposes, for example for dealing drugs.

There are no hard and fast rules about the kind of behaviour that could be covered by this definition and it's important to remember that lots of different types of behaviour can be deemed to be antisocial behaviour.

Private landlords' duties to tackle antisocial behaviour

If you are a private tenant, the owner of your home has to register with the local council under a new law that came into force on 30 April 2006.

The idea behind this new law is to make private landlords take some responsibility for antisocial behaviour that is happening in the properties they rent out. Our section on private landlords and antisocial behaviour has more information.

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