Channel 4’s Nightmare Tenants Slum Landlords show was back TV this week at 10pm, this time exposing the issue of landlords dealing with anti-social tenants.

Anti-social behaviour comes in many forms including drug abuse and prostitution, harassing neighbours or other tenants, property damage and playing loud music.

The episode tracks one desperate landlord, David Coppen (pictured, below), call upon the help of eviction expert Paul Shamplina (main pic, outside the property) from Landlord Action to evict a badly behaved tenant who has been upsetting the neighbours and terrifying other co-living tenants.

Whilst at the property trying to serve notice, the abusive tenant calls the police trying to claim that he was harassed.

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Shamplina says the case really highlights how challenging it is for a landlord to self-manage an HMO and the issue of anti-social behaviour, a rising problem during the pandemic.

He says: “This anti-social tenant was racially abusing the other tenants, as well as being physically threatening. It was a horrendous experience for the other occupants in the HMO with the police called to the property on numerous occasions. The landlord was stuck not knowing what to do.”

ASB increase

Reported cases of anti-social behaviour have increased over the last 18 months due to changes to the eviction process in response to Covid-19. After months of restrictions and longer notice periods, eviction rules have returned to what they were before the pandemic, however without sufficient legislation on HMO’s and the impending abolition of Section 21, Paul says the number of landlords suffering with anti-social behaviour will continue to rise.

“For landlords with disruptive tenants, a Section 21 was the quickest way to gain possession, without having to gather mountains of evidence and rely on neighbours or those affected to give their account in court,” Shamplina adds.

Once Section 21 ceases to exist, landlords’ only way of evicting anti-social tenants will be to issue a Section 8 notice.  While this will enable them to repossess their property, they will be required to provide sufficient evidence to satisfy a court and, this is not easy, even with the most overtly challenging tenant.

Without a court system equipped to cope with the vast increase in hearings because of anti-social behaviour, problem tenants will be able to remain in situ far too long, leaving those affected suffering even longer.”

Watch Nightmare Tenants Slum Landlords on Channel 5 tonight (Wednesday 10th November at 10pm).  

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