Anti-Social Behaviour – You Could Lose Your Home

“Anti-social behaviour” includes a number of offences routinely prosecuted in the criminal courts. In many cases, the individual instances of criminality are towards the lower end of the scale and are dealt with by way of a fine or low-level community order.

If the offending behaviour continues, protective orders, such as Criminal Behaviour Orders, may be imposed and, in some cases, civil court injunctions.

At present, local housing authorities can apply additional qualification criteria for social housing applicants. Some choose to disqualify applicants based on their criminal convictions or evidence of them committing anti-social behaviour, but there is no common approach.



Government proposals

Under reforms proposed by the government, those convicted of some offences relating to anti-social behaviour will face measures disqualifying them from social housing for up to five years.

As part of an overhaul of how social housing is allocated, the government is seeking to introduce measures which will ban those who “repeatedly make their neighbours’ lives hell” and undermine the safety of their community by engaging in anti-social behaviour. The measures also include power to evict relevant offenders from social housing.

The reforms will disqualify applicants for social housing if they have unspent anti-social behaviour convictions or civil sanctions. This will require local housing authorities to check whether there is evidence of an applicant having been subject to specified anti-social behaviour sanctions.


Relevant offences

The proposals will apply to the following criminal and civil offences:



Where an applicant has received a relevant anti-social behaviour sanction, the proposals will mean that they are disqualified from social housing allocation from the local housing authority or authorities in England where the behaviour takes place.

The disqualification will be for a set period (of between one and five years) after the anti-social behaviour conviction or sanction, or until the date on which the conviction (where there is one) is spent, whichever is sooner. This ensures that the approach to spent convictions is in line with the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

In addition, the government is exploring measures which will disqualify individuals with unspent convictions for terrorist offences from eligibility for social housing.

The reforms, if introduced, will have obvious implications for those facing proceedings for anti-social behaviour given that the consequences of conviction may be wider than those resulting from the sentence itself.


How can we help?

We have over 30 years of experience of criminal defence work. We ensure we are up to date with changes in legislation and case law. This means that we are always best placed to give our clients the best possible advice. If you would like to discuss any aspect of your case, please contact Tarsem Salhan on 0121 605 6000 or at


Image credit: “The question of social housing” by mripp is licensed under CC BY 2.0.