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Welcome to the learning4housing blog. I will be posting my thoughts and opinions on a range of issues facing the social housing sector. You are more than welcome to post your comments, whether you agree or disagree on the points. The aim here is to stimulate some debate on these issues, whether they are about current government policy or about best practice in housing management or strategy.

is an independent training provider for the social housing sector. We cover a wide range of subject areas, including anti-social behaviour, homelessness, resident involvement, void control, choice-based lettings, and complaints management, as well as personal skills development around communication, negotiation, assertiveness, influencing, managing people, etc. Please visit the main website for more information at

Please call David on 07986 246406 to discuss your training needs and how we can help, or email at

Saturday, November 16

New ASB Legislation...continued.

The Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Bill is currently being debated within the House of Lords and will soon become law. The Bill contains provisions for changing the legal framework for dealing with anti-social behaviour. New legal orders will be introduced which will replace ASBOs and housing injunctions. New injunctions known as Injunctions to Prevent Nuisance and Annoyance (IPNA), will come into force and will be the main tool, apart from possession, which remain in place, for social landlords to use. Whilst there are similarities between the current s153 housing injunctions and the new IPNAs, there are also some key differences as well.

A debate has begun around one of the differences that may arise, depending on whether an amendment is accepted. Currently, those applying for housing injunctions against ASB perpetrators only require evidence on 'the balance of probabilities' that the action has taken place. This is a normal requirement for civil law remedies and has been defined as: "The balance of probability standard means that a court is satisfied an event occurred if the court considers that, on the evidence, the occurrence of the event was more likely than not." In re H (Minors) [1996] AC 563 at 586

One of the amendments to be considered by the House of Lords relates to whether, under the new  legislation, it will be necessary for claimants to prove 'beyond reasonable doubt' that the perpetrator's behaviour was anti-social. This is the evidence standard that is normally required in criminal cases.

There is clearly a need to keep a sharp eye out for this one, as if the burden of proof does change to the criminal 'beyond reasonable doubt' standard, it will certainly make it much more difficult for social landlords to obtain injunctions against those who carry out anti-social behaviour in their areas. When injunctions were first introduced, it provided a valuable alternative tool for dealing with ASB which did not involve possession. If it becomes more difficult to prove ASB in a court, then possession will return as the main remedy for addressing the problem of ASB. Does anyone really want that to happen?