However, we worry that new powers in the Renters Reform Bill and within the Anti-social Action Plan, given to landlords to evict tenants with shorter notice periods, on the grounds of antisocial behaviour and rent arrears will have detrimental impacts on women living with abuse, risking further abuse, homelessness, and criminalisation, and creating further barriers to accessing the support they need to recover from abuse and trauma, and go on to lead safe, just, and equal lives.
The Anti-social Action Plan will halve the delay between a landlord serving notice for anti-social behaviour and eviction. It will also broaden the disruptive activities that can lead to eviction and state that previous anti-social behaviour offenders are deprioritised for social housing.
According to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, domestic abuse victims are four times more likely to have antisocial behaviour complaints made against them. We fear this will worsen and have adverse and long-lasting impacts on women living with domestic abuse, often being mistaken for anti-social behaviour.
There needs to be a clear definition of Anti-Social behaviour which cannot be conflated with domestic abuse, and it must ensure that it cannot be used as a backdoor to enact un-just evictions and leave women and their children without a home.
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- Advance’s vision is a world in which women and children lead safe, equal, violence-free lives so that they can flourish and actively contribute to society. The charity works with women who experience domestic abuse to be safe and take control of their lives, and women who have committed crime or are at risk of offending to break the cycle.
- As well as providing direct support, Advance works with statutory services, government agencies and other women’s charities to ensure a holistic approach to the issues these women face.
- Women must be referred to Advance, via statutory services or the charity’s self-referral scheme. For more information about who Advance is able to support, please visit Get Help
- For facts and statistics about domestic abuse and women in the criminal justice system, as well as Advance’s work, please visit Our Impact