"Our team is witnessing an unprecedented rise in injunctions being brought against people living in social housing"
North West law firm Broudie Jackson Canter has recorded a dramatic rise in the number of injunctions being brought against social housing tenants during lockdown – with cases soaring by 253% in contrast to previous years.
The Housing and Welfare team at Broudie Jackson Canter has highlighted mental health issues exacerbated by lock down as a key factor behind the rise in injunctions which are primarily focused on anti-social behaviour.
The team has represented clients in over 46 injunction or committal cases, where an injunction order is deliberately broken, already this year compared to 13 cases over the whole of 2019.
Nina Patel, head of the firm’s Housing and Welfare team, said: “Since the initial lockdown in March the way we live and work has changed significantly. Many social housing tenants are now spending significant amounts of time at home during a highly stressful, turbulent time – with negative implications for their mental and emotional wellbeing.
“Our team is witnessing an unprecedented rise in injunctions being brought against people living in social housing. This increase is particularly concerning as a number of the tenants that we are representing are extremely vulnerable and many have mental health conditions which have been exacerbated by social isolation experienced during lockdown.
“Many people in this situation are struggling to secure access to the help and professional support they would normally be able to call upon, which is deepening the impact of mental health conditions which can lead to anti-social behaviour.
“Without face to face contact, it can be incredibly difficult for social services support personnel to accurately assess and care for their clients. People who have been served with an injunction may lack capacity due to mental health conditions, and without access to in-person assessments, there is a real risk that this could go undetected – with huge implications for how the tenant is tried.
“It’s vital that people who have been the subject of an injunction act quickly and secure appropriate legal guidance so that they can be supported and their rights can be upheld.”
Under the Coronavirus Act, landlords are required to give their tenants six months’ notice before starting possession proceedings, with the exception of the most serious cases, which include anti-social behaviour, domestic abuse, false statement and where a tenant has accrued rent arrears to the value of over six months’ rent.