Breaching a Housing Injunction
If you are found to be in breach of a housing injunction the consequences can be severe; the breach of a court order can result in a fine, committal to prison and ultimately losing your home. If you are summonsed to court for breaching a housing injunction, you will need to take advice as a matter of urgency. The legal experts at Clifford Johnston & Co have extensive experience of assisting clients who are facing charges of this kind. Speak to us today for advice on your best course of action; we can help you to negotiate with your landlord or neighbour and can defend you throughout injunction proceedings.
What is a housing injunction?
Housing-related IPNAs (injunctions to prevent nuisance or annoyance) can be sought by housing trusts and organisations, landlords and local authorities if a tenant or person living in the area is acting in an antisocial way or causing nuisance to others.
An application for a housing-related injunction might be made in relation to a person living in or visiting residential premises for:
- behaving anti-socially
- using property for immoral or illegal purposes
- drug dealing
- excessive noise
- threats and violence
Such types of behaviour can all result in an injunction being put in place to prevent the person responsible for the behaviour being present in a property or the surrounding area.
An IPNA includes a prohibition, which requires a person to cease a particular action or behaviour, and a positive requirement to get them to deal with the cause of the behaviour.
If the court believes that a person has engaged in violence, threatened violence, or poses a significant risk of harm to another person, they can be excluded from their home. This only applies to adults however and does not apply to anyone under the age of 18.
Sometimes a power of arrest will be attached to the injunction, meaning that if the injunction is breached, the police can arrest the person breaching the order to bring them back to court – where if they are found to have made the breach, they can be committed to prison.
How long does an injunction stay in place?
For anyone under the age of 18, the maximum period is 12 months; for an adult, the prohibition can be for a fixed or indefinite period of time.
What happens if a housing injunction is breached?
If you have breached an injunction you are in contempt of court. Contempt charges are taken very seriously indeed by the court, who view them as an affront to the law and disrespectful to the legal system.
Where the injunction has a power of arrest attached to it you can be arrested without a warrant and must be presented in court within 24 hours of your arrest. If there is no power of arrest attached to the court order, an arrest warrant can be applied for.
Penalties for breaching an IPNA
If you breach a housing injunction, it is a civil contempt of court, and the maximum penalty is either an unlimited fine, up to two years in prison, or both. If you are under the age of 18, you may need to comply with a supervision order, or in the worst-case scenario, offenders aged between 14 and 17 might be detained for up to three months.
In addition to this, if you are found to have breached an IPNA, you could be evicted from your home – your landlord can bring a claim for possession and the court will have to make a possession order.
If you are accused of breaching a housing injunction and face an application for committal to prison, you may be able to claim Legal Aid to cover the costs of representation in Court. It is often available to anyone facing a committal application in cases of civil contempt of court cases heard before the High Court, whatever your income.
If you are wondering whether you are eligible for Legal Aid, get in touch – one of our advisors will be able to determine whether you meet the criteria to claim.
How can Clifford Johnston & Co help?
If you are involved in a committal case, you will no doubt be concerned about what will happen and what the next steps are. Our legal experts at Clifford Johnston & Co have more than 20 years’ experience in dealing with civil contempt of court cases. Based in Stockport and Manchester, our contempt of court defence solicitors work with clients across the UK and are happy to assist you, wherever you are based. We offer a flexible service and are often able to offer appointments at short notice.
Our approachable and professional team will offer you expert advice relating to your case, such as any available defence to the committal application, any possibility of making early admissions for maximum credit from the court, and the sentence you are likely to face if you are found to be in contempt.
We provide Legal Aid and can offer no-win, no-fee terms - for more information or to discuss your case, speak to one of our solicitors today.
Our friendly team will deal with your enquiry sensitively and with understanding so contact us today for helpful and supportive advice.
With offices in Stockport (Heaton Moor) & Manchester (Burnage), our expert contempt of court solicitors are easily accessible. We represent clients not only locally throughout Stockport and Cheshire, Lancashire & Manchester but also across the United Kingdom. We regularly act for clients from across the North West and Cheshire including Altrincham, Hale, Alderley Edge, Wilmslow and Knutsford.
You can count on us to help and guide you whatever your challenge or circumstance.