Dealing with Tenants' Anti-social Behaviour
The ASB, Crime and Policing Act 2014 defines ASB as:
“Conduct that has caused, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to any person, or conduct capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to a person in relation to that person’s occupation of residential premises, or conduct capable of causing housing-related nuisance or annoyance to any person”.
The term is used to describe actions that unreasonably interfere with or could interfere with an occupier’s normal use and enjoyment of their home, garden or neighbourhood.
The definition extends to behaviour that can create a nuisance or annoyance for another person connected with the property. Including staff and contractors of Ashford Borough Council, which has an effect on the housing management of the property.
There may be a fine line between anti-social behaviour and disputes between neighbours over relatively minor inconveniences, although these may, if persistent, become anti-social behaviour. Anti-social behaviour can include:
In the community
- Noise nuisance, e.g. loud music, persistent shouting/rowing
- Rowdy, loutish behaviour and drunkenness
- The fouling of public areas
- Pet nuisance/uncontrolled animals
- Jamming open communal doors
- Throwing things out of windows or off balconies
- Dealing or taking drugs
- Street drinking
- Soliciting or kerb crawling
- Vehicle-related nuisance & inappropriate vehicle use
- Damage to street furniture
- Damage to property/buildings
- Damage to trees, hedges, plants
- Dumping rubbish and fly-tipping
- Abandoned vehicles
Acts directed at people
- Intimidation and harassment
- Harassment can include
- Cyber stalking
- Cyber bullying
- Hate incidents
- Hate crime
- Malicious communications
- Domestic Abuse - as defined in our Domestic abuse policy can be
- Actual assaults and/or threats of violence.
It should be noted that the above list does not cover every situation the council may consider to be nuisance, as each nuisance case can have unique problems of its own.
Examples of what isn’t ASB:
- Cooking odours
- Babies crying*
- Normal behaviour occurring at unusual times because of different working patterns provided the resident is attempting to keep disturbance to a minimum
- One off parties e.g. BBQ where there’s no evidence the problem will reoccur
- Clash of lifestyles including cultural differences
- Clash of personalities
- Children’s play
- Noise transference due to poor sound installation
- Dirty looks
*If there are any concerns about the welfare of a child this should be highlighted to the relevant authorities (Social Services).
What is your responsibility?
Tenants are responsible for the behaviour of all members of their household, including children, and for the behaviour of visitors to the property. Tenants should be aware that if they, their family or visitors cause any sort of nuisance, they may be breaking the council’s conditions of tenancy, and could ultimately lead to legal proceedings including the risk of eviction.
What should you do if you are affected by anti-social behaviour?
If you think your neighbour is causing anti-social behaviour, firstly, you should approach them and politely explain what is of concern to you. Your neighbour might not realise that they are causing distress and you may be able to reach a compromise by taking this simple action. However, it would be wise to consider what reaction you are likely to get from this approach. If your neighbour were to act aggressively, this could make the situation worse. If you have approached your neighbour and the situation does not improve, or you feel that you cannot approach him or her, you should contact your area manager by contacting the housing services team by phone on 01233 330688 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please refer to our ASB POLICY 2016 [pdf] 225KB for further information regarding how we manage antisocial behaviour complaints.
Points to remember:
Noise will be transmitted through the wall in semi-detached and terraced houses, and even purpose built flats are seldom completely sound-proof. All tenants should be aware that even sound from a radio or television after 11 o’clock at night can cause disturbance to their immediate neighbours, let alone DIY activities.
Children will play outside for longer in the summer, and when all the windows are open, the noise will seem louder.
Loud music played indoors when the windows are open will cause a nuisance.
When the council will NOT take action
- If no one is willing to keep diary sheets and/or to attend court, if required
- When the dispute is between two neighbours and there is insufficient evidence to support either party’s allegations
- If the complaints are considered to be unreasonable, taking into account the nature of the alleged nuisance and the mix of property and family types in the area