Our community safety team has an anti-social behaviour officer who is the point of contact for all reports of anti-social behaviour made to us. Our tenancy services team works closely with the community safety team to help prevent anti-social behaviour and to rehabilitate people who have been involved in causing problems among our tenants.
Anti-social behaviour is behaviour by residents, members of their household or their visitors, which causes annoyance, nuisance or disturbance to anyone else in the area.
It includes excessive noise, verbal abuse, criminal damage to property, alcohol and solvent misuse, drugs, harassment, criminal behaviour, nuisance from vehicles, pets and animals and misuse of communal areas.
Contact your area housing estates officer on 01329 236100 so that we can take action. If this is an on-going or sensitive case, we may not be able to discuss full details of it with you because of data protection restrictions.
Tenancy services will deal appropriately with anti-social behaviour and anyone whose activities cause serious breaches of legislation and their tenancy agreement or who have a history of anti-social behaviour and nuisance. It is not always possible for us to take any action. This might be the case if, for example, the issue is a criminal matter or if it is a low-level case and the dispute is due to a personality clash involving people who have refused the offer of mediation. These support and rehabilitation actions are available to us and we will deal with each case individually.
These are commonly used for youths but can be used for adults. In many cases, we believe persuading people to stop their offensive behaviour is more beneficial for everyone than taking legal action. ABCs are written agreements voluntarily entered into by the perpetrator, the Council and the police. The Youth Service may also be involved. If the person's behaviour does not change, evidence of a breach of an ABC will be presented to a court if further action such as an ASBO (anti-social behaviour order), injunction, demoted tenancy order or possession action is taken. We and the police will monitor the ABC for six months and decide on any further action after that.
A parental control agreement is an informal contract between the Council and a parent whose child is causing anti-social behaviour. It sets out the way in which we expect a parent to control and monitor their child's behaviour. It will be used in court for further action if the child is not controlled in an acceptable way.
In cases of low level anti-social behaviour or neighbour nuisance, we will try to mediate between tenants or other residents if it is appropriate. It is particularly suitable when:
Mediation is not suitable when:
If these actions have not led to an appropriate solution to anti-social behaviour, some others can be considered. These can only be used in serious cases and will not be appropriate for all cases of anti-social behaviour.
ASBOs have serious implications for offenders but the aim is to require them to behave reasonably. Local councils, the police and registered social landlords can apply for an ASBO in a county court. ASBOs can be used against anybody over the age of 10 and breach of an ASBO is a criminal offence. When granted, they last for a minimum of two years. If conditions are breached the offender could be jailed for between six months to five years and can also be fined.
Injunctions are a useful tool in prohibiting behaviour and protecting witnesses or property. They can also be used to help the perpetrator to amend his/her behaviour. They can be useful in cases such as intimidation or harassment (where violence or the threat of violence has been used). If the person's behaviour does not change, a breach of an injunction may help in further proceedings such as an ASBO, demoted tenancy order or possession order or it may lead to an arrest and criminal charges. Taking immediate action with an injunction (where appropriate) sends a clear message to everyone that anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated. We can apply to the county court for an injunction if there is a breach of a tenancy agreement such as:
Injunctions may be obtained quickly and without the perpetrator being in court, so are a useful way to tackle anti-social behaviour and protect witnesses.
We can apply to the county court for a demotion order if a tenant, his/her family or visitors is causing anti-social behaviour. The order enables us to work with the perpetrator to modify his/her behaviour but removes certain benefits of a secure tenancy such as the right to buy their home and the right to exchange their tenancy. It lasts for 12 months. If behaviour improves and we agree, the tenancy reverts to a secure tenancy. However if the anti-social behaviour persists or becomes worse we may apply for a court order to possess the property (and evict the tenant). The tenant may appeal against the decision through an internal review and must request this in writing within 14 days of receiving a notice of seeking possession.
We believe that the most effective way to deal with anti-social behaviour is to persuade the perpetrator to change his/her behaviour. However, in some cases we may take the view that the behaviour is sufficiently serious and damaging to the community (or that it has remained consistently anti-social irrespective of any action taken), that we need to seek possession of the property and evict the tenant(s). When a tenant is evicted because of anti-social behaviour, he/she may apply to the housing authority for re-housing. In such cases, we will decide whether they and his/her family or household members have made themselves intentionally homeless. If so, we may decide we do not have a responsibility to offer permanent re-housing.
For more information, please contact our tenancy services team on 01329 236100 or e-mail email@example.com.