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Nuisance and Anti-Social Behaviour

4.8 Nuisance and Anti-Social Behaviour

Anti social behaviour (ASB) is any behaviour which causes or is likely to
cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not of the
same household. Examples include, but are not limited to, noise, violence,
abuse, threats and use of the property for illegal drugs. Adequate checks
prior to letting should minimise the risk of letting to someone who is
likely to behave anti-socially and the tenancy agreement should include
appropriate clauses about anti-social behaviour. Some local authorities
include a licence condition for premises which require a licence under the
Housing Act 2004 stating that landlords must take reasonable action to
prevent and, where necessary, to remedy anti-social behaviour.

Tenants may be the perpetrator or the victim.

In all cases there is a risk of repercussions and landlords should consider
their actions carefully and take advice before acting. Sometimes the police
or the local authority may contact the landlord if there is a problem in one
of their properties and it is important to try to work with them to resolve
the situation.

A range of measures can be used including mediation, Closure Orders,
Anti Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) and/or eviction depending on the
circumstances and seriousness of the situation. Some councils offer
mediation services but all parties have to agree to co-operate for it to work
and it tends not to be appropriate in all cases, particularly in circumstances
involving drugs or violence.

In cases of noise from the property contact the Environmental Health
Department as they may be able to take enforcement action against the
perpetrator including prosecution and seizing equipment.

If a landlord is aware of or suspects violence or drug-related activity, seek
advice from the local anti-social behaviour team/coordinator or the police
before acting. They may be able to assist by taking action themselves, for
example by making an Anti-Social Behaviour Order on an individual or a
Closure Order on the premises where anti-social behaviour is associated
with Class A drugs. The latter does not terminate the tenancy but it can last
for three to six months giving an opportunity to terminate the tenancy and
stop the perpetrator moving back in. If a tenant is at fault, and it is safe to do
so, landlords may wish to discuss the situation with them or write to them.

If evidence of the anti-social behaviour is needed, the police or the Anti
Social Behaviour Coordinator may be able to help.