As housing advisors, we at Nucleus often get asked about how to tackle anti-social behaviour.
Everybody has a right to enjoy a peaceful home. Unfortunately, there are often issues with neighbours which can affect your ability to enjoy this. Anti-social behaviour [ASB] is often complicated for landlords to resolve, but can have a huge impact on your health and enjoyment.
At Nucleus, we are limited with how much help we can offer clients with this. Therefore, we have made this fact sheet so you can empower yourself.
It is worth knowing that not all neighbour disputes are ASB. They are often lifestyle disagreements; disputes about noise, use of parking spaces, communal spaces and boundaries.
We would advise talking to your neighbours first of all and explaining, calmly and reasonably how their action is affecting you. If this approach doesn’t work, there are other options.
A council or housing association will sometimes suggest mediation, but private sector tenants can also contact the mediation provider in their area. Mediation is with a trained professional and gives you and your neighbour an opportunity to discuss the issues in a calm manner and work out a way to live peacefully together. Other reasons to choose mediation include:
Provided there has been no violence or threats of violence, this can be effective.
If the mediation is in person rather than online, you can ask not to be in the same room. There will be a way of passing information between you.
If the neighbours do not respond well to a polite request to stop the activity which is worrying you, we would suggest keeping a log of incidents- date and time, people involved.
Councils have departments which deal with complaints about harassment and antisocial behaviour. It is worth explaining the situation to them.
Contact the police if you are threatened or feel unsafe.
Noise can take many forms- loud parties, barking dogs, car alarms, running around a flat which is above yours. Building regulations now include sound insulation, however, you may be in a conversion or flat which predates this requirement.
We would suggest contacting your local authority’s environmental health department about this - they often have a noise patrol which will venture out to witness loud parties. The UK government website has a form linked to your specific council that will help you report noise complaints online.
We would also suggest keeping a log of incidents of noise, stating the date, time, type of noise and how long it lasts. It is important to keep a record of the incidents and the behaviour. It will be a great help in investigating the behaviour and tackling it.
A landlord can evict someone if they are continuously acting in an antisocial manner, but this can be a very long process and often very difficult to prove.
If you are a tenant or a leaseholder of a social housing landlord, contact your landlord to tackle the issue.
If you are in privately rented housing or a homeowner, contact your local authority to deal with antisocial behaviour.
Regardless of the tenure, you can also contact the police.
Remember - in the first instance you should contact your local authority, your social housing landlord or the police.