Frequently asked questions
Here are our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about antisocial behaviour (ASB).
- What is not classed as ASB?
There are some activities we consider to be everyday living noises or minor lifestyle differences, rather than acts of ASB. These include:
- gardening disputes
- parking disputes where no restrictions are in place
- people flushing their toilet and other living noises
- children falling out with each other
- cooking smells
- noise of a child playing in their own home.
We will therefore not investigate these incidents as ASB under the terms of our policy.
- Do you consider ball games as ASB?
The government aims to encourage children to play outside as it helps reduce childhood obesity. Unless those playing ball games are carrying out other more serious nuisance, such as verbal abuse or criminal damage, we will not take action against them.
- Who can I contact about an ASB issue outside office hours?
If you want to call us ‘out of hours’, please phone us on 0845 263 8310 and leave a message. We will call you back the following working day. You can also fill in our online form, which will be emailed to our Customer Services Centre to deal with the next working day.
If you are affected by noise during the night, you should contact your local council’s Environmental Health Team. They can monitor the noise and tell us if we can take legal action against the person doing it.
- Why should I have mediation with my neighbour?
Mediation is a way to resolve disputes between neighbours, particularly when there are underlying issues as a result of a difference in lifestyle or arguments between neighbours.
Trained mediators are independent, impartial, confidential and non-judgmental people who can help others resolve their differences themselves.
If you have been asked to go to mediation, we hope you consider it. It is often a quick and effective way to resolve the ASB issue you are experiencing and will also allow the person causing the behaviour to understand how it is affecting you.
We will only offer mediation where we think it is appropriate. We will not normally offer to use mediation where there is violence involved.
- Will you evict my neighbour if they have breached their tenancy agreement?
We will only take legal action to evict a resident as a last resort and once we have tried to resolve the ASB issue in every other way possible. Only in very extreme cases of ASB will we try to evict a resident straight away.
Our records show that most antisocial behaviour problems are resolved by early intervention work which may include warning letters and meetings with the perpetrators (person or people causing the issue) to resolve it and address any underlying problems or support needs. We may need to support the perpetrator to change their behaviour and will work with them to sort out the problem.
We work in partnership with other agencies to resolve ASB issues, such as Environmental Health Teams and the Police, who can put in place legal measures including noise abatement notices, seizing noise equipment, antisocial behaviour orders (ASBOs) and Injunctions.
- Why do I need to complete an incident diary?
It is important you keep a record of ASB incidents so we can use it to measure and monitor the ASB, which will help us decide what action we can take. The incident diary is a good way for you to note the dates and times when the ASB happens.
The diary is also very important if we decide to take legal action against the perpetrators. We will need to use this information to show the court the extent and seriousness of the problem. The quality of the information you keep in the diary is vital in whether we succeed or not if the matter is referred to court, so it’s important you write as much as detail as possible about each incident.
- How many logs do I need to complete before action is taken against my neighbour?
We will usually take action straight away, when you first report the ASB. Our first response may be to speak with the perpetrator and send a warning letter to them if they are breaking the rules of their tenancy agreement.
- Does my neighbour have to know it’s me who has complained?
We will treat your case confidentially and will consult with you before sharing any information you give us with others. Occasionally, we may need to share information with agencies without asking for your permission. For example, in certain situations we may need to contact Social Services. We keep all your information securely and in line with the relevant laws, such as the Data Protection Act 1998.
However, while we will do everything we can to protect your identity, you must be realistic. For example, if your complaint is about noise nuisance, it may not be hard for your neighbour to work out who has complained. You should also be aware that if the case goes to court and you agree to give a witness statement, the perpetrator will receive a copy of it and will therefore know who you are.
We will discuss any action we would like to take with you before we proceed with the case to make sure you feel comfortable with what we are suggesting.
- Will you respond to anonymous reports?
Even though it may be hard to find out if an ASB report is real or fake, we will deal with all anonymous reports as normal.
Please note: if you choose to report ASB anonymously, we will not be able be contact you if we need more information or to let you know what we have done. This may affect the amount of evidence we can collect for a case.
- I think my neighbours are also affected. How can you help encourage my neighbours to make reports?
Depending on the nature of the ASB complaint, we will:
- Distribute an ASB incident diary to any resident affected.
- Carry out door-to-door visits with external agencies to reassure residents and collect more information, such as the Police Safer Neighbourhood Team.
- Write to neighbours telling them we are investigating an ASB incident and to ask them to contact us if they have any information they would like to give us.
- Work with external agencies to find out who is responsible for causing the ASB problem and to work together in resolving the issue, such as Environmental Health Teams and the Police.
- Can I move to another A2D home to get away from the ASB I’m currently suffering?
If the nuisance behaviour is so serious that you fear staying in your current home, you should contact us for advice and help.
We will not move you or the perpetrator as a means of resolving the issue (except in exceptional circumstances, but we will deal with the nuisance. We may put in place a range of protective measures to help you remain in your home, such as fitting extra security measures or carry out an injunction against the perpetrator.
You can apply to transfer or exchange your home to another one of our properties, but if there is an outstanding issue about your tenancy, such as if you are in rent arrears, you will have to resolve this before you can move.
- You have known about the ASB issues I’m suffering for years. Why have you not taken any action?
It may appear that we are not dealing with a certain ASB issue once it has been reported to us. Please be assured this is not the case. The reason we have not resolved a certain ASB issue may be because the person reporting the incident to us is unwilling or unable to come forward with more information if they are scared of being identified by the perpetrator.
Without witness testimonies and information that people are happy for us to use in court, we are limited in the action we can take. We cannot do it alone and need support from those affected to make our case against the perpetrator.
- Am I responsible for ASB caused by my visitors?
Under the terms of your tenancy agreement you are responsible for the behaviour of people living with you or visiting your property. If your visitors cause a nuisance or annoyance to other residents living in your area, your tenancy may be at risk.
If you know someone who lives with you or visits your property is causing ASB, you must take reasonable steps to resolve this by asking them to stop. If you fail to resolve the ASB issue we may consider taking action against you and your tenancy, and you may lose your home.
- What happens if I’m evicted for ASB?
An eviction for ASB is very serious and can only happen if the court allows it.
If you are evicted for ASB, you will be considered ‘intentionally homeless’ – meaning your eviction was avoidable had you not caused the ASB – and the local council may not give you another home. You may also find it hard to be re-housed in the private sector because we would not be able to give you a positive reference to future landlords.
If the answer to your question is not listed here, please contact us.