If you wish to complain about a council tenant you will be asked to fill in and return one of our complaint of anti-social behaviour forms, giving us brief details of your complaint.
You will receive a written acknowledgement of your complaint.
A housing officer will visit you within ten working days to discuss your complaint. This may be sooner with certain complaints, for example, if you have experienced threats of violence or racial harassment/hate crime. Often that contact will be in the form of someone visiting you; but you may also ask to come into our offices if you prefer.
We will investigate your complaint and shall agree a plan of action with you. This may include:
- You approaching your neighbours or the people causing the anti-social behaviour: sometimes a neighbour dispute between just two people is best resolved in this way
- The housing officer interviewing or writing to the person or people you say is/are causing the ASB
- The housing officer arranging a joint interview or formal mediation (which will require both parties’ consent)
- You and the housing officer collecting further evidence through keeping a diary of further incidents, contacting other agencies such as the police and using professional witnesses
- Taking enforcement action, including legal proceedings (see “action” below)
- Anything you wish to be kept confidential will remain so, but this may limit what action we can take.
If we cannot take any action we shall tell you and explain why.
Action we can take under the tenancy agreement with your neighbour.
Issuing a verbal or written warning for minor or isolated breaches.
Serving a notice of seeking possession or a notice of demotion.
This gives a ‘final warning’ to the tenant of our intention to apply to the county court for an order for possession or a demotion order.
Extending the period of an introductory tenancy by six months.
Applying to the county court for an order for possession or a demotion order.
The former order is a court order, which could result in the tenant losing their home. We have to show the court that the relevant legal grounds for possession had been proven and that it was ‘reasonable’ for such an order to be granted. The court can suspend the order if it felt that this was the right thing to do in the circumstances.
A demotion order is a court order which ‘demotes’ a secure tenant to a ‘demoted tenancy’. This makes it easier for us to evict such tenants if they continue to cause problems of anti-social behaviour.
Whether or not we do the above things we can also apply to the county court for an injunction. This is a court order to stop an individual from doing something, for example, causing anti-social behaviour, or making threats; or making an individual do something, for example, clearing up an untidy garden.
An injunction can also exclude someone from their tenancy or someone from a particular location or area.
A ‘power of arrest’ can be attached to certain types of injunction. A breach of an injunction is a contempt of court and the individual can be sent to prison. It does not mean that the tenant loses their home.
What other action could we take?
An ‘acceptable behaviour contract’ or ‘ABC’ could be used. An ABC is a non-legally binding written agreement made between the person causing anti-social behaviour, the police and us, you can find out more about
The Environmental Protection Act 1990
Noise, especially loud music, can be distressing. We can monitor noise with special equipment and take legal action, including the serving of a ‘noise abatement notice’ under Section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Breach of the notice may result in taking criminal proceedings in the magistrates’ court.
The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005
This Act gave councils additional powers to enforce against local environmental crime, including nuisance vehicles, litter and refuse, graffiti and other defacement, waste and noise.
Tenancy Enforcement Team
Tel: 01522 873333