Our role in addressing anti-social behaviour is that of a Registered Social Landlord, enforcing Conditions of Tenancy. This means that the actions available to us are limited.
If you require an immediate response to restrict or control action which you believe may be criminal in nature, you should contact the Police in the first instance. As well as addressing the immediate problem, this approach can also provide an evidence base which can be used by Atrium Homes should subsequent civil action be necessary.
What is anti-social behaviour?
Anti-social behaviour is defined as ‘any conduct causing or likely to cause alarm, distress, nuisance or annoyance to any person or causing damage to anyone’s property.’
There are a wide range of issues that can be classified as anti-social behaviour. These include:
- neighbour nuisance (activities such as excessive noise, unkempt gardens, stairs/closes not being cleaned, vandalism, litter and nuisance pets)
- racial and other harassment
- threatened or actual violence
- malicious damage
- drug dealing
We are fully aware of the problems which anti-social behaviour, including neighbour nuisance, can create and are committed to taking, whenever possible, early and effective action to prevent instances of these types of behaviour escalating.
We will take positive action to address anti-social behaviour which is detrimental to your rights to the peaceful enjoyment of your home through the Conditions of Tenancy. Tenants must also realise that we need their full co-operation when dealing with these situations.
Even with the best intentions, problems can arise between neighbours in a community. However, when they do occur they can have serious consequences not only for the people directly affected, but also for the wider community. It is a breach of your Tenancy Agreement to cause nuisance to your neighbours.
You can help avoid difficulties with neighbours by showing consideration. If a problem does arise, try to talk to your neighbour about the problem. If this does not work or you feel threatened in any way, contact your Estates Officer who will explain fully our policy on neighbour disputes and anti-social behaviour.
We recognise that all forms of harassment, especially racial harassment, are distressful to those who experience it. As an equal opportunity landlord, our policy on harassment in any form is to:
- support and effectively help any tenant who is a victim of harassment
- take every possible step to eliminate the harassment
- take appropriate action against those tenants causing the problem
- monitor all repeated incidents of harassment and work in co-operation with the Police and local agencies
Harassment which has a racial or sectarian element to it may also be considered aggravated criminal behaviour, which in turn could lead to serious criminal action being instigated by the Police.
Remember – noise can travel, especially late at night and early in the morning. So be careful about the level of noise you are creating.
East Ayrshire Council Environmental Health Department has the power to issue a warning notice to any person responsible for breaking the permitted noise levels. If a warning notice is not adhered to further legal action may follow.
Taking action against anti-social behaviour
During the investigation of any complaint, it is helpful if you keep diary notes of the times and dates of any incidents. This will help staff deal with your complaint. Staff may also involve East Ayrshire Council’s Anti-Social Investigation Team to resolve your complaint.
Depending on the severity of the problem, a number of methods are available to resolve the issue:
- legal action, including eviction from a tenancy
- serving of Acceptable Behaviour Contracts or Unacceptable Behaviour Notice
- serving of an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO)
Staff will fully explain the meaning of any action taken against you or any other party involved.
Mediation is an alternative method of resolving disputes. It aims to help those involved to reach an amicable agreement, which will enable them to live in relative peace and quiet with their neighbours. We work in partnership with East Ayrshire Community Mediation Service to deliver this service to our tenants. It is an informal process, involving trained, impartial mediators, which can lead to both parties reaching a confidential agreement in a relatively short space of time.
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