What is Anti Social Behaviour?
There is no precise definition of ASB in housing. Broadly, it is acting in a way that causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.
There may be a fine line between ASB and disputes between neighbours over relatively minor inconveniences, although these may, if persistent, become ASB.
ASB can include:
• Intimidation of neighbours and others through threats or actual violence
• Harassment, including racial harassment
• Verbal abuse
• Homophobic behaviour
• Abusive behaviour aimed at causing distress or fear to certain people, for example, the elderly or disabled
• Excessive noise
• Dumping rubbish
• Animal nuisance, including dog fouling
• Vandalism, property damage and graffiti
• Vehicle nuisance
Neighbour Disputes: Resolving the problem yourself
If you are having problems with a neighbour it is usually better to try and speak to them yourself first. It may be that they are unaware that they are causing a nuisance to you. Discuss the problem when you are calm and explain how their behaviour is affecting you. If your neighbour reacts unreasonably, do not get into an argument, just walk away.
Helping us to resolve the problem
If the situation does not get any better after talking to your neighbour, or if you think it is too dangerous to deal with by yourself, you should contact your housing officer. They will look into your complaint and discuss the matter with you in detail and agree an appropriate course of action.
If both parties are agreeable, your housing officer may recommend independent mediation. The mediator will arrange a meeting with each party, either separately or together, in order to jointly agree a compromise.
Unfortunately we cannot resolve all neighbour disputes, but if there is evidence of a breach of the terms of the tenancy, we will take appropriate action. Any action we do take will depend on whether the perpetrator is our tenant and may also rely on your co-operation and willingness to help provide the evidence required.
How we will deal with complaints of Anti Social Behaviour
We will treat all complaints of ASB seriously and investigate each case carefully. Complaints of ASB can be made verbally, in writing, or by completing a Complaint Form (available on request).
You will be kept informed throughout the investigation and we will make you aware of any action that has been taken.
How you can report ASB
We will respond in one working day to advise you who will be dealing with the case and the timescales in which they will contact you to discuss the problem.
Domestic violence is most commonly violence by men against women and children; however it is important to know that domestic violence can also be committed by women against men, by partners in same sex relationships and by teenage or adult children against parents.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, you can get help.
In an emergency you should contact the police. They can put you in touch with agencies that can help you.
Alternatively you can contact your housing officer. We will always deal with reports of domestic violence sympathetically and confidentially. Our officers will not pass on information to anyone else without the agreement of the victim or unless we are required to do so by law or where information is needed for the protection of children. If requested you can speak to a female member of staff.
If you are a victim of domestic violence we will give you information about your housing options and provide details of other agencies that are able to give advice and assistance. Action might include a referral to Women’s Aid, Citizens Advice Bureau, the Local Authority Homelessness Team or advice to contact a solicitor or the police. Where alternative accommodation is necessary, the housing officer will give advice about claiming housing benefit on two homes or any other relevant benefit advice.
In some circumstances, you might need to move from your home quickly. We have a very low number of empty properties and therefore it may be difficult to arrange a transfer to another RFH property; we have close links with the homelessness teams and refuges in the district and will seek as far as possible to work with these agencies to ensure that you are offered accommodation (dependant on accommodation available at the time).
If you do not need immediate help but would like to talk through your options with a sympathetic and confidential listener you can contact the following numbers:
National Centre for Domestic Violence
Tel: 0844 8044 999 Text: ‘NCDV’ to 60777
Women’s Aid National Helpline
Tel: 0808 2000 247 (24 hours)
Aftercare 07767 302 742
Tel: 01823 334244
We treat any report of hate crime committed by or against our tenants, or members of their household, very seriously.
Hate crime is any criminal offence carried out against someone because of their sex, race, religion, disability or sexuality. It can be any behaviour that interferes with the peace, comfort and safety of people in their home and neighbourhood.
It is very important to record and report incidents as early as possible to stop the situation becoming worse. If tenants or people living with them commit hate crime, not only are they breaking the law, they are also in breach of their tenancy, and legal action will be taken which could result in eviction.