Stock loud neighbour

What is anti-social behaviour (ASB)?

Anti-social behaviour is a general term used to describe a whole range of things that people do to upset other people. According to the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, anti-social behaviour is behaviour which causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more people who are not in the same household as the perpetrator.

In addition to dealing firmly with ASB, Magna deals with domestic violence and other incidents involving members of the same household in a similar way.

Examples of anti-social behaviour include:

  • Hate crimes
  • Domestic abuse
  • Actual or threatened violence
  • Sexual abuse
  • Foul language
  • Criminal damage
  • Graffiti
  • Loud music
  • Arguing and door slamming
  • Offensive drunken behaviour
  • Vandalism
  • Dealing drugs

This list is not exhaustive.

Categories of ASB and our response times

What you should do if you are suffering from anti-social behaviour, neighbour nuisance, or harassment.

People react differently to anti-social behaviour and nuisance. What causes annoyance or distress to one person may hardly be noticed by another. You may also find that behaviour which you feel is disturbing may not be nuisance in the legal sense, or a breach of tenancy.

In the first instance, the best course of action is to talk to the person responsible for the nuisance. If this is not possible or if it does not work, it is important that you keep a written record of the dates, times and duration of the nuisance.

Also make a note of what is disturbing you and what action you took yourself to get the nuisance stopped.

If the problem continues, you should contact us and provide us with as much information as you can. You will need to tell us your name, address and details of the nuisance. We cannot easily deal with anonymous complaints but we will offer guidance on what you can do.

What we can do to tackle anti-social behaviour, neighbour nuisance or harassment.

We will take all the details from you and we will investigate the problem. This may involve visiting you and other neighbours to gather more details, taking photographs, talking to the police or other agencies and supplying you and other neighbours with incident diaries. Incident diaries are for you to use to keep a record of the incidents that disturb you. We may ask to see any supporting evidence such as photographs, video footage, doctors’ letters etc.

If the person causing the anti-social behaviour or neighbour nuisance is one of our tenants and there is a breach of their tenancy agreement, we will usually then visit them to discuss the problem. We may also write to them asking them to stop the nuisance.

If the person causing anti-social behaviour or nuisance is not one of our tenants, there may be less we can do. However, we will offer you advice on action you can take.

Non-legal action

Before taking action through a court for breach of tenancy, or where the behaviour is less serious, there are other actions that you and we can take to deal with anti-social behaviour, nuisance and harassment.

Mediation

Mediation is a voluntary process in which trained, experienced mediators act as a neutral third party to help people who are in dispute to work together to solve their problem. In some cases we may consider offering mediation to resolve a dispute.

Working with other agencies

We work closely with the police, local councils and other statutory and voluntary agencies to tackle anti-social behaviour or nuisance. If the nuisance is a persistent noise problem, we can refer the matter to your local council’s environmental health department. They can take action for statutory nuisance.

Magistrates’ courts can also decide that a noise nuisance is a statutory nuisance and should be stopped. For more information on this, contact the community safety team, your local council’s environmental health department, your local Citizens Advice Bureau or the magistrates’ court.

Acceptable Behaviour Contracts

We may use an Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABC). This is a voluntary written contract between the person(s) involved in the anti-social behaviour and us. The ABC sets out the anti-social acts which the person agrees not to continue. If the contract is breached, this can be used to support any future court action.

Legal action

Possession

If the nuisance or other problem is caused by one of our tenants and is persistent, we may consider it to be serious enough to take legal action. In such cases we may seek possession of your neighbour’s home. If we take this course of action you may be required to attend court as a witness and we may need supporting evidence from other residents affected by the nuisance. They may also be required to attend court.

Court action is a lengthy process and there is no guarantee that a court will give us possession of your neighbour’s home. We will only take this action as a last resort.

Demotion of tenancy

In certain circumstances, we may be able to ask the court to reduce your neighbour’s security of tenure. This would then make it easier for us to get possession of your neighbour’s home if the nuisance continued.

Injunctions

In some cases we may be able to seek an injunction to stop the nuisance, or to stop the person responsible visiting certain areas or having contact with the person they have harassed.

You may be able to obtain an injunction yourself to restrain people who cause serious problems. You may need legal advice for such action, in which case you may be able to claim legal aid, depending on your circumstances.

Hate crime and harassment

We are committed to fair treatment for all, and believe that everyone must be given an equal chance to live, work and learn free from discrimination, prejudice and harassment.

We have a hate crime and harassment policy to make sure this happens.

Racial and other harassment

Our equality and diversity policy makes it clear that we have a duty to ensure that all tenants, leaseholders and licensees are able to enjoy the peace and comfort of their homes, free from any kind of harassment.

We will take all complaints about incidents of racial, sexual or other forms of harassment very seriously and investigate them sensitively. If the complaint is substantiated, we will take action against the perpetrator of such harassment. We will take action whether the perpetrator is one of our residents, employees, contractors or board members.

If any resident harasses others on the grounds of race, gender, disability, colour, religion, marital status, ethnic or national origin, nationality, political beliefs, age, class, unrelated criminal offences, sexual orientation or any other condition not justified in law, this may be a breach of their tenancy and could result in them losing their home.

Domestic abuse

The UK government’s definition of domestic violence is 'any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional.'

Domestic abuse can take different forms, including:

  • Physical abuse: pushing, hitting, punching, kicking, choking and using weapons.
  • Sexual abuse: forcing or pressuring someone to have sex (rape), unwanted sexual activity, touching, groping someone or making them watch pornography.
  • Financial abuse: taking money, controlling finances, not letting someone work.
  • Emotional abuse / coercive control: repeatedly making someone feel bad or scared, stalking, blackmailing, constantly checking up on someone, playing mind games. Coercive control is now a criminal offence under the Serious Crime Act 2015.
  • Digital / online abuse: using technology to further isolate, humiliate or control someone.
  • Honour-based violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

We work in partnership with a number of support organisations, specifically around helping residents who experience domestic abuse.

For Dorset, support and advice is available through “You First” online at http://theyoutrust.org.uk/service/domestic-violence-abuse/ or phone 0800 032 5204.

For Somerset, support and advice is available through “Somerset Survivors” online at http://www.somersetsurvivors.org.uk/ or the Somerset Domestic Abuse Support Helpline: 0800 69 49 999

Help is also available from The National Domestic Violence Helpline, which is run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge. Their websites are http://www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk/ and https://www.womensaid.org.uk/ or you can call 0808 2000 247.

For support specifically for men, there is ManKind Initiative: http://new.mankind.org.uk/ Tel: 01823 334244.

Support for victims

As well as dealing with the person responsible for anti-social behaviour, neighbour nuisance or harassment, we aim to offer support to you if you are a victim of such behaviour. This may involve offering advice and information, putting you in touch with other agencies that can help, providing extra security for your home, or talking to the police about what they can do.

We will support complainants and we can offer the support of our witness champions who are tenants or neighbours who have personal experience of the witness process.

Crimes committed against someone because of their disability, gender-identity, race, religion or belief, or sexual orientation are hate crimes and should be reported to the police. We will work in partnership with the police to deal with these issues.

Report Anti-social Behaviour

If you are a Magna Housing resident, or wish to make a complaint against a Magna resident, please complete the visit the page below.