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November 25, 2022

A Landlord's Guide to Anti Social Behaviour

November 4, 2022
Written by
Heather-Jade Stanley

Anti Social Behaviour - Read our guide for landlords all about how to prevent, tackle and report anti social behaviour!

a woman is unable to sleep due to loud anti social behaviour

Table of contents

Landlords guide to handling Anti Social Behaviour

A guide for landlords on how to handle tenants' anti-social behaviour. This document should only be used as guidance as it is not legal advice! If necessary, landlords should seek out independent legal counsel.

loud anti social behaviour is stopping a woman from sleeping

What is antisocial behaviour in legal terms?

A person who engages in antisocial behaviour is one who "...behaves in a manner which harasses, alarms, or distresses individuals who are not members of the person's home, or who is likely to do so."

What are some examples of Anti Social Behaviour?

  • Untidy/ dirty garden & home 
  • Excessive noise 
  • Racism 
  • Violence 
  • Vandalism 
  • Verbal abuse, threatening behaviour 
  • Drug use & dealing 
  • Using air rifles 
  • Graffiti 
  • Riding vehicles dangerously or illegally 
  • Harassment of other people 
  • Failure to control pets 
  • Dumping rubbish/ fly tipping 
  • Throwing fireworks 
  • Gang activity
  • Robbery/ theft

Things you should be mindful of

In general, landlords are not responsible for nuisance renters and are not required to take action against tenants who violate their tenancy agreement terms. However, it might be claimed that landlords should bear some or all of the blame when they fail to take reasonable measures to discourage such behaviour, or when it is clear that they explicitly approved of it.

Because they do not want to find themselves in a legal dispute with other parties who are harmed by their tenant's behaviour, landlords should treat all anti-social issues seriously.

When dealing with such problems, landlords do not have to tackle things alone. To check whether there are any actions they can take to aid the issue, or to seek advice, they can get in touch with the police or other relevant departments within their local government.

Plus, there are plenty of helpful organisations, websites and blog posts - such as this one! - all offering advice, tips and support.

anti social mess after a house party

Reduce and Prevent Anti Social Behaviour

Landlords are required to take all reasonable and practical measures to prevent and address anti social behaviour, as well as to follow a thorough process of incremental steps to address any complaints that have been made about their occupiers directly to them, through the Local Authority, or through any Police service.

For the purposes of these this guide, "anti social behaviour" is behaviour by the residents of the home and/or their guests that disturbs or annoys other home occupants, lawful visitors to the home, or others living in or lawfully visiting the neighbourhood of the home.

In any incidents of anti social behaviour, landlords are expected to disclose, upon request, information regarding the full names and birthdates of each occupant to an authorised officer of the Local Authority, a Police Officer, or a Police Community Support Officer.

drugs and anti social behaviour newspaper headline

The licence holder will make sure that the home's residents are aware of the resources available to them for dealing with anti social behaviour and how they can report a problem to the appropriate authorities. Tenants and property owners can access this information on the Council's website.

When asked for references, the licence holder shall do so honestly and completely. He or she will also answer to queries in a reasonable amount of time.

The licence holder must take steps to terminate the tenancy following advice and recommendation from the Council, should it be found that the property is being used for illegal or immoral use or where there is evidence of persistent and ongoing anti social behaviour. However, we recognise that Anti Social Behaviour can take many forms and is often difficult to deal with whether you are a landlord or anyone else.

anti social behaviour has lead to mess and squallor

How can I stop anti social behaviour from happening?

The lease agreement should clearly state that it can be terminated early in the event that anti social behaviour is proven to have occurred.

The licence holder for any property covered by the Additional (HMO) or Selective licencing schemes must see to it that the tenant's duties section of any lease agreement signed after the licence was issued has the following language:

Anti social behaviour is defined as any conduct that causes or is likely to cause a nuisance or annoyance to the landlord, other tenants, neighbours, or people engaged in lawful activity in the neighbourhood. It is forbidden to cause or permit household members or visitors to engage in anti social behaviour.

Before the start of new tenancies, you must meet with the tenants in the Housing Licensing Areas to ensure that they are aware of their obligations and to give them all the information they require regarding the property.

You must emphasise to your tenants the significance of:

  • Refusing to permit anti social behaviour
  • Avoiding bothering or upsetting neighbours
  • Preventing crowdedness
  • Avoiding accumulation of trash and emphasising the need to get rid of it
  • Proper recycling
  • Make sure your tenants are aware of your right to terminate their lease.

If the tenants do not meet these requirements, by employing the appropriate legal processes,

If the tenant's English language proficiency is insufficient to comprehend this information, you should ensure that someone who can serve as an interpreter and explains sufficiently for the renter to comprehend your arguments.

You may wish to introduce yourself to neighbours of the property and let them know that you are the landlord and give them your name and contact details so they can contact you at an early stage should your tenant cause a nuisance.

a tenancy agreement in a folder

What should I do if I get a complaint about my tenant's anti social behaviour?

Prior to approaching the renter, it is advisable to gather as much information as you can. For instance, speak with those who were allegedly affected by the claimed behaviour, or if necessary, work closely with any investigating officers from Sefton Council or Merseyside Police. Make notes about the incident's specifics.

You could advise the complainant to file a report with the police or council over the behaviour of their neighbours. As the matter develops, you should stay in touch with the investigating officer or agency.

Verbal Caution

Speak with your tenants as soon as possible. You may be able to resolve the issue in some circumstances by just informing the tenant that their actions are creating problems. You could draw attention to the eviction provision in the rental agreement and explain that if this behaviour persists, they risk being evicted. jot down the details of every conversation.

Based on the available data, you should adopt a reasonable, impartial stance.

Alternately, if you are unable to speak with your renter directly, you can think about writing a "first contact letter" inviting them to get in touch with you to discuss the anti-social behaviour issue. in Appendix

Written Caution

Consider sending your tenants a warning letter if talking to the tenant doesn't work and there is ample evidence that the issues are still there. Keep a copy of all correspondence you send, along with a note of the method and timing of delivery.

If that doesn't work, you could choose to send a final warning letter.

Letters of caution should expressly state:

  • What tenancy requirements have been violated? How have the occupants violated them?
  • What they should do to stop further action from being taken, as well as the repercussions of continuing to violate the terms of their lease.

anti social youths gather on the pavement

Options other than getting the tenant to leave

There are occasions when issues arise because the occupant needs assistance to function in the space. If so, it may be beneficial to connect them with someone who can offer assistance and support. This kind of assistance for the tenant might be quite advantageous for you as a landlord. It can assist the occupier with day-to-day maintenance issues including receiving benefits and paying bills. It may also motivate the occupier to act responsibly. Citizens Advice Bureau is one such assistance group.

Reporting to the local authorities


If you need extra support, you can report anti social behaviour to your local council, allowing the council to take over the management of a property to stop anti-social behaviour.

It can also create a ‘selective licensing scheme’ if people in several houses in an area are behaving anti-socially. All landlords of properties in that area must then have a licence to show they’re meeting minimum standards.

Crimestoppers


You can also contact Crimestoppers to report a crime anonymously. They will pass the information about the crime to the police.

A little about us

We hope this guide has been helpful!

Find out more about how Oasis Living can find you the perfect tenants and improve your property management experience. Head to our website now or contact one of our property experts. Plus, you can read our guide on renting for tenants.

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