Anti-social behaviour: a guide for tenants
Anti-social behaviour is defined as ‘Acting in a way that causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more people not of the same household’. Plymouth Community Homes (PCH) is fully committed to resolving problems of anti-social behaviour (ASB) with your help.
At PCH, we are serious about tackling ASB and have made a public pledge to provide a high-quality ASB service whenever PCH tenants or leaseholders are involved.
Our tenancy agreements set out clearly what we mean by ASB, the standards of behaviour we expect from all tenants and the action we may take if people continue to carry out ASB.
Our teams work in a multi-agency approach with statutory organisations such as Plymouth City Council, Victim Support, the Police, Public Protection, Environmental Health, Social Care and Health to tackle and help prevent further ASB. We also work with other Housing Associations to develop best practices across our industry, as well as expert voluntary organisations such as Victim Support; Shelter; Resolve; and several charities helping vulnerable members of society.
We also look at early intervention projects and remedies such as medication, as well as legal approaches where appropriate. The type of questions we will initially ask include:
- What is the problem?
- How is it affecting you?
- Why is it happening to you?
- Has it happened regularly?
- Are you the only person who is annoyed?
- Is anyone supporting you through this issue?
- Are you being reasonable with your expectations about what we can do?
- What have you done to try and resolve this yourself?
Activities which are not classed as ASB include, but are not limited to:
- Cooking odours
- Children crying or engaging in summer activities such as playing in communal gardens or in the street
- Young people gathering socially – unless they are swearing and being intimidating to individuals
- Being unable to park outside your home
- Every day living noises – such as washing machines or vacuum cleaners during the day
- One-off parties and celebrations
- Raised voices whilst watching sporting events
- Banging doors
- Heavy footsteps on stairs or bare floors
What you can do
- Can you speak to the person causing the nuisance?
- Do they realise their behaviour is upsetting their neighbours?
Make sure you are calm when you speak to them and think about what you say. Making a list first will help you to remember what in particular annoys you. If you start shouting or are aggressive it is likely to make things worse and more difficult to resolve the matter.
Don’t leave it too long. It’s better to get things sorted out sooner rather than letting them play on your mind.
What we can do
Contact your local Housing Officer. Everyone has the right to live peacefully and safely in their home and community. Once you have contacted us we will ensure you an immediate response and, if appropriate, will offer you a copy of the initially agreed action plan. Depending on the type and severity of your complaint, in most cases, we will contact the other person(s) involved to explain that we are aware of a problem and attempt to resolve matters quickly.
To report a nuisance when we are closed we have a dedicated out of hours service. The ASB Hotline number is 0800 0287 377.
We will initially try to resolve all issues by discussing the matter with the person(s) causing the nuisance and offering solutions. In more complex cases, and if the issues continue, with your assistance we may be able to take appropriate legal action. If legal proceedings are started, the judge will want to see that every effort has been made to try to solve the problem first. It is therefore essential we consider all reasonable resolutions before we can start legal proceedings.
Working Together For Better Communities
If we need to take further action we will need you to collect as much evidence as possible to assist us proving a case in court. This may include recording dates and times of the offending behaviour. Video and sound recordings are always very useful in such cases and we can give you details of a mobile phone App you can do this with. Without this information there is very little we can do to resolve the situation for you.
Remember, if you haven’t reported a problem to us, it may be difficult for us to do anything about it.
Please be advised that all calls will be treated confidentially and our staff are trained to help you in a sensitive and knowledgeable manner.