Antisocial behaviour, nuisance, and tenancy breaches

Antisocial behaviour can make you, your family, and the wider community feel unsafe. Antisocial behaviour can cause you to feel alarmed, harassed, annoyed, or distressed.

It includes:  

  • noise nuisance;
  • verbally abusive or threatening behaviour;
  • intimidation or harassment based on age, gender, disability, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital status;
  • physical violence;
  • vehicle-related nuisance;
  • damage to property;
  • drug and alcohol related antisocial behaviour;
  • nuisance from pets and animals;
  • fly-tipping;  
  • untidy and/or overgrown gardens; and
  • using our property for illegal purposes such as drug dealing and prostitution.

It can also include domestic violence and abuse. If your partner, relative, or other person you live with is being violent towards you, click here for more information on what to do.

What is not antisocial behaviour?

We do not consider everything reported to us as antisocial behaviour. For example:

  • people walking across their floor in shoes;
  • babies crying;
  • children playing;
  • using a washing machine/ tumble dryer or vacuum cleaner in the day;
  • cooking smells;
  • loud talking/laughing;
  • cultural differences;
  • disputes between children; and
  • one-off events, eg a party.

In these cases, we will give advice and guidance so the people involved can resolve the situation themselves. We consider these to be lifestyle differences or everyday living noises.

We do not think children playing is antisocial behaviour. Complaints about this will be referred to the Neighbourhood Team, who will work with those involved to resolve the issue. If the behaviour includes verbal abuse, intimidation, or criminal damage then it will be dealt with as antisocial behaviour.

What can I do if I am caused a nuisance?

Before reporting nuisance or antisocial behaviour to us – and only if you feel it is safe to do so – you should try talking to the person causing the problem because they may not realise they are causing a nuisance. This can often stop the problem straight away.

If the problem affects other neighbours, you may want to involve them as well. It can be easier to settle a dispute if the complaint comes from a number of people.

If the person causing the problem is not a GreenSquare tenant, we will have fewer powers to deal with them. In such cases, we can direct you to the agency that can help – this may be your local council. We will work in partnership with the agency to stop the nuisance.

What GreenSquare will do

  • We will listen to you and take your complaint of antisocial behaviour seriously and deal with it in confidence.
  • We will be clear about what we can do to help.
  • We will advise you to contact the police if the problem is to do with crime or violence.
  • We will advise you to contact your local council’s environmental health team for noise nuisance involving loud music, nuisance from animals or machinery.
  • We will support you while we investigate, eg we may provide you with extra security.
  • We will agree an action plan with you and we will put this in writing.
  • We will ask you to monitor the nuisance providing details including dates and times.
  • We will keep you informed of any progress.
  • We will work in partnership with other agencies such as the police and local council to stop the nuisance as quickly as possible.
  • We will contact the person causing the nuisance to tell them what they are doing is wrong and work with them so that they stop.
  • We will take formal action through the courts if the nuisance does not stop.

How quickly will we deal with the problem? 

This depends on how serious it is. We will respond to complaints as follows:

  • We will respond to antisocial behaviour where there has been violence or the threat of violence within 24 hours.
  • We will respond to antisocial behaviour such as fly-tipping, noise nuisance  or unreasonable behaviour within five working days.
  • We will respond to issues such as dog nuisance, inconsiderate parking, and problems with gardens within ten working days.

We will follow the step-by-step guide below:

Step one

We will ask you to talk to your neighbour. You should explain in a tactful way why what they are doing is upsetting you. You should only approach your neighbour if you feel able to do so, and only when you are calm and during the daytime.

If you feel unable to speak to your neighbour, you may prefer to download our pre-printed letter.

If you feel that you are not able to approach your neighbour, get in touch with your housing officer and tell them about the problem you’re experiencing.

Step two

When you make a report of nuisance or antisocial behaviour to us, we will investigate your complaint. We will ask you to provide us with details of what has happened and may ask to visit you at home if it appears that your neighbour is breaking their tenancy conditions.  If there is no breach of tenancy conditions, we will discuss mediation to help you and your neighbour resolve the problem. Click here to download our antisocial behaviour incident log.

Step three

If it appears your neighbour has broken their tenancy conditions, we will investigate further. We may ask you to keep a diary of the nuisance and record it on a diary sheet. We will give these to you or you can click here to download a nuisance monitoring sheet.

After ten working days, we will collect the diary sheets to help us decide if your neighbour is breaking their tenancy conditions. If we decide they are not, we will let you know. In that situation, we will discuss mediation for you and your neighbour. 

Step four

If your diary shows your neighbour’s behaviour is unreasonable and that they have broken their tenancy conditions, we will talk to them to warn them they are in breach of their agreement. We will advise them what they need to do to put things right. We will keep you informed of the steps we have taken. 

Step five

If your neighbour continues to breach their tenancy conditions after a warning, we will decide the reasonable enforcement action to take. We will work with other local agencies such as the council and the police for additional evidence. If it is appropriate, we may apply to the court for a civil injunction to stop your neighbour causing the nuisance.  

Getting on with your neighbours

We cannot force neighbours to get on with each other. You and your neighbours need to be considerate and tolerant towards each other. You also need to be realistic – everyone makes some noise. It is only a problem when it happens a lot, goes on for long periods of time, is very loud, or is at an unreasonable time (eg at night).

If someone has just moved into their home, allow them time to get organised in their new home.

Keeping you informed

We will tell you and your neighbour what is happening with your case at each step of the complaint. You can also contact your local citizens advice bureau for advice at any stage.

If you are not happy with the action we are taking, you should get in touch with GreenSquare’s Tenancy Enforcement Manager. If you are still not happy, you can ask to use our complaints procedure or contact your local authority to activate the Community Trigger.  

Some definitions

Mediation – is a preventative measure designed to stop problems escalating and is used for neighbour disputes and similar situations. GreenSquare employs external mediators, who provide an independent and impartial service.
Civil injunction – is a court order preventing someone from doing something. The civil injunction is put in place to prevent a person, or persons, causing antisocial behaviour.
Community Trigger – is a process you can use to ask agencies to review their response to antisocial behaviour or hate incidents that you have reported.

 Community Trigger

The Community Trigger is a process you can use to ask agencies to review their response to antisocial behaviour or hate incidents that you have reported.

For Oxford, click here (with activation requests sent to (communitytrigger@oxford.gov.uk).

For Wiltshire, click here.

For Gloucestershire, click here.