Nuisance and Anti-Social Behaviour
The City Councils tenancy conditions state:
“The tenant must not do, or threaten to do, anything which causes or is likely to cause a nuisance, annoyance or disturbance to anyone living in, visiting or engaging in a lawful activity in the locality of the property”
The tenancy conditions ensure that each tenant is responsible for their own behaviour along with the behaviour of any family members, lodgers and visitors to their address. We encourage everyone to have consideration for their neighbours and the local community in which they live.
We will try to resolve nuisance problems without taking court action. If legal action is taken we will continue to talk to the people involved and encourage them to reach an agreement to change their behaviour or settle a dispute.
We offer these services to help you:
- Effective policies and procedures on nuisance and harassment
- A specialist Community Relations Officer to deal with serious nuisance and harassment cases
- Access to an independent assessment and mediation service
- Support for witnesses
- A community based approach to curbing nuisance
Disputes between neighbours are often caused by misunderstandings and may be sorted out by talking to each other and reaching a compromise.
If you are experiencing a problem with a neighbour, your first step should be to approach them yourself. You could also write to your neighbour, explaining how their actions are affecting you and politely asking them to change their behaviour.
You should contact your Area Housing Manager if the problem continues and explain how you have tried to resolve it. We will discuss with you how best to manage your complaint and may ask you to complete incident diaries. Incident diaries can be used as evidence in Court so you should make a note of all incidents and relevant information.
When we receive your complaint we will contact everyone involved to make them aware and give them a chance to respond to the allegations. We will warn people if they are breaching their tenancy conditions and this will hopefully prevent further problems. If the problems do continue you should contact your Area Housing Manager.
If you have experienced violent behaviour or harassment from your neighbour in the past or feel threatened by them you should not attempt to resolve the matter yourself. In these cases you should always contact your Area Housing Manager first who will handle the complaint on your behalf.
Harassment is interpreted as any incident where the victim, or any other person, perceives an incident to be harassment. Harassment can be directed at people because of their race, colour, religion, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation.
We are committed to preventing harassment and allowing everyone to live free from harassment, fear, intimidation and violence. All reports of harassment are taken very seriously. It is a criminal offence to deliberately harass someone and if the perpetrator is a council tenant this behaviour is a serious breach of tenancy conditions.
You should call the Police and contact your Area Housing Manager immediately if you experience or witness any form of harassment. All complaints will be treated in confidence and no action will be taken without your consent.
Domestic abuse is any form of mental, emotional, physical or sexual abuse between people who are in or have been in a close relationship.
We will not tolerate domestic abuse against men, women or children. We are committed to providing an appropriate, professional, sensitive service to all individuals who are suffering from and/or are threatened with domestic abuse.
Domestic abuse, in whatever form, is unacceptable. We aim to ensure that those responsible for any form of abuse are held accountable and all victims of abuse are offered appropriate resources for support and their safety is paramount.
You should contact your Area Housing Manager if you are experiencing domestic abuse or know someone who is and would like to talk in confidence. You should also report any incidents of domestic abuse to the Police.
We have a very strong approach to drug abuse and work very closely with Hampshire Police and local communities to tackle the misuse and selling of illegal drugs. Involvement with illegal drugs and the behaviour associated with drug misuse can result in a tenant losing their home.
You should contact your Area Housing Manager and the Police if you have any concerns regarding the taking, selling or receiving of illegal drugs in your community.
What can Housing Services do?
Generally we will only become involved in neighbour disputes if there is serious nuisance or a serious breach of tenancy conditions. You should always try and approach your neighbour to resolve any disputes and only contact your Area Housing Manger if this has not worked or you feel threatened.
Where possible non-legal remedies will always be used to try and remedy the problem. Action could include:
A referral to the Winchester Assessment and Mediation Service
Tenancy support and increased security measures
Assistance from other agencies such as Hampshire Police
Home visits to reinforce any warnings
An Acceptable behaviour Contract requiring those responsible to comply with written conditions
If the problem persists there may be no other option but to consider taking further legal action. This could include:
- An application to the Court for an Injunction to order a person to behave in a certain way and/or stay away from a specified person and/or place
- Service of a Notice of Seeking Possession for breach of tenancy conditions. This is the first step to initiating possession proceedings.
- An application to the Court for a Possession Order. This can result in the tenant losing their home
We treat your identity and the information you supply with the strictest of confidence. Sometimes it may be obvious who has contacted us, even when your identity is withheld, but we will always give you the necessary advice and support to help you make a complaint.
Our Commitment to our Tenants
We have signed up to the Government’s Respect Anti-Social Behaviour Charter for Housing. By doing so we have made a public commitment to deliver good services, help stop anti-social behaviour and create a culture of respect.
If you are experiencing any type of anti-social behaviour please contact us.
Winchester City Council - 01962 84 84 00
Police – 999
Anti Social Behaviour – 101
Adult Services 01962 869 313
National Domestic Crisis Helpline – 0800 2000 247
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