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Dealing with antisocial behaviour

Neighbours or the council may contact you to complain about your tenants’ behaviour. Antisocial behaviour is potentially a breach of a tenancy agreement and you should take this seriously.

This information is for private landlords.

Neighbours may contact you to complain about tenants’ behaviour. The council might also get in touch if they have received complaints about noise or rubbish.  

Ultimately your tenants are responsible for how they, and their guests, behave. But antisocial behaviour is potentially a breach of their tenancy agreement and you should take this seriously.  

Antisocial behaviour can include: 

  • violence or threats of violence 
  • very loud music, TV or noisy parties 
  • rubbish left outside the property 
  • drunken behaviour that disturbs others 
  • intimidating or harassing people 
  • using the property for illegal purposes – such as using or selling drugs 

How to deal with tenants causing antisocial behaviour

If your tenants have been involved in antisocial behaviour: 

  • send them a written warning 
  • explain what will happen if antisocial behaviour continues 
  • give details of agencies that might be able to offer support 

There may be reasons for your tenant's behaviour. They may need support to manage their tenancy. You cannot force a tenant to accept help from a support agency. But you can tell them about organisations that can help.  

You can try to deal with the issue informally but in some cases, you may need to: 

  • speak to the tenant’s guarantor 
  • consider ending the tenancy, or 
  • report the matter to the police 

Tenancy agreements usually have a term about causing a nuisance to neighbours. 

You can end the tenancy if:  

  • your tenants repeatedly or seriously breach this term, and 
  • their behaviour does not improve after your warning 

The Housing Mediation Service can help to settle disputes between: 

  • landlord and tenants, and  
  • neighbours who are both private tenants 

Landlords of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)

The council could refuse to renew your HMO licence if you do not deal with antisocial behaviour.

As a HMO landlord, you must follow the: 

HMO landlords must have an antisocial behaviour plan. Your tenancy agreement should clearly explain how you will deal with complaints of antisocial behaviour.  

You must also keep a record of complaints you get about antisocial behaviour.  

These conditions do not apply to non-HMO landlords. But you should still deal fairly with complaints to avoid a situation getting out of hand.  

Noise complaints

Your tenants and their neighbours should always try to deal with noise problems informally. If this is not possible, the council might get involved.  

The council is responsible for investigating noise complaints and can serve a legal notice on: 

  • the person causing excessive noise, or 
  • the landlord 

Neighbours may contact you, or your estate agent, to complain about noisy tenants.

If this happens, you should: 

  • listen to the neighbour’s complaints 
  • investigate to see if your tenants are causing a nuisance 
  • give your tenants a written warning if there is evidence of excessive noise 
  • remind them that being involved in antisocial behaviour could breach their contract 

Complaints about rubbish

HMO landlords must provide bins for rubbish and recycling. Non-HMO landlords are not legally required to do this. But tenants will expect to have the right bins in the property.  

Make sure bins are: 

  • marked with the property address to avoid confusion 
  • labelled with what should go inside to avoid mixing items 

Tenants are responsible for putting bins out on the right collection days.

You should give tenants information about: 

  • how rubbish and recycling should be sorted, and 
  • what day each bin is collected 

Bin theft is common in some areas and collection trucks can sometimes damage bins. Unless you have evidence that the tenant’s negligence caused the bin to be stolen or damaged, you should pay for a replacement bin.  

The council can issue a penalty notice if a person is not disposing of rubbish properly.  

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