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Anti-Social Behaviour from your Neighbours

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 13 Jun 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Neighbours Problem Action Behavior

Anti-social behaviour can put a tremendous amount of strain on people and, if left unchecked, it can ruin a community all too soon, with disputes between neighbours being a common problem. There are a whole range of laws governing anti-social behaviour, which can lead to legal action being taken against the perpetrator(s).

Anti-social Problems

Anti-social behaviour can incorporate a whole range of issues. These can include problems with:

  • Noisy neighbours
  • Drug taking and drinking on the streets
  • Pets – particularly dangerous dogs and Barking Dogs
  • Litter and graffiti
  • Vandalism
  • Racism
  • Teenage gangs or other forms of intimidating groups or individuals such as young and unruly children
  • Abandoned cars
  • Fly tipping

However, it’s important to remember that in certain instances, anti-social behaviour can mean entirely different things to different people. As neighbours, it’s always necessary to realise that we will often have different values, beliefs and opinions, and so what someone might object to and see as anti-social behaviour may not be covered by any of the legislation. For example, if you like to mow your lawn every week, but your next door neighbours takes a more relaxed attitude towards keeping on top of their garden and only mows it every month or so, then that wouldn’t be classed as anti-social behaviour under the current legislation.

How To Tackle Anti-social Behaviour

There are numerous different approaches to tackling anti-social behaviour involving neighbours living close by. The action to take will often be determined by the type of behaviour involved and the person(s) causing the problem. For example, how you deal with your next door neighbour who is playing their music too loudly after midnight is likely to be very different from how you’d tackle the problem of a gang of teenage youths jumping on top of cars in the street.

In certain situations, you may feel that the problem is serious enough to dial 999 to get the police involved or, at the other end of the scale, you might be able to resolve the problem by having an amicable conversation with a neighbour. Remember that neighbours may not even be aware that they are causing a problem.

In other circumstances, however, your best course of action is likely to involve contacting the relevant department within your local authority or alternatively, getting in touch with your local anti-social behaviour co-ordinator, who is likely to be a member of your local police force. You can find out who that is on the Home Office’s website by simply inputting your postcode. Within that website, there are also details about how you can contact your local Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership Representative.

What Happens Next?

If your complaint is investigated, you may be asked to gather evidence by the antisocial behaviour team, which might include keeping a diary or log of the offending behaviour. Depending upon the seriousness of the issue, the police may be called in straight away. Should a particular case go to court, you may also be asked to give evidence.

What About Possible Reprisals?

Many people who are asked to testify against their neighbours in court are frightened to do so for fear of reprisals. However, it can be arranged for you to give evidence anonymously and you do have Confidentiality Rights. Also, a police officer, a doctor, health worker, council official or teacher can also give evidence on your behalf if you feel particularly vulnerable.

Other Solutions

In many cases of antisocial behaviour involving neighbours or other members of the community, a resolution can often be obtained before the matter even gets to court. Official warning letters and interviews can sometimes be sufficient to stop the problem, but other methods include drawing up Acceptable Behaviour Agreements or Parenting Contracts as well as Fixed Penalty Notices and Noise Abatement Notices. The courts also have the power to issue Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) and can resort to other methods such as dispersal orders and demoted tenancies, for example. Read more about how to apply for an anti social behaviour order.

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PopD - Your Question:
So, my neighbours, 1 adult female and her 20(ish) year old son. Neither work. We have dreaded summer as last year the back garden was a youth club. Every day ( almost) and evening they are out there, a group of about 4-8 'Lads' sitting on the patio right outside their, and my house. The language was blue, the details of sexual conquers indepth. The aroma from the bong (i could hear the bubbles) and joints was intense. We asked them to curb language and when outside we will now shout over the fence 'Excuse me, young children about' The response 'Sorry' and lower tones and calmer language for about 5 minutes. Then the eff's and c's fire out with out consideration. And they really have no volume control.My 3 children won't go in the garden if they hear them as they think they are scary.They loud base music that vibrates through into my dining room/office which I need to sit in to complete my paper work 2 days per week.So the suns out and the son has decided to buy 2 puppies and now we have barking and crying dogs to add to the youth club equation. We are seriously considering moving but should we really have to????

Our Response:
Contact your environmental health department. While the noise does not fall within the usual noise nuisance category of 11pm to 7am, the swearing and dogs barking are antisocial so action might be feasible.
ProblemNeighbours - 16-Jun-17 @ 10:34 AM
So, my neighbours, 1 adult female and her 20(ish) year old son. Neither work. We have dreaded summer as last year the back garden was a youth club. Every day ( almost) and evening they are out there, a group of about 4-8 'Lads' sitting onthe patio right outside their, and my house. The language was blue, the details of sexual conquers indepth. The aroma from the bong (i could hear the bubbles)and joints was intense. We asked them to curb language and when outside we will now shout over the fence 'Excuse me, young children about' The response 'Sorry' and lower tones and calmer language for about 5 minutes.Then the eff's and c's fire out with out consideration. And they really have no volume control. My 3 children won't go in the garden if they hear them as they think they are scary. They loud base music that vibrates through into my dining room/office which i need to sit in to complete my paper work 2 days per week. So the suns out and the son has decided to buy 2 puppies and now we have barking and crying dogs to add to the youth club equation. We are seriously considering moving but should we really have to????
PopD - 13-Jun-17 @ 3:34 PM
Ok so my downstairs neighbour has split personality disorder , smokes crack and is an alcoholic ...... We regularly hear him and have seen him having 3 way conversations with himselfshouting and banging on walls all hours of the night .... Ive been talking to him and within a few mins he is someone else dosent recognise me or know where he is and gets violent. Im woken up 2 or 3 times a week by the police mistaking my apartment for his. A few days ago he was drunk in the street and decided to set our bins on fire .....i woke up to a fire engine blasting water at my window because the flames had spread close to the apartments ..... There was no one saw him do it but all other 4 apartments heard and saw him drunk out there .... Its a closed street and no one else was out at almost 3am . But because no one saw him light it the officers couldnt do anything ... He is a regular at the crazy house and regularly gets a forced stay there for a few weeks but always returns to the apartments with 0 change. Yes its gov housing so reports have 0 effect . I dont know what to do
kate - 2-Jun-17 @ 1:17 AM
My neighbour above us had party from 11pm last night and this morning they were banging the cupboard doors and stump they feet on the kitchen floor and people sleep there and we had more cigarettes in our back garden and the noise when on gone 2.30 am when my 2 year old daughter in her bed sleep this neighbour with her girlfriend both drama Queens we sent letter to housing but our housing officer is too soft on the neighbour above got everyone in flat to cause for us because the neighbour and her girlfriend wants us out of this flat and she has dogs Barking all hours this is the noisy neighbour in the block of flats she got to have everything her way and her son told his mother tell the neighbour to find....off and he don't live there the police will be called next and she saying horrible things about us also racist towards my partner it's not on
Lou - 29-May-17 @ 3:21 PM
Sean - Your Question:
So it all began someone kicking out one of my solar powered lights, I thought nothing of this (could have been post man by accident). Then I woke up 2 weeks later to find all my lights pulled out and soaked in the only plant pot at the front of my house full of water. This was an annoyance in its own as I had to replace them all. Now just a further week on I have had the under side of a full car bumper dumped in my front lawn (this has been sat on the road side for a month now a good 6-7 houses away from mine). I live in a fairly new and secluded close with no access other than the single road in. It's clear this is a neighbour doing this, I plan to put up a camera (in the attempt to catch them in the act and see which house there from). I don't interact with anyone from the street and feel this has made me an easy target. What can I do once I have figured it out ?

Our Response:
Once you've worked out whether it's the same perpetrator each time - you can either ask them yourselves why they're doing it, or speak to you local police (non emergency number 101) or your PCSO. If you can get evidence on camera or video all the better.
ProblemNeighbours - 3-May-17 @ 10:15 AM
So it all began someone kicking out one of my solar powered lights, I thought nothing of this (could have been post man by accident). Then I woke up 2 weeks later to find all my lights pulled out and soaked in the only plant pot at the front of my house full of water. This was an annoyance in its own as I had to replace them all. Now just a further week on I have had the under side of a full car bumper dumped in my front lawn (this has been sat on the road side for a month now a good 6-7 houses away from mine). I live in a fairly new and secluded close with no access other than the single road in. It's clear this is a neighbour doing this, I plan to put up a camera (in the attempt to catch them in the act and see which house there from). I don't interact with anyone from the street and feel this has made me an easy target. What can I do once I have figured it out ?
Sean - 2-May-17 @ 11:10 AM
MissyK - Your Question:
What is the best approach to deal with my upstairs neighbour who on several occasions now (this morning at 205am being the latest occurrence) is drunk and shouting at his/partner. This wakes me from my sleep and also makes my dogs skittish. I work 12 hr shifts and sometimes cant get back to sleep due to the fact that my heart is racing as ive been startled awake. I seriously cant be going on like this. I know everyone has some sort of problems in yheir lives and couples argue from time to time. This is not a young couple either, they are around the 60 mark.

Our Response:
Do you share the same landlord? If so that's your first port of call. Secondly try a letter see our templates in this section. Thirdly, if you can, keep a note of all the occurrences; the type of noise made/ the duration etc and report it to your local environmental health office.
ProblemNeighbours - 28-Apr-17 @ 2:38 PM
What is the best approach to deal with my upstairs neighbour who on several occasions now (this morning at 205am being the latest occurrence) is drunk and shouting at his/partner. This wakes me from my sleep and also makes my dogs skittish.I work 12 hr shifts and sometimes cant get back to sleep due to the fact that my heart is racing as ive been startled awake. I seriously cant be going on like this. I know everyone has some sort of problems in yheir lives and couples argue from time to time. This is not a young couple either, they are around the 60 mark.
MissyK - 27-Apr-17 @ 2:39 PM
Jack- Your Question:
My son kicked football over neighbours fence asked for it back last week and it didn't come back , I asked again on fri and she she started swearing at me and I asked her not to speak to me like that , she used foul language about my 9 year old son , this is not the first time there has been a situation, I feel intimidated with this and very upset that my son heard all this , what action can I take ?

Our Response:
You could try talking to her first of all. If the problem recurs, you could see if there's a mediation service in your area.
ProblemNeighbours - 28-Mar-17 @ 12:59 PM
My son kicked football over neighbours fence asked for it back last week and it didn't come back , I asked again on fri and she she started swearing at me and I asked her not to speak to me like that , she used foul language about my 9 year old son , this is not the first time there has been a situation, I feel intimidated with this and very upset that my son heard all this , what action can I take ?
Jack - 27-Mar-17 @ 1:11 PM
I live in a nice flat housing associations with my partner and little daughter the neighbour down stairs play drums loud and my daughter says noise and too loud the neighbour not working has people staying there every weekend noisy on the tenancy agreement says no loud speakers guitar and bass not to be played
Lou - 16-Mar-17 @ 10:49 PM
tids - Your Question:
We have been having issues with our neighbour for almost a year, it came to a head but has not stopped in October when shy physically assaulted me and bit my nan. We are awaiting the outcome of a criminal prosecution but the problems are still happening. Our respective housing offices have done very little to help alleviate the problems what can I do now. We've stayed well out of their way and are trying to get on with our lives but its all beginning to get us all very down.

Our Response:
It might be better to await the outcome of the prosecution. If the behaviour contravenes the tenancy agreement, this should be sufficient for a warning or even eviction (following a court case). If you're unhappy with the way the housing association/local council has dealt with the issue, you can make a formal complaint. Following this, you can consider contacting the Ombudsman
ProblemNeighbours - 2-Mar-17 @ 2:05 PM
We have been having issues with our neighbour for almost a year, it came to a head but has not stopped in October when shy physically assaulted me and bit my nan. We are awaiting the outcome of a criminal prosecution but the problems are still happening. Our respective housing offices have done very little to help alleviate the problems what can I do now. We've stayed well out of their way and are trying to get on with our lives but its all beginning to get us all very down.
tids - 1-Mar-17 @ 10:49 AM
mark wilson - Your Question:
I have just received a letter from the council saying they will be calling to my house with the police. An appointment has been made yhn/Northumbria police to attend your property on dd/mm/yy to discuss ongoing issues between yourself & a neighbour. I and the rest of my neighbours have had problems with this neighbour since the day he moved in. he says I am blocking his drive so he has to move the bins 3am to get his car onto his drive. Lie I have video evidence of him parking / reversing his car into his drive then moving the bin directly outside of my gate what is at least 6 meters away. If the bins were in front of his gate he could not possibly drive in yet alone reverse in. help please I am desperate for some input.

Our Response:
We can't really give any advice here. The police and council will simply be investigating a complaint. Just give your own side of the position in a rational manner.
ProblemNeighbours - 22-Feb-17 @ 12:02 PM
I have just received a letter from the council saying they will be calling to my house with the police. An appointment has been made yhn/Northumbria police to attend your property on dd/mm/yy to discuss ongoing issues between yourself & a neighbour.I and the rest of my neighbours have had problems with this neighbour since the day he moved in. he says I am blocking his drive so he has to move the bins 3amto get his car onto his drive. Lie I have video evidence of him parking / reversing his car into his drive then moving the bin directly outside of my gate what is at least 6 meters away. If the bins were in front of his gate he could not possibly drive in yet alone reverse in. help please I am desperate for some input.
mark wilson - 19-Feb-17 @ 6:56 PM
The other night a neighbour who lives in the flat across from mine started banging my door while I was in bed I ignored it because I don't like to associate with drug addicts which he is.He actually opened my door and entered my home without my.permission I usually have my door locked. I went over and he was bangingon about borrowing a drill I said I don't have one he didn't seemto understand. Ever since he has been banging on other neighbours doors
Daisydo7 - 30-Jan-17 @ 12:04 AM
i moved to a new unit (renting) in 20/10/2016 and my neighbor who live in the unit under me she own the flat and she is part of the strata management and she use her power to annoyed me regarding to my kids ,I have two kids7 and 5 years old and from the first day i moved to the flat she came to complains about my kids make noise and she told me the building has a problem that with the floor not thick enough to absorb the noise ,then she sent me a letter through the strata given me warning mention that my kids jumping off the furniture ,wrestling and jumping up and down on the floor which is not true that things make my wife and me under stress and start smack the kids for any tiny thing which make my kids not feel well and upset at school.,in addition my son has asthma. that lady has the same story with the previous tenant and he has only one kid she over 50 years old she live by herself no kids no boyfriend or girlfriend and she only has 4 years in that unit. in my opinion this lady she is Racist against the people from non English backgroundand she hate the family with kids because in the other flats around her more noise coming from the people talk loudly after 10;00 pm and my kids sleep every day between 7:30 and 8:00 pm. My wife now under stress and anxiety and she want to leave the country SAM 29/01/2017 @4:41 am
sam - 28-Jan-17 @ 5:42 PM
We have problems with one set of elderly neighbours who live next door in a detached house. We live in a semi detached and get on very well with our adjoining neighbours and anyone else in the street to be honest. Our problem neighbour started a campaign against us when we moved in 7 years ago with my elderly disabled Father. We converted garage into a living space for my Father who is in a wheelchair the He wrote letters to the Local Council stating he had concerns the 'neighbourhood was going down hill, our cooking smells would be unsavoury and our bins would cause animals to scavenge". Utterly bizarre to say the least. Since, he has written in excess of 10 letters to us about nonsense like stating he will gain access to our property to "inspect the border" and often stands on a 6ft step ladder staring into our garden. We have called the Police shown them all his letters and they have been excellent and as I understand it warned him strongly to stop harassing us saying he has no legal right to enter our property. He has now taken to installing about a foot of chicken wire across the top of the fence? He's in his late 80's as is his wife but its getting us all down and I just don't know what to do? The adjoining neighbour strongly dislikes him too and have been very supportive off us. I feel he must be mentally ill to act like this?
LJ - 24-Jan-17 @ 3:20 PM
We have problems with one set of elderly neighbours who live next door in a detached house. We live in a semi detached and get on very well with our adjoining neighbours and anyone else in the street to be honest. Our problem neighbour started a campaign against us when we moved in 7 years ago with my elderly disabled Father. We converted garage into a living space for my Father who is in a wheelchair the He wrote letters to the Local Council stating he had concerns the 'neighbourhood was going down hill, our cooking smells would be unsavoury and our bins would cause animals to scavenge". Utterly bizarre to say the least. Since, he has written in excess of 10 letters to us about nonsense like stating he will gain access to our property to "inspect the border" and often stands on a 6ft step ladder staring into our garden. We have called the Police shown them all his letters and they have been excellent and as I understand it warned him strongly to stop harassing us saying he has no legal right to enter our property. He has now taken to installing about a foot of chicken wire across the top of the fence? He's in his late 80's as is his wife but its getting us all down and I just don't know what to do? The adjoining neighbour strongly dislikes him too and have been very supportive off us. I feel he must be mentally ill to act like this?
LJ - 24-Jan-17 @ 2:57 PM
We've had problems with neighbours for over 5 years now due to parking ,even given an anti social behaviour for put a wheelie bin out at 5am in the morning LOL it's been terrible. As of early last year the elderly neighbour beside us kept going in to the garden each time one of our phones rang , listen up walls etc, ours is only a ground floor maisonettes theirs is a 2bed house. They have a cupboard under their stairs what runs along our lounge wall ,this is where he is all the time his in. He even moves his car from outside so we think their out and creeps out the side gate when he goes to collect it, its creepy when I'm in alone hearing noises at the wall. Ive approached him and told him please knock the door and come in if there's something he wants to hear he justed starred at me. I just don't know what to do it's a year nearlly
Beethoven - 17-Jan-17 @ 12:37 PM
New Year's Eve 2016 having a small party myself my husband and my 13yr old daughter and her friend. No alcohol involved just planning a joyful night. At 6.30pm put the karaoke on at a reasonable level (video evidence of this) at 7.45 the neighbour knocks the door and was in my husbands face stating turn the music down as her 42 yr old partner wants to sleep as it's the 1yr anniversary of his fathers death. My husband is still inside my house and has not left the premises. We reasonably explain (no shouting just normal talking) that it's New Year's Eve. And she said "he wants to sleep". I then say "and" she then shouts I'm phoning the police and she storms off. Myself and my husband then both say together go on then as my husband shuts the door he said F@&" off. 2 mins later my door is being aggressively banged approximately 10 times we get up and as we approach the door the partner shouts"come on you c&£! Do you want some come on" at that he kicks and punches my door causing it to bow in cracking and splitting the wood. At no time did I open my door and I shouted I'm phoning the police. His partner was shouting him to go back in the house and he went shouting "f£&king phone them" When the police came we explained the issue and the damage to my door he stated that it's new year and that we were entitled to party and the level of the music was ok. He did state that because my husband swore at her as she walked away it was an offence (I'm unsure of this as it was not shouted and inside my own property which we own) we explained that if we had been approached in a better manner he would not of swore and the officer agreed and said he understood. Now the officer went round to the neighbour who was flat out with drink and his partner was denying that he had caused damage and stated that the door bangs anyway. The officer has said it's mine and my husbands word against his and hers. But how can this be when he was heavily intoxicated and possibly won't remember what he has done. Please help as I'm at my wits end. We have never had issues with any of the neighbors and this is totally out of the blue. The neighbour has stated he is suffering with depression but where does my family come into this my daughter was distraught scared and could not sleep for the fear of him coming around again. Please please help,,,
Fed up Mel - 1-Jan-17 @ 10:23 AM
I have a neighbor who falsely accused me of harassing her family after the boyfriend acted inappropriately towards my daughter. She compiled false evidence and because i could not attend court she worn the case an now i have to pay her £16,000( that is my annual salary). But that is not enough because she has gone as far as calling my job and accusing me of harassing her. I am almost losing my job, she is constantly calling the police and council that am either abusing her or making noise which has never been substantiated but she always manages to pay them a recorded video of the music i was playing. I feel that both the police and council believe her and not me. She is my immediate neighbor but she got an injunction and am not supposed to be within 20 meters of her but we all use the same entrance. Am currently depressed and cannot go back to work as am a bus driver. My doctor has stopped me from working due to the strong medication am currently taking. She has also got a camera in her kitchen window that is recording me as i have to pass by her house to her to my door. I really nee help as i have tried to avoid her, tried to talk to her an she refused an the authorities are not helping.
Ash - 23-Nov-16 @ 9:09 PM
What can one do if your neighbors moved in recently, few months back and constantly swears and tells his wife he is going to bash her head in or kill her. The kids scream so loud, the man talks and screams on top of his voice, dogs barking for nothing, you can't hear your tv, no more relaxing outside, can't open doors or windows, had to move our main bedroom and sleeping in front of house. Have spoken to them but to no satisfaction, tired and can't sleep anymore. thanks
Tired - 19-Nov-16 @ 6:04 PM
The neighbors play loud music at night baby boy up crying and kids all hours off night no respect at all don't sort the kids out and cars parked on pavement people walk in road on way to school with kids someone gonna be knocked down can out be done about these neighbours it's a joke don't listen at all to no one
Tara - 16-Nov-16 @ 8:47 AM
I live in a residential flat and for two and a half years I have suffered from constant machinery noise coming from the flat above me. Local space together with newham council owns this property and despite numerous complaints , letters visits to their offices nothing has been done. Newham council in an email admitted that the tenants owns industrial machinery. To date the tenants continue to run a business and no action whatsoever has been taken by local space or newham council. I do not have the enjoyment of my home or do I enjoy some quiet time.
Noise nuisance - 4-Nov-16 @ 11:20 AM
AP - Your Question:
I have owned my apartment for 9 years and 2 years ago new tenanted neighbors moved in upstairs. Since then they have called the police on us twice. Once for having a dinner party and 2nd for having a New Years Eve party. They have now contacted the Council and Property Management Company. They will not reveal who they are and no one can show evidence that we are disturbing them with noise. I have even invited the council round to conduct an audit. I now feel I am being harassed by them, yet we are getting the letters. Sometimes accusing us when we are actually out of the country. I have no evidence that it is our neighbors upstairs and have no idea what to do other then sell and move elsewhere. It is becoming quite frustrating and distressing. The accusations are in fact entirely false. Help.

Our Response:
Have you made a note of the dates and the accusations etc? This will help you prove that most of the accusations are false. Perhaps you could then consider dropping a polite note giving dates/times and suggesting that they are intimidating/harassing you and that you may consider reporting this.
ProblemNeighbours - 27-Oct-16 @ 11:28 AM
I have owned my apartment for 9 years and 2 years ago new tenanted neighbors moved in upstairs. Since then they have called the police on us twice. Once for having a dinner party and 2nd for having a New Years Eve party. They have now contacted the Council and Property Management Company. They will not reveal who they are and no one can show evidence that we are disturbing them with noise. I have even invited the council round to conduct an audit. I now feel I am being harassed by them, yet we are getting the letters. Sometimes accusing us when we are actually out of the country. I have no evidence that it is our neighbors upstairs and have no idea what to do other then sell and move elsewhere. It is becoming quite frustrating and distressing. The accusations are in fact entirely false. Help.
AP - 25-Oct-16 @ 3:58 PM
I have moved in my flat 2009 have no end on anti social problems from Neigbour below It started with loud music the noise team court them then it was sitting on my gas meter which broke I took pictures of them sitting on my gas meter now they don't do this they throw stones instead it very hard to prove they are doing it but I have seen the son throw stones Would love advice on what I can do next
Rafi - 15-Oct-16 @ 1:19 PM
my upstairs neighbour enjoys keeping me awake at night by stumping on his floor im lucky to 4 hours sleep per night
dale - 14-Oct-16 @ 12:43 PM
tammy113 - Your Question:
I've had on going issues with neighbours for years now my little boy is 6 years old and he has disabilitys (brain heart etc) they call my son names throw things at my Windows bang my door early hours of the morning and through out the night things have got the point my son jumps when he heard loud noises and wets the bed cos he thinks the scary ladys are going to come and get him 2 weeks ago me and my son got pushed down the stairs by this woman's partner while the woman stood there laughing calling me and my son names I don't no we're to go or what to do anymore not even sure who to trust.

Our Response:
Have you reported this to the police?
ProblemNeighbours - 30-Sep-16 @ 11:31 AM
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