Anti social behaviour

Where services are available we are committed to working with tenants alleged to have perpetrated ASB to maintain their tenancy appropriately and to addressing any underlying issues that may be causing the anti-social behaviour (for example alcohol, substance misuse or mental health issues).

Any action we take will be reasonable and proportionate. Unless the ASB is serious, we will aim to stop the behaviour by providing warnings and support to address the ASB. If the ASB continues, Southdown will take legal action, which may lead to eviction.

We understand the distress that being exposed to anti-social behaviour can cause and are committed to taking action to address ASB when we become aware of this.

What is anti-social and illegal behaviour (ASB)?

Anti-social behaviour is a term given to behaviour which:

  • is capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to any person; and
  • directly or indirectly relates to your property
  • and/or consists of  the use or threatened  use of the accommodation for an unlawful purpose

Examples include:

  • Intimidation and harassment
  • Aggressive and threatening language and behaviour
  • Using housing accommodation to sell drugs, or for other unlawful purposes
  • Noise nuisance
  • Actual violence against people and property (including domestic violence)
  • Hate behaviour that targets members of identified groups because of their perceived differences
  • Uncontrolled pets
  • Criminal damage (including graffiti and vandalism)
  • Obstructing communal areas

What is not ASB?

Although we recognise that the following things may cause annoyance, they would not usually be dealt with by Southdown as Anti-Social Behaviour, as they would not normally constitute a breach of tenancy:

  • Smoking outside of blocks
  • Household noise such as a washing machine or vacuum cleaner during reasonable hours
  • Children playing
  • Parking in front of another tenant’s home unless this is blocking access.
  • Cooking smells
  • Facebook comments

This is not an exhaustive list and there may be other things that cause annoyance but are not a breach of tenancy. We will discuss this with you if this is the case.

Reporting ASB

When reporting ASB you will need to provide details of:

  • What is being done? What is the unacceptable behaviour?
  • Who is doing it, if known?
  • When it occurred (including the date and time) and, if this has been ongoing, when did this start and how frequently has this been happening?
  • Where it is happening?
  • What has been the effect of this behaviour upon you and other tenants?

You can report ASB by:

  • Telephoning your Housing Officer directly or the Housing Management Team on 01273 405800
  • By writing or reporting in person to our Head Office, 2 Bell Lane, Lewes, BN7 1JU

We will record anonymous reports as this can help to verify other reports. However, we will need evidence before commencing legal action.

Our ASB standards (what you can expect from us)

  • We will respond promptly to all reports of ASB. Serious abuse or threats of abuse with violence including domestic abuse, hate crime, sexual offences, assault, arson, gang crime or weapons will be responded to within 24 hours. Other types of ASB will be responded to within 5 working days.
  • We will treat all complaints impartially and maintain confidentiality at all times.
  • We will support and advise complainants, victims and witnesses of ASB throughout the case.
  • We will take full account of the impact of the ASB on the complainant and wider community.
  • We will work with other agencies including local authorities, police, voluntary agencies and residents to ensure we maintain an effective and proactive role in local crime and disorder strategies.

Preventing ASB

We aim to prevent ASB by:

  • Publicising acceptable standards of behaviour.
  • Reviewing and monitoring actions we take.
  • Increased levels of support to potential victims and perpetrators.
  • Referral to specialist agencies or programmes e.g. anger management courses.
  • Working in partnership with the Police, Mental Health teams and other professionals.
  • Early intervention by Southdown staff or other mediation services where appropriate.
  • Seeking feedback from complainants on the progress of the ASB case and on how well we have managed the case.

What other help is available?

ASB Help is a charity dedicated to promoting good practice and providing resources to support the victims of ASB, clarify your rights and responsibilities and hold the landlord responsible for leading on the resolution of the ASB to account. The ASB Help website also gives an overview of ASB Case Reviews (also known as Community Triggers) and information linking to details of how to activate this process through different local authority areas.