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How private landlords should deal with antisocial behaviour

Private landlords must take responsibility for antisocial behaviour that happens in or around the properties they rent out. This means that if tenants in your area are causing trouble, their landlord should try to put a stop to it. If they don't, the council can take action to sort the situation out.

What can I do if tenants are causing problems in my neighbourhood?

If people in your area are behaving in an antisocial way and you haven't been able to sort the problem out yourself (read the page on dealing with antisocial behaviour to find out how) you may be able to get help from the council.

For example, the council may be able to:

If the person or people who are behaving antisocially rent from a private landlord, the council can also take action to make their landlord deal with the problem.

What should I do if private tenants are causing problems in my area?

If your neighbours are behaving in an antisocial way and they are living in a property rented out by a registered private landlord, the landlord can't just ignore the problem.

If you know who the landlord is, check that they are registered with the local council (bear in mind that there may be a backlog of applications so they may not yet appear on the register). If they are registered, contact them and tell them what's been going on. If necessary, remind the landlord that they have to do something about the problem. If they don't, you can report this to the council's antisocial behaviour team.

If you can't track down the landlord or don't feel comfortable contacting them, get in touch with your local council's antisocial behaviour team and ask them to speak to the landlord.

Private landlords are responsible for preventing their tenants behaving in an antisocial way in and around their homes. This means that if their tenants are acting in a way that causes or is likely to cause alarm, distress, nuisance or annoyance to anyone living near their home, the landlord must take action. Private landlords aren't responsible for their tenants' behaviour when they're away from home, for example, when they're in a public place such as the pub or a shopping centre.

What should I do if a 'party flat' is causing problems in my area?

New rules mean that if people staying in, or visiting, holiday accomodation are behaving in an antisocial way then the landlord can't ignore the problem. If the property has been rented out for a holiday at least twice and antisocial behaviour has occurred at least two times, either by the person renting the holiday home or by a visitor, then the landlord has to take action. 

Contact the landlord to tell them what's been happening or get in touch with your local council's antisocial behaviour team and report the problem.

What can landlords do to stop antisocial behaviour?

Steps landlords can take include:

  • investigating complaints about their tenants' behaviour
  • writing to tenants to explain that their behaviour is causing concern and asking them to modify it
  • giving advice on noise reduction
  • asking the council to apply for an ASBO for the tenants
  • going to court to get an interdict to prevent the tenants behaving in a certain way
  • threatening to evict the tenants.

What if the landlord's actions don't make any difference?

If the landlord's attempts fail, they can ask the council for help. For example, they can ask the council to apply for an ASBO to stop the tenants behaving badly. In some circumstances, they may decide to evict their tenants.

What if the landlord doesn't do anything to stop the antisocial behaviour?

If the landlord won't do anything to try to stop the antisocial behaviour, the local council can serve an antisocial behaviour notice (ABN) on the landlord ordering them to take specific action to deal with the behaviour that is disturbing you. If the landlord doesn't do what the antisocial behaviour notice says, the council can ask the court to:

  • make sure that the landlord can't collect any rent (by making a rent payable order) for the property which is causing the problem
  • give the council (instead of the landlord) control of the property by issuing a management control order so the council can manage the antisocial behaviour.

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