Your housing rights if you're accused of antisocial behaviour

If a neighbour accuses you of antisocial behaviour, there are things you can do to avoid further complaints.

Your landlord must follow strict rules if they want to evict you. Usually they’ll need evidence of your behaviour and how it’s affecting other people.

What antisocial behaviour is

Antisocial behaviour means acting in a way that causes or could cause alarm or distress to someone in a different household.

You could be accused of antisocial behaviour if you're:

  • making excessive noise

  • shouting, swearing or fighting

  • intimidating or threatening someone

  • behaving abusively

  • damaging or vandalising property

If something’s not on this list, it can still be antisocial behaviour if it’s causing alarm or distress.

If your name’s on the tenancy agreement, you’re responsible for:

  • your behaviour in your home and local area

  • antisocial behaviour by someone in your household

  • antisocial behaviour by anyone visiting you

Avoiding complaints about antisocial behaviour

To avoid complaints:

  • clear up your rubbish and keep communal areas clear, clean and tidy

  • clear up after your animals and keep them under control

  • try to keep noise to a minimum between 11pm and 7am

  • let your neighbours know if you’re having a party

When you deal with your neighbours, be friendly and approachable, and try to understand their perspective.

This helps avoid them going straight to the council or the police.

If you’re disabled or have a relevant medical condition

Get evidence if your behaviour is a direct result of your disability or medical condition. This could help the council, police or a court understand your situation.

It may also help your neighbours understand.

If you’re being evicted by the council or a housing association for antisocial behaviour

Your landlord must follow strict rules if they want to evict you. There must be evidence that you've behaved antisocially in your home or local area.

If you’re behaving antisocially, there are two grounds your landlord can use to evict you. They’ll be written on an eviction notice or letter.

Eviction ground 7: antisocial behaviour or conduct amounting to harassment

If your landlord tries to evict you using ground 7, they’ll have to show the court that:

  • if moved, you would continue to behave antisocially

  • the problem will not be fixed by giving you a new home

  • it's not reasonable to rehouse you somewhere else

Eviction ground 8: nuisance, annoyance or conduct amounting to harassment

If your landlord tries to evict you using ground 8, they must offer you accommodation in another area.

They could use this ground if they think your behaviour:

  • only affects specific neighbours or people

  • would not be an issue if you lived somewhere else

Avoiding eviction by the council or a housing association

If you’re being evicted, speak to your landlord. Ask if they can change your tenancy to a short Scottish secure tenancy instead.

This could help you to keep your home. You’ll need to do things such as reduce or stop your antisocial behaviour.

Before you sign a short Scottish secure tenancy agreement:

They’ll help you understand your rights and make sure it’s the right step for you.

Check your rights if you have a short Scottish secure tenancy

If you’re being evicted by a private landlord for antisocial behaviour

Your landlord must follow strict rules if they want to evict you. There must be evidence that you've behaved antisocially in your home or local area.

There are different grounds your landlord can use to evict you. The grounds used and your eviction rights depend on the type of tenancy agreement you have. If you’re not sure, use our tenancy checker to check your rights.

For more on eviction, check our guidance on stopping eviction for antisocial behaviour.

If you’re worried about eviction from your home, contact a Shelter Scotland adviser.

They’ll help you understand your rights and work out your next steps.

What your private landlord must do

Your landlord must deal with antisocial behaviour in their property. If your landlord allows antisocial behaviour, the council can:

  • send them an antisocial behaviour notice

  • take over the running of the property through a management control order

If your landlord gets an antisocial behaviour notice

This tells the landlord what they must do about the antisocial behaviour.

If they ignore it, they could face punishment and lose their landlord registration.

Discuss your behaviour with your landlord and try to come to a solution. Otherwise, they may evict you to meet the conditions of the notice.

Other ways to deal with antisocial behaviour

You may be:

  • asked to go to mediation

  • offered an acceptable behaviour contract

  • given an antisocial behaviour order (ASBO)

Mediation

This is a voluntary way of solving a conflict. An independent mediator helps you talk through the problem with the other person or people involved.

You could be asked to go to mediation by a neighbour or the council.

You do not have to agree to it, and decisions made there are not legally binding. For more on mediation check our guidance on alternatives to court.

Acceptable behaviour contracts

This is a voluntary agreement, usually drawn up by the council or the police. It can be used to avoid court action, eviction or the issuing of an ASBO.

Make sure you can keep to the terms of any agreement before you sign the contract.

Antisocial behaviour orders (ASBOs)

This is a court order to stop you behaving in a certain way, or doing certain things. Anyone aged 12 or over can be given an ASBO.

If you break the terms of an ASBO, you could be arrested or fined.

Only the council or a housing association can apply to the courts for an ASBO. A private landlord or neighbour must ask the council to apply for them.

If you’re given an ASBO and you do not understand the terms written in it, get legal advice from a solicitor. They can also help you challenge it if you disagree with anything written in the order. To get legal advice, search for a solicitor on the Law Society of Scotland.

Last updated: 17 March 2023

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

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