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Harassment by people other than landlords

This section explains what those suffering harassment from people other than their landlords can do. It considers what practical steps can be taken as well as the legal remedies. It also deals with antisocial behaviour.

Definition of harassment

Harassment is any behaviour that causes distress or alarm, and can range from verbal abuse to violence and assault. 

Harassment of occupiers

There are several options open to occupiers who are victims of harassment, whether they are a private sector tenant, a council tenant or an owner. 

Harassment of owners

When an owner/occupier is the victim of harassment, all incidents should be monitored and reported to the police immediately. 

Harassment of tenants

Where the victim is a private sector tenant, s/he should try to establish whether or not the perpetrator is acting on the landlord's behalf. 

Eviction of perpetrators

In some cases, it may be possible to begin eviction proceedings on the grounds of harassment or anti-social behaviour. 

Hate crime

It is important to note that there is no statutory definition of racial harassment. 

What the police can do

The police have a responsibility to respond to calls for protection and to enforce the criminal law. They have a duty to investigate crime and to take the necessary action. 


In Scotland the police and procurator fiscal decide whether or not to prosecute. 

Definition of criminal offences

Perpetrators of harassment and unlawful eviction could be charged with a variety of offences. 

This content applies to Scotland

Last updated: 29 December 2014