asb

In this section

The information below explains some of the most frequently asked questions about anti-social behaviour.

 

Who do I contact if I want to report anti-social behaviour?

Before reporting anti-social behaviour it may be helpful for you to look at the Frequently Asked Questions below.

The best way to report an issue is to complete the anti-social behaviour form online.

You can also report anti-social behaviour by contacting your Housing Management Officer or email: info@cornwallhousing.org.uk

Do I have to be a tenant to make a complaint?

No – however the person that you are complaining about does have to be a tenant of Cornwall Housing. If they are not a tenant you will have to direct your complaint to Cornwall Councils ASB team who can be contacted by calling 0300 1234 232.

Can I report ASB anonymously?

Yes, however we will not be able to update you on what action were are taking. This may also limit the action we can take as it will be difficult for us to gather evidence. Your details will always remain confidential unless you give us permission to disclose them.

Will you tell the other person that I have complained?

We will not tell the person that you have made the complaint, unless you give us permission to do so. Your details will remain strictly confidential. However, it may be apparent that the complaint came from you. If you do not want us to contact the person causing the nuisance and speak to them, there is little Cornwall Housing can do other than record the complaint.

What can be done to resolve anti-social behaviour?

We will speak to all parties, exchange information through the multi-agency crime reduction partnership (police, health, education etc.), and offer advice and support.

If appropriate your case may be referred to the Neighbourhood Enforcement Team who will then investigate allegations and gather evidence through witness statements, nuisance diaries, information from partner agencies and/or noise monitoring. If anti-social behaviour can be evidenced perpetrators will be escalated through the tenancy enforcement procedure.

What action can be taken against anti-social behaviour?

There are a number of actions that can be taken against someone who is perpetrating anti-social behaviour. These can include issuing verbal or written warnings, entering into behaviour contracts with the perpetrator/s of anti-social behaviour and extending and terminating introductory tenancies. Only in the most extreme cases will we seek possession of the property through the court.

The action that we take will depend on the type and the severity of the anti-social behaviour. Any enforcement action will be proportionate and reasonable to the nature of the case and the evidence provided.

Cornwall Housing works closely with partner agencies to resolve anti-social Behaviour and may be able to apply for Criminal Behaviour Orders, Civil Injunctions or Closure Orders in conjunction with Devon and Cornwall Police.

What can I do if I experience anti-social behaviour?

Be realistic about your expectations. A lot of reports about noise are found to be a result of reasonable living noise, this is not anti-social behaviour. Although we understand that people have different tolerances to noise we cannot take enforcement action against reasonable living noise.

In the first instance where threats, violence or other criminal behaviour are not an issue, you might find a solution simply by talking to the other person involved and explaining the impact that their behaviour is having on you. It is always much easier to solve a problem if you can see each other's point of view; it might be that the other person does not realise that they are upsetting you.

If your attempt to resolve the situation is unsuccessful please contact your Housing Management Officer who will advise you depending on your individual case.

You may be asked to start keeping a diary of incidents, it is usual for us to request at least 2 weeks of diaries in order to assess the type and frequency of anti-social behaviour that you are reporting. Incident diaries along with guidance notes can be found by following the link below.

Guidance notes and incident diary      

Noise nuisance

In the case of noise nuisance your Housing Management Officer may offer you the facility to download the ‘Noise App’ to your smartphone which will enable you to keep a record electronically of the noise and gather supporting evidence. More information about the ‘Noise App’ can be found by visiting the Noise App website

Contact the police to report any criminal incidents such as criminal damage or other illegal activities and crime.

Why do I need to complete incident diaries?

It is important that you complete nuisance diaries because without regular evidence, it is very difficult for us to take action. We can monitor and measure any incidents of ASB, how often it happens and then decide the most appropriate course of action. The quality of the records that you make is vital should the matter be referred to court in order to satisfy the courts of the extent and the seriousness of the behaviour. Usually the diary will be only be seen by the Officer dealing with your complaint. However, in very severe cases where Court action becomes necessary your diary may be used as evidence.  We would ask your permission for this before any information is disclosed.

Can my neighbour be evicted?

Eviction is a last resort and only considered in extreme cases once all other options have been exhausted. Complaints of ASB will be investigated and we will work jointly with you and your neighbour to resolve the situation. Before court action is started residents will have received several warnings and been given many opportunities to change their behaviour. To evict someone from their home, we would require substantial evidence taking into account the severity of the anti-social behaviour and we would have to prove this to the Court. A judge will make the decision whether to award a Possession Order based on the evidence given at court.

I am suffering ASB from my neighbour, and need to move straight away, can you move me?

As a means to resolve anti-social behaviour we will not move either the complainant or the perpetrator unless there are exceptional circumstances. We will work with all parties to resolve the nuisance behaviour. If you would like to move there are a number of options available to you including:

What can be done about noise?

The court will only consider something as a nuisance if it would be a nuisance to a "reasonable man or woman". Complaints about the occasional party or loud music are unlikely to be considered a nuisance. Such things are part of living in a community. A lot of reports about noise are found to be a result of reasonable living noise, this is not anti-social behaviour.

Any action that we take against noise nuisance would depend on the type, frequency and severity of noise that you are experiencing. Firstly, talk to your neighbour. It may be that your neighbour is unaware that they are causing a problem. Talking it over with them in a friendly way could solve the situation. If things don't improve when you speak to your neighbour, further action may be needed.

You may be asked to start keeping a diary of incidents, it is usual for us to request at least 2 weeks of diaries in order to assess the type and frequency of noise that you are reporting.

Guidance notes and incident diary      

If initial investigations indicate that the noise could be a statutory noise nuisance we may contact an Environmental Health and Protection Officer by email or ring 0300 1234 212 to review the noise with you. In these cases if statutory noise is evidenced they may be able to serve a legal notice on your neighbour to order them to stop making noise.

How do I complain about parking issues?

We will not become involved in complaints about parking. If cars on a public highway are causing an obstruction this should be reported to the police. If you think that a car is untaxed, in an unroadworthy condition or abandoned you can report this on the Cornwall Council 'abandoned vehicles' web page.

You have contacted me about ASB, what do I do?

You should contact us immediately. The worst thing that you can do is avoid the situation. If you have received a letter advising you that a complaint has been received then all we would like to do is talk to you about the situation and hear your side of the story. If you are causing ASB and you do not engage with us we may have to consider taking enforcement action against your tenancy.

What are my responsibilities regarding Anti-social behaviour?

Your tenancy agreement is a legal contract between you and Cornwall Housing. It says that as a tenant you are responsible for your own behaviour and that of anyone living with, or visiting you, including children. You are responsible for this whilst they are in your home, on your estate and on the neighbouring estates and roads.

As a tenant you have a number of responsibilities and these will have been fully explained to you when you signed up for the property. This information can also be found in the Tenant Handbook. However, if you have any further questions about your obligations and responsibilities as a tenant, please do not hesitate to contact your Housing Management Officer.