Anti-Social Behaviour & Breaches of Tenancy
Find out more about what constitutes anti-social behaviour and breaches of tenancy, and what action is taken.
What is anti-social behaviour?
Luminus use a definition of anti-social behaviour used in the Housing Act (1996) which is:
“Conduct which is capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to any person directly or indirectly relates to or affects the housing management functions of a relevant landlord”; or
“Conduct which consists of or involves using or threatening to use housing accommodation owned or managed by a relevant landlord, for an unlawful purpose”.
A wide range of behaviours are anti-social. These include:
- Aggressive and threatening language and behaviour
- Violence against people and property
- Domestic violence
- Racial harassment
- Using or selling drugs or other illegal substances
- Loud noise, especially late at night, for example by playing music loudly
- Allowing pets to make excessive noise, or to be a danger to others
- Vandalising property, including graffiti
- Dumping rubbish and litter
- Parking vehicles inconsiderately, abandoning vehicles, or keeping untaxed vehicles on Luminus land
- Being intolerant of other people’s lifestyles
- Being a general nuisance in the community.
What happens if I am experiencing anti-social behaviour?
If you are affected by anti-social behaviour you should let us know. The action we take will depend on the seriousness of the problem. Many issues can be solved by making the other person aware; we may therefore encourage you to talk to your neighbour yourself. We may ask you to keep a written record of incidents to allow us to make a decision on what action should be taken. We will always agree a plan of action with you.
If the problem continues we may consider using voluntary agreements such as Acceptable Behaviour Contracts, Parenting Agreements, or involve other agencies including the local council, Police, Social Services, Probation or a mediation service.
If none of these interventions are successful we may have to take legal action. This can include:
i. Applying for an Anti-Social Behaviour Injunction (ASBI), which is a court order requiring the person(s) causing the problem to adhere to the terms of their tenancy, or preventing them from doing certain things. This is used mainly against tenants who cause annoyance to others in the neighbourhood, such as excessive noise, abuse, threats, violence, racial intimidation or harassment. A court may also grant an injunction against anyone who is affecting our housing management who is 10 years of age or over.
ii. Applying for a Parenting Order. These are orders that commit a parent to accepting intervention to help provide more positive parenting of children who are causing anti-social behaviour.
iii. Applying for a Demotion Order. This is a court order that reduces the status of an Assured tenancy to an Assured Shorthold tenancy. This could lead to the tenant being evicted if anti-social behaviour continues. We will first serve a Notice Before Proceedings for a Demotion Order before we apply to the court for a Demotion Order. The Demoted tenancy can be ended by serving two months’ notice.
iv. Serving a Notice of Seeking Possession. This tells the tenant that we intend to apply to court for a possession order if the anti-social behaviour continues (see below).
v. Applying for a possession order - If the Notice of Seeking Possession expires, but the anti-social behaviour continues, we can apply for possession. If the court grants an outright order we will ask for a warrant to evict the tenant from their home. If the court grants a suspended possession order this will not be enforced providing that the anti-social behaviour stops. If it does not we will apply for the warrant to evict the tenant.
vi. Working with other agencies to enable them to use the legal powers they have to stop anti-social behaviour.
What if it is a family member or friend of the tenant who is causing the problem?
We can take action against other adult members of the household, as well as children and visitors to the property. The tenant is responsible under the tenancy agreement for the actions of everyone in the household and their visitors when they are on our land or property. We could therefore take action against the tenant if we felt that you were not controlling visitors to their home.
What happens if I am a victim of domestic violence?
We take domestic violence very seriously. If a case of domestic violence is reported we will investigate it and work with the victim and other agencies to provide an appropriate solution. If you are a victim of domestic violence you should report it to the police and contact Luminus as soon as possible.
Racial Harassment/Hate Crime
We want to prevent racial harassment and hate crime. If you experience any harassment of this type, contact your Neighbourhood Officer immediately on 0345 266 9760.
Are there other rules in the tenancy?
As well as being the perpetrator of anti-social behaviour you may break the rules of the tenancy agreement in other ways. These include:
- Refusing us access to allow the servicing of a gas boiler or carrying out repairs
- Carrying out alterations to your home without our approval
- Falling behind with the rent
- Parking heavy goods vehicles or untaxed vehicles on our land
- Not living in your home on a permanent basis
- Overcrowding your home
- Using your home for any illegal or immoral purposes
- Not carrying out repairs you are responsible for.
What happens if I break any conditions of tenancy?
If you break a tenancy condition we will firstly give you the opportunity to put it right. If you do not we may take legal action against you, either in the form of an injunction or a possession order which may result in you being evicted.