Nuisance and anti-social behaviour
Being a good neighbour
Being a good neighbour means being reasonable and tolerant of different people’s views and lifestyles and considering how your own behaviour affects others around you.
We are all different and you should respect that. Often people do not realise they may be disturbing others. One-off incidents can be annoying, such as a loud party, but if they are not frequent then you should try to tolerate it. If they occur on a regular basis, and the disturbance causes you a problem, it is often a matter of making your neighbour aware in a friendly manner and seeking to work out a solution together.
We recommend talking to your neighbour as soon as possible about anything they are doing that's affecting you. This is often the quickest and easiest solution.
Some tips on approaching your neighbour:
- Choose a time that's convenient for everyone
- Plan what you are going to say
- Be polite and explain the problem and how it’s affecting you
- Listen to what they have to say
- Be understanding of different ways of life
- Be open to suggestions
- Come to an agreement that suits everyone.
- Approach your neighbour if you don't feel safe
- Go around when you feel angry or very upset
- Be argumentative or use threatening behaviour.
- If you feel you cannot approach your neighbour yourself, consider whether you have a friend or relative who could act on your behalf.
- Alternatively, you could write them a friendly letter.
Noise is a common cause of complaints however;
- As part of everyday living, and the fact that no home is totally soundproof, we all must expect some noise from the people living around us. Common everyday living noise includes TVs and stereos, DIY, dogs barking, intruder or car alarms, slamming doors or simply walking around the property.
- Recognise that your neighbours do not want to hear noise from your home, particularly late at night, or for long periods
- Keep noise at a reasonable level at all times e.g. from the TV, stereo, radio
- Noise carries through walls, floors and doors. Laminate flooring (particularly in flats), and other hard surfaces, can amplify noise. To help reduce it, put down rugs and fit felt or rubber pads to movable furniture.
- Warn your neighbours if you are going to do anything noisy e.g. having a party or doing DIY
- Co-operate with your neighbours if they ask you to reduce noise. For example, you can position your TV or stereo away from the walls you share with your neighbours.
- Park considerately
- Recognise that you don’t have the right to park outside your home. Anyone can park on a public road if they adhere to any restrictions imposed by way of signs and markings and it is not causing an obstruction
- Avoid blocking entrances, dropped kerbs, garages or pavements.
- Be tolerant of children playing outside
- However, if you’re a parent, consider how the noise of your children playing outside may affect your neighbours. Consider if there’s a safer place to play such as a park or skateboard area
- If a child accidentally throws or kicks a ball into your property, you should either hand it back or allow it to be collected
- If children harass, intimidate or disturb others then complaints are justified, and parents must respond reasonably.
What is anti-social behaviour?
Anti-Social behaviour is a broad term for describing lots of different types of behaviour. For ASB in a housing context, this is conduct which can cause nuisance or annoyance to a person in relation to:
- that person’s occupation of residential premises
- the conduct can cause housing related nuisance or annoyance
Examples of ASB include;
- noise nuisance
- nuisance caused by pets
- verbal abuse and harassment
- using and storing illegal off road bikes
What is hate crime?
Hate crime is a term that can be used to describe a range of criminal behaviour. This is where the perpetrator is motivated by hostility towards a victim’s:
- sexual orientation
- gender identity
Reporting anti-social behaviour?
If talking to the person causing the problem does not help, there is a range of ways to contact us. You can either:
How do we deal with anti-social behaviour?
Each case will be dealt with in relation to its own facts.
Our response is flexible so that we can respond to the different types of ASB that are reported.
For serious reports such as a Hate Crime we will contact you within 1 working day.
For all other reports of ASB we will aim to contact you within 5 working days.
The vast majority of reports do not require legal action.
They will be resolved through early intervention actions.
In some cases it may be appropriate to take legal and enforcement action. This is when other measures to resolve the problem have failed.
- find out how we can deal with anti-social behaviour in our Tackling ASB - our tools and powers leaflet [pdf document]
- view our Anti-Social Behaviour Policy 2022-26 [pdf document]. The policy is also available in alternative languages:
- find further information on our Community Trigger page.
- find further information about being a good neighbour [pdf document]
- find further advice and details on Durham Constabulary [external link]
- find Government guidance for social housing tenants who are experiencing anti-social behaviour [external link]
Pictured are Housing Services Tenancy Enforcement Officers.
What if I am not satisfied?
We hope that we can work together with our residents and listen to them, but if you are unhappy with the response from the Housing team we have a complaints procedure you can follow and you can contact our Complaints Team by