Dealing with a tenant's antisocial behaviour

Last updated: 30 March 2017

If you're renting your property out, you have responsibility for resolving any antisocial behaviour that happens in and around the home.

This means if your tenants or their visitors are causing trouble, you have to try to put a stop to it.

Antisocial behaviour is behaving in a way that could result in alarm, intimidation or distress.

There are a number of ways you can receive a complaint of antisocial behaviour. These include:

  • directly from the neighbours – your contact details are publicly available once you register as a landlord
  • from the agent that manages the property
  • from the local authority (if the neighbour has contacted them)
  • from the tenants themselves

Talking to your tenants

When you receive a complaint about your tenants or their visitors, there are a number of steps you can take to resolve the issue. These include:

  • sending them a letter, explaining what you've been told and asking them to change their behaviour
  • arranging a time to visit them and discuss the problem
  • finding out the circumstances, understanding what the issue is and what the options are to fix it
  • agreeing with your tenants what will change, recording it in writing and making sure you and your tenants both have a copy
  • keeping a log of what steps you've taken, in case you need to prove later that you've tried to resolve it

If the complaint is about noise, your tenant may be able to reach a compromise arrangement with a neighbour. Further information on neighbour noise can be obtained from a leaflet produced by Environmental Protection Scotland.

Feeding back to the complainant

Once you've spoken to the tenant to try to sort out the issue, you should try to get in touch with whoever complained to let them know.

If you have the name and contact details of the person who complained, get in touch with them and tell them what steps you've taken.

If you don't know their name because the complaint came through the council, you should ask the council to tell them on your behalf.

You should also decide if there's anyone else you want to inform that you're dealing with the complaint. If a neighbour made the complaint, it's possible that others are annoyed but haven't put a complaint in. By telling other neighbours what you've done, it might stop you getting more complaints from them.

If the complaints continue

If you keep getting complaints after you've tried to resolve the situation with the tenant, you should consider what to do next.

Your options include:

  • talking to your tenants again and telling them there are still issues
  • asking the council to apply for an antisocial behaviour order (ASBO) for the tenants or their visitors
  • going to court to get an interdict to prevent your tenants behaving in a certain way
  • evicting your tenants

If you don't do anything to stop your tenants' antisocial behaviour, the council can take action. This can start with an antisocial behaviour notice (ASBN), which tells you as the landlord what you have to do to stop the problem.