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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Antisocial behaviour

Problems with neighbours and antisocial behaviour are very upsetting. You may be able to get help to deal with antisocial behaviour from 

  • a landlord 
  • the council 
  • the police 

Neighbour problems

You may be able to speak to your neighbour about a problem if it is a one-off. The neighbour may not know how their behaviour affects you.  

It can be best to try to sort out the problem between you before making a complaint. But you should only do this if you feel comfortable talking to your neighbour and there's no risk of harm.  

Antisocial behaviour

Antisocial behaviour includes different types of behaviour that upsets the community. It can include 

  • noise, including noise from animals 
  • vandalism 
  • harassment 
  • drink and drug use that leads to people causing trouble 
  • racism, homophobia or other types of discriminatory abuse 

Dealing with antisocial behaviour

Only talk to the person or people causing the problems if you feel it is safe to do this. Don't put yourself at risk. 

You can report antisocial behaviour to 

  • the police 
  • the council 
  • the Housing Executive or housing associations if it's happening in one of their developments 

Help from landlords 

The landlord of the person who is causing antisocial behaviour may be able to help stop it. 

Help from the Housing Executive or housing association

Social landlords, like the Housing Executive and housing associations can help if 

  • you rent your home from them or 
  • the people causing problems rent their homes from them 

They can help with problems like 

  • animals causing a nuisance 
  • noisy or disruptive neighbours 
  • neglected or damaged gardens or properties 
  • illegal activity going on in their homes or premises 
  • business activity going on in their homes 

Help from private landlords

Private landlords need an antisocial behaviour policy for HMOs. These are properties rented to groups of people who form multiple households.  

Contact your local council if private renters are causing antisocial behaviour. You can also contact the landlord if you have their details. The council can't give you the landlord's details. 

Help from the council

The council can help with problems like 

  • animals causing a nuisance 
  • littering 
  • abandoned vehicles 
  • vermin 
  • dumping waste 
  • noise such as music 

Find your local council's contact details at NI Direct.

Help from the police

You can report antisocial behaviour to the police. You should do this if you think the behaviour may include illegal activities like 

  • vandalism 
  • antisocial alcohol or drug use 
  • harassment 
  • racism, homophobia or other hate crimes 
  • domestic abuse 
  • human trafficking 

Dealing with antisocial behaviour

These organisations can try different things to deal with antisocial behaviour, like

  • mediating between you and the person causing the problem
  • getting a court order to stop the person from behaving in certain ways
  • acceptable behaviour contracts
  • antisocial behaviour orders

Acceptable behaviour contract

An acceptable behaviour contract is a voluntary agreement. The person causing the behaviour promises not to act in certain ways for 6 months. 

This agreement can be set up between a person causing antisocial behaviour and

  • the council
  • the police
  • the Housing Executive or a housing association

If the person breaks the contract, the organisation to take them to court. 

Antisocial behaviour order

An antisocial behaviour order, or ASBO, stops you from behaving in a certain way. If you break the order you can go to prison for up to 5 years. 

The council, police or Housing Executive can apply for an ASBO. The court will only make an ASBO if other ways of dealing with the behaviour failed.