1.0 Policy Statement
1.1 This policy addresses Clann’s general approach to addressing anti-social behaviour. It is important to Clann that our tenants feel safe and secure in their homes.
1.2 Anti-social behaviour can adversely affect the quality of life and the feeling of safety and security for a person living in their home and in their neighbourhood.
1.3 Clann has a legal obligation to protect the interests of tenants in the peaceful enjoyment of their home. Clann will not tolerate anti-social behaviour by our tenants or on our estates.
1.4 The scope of this policy relates to all tenants, residents and occupiers of Clann properties and visitors to Clann estates.
2.1 This policy aims to:
a) Prevent and minimise the amount of anti-social behaviour experienced by our tenants, residents and third parties.
b) Ensure we take a victim-centred and robust approach to tackling anti-social behaviour, including prevention and intervention.
c) Ensure all tenants and residents are treated in a fair and equitable manner. We will work in partnership with communities and local organisations to ensure we tackle discrimination, promote equal rights and treat our tenants according to their needs.
3.0 What is Anti-Social Behaviour?
3.1 Section 17 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 (as amended) states that “engaging in anti-social behaviour” means to:
a) engage in behaviour that constitutes the commission of an offence, being an offence the commission of which is reasonably likely to affect directly the well-being or welfare of others,
b) engage in a way that causes, or could cause fear, danger, injury, damage or loss to any person living, working or otherwise lawfully in the dwelling concerned or its vicinity and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, includes violence, intimidation, coercion, harassment or obstruction of, or threats to, any such person, or
c) engage, persistently, in behaviour that prevents or interferes with the peaceful occupation
(i) by any other person residing in the dwelling concerned, of that dwelling,
(ii) by any person residing in any other dwelling contained in the property containing the dwelling concerned, of that other dwelling, or
3.2 by any other person residing in a dwelling (“neighbourhood dwelling”) in the vicinity of the dwelling or the property containing the dwelling concerned, of that neighbourhood dwelling
4.0 Examples of Anti-Social Behaviour
4.1 Examples of the type of behaviour that can constitute serious anti-social behaviour under Section 17(a) or (b) of the Residential Tenancies Act include:
a) Intimidation or threats
b) Racial harassment or other hate behaviour
c) Actual violence against people
d) Sale or supply of drugs
e) Targeted vandalism (vandalism used to harass or intimidate).
4.2 Some examples of the type of behaviour that can constitute anti-social behaviour under section 17(c) of the Residential Tenancies Act includes persistent:
a) Loud noise
b) Drinking or drug use leading to disorderly behaviour
c) Vandalism or graffiti
d) Littering or dumping of rubbish
e) Hoarding that is impacting on others’ peaceful occupation
f) Any other persistent behaviour that interferes with the peaceful occupation of others.
4.3 Low level disagreements between neighbours where there is no breach of tenancy will generally not be considered to be anti-social behaviour cases.
5.0 Clann’s Approach to Anti-Social Behaviour
5.1 Clann has a legal duty to enforce the obligations of tenants to not behave in a way that is anti-social or to allow visitors to behave in such a manner.
5.2 Clann will allow anti-social behaviour to be reported in different ways, including in person, in writing, over the phone, by email and through our website.
5.3 All tenants or residents who wish to report an incident of anti-social behaviour will be assessed for their risk and vulnerability to ensure the appropriate level of support can be provided and any safeguarding issues are identified.
5.4 Clann will acknowledge all reports of anti-social behaviour received in relation to the behaviour of its tenants or visitors and will commence an investigation of the alleged anti-social behaviour as soon as possible having received the report.
5.5 Clann will keep a written record of all reports of anti-social behaviour made and will keep a record of all action taken by Clann in relation to the report.
5.6 As part of the investigation of anti-social behaviour, Clann will seek to obtain further information in relation to the complaint. Clann will attempt to identify and interview all parties to the complaint.
5.7 Clann will encourage witnesses/victims to report incidents to both the Gardaí and to Clann where appropriate.
5.8 Where the prime responsibility and power to lead an investigation lies with another service, such as An Garda Siochána, Clann will support the investigation and take any necessary supporting action.
5.9 Clann will encourage and expect tenants and residents take responsibility for solving personal disputes between themselves where appropriate. This may include collating evidence, liaising with other agencies and taking part in mediation.
5.10 Clann will deal with any anti-social behaviour committed against its employees and contractors in line with its internal policies and duties as an employer.
6.0 Closing an Anti-Social Behaviour Case
6.1 Clann will close a case after investigation and after appropriate action is taken, or earlier if agreed with the complainant.
6.2 During the course of an investigation there may be a number of reasons why no further action can be taken. These reasons may include:
a) Establishing that the incident did not happen
b) Not having enough evidence to prove the matter to the relevant standard of proof
c) Finding the issues reported not to be what Clann considers anti-social behaviour
d) Not being able to investigate fully due to non-cooperation of the complainant.
6.3 Clann will inform the complainant at the earliest opportunity if they determine that they cannot take action or further action and will close the case.
6.4 This policy respects the right to all our tenants to not be discriminated against for behaviour not generally considered to be unreasonable.
7.0 Actions Following an Investigation of Anti-Social Behaviour
7.1 If the existence of anti-social behaviour has been established, Clann may take the following action:
a) Conduct a mediation hearing in which parties could enter into a mutually acceptable agreement.
b) Raise a dispute resolution through the Residential Tenancies Board.
c) Report, or encourage the victim to report, instances of serious anti-social or criminal behaviour to the Gardaí.
d) Issue a warning letter to the offending tenant. The warning notice should allow a reasonable opportunity to either remedy or discontinue the anti-social behaviour.
e) Where anti-social behaviour persists, consider the tenancy for termination in line with the Anti-Social Behaviour Procedure. If a decision is made to terminate the tenancy, a Notice of Termination shall be served with a 28-day notice period for persistent anti-social behaviour.
f) Serve a seven-day Notice of Termination if the anti-social behaviour falls within the definition of serious anti-social behaviour under Section 17(a) or (b) of the Residential Tenancies Act. A high burden of evidentiary proof is required to show that such a seven-day notice period was appropriate having regard to the circumstances.
8.0 Minimising Anti-Social Behaviour
8.1 Clann will monitor the feedback it receives about how it manages and responds to cases of anti-social behaviour, to ensure a high standard of services.
8.2 Clann will provide staff with training, clear guidance, policies and procedures so that they can deal effectively with cases of anti-social behaviour, use the appropriate enforcement tools, and are aware of the wider issues associated with anti-social behaviour, including but not limited to hate crime and safeguarding.
8.3 Clann will work in partnership and consult with residents, the wider public, local authorities, support providers, community groups, An Garda Siochána, the Health Service Executive, tenancy sustainment services, youth workers, juvenile liaison officers, the Residential Tenancy Board and other external agencies as necessary to tackle ASB in our neighbourhoods and provide support to those with vulnerabilities and in an attempt to address the causes of and resolve anti-social behaviour.
8.4 Clann will identify situations where referrals to specialist advice or support organisations may be suggested to tenants in an effort to address any root causes of anti-social behaviour.
8.5 Before commencing development, Clann will consider the scheme layout and built environment at planning and design stage, with a view to maximising safety and security.
8.6 During pre-tenancy courses and re-let interviews Clann will outline for tenants the standards that they are expected to maintain. Emphasis will be placed on the obligations of the tenant in the tenancy agreement and the importance of community responsibility for peaceful occupation.
8.7 Clann will demonstrate by its actions that anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.
9.0 Data Protection
9.1 Clann will comply with all relevant data protection laws and regulations when taking action on anti-social behaviour. Clann will adhere to its current Data Protection Policy in existence at the time of a report of anti-social behaviour.
9.2 Tenants can request a copy of their personal data held by Clann by completing a subject access request. Clann will adhere to its Data Protection Policy in dealing all subject access requests made to it by any party.
9.3 Clann will comply with all relevant data protection laws and regulations in respect of sharing of personal data with third parties and in accordance with our Data Protection Policy. Where complaints of anti-social behaviour are made by third parties Clann will not share the personal data of a complainant with third parties without the consent of the complainant or unless required by law.
9.4 Clann will not share the personal data of a complainant with the alleged offender as part of a subject access request without the consent of the complainant.
10.0 Training and Protection of Staff
10.1 Clann will ensure that its housing management staff will receive training on our anti-social behaviour policy, procedure and practice on an ongoing basis.
10.2 Housing management staff may be threatened in the course of their duties or when specifically tackling anti-social behaviour. Clann will not tolerate such activity and will use legal remedies to protect staff.
11.1 If a tenant or other third party is not satisfied in the way Clann has dealt with an instance of anti-social behaviour a complaint may be raised in line with Clann’s Complaints Policy.
11.2 If a tenant or other third party does not believe Clann has met it duty under the RTA to enforce a tenant’s obligations, a dispute resolution case may be raised with the Residential Tenancies Board.
12.0 Review of Policy
12.1 This policy and any accompanying procedures or guidelines will be reviewed periodically or in line with changes in relevant legislation.
13.0 Applicable Legislation
13.1 Residential Tenancies Act 2004-2015
13.2 Data Protection Act 2018
13.3 EU General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679
13.4 Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Acts 1997 and 2009
13.5 Control of Dogs Acts 1986 & 1992
13.6 Misuse of Drugs Acts 1977 and 1984
14.0 Related Documents
14.1 Anti-social Behaviour Procedures
14.2 Data Protection Policy
14.3 Complaints Policy
14.4 Legal Action Policy