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35. What is anti-social behaviour, and what can be done about it?

Anti-social behaviour is when a person has caused or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to somebody who doesn't live in the same household as them.

If you are having problems with anti-social behaviour you should write to your council asking them to investigate it. You can also ask them to involve the police in finding a solution.

Your council may decide that there is enough evidence to apply to the County Court for an Anti-Social Behaviour Order. This prohibits the anti-social person from behaving in a way that causes a nuisance or annoyance in your area. An Anti-Social Behaviour Order lasts for at least two years, and any breach is a criminal offence that can carry penalties of up to five years' imprisonment.

If you need help dealing with anti-social behaviour, or any other aspect of housing, we recommend that you speak to one of our housing advisers on 08001 225 6653 for specialist advice. Telephone specialist advice is only available if you qualify for legal aid.