In Scotland, if a Registered Social Landlord (RSL) have problematic tenants who regularly behave in an antisocial manner, they can make an application to court for Antisocial Behaviour Orders (ASBO) to be granted against tenants for the protection of neighbouring residents.
An ASBO is an order granted by the court and will contain specific conditions to stop a person from behaving in a particular manner or from carrying out specific actions. For example an ASBO may prohibit a person playing loud music at certain times or from allowing two or more people into their property at any one time.
A Sheriff may grant an ASBO against a person in Scotland if;
- The specified person is at least 12 years of age;
- The specified person has engaged in antisocial behaviour towards a relevant person; and
- An ASBO is necessary for the purpose of protecting relevant persons from further antisocial behaviour by the specified person.
An ASBO is a civil court order. If the terms of the ASBO are breached however, it is a criminal offence and the person can be prosecuted. An ASBO also contains the power of arrest meaning that the Police can arrest a person for breaching the terms of the ABSO.
Usually a landlord will pursue an ASBO against a tenant if they have received a number of complaints from neighbouring residents e.g. that they have been placed in a state of fear and alarm as a result of a tenant?s behaviour.? If a tenant is persistently behaving in an antisocial manner, an application for an interim ABSO can also be made. The effect of the interim ASBO is to impose certain temporary conditions on the tenant until the full hearing at which the court will consider all the evidence. Usually an interim ASBO will be granted when a tenant?s behaviour is seen as a danger to the public.
It should be noted that an ASBO might not be appropriate should a tenant lack the capacity to control their behaviour. A Sheriff will not grant an ASBO against a person if they cannot comprehend the consequences of breaching its terms.
An RSL must notify the local council and consult with the Police before making an application for an ASBO.
If you wish to speak about applying for an ASBO against a tenant in Scotland please contact one of our experienced housing lawyers.