Antisocial behaviour legal action

This article outlines the legal options if you are experiencing antisocial behaviour, or your tenants are behaving antisocially. You should check the definition of antisocial behaviour before you:

  • take any legal action as a landlord or
  • respond if you’ve been notified  that an antisocial behaviour order or interdict has been raised against you, as a tenant.

Antisocial behaviour orders (ASBO)

An antisocial behaviour order (ASBO) is given out by a court to stop a person or people from behaving in certain ways or doing certain things. An ASBO can be imposed on a person as part of their sentence if they have been found guilty of a crime. Only local authorities can apply for an antisocial behaviour order, though anyone can request that the authority takes this step.An ASBO is not a criminal conviction and therefore does not give a person a criminal record. However, a person can still be prosecuted for criminal behaviour and be put in prison or fined, even if they already have an ASBO against them. Someone with an ASBO against them can also be prosecuted if they breach the terms of it. Each ASBO contains specific terms and conditions that say exactly what the person cannot do, or where they cannot go. The conditions in an ASBO might apply for a limited period of time or indefinitely.

Interdicts

An interdict is a court order that bans a person from doing certain things. They can cover lots of different kinds of behaviour, not just antisocial behaviour.

You may be able to get an interdict if you are experiencing antisocial behaviour but the council has decided not to apply for an antisocial behaviour order. You can raise an interdict against your tenant if their neighbours are complaining about their behaviour.

To get an interdict you will have to apply to the court. A solicitor will help you through the process and advise you if it is the appropriate course of action. Whoever you’re raising the interdict against will know your identity.

If you’re considering raising an interdict, you’ll need a solicitor. This is a civil case (the other type is criminal) and you can use the Scottish Legal Aid Board’s solicitor search to find a solicitor. You can call the Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) about legal aid to check if you qualify 0845 122 8686 or use SLAB's online civil legal aid calculator.

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