What Can Be Done About Harassment?

Different types of harassment are covered by different laws. The action of your harasser may be covered by:

  • Housing law (if it’s your neighbour or landlord)
  • Employment law (if it’s your employer or colleague)
  • Antisocial behaviour law
  • riminal law

Because harassment can sometimes be hard to define or prove, as it can be made up of lots of seemingly simple acts, the law also specifically defines harassment as any incident that occurred on at least two occasions.  The harassment must cause (or be intended to cause) alarm or distress to the victim.  It is a criminal offence to harass someone in this way and the police can take action against the person who is doing it.  Tenants and leaseholders who harass their neighbours are also likely to be breaking their tenancy or leasehold agreement and the local authority, housing association or private landlord are obliged to take action against them. Ultimately this could lead to one or more of the following outcomes for the harasser:

  • Warning letters and interviews
  • Acceptable behaviour agreements and parenting contracts
  • Parenting orders, individual support orders, noise abatement notices and anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs)
  • Obtaining an injunction against the perpetrator which prevents them from continuing to harass the victim
  • Proceedings against a tenant or leaseholder including possible eviction
  • Criminal charges against the person harassing you, such as fines, arrest and convictions