Neighbour disputes and anti-social behaviour
Mrs P complained that the Council failed to take appropriate action to address complaints of anti-social behaviour by Mr A, who was living next door to a rental property she owned in Bala. Mr A’s tenancy in the adjacent property had been arranged through the Council’s private leasing scheme. She said that she and her tenant (“Ms B”) complained repeatedly for over 8 months and that Ms B had provided extensive evidence of the anti-social behaviour, but that the Council’s responses were sporadic and inconsistent.
Having assessed the available evidence, the Ombudsman was concerned that the Council had frequently failed to respond promptly to Mrs P and Ms B’s reports of alleged anti-social behaviour, even after Mrs P made a formal complaint. The Council had also missed an opportunity to provide a single corporate complaint response setting out in one place the positions of the different departments which were involved. This may have clarified the need for Ms B to provide new evidence in order for the Council to renew investigations into a potential statutory nuisance.
The Ombudsman approached the Council in relation to the communication concerns identified above. In settlement of the complaint, the Council agreed to within 1 month apologise to Mrs P and Ms B for the communication failings identified by the Ombudsman and to pay them £125 each in respect of associated time and trouble.