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Department of Human Services

South Australian Housing Trust

Antisocial behaviour policy

This policy sets out how Housing SA investigates and responds to complaints about antisocial behaviour at public and Aboriginal housing properties. Housing SA aims to:

  • minimise the impact of antisocial behaviour on neighbours and the local community
  • engage in early intervention and prevention strategies
  • help tenants maintain their tenancy whenever possible.

The tenant’s the person who signed the lease agreement, also known as the Conditions of Tenancy, with Housing SA. They’re responsible for the behaviour of anyone living at or visiting their home.

The person who makes the complaint is the complainant.

Antisocial behaviour

Antisocial behaviour interferes with the reasonable peace, comfort or privacy of neighbours.

Noise or activity associated with daily life - eg children playing, isn't considered antisocial behaviour.


Serious antisocial behaviour poses a risk to the safety or security of people or property, and may result in criminal charges. This can include, but isn’t limited to:

  • using the property to produce or distribute child exploitation material
  • using the property to manufacture, sell, cultivate or supply any prohibited drug
  • intentionally or recklessly damaging the property leaving it uninhabitable
  • assaulting or causing harm to people in the vicinity of the property, Housing SA staff or contractors.


Moderate antisocial behaviour substantially, unreasonably or repeatedly interferes with the reasonable peace, comfort or privacy of neighbours. This can include, but isn’t limited to:

  • threats, abuse, intimidation or harassment towards neighbours, Housing SA staff or contractors
  • hateful or threatening behaviour targeting someone because of perceived differences - eg ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation
  • extensive property damage
  • dangerous driving near the property
  • out-of-control parties
  • repeated or ongoing minor antisocial behaviour.


Minor antisocial behaviour interferes with the reasonable peace, comfort or privacy of neighbours. This can include, but isn’t limited to:

  • obscene language, bullying and harassment towards neighbours, Housing SA staff or contractors
  • noise that causes nuisance
  • issues around yards and communal areas - eg vandalism, graffiti, limiting other tenants’ access to communal facilities, inappropriately disposing of rubbish
  • property damage.

Investigating and substantiating complaints

Housing SA doesn’t investigate complaints of antisocial behaviour unless there’s an alleged breach of the tenant’s lease agreement. If the behaviour doesn’t breach the tenant’s lease agreement, it’s outside Housing SA’s authority.

If the complaint is about behaviour that’s outside Housing SA’s authority the complainant’s referred to the relevant agency - eg suspected illegal activity to SAPOL, barking dogs to the local council.

Tenants have the right to know about and respond to complaints made against them. They aren’t told who made the complaint.

The investigation includes:

  • talking to anyone involved and giving them the chance to have their say, except if it would put the safety of Housing SA staff at risk
  • treating everyone fairly
  • considering all relevant evidence
  • getting extra information from other agencies, if required
  • referring people to mediation or support services when it’s appropriate.

A complaint is substantiated if the investigation finds it’s likely to be accurate.

Responding to substantiated complaints

How Housing SA responds to substantiated complaints depends on:

  • how serious the behaviour is
  • if there are mitigating circumstances that need to be taken into consideration - eg domestic abuse.

Verbal and formal warnings

Housing SA issues a verbal warning for the first incident of minor antisocial behaviour if no other complaints have been substantiated in the last six months.

Formal warnings are made in writing if either:

  • moderate antisocial behaviour is substantiated
  • minor antisocial behaviour is substantiated, and a verbal warning has been issued in the last six months.

Warnings remain active for six months. Housing SA monitors the tenancy and escalates the response if antisocial behaviour continues - eg issues a formal warning, ends the tenancy.

Ending the tenancy

Housing SA may act to end the tenancy of a tenant who has received two formal warnings and a third complaint about antisocial behaviour is substantiated. If Housing SA substantiates serious antisocial behaviour, immediate action may be taken without issuing a formal warning.

Transferring tenants to resolve antisocial behaviour

Housing SA may initiate a transfer of a tenant to resolve antisocial behaviour if a Regional Manager approves it.

Tenants must agree to sign a Behaviour agreement and actively engage with appropriate supports.

They can't choose which property or area they’re transferred to, but any essential requirements are taken into consideration - eg needs a property with wheelchair access.

They’ll be offered another property on a probationary lease agreement.

Exclusion from public and Aboriginal housing

Tenants or other occupants who directly contributed to substantiated serious or moderate antisocial behaviour are excluded for 12 months if either:

  • the tenancy ended because of antisocial behaviour
  • they left the property before an order for possession could be issued or served
  • their lease agreement wasn’t renewed or extended because of antisocial behaviour
  • they left the property with an active substantiated complaint.

They’re excluded from:

Housing SA only accepts a registration of interest in or makes an offer of housing if it’s approved by a Director.

Related information

Controlling documents

This policy’s based on and complies with:

Supporting procedures

  • Antisocial behaviour procedures v1

Related policies and other documents

Date this policy applies from

1 April 2019

Version number


The online version of the policy’s the approved and current version. There’s no guarantee any printed copies are current.

State Government of South Australia © Copyright DHS [sm v5.4.7.1] .

Provided by:
SA Department for Human Services
Last Updated:
05 Jul 2018
Printed on:
17 Jun 2019
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