RBH and anti-social behaviour
This section offers advice on what you can do if you are having problems with anti-social behaviour from a neighbour or other resident.
RBH recognises that all residents have the right to the peaceful enjoyment of their home and is committed to taking positive action to ensure that our neighbourhoods are attractive, friendly and welcoming places in which to live and work.
What is Anti-Social Behaviour or ASB?
The term ASB covers a wide range of behaviours.
A commonly used definition of ASB is; any conduct that has caused, or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to any person.
The list of things which RBH considers to be, and treats as ASB, includes;
- Vandalism or damage to property
- Noise nuisance
- Nuisance caused by animals
- Verbal abuse and insults
- Racist or homophobic abuse
- Using or threatening to use violence
- Criminal activity
Anybody can be the victim of, or suffer from, ASB. Similarly those who behave in an anti social manner may be residents of, visitors to, or be someone who is working in our neighbourhoods. Regardless of who is involved, RBH will always do everything we can to help resolve problems that are reported to us.
Your responsibilities and how you can deal with anti-social behaviour
The tenancy agreement places with all tenants an obligation not to carry out any act that is likely to cause nuisance or annoyance to other residents, visitors to your neighbourhood or people who are working there.
The tenancy agreement also explains that as a tenant you are responsible for the behaviour of anyone who lives with, or visits you, this includes both adults and children.
The easiest way to deal with ASB is to prevent it from occurring at all. We would ask that you are considerate of your neighbours, think about how something might affect them and how you would feel if it was done to you.
- If you are planning to have a party you could tell your neighbours beforehand so they know that there will be people coming to your home and that there is likely to be music or other noise
- When you are watching television, playing music or having a party bear in mind how loud it is, what time it is and how it might be impacting on your neighbours.
It’s also important to remember that sometimes we have different lifestyles from others who live in our communities and by being tolerant and understanding of this, conflict and problems can often be avoided.
Speak with your neighbours. Perhaps introduce yourself when you move into your home. Be polite and friendly towards others and often this will be returned towards you and your family.
If you do experience a problem with someone and it is appropriate and safe do so, speak with them. Explain how the situation affects you. You may be surprised to find that often neighbours are unaware of the upset they are causing. Always be polite, friendly and remain calm.
If the problem continues or is something you feel unable to speak to your neighbours about for any reason contact us and we will offer advice and support and will work with you to look into your complaint.
Help from RBH
Reporting anti-social behaviour
If you are experiencing problems with anti social behaviour and are unable or uncomfortable in trying to resolve these issues with your neighbours, RBH are here to work with you in resolving the problem.
There are a number of ways you can report the problem to us
- Telephone us on: 0800 027 7769
- Via this website using our online form or by e-mail to email@example.com
- Speak to your Neighbourhood Housing Officer
- Call in at St Albans House and speak with one of our customer experience team
- Write to us
It is always better to report the problem to us yourself. You have the best information about the issue and will be able to explain how it is affecting you. Alternatively you could ask a relative or friend to contact us on your behalf or speak to your local councillor.
However you report the problem to us, all information will be treated confidentially and your identity will not be revealed without your permission.
Complaints can be made anonymously, however this may restrict the amount of investigation and action we can take and will mean that we are unable to provide you with updates and support.
How we will deal with your report
In most cases the complaint will be dealt with initially by your neighbourhood housing officer. They will consider the information provided and arrange to interview you to gather further details. For urgent cases this will be done within 24 hours and for all other cases within five working days. Your Neighbourhood Housing Officer will explain the various options available to us and agree a plan of action with you.
Usually our first step will be to visit or write to the person you have complained about. We will discuss with them the nature of the problem and attempt to find a solution. We will then contact you and provide an update on the case.
We may try and mediate between you and the person you have complained about to help overcome any differences.
Where responsibility is admitted or established your Neighbourhood Housing Officer will warn the offender and advise them of possible future consequences if the problems do not stop.
If the anti-social behaviour continues we will ask you to keep a record of what happens on a diary sheet. This information is very important and in cases where legal action is required to resolve an issue the sheets will provide good evidence for the court.
The diary sheets should be returned to us on a regular basis so that we are aware of any developments and can assess if other action is available and/or required.
Serious or urgent cases
In some situations complaints will be forwarded to our specialised Enforcement Team.
This will be where there has been:
- A threat of, or actual violence
- A hate incident, i.e. racial, homophobic etc
- Significant damage to property
- Or where nuisance has continued or worsened despite the intervention of the Neighbourhood Housing Officer
The case will be assessed as to what further action can be taken and as to what other supporting evidence may be required. Where necessary the team will work with our in- house Legal Team to build a case for court action.
RBH will work with other organisations where appropriate to take action or provide intervention for those causing the problems in order to try and resolve the issue. This might include the Council, Greater Manchester Police or the Youth Offending Team.
There are a number of legal options available to us, and other agencies, when tackling the most serious cases of anti social behaviour. Consideration of these will be made on a regular basis when our team carry out case reviews and we will discuss these with you if it is felt that your complaint has reached a point where this course of action is needed.
Supporting witnesses and complainants
Throughout your dealings with us we will offer you support and advice. RBH employs dedicated Witness Support Officers whose role it is, to work closely with you, keeping you informed about your case and providing a point of contact if you have any questions about the process or simply wish to talk things through.
RBH will discuss options with you that might help us gather evidence or provide reassurance to you and your family. This might include; using CCTV, providing home security measures or using professional witnesses.
We will discuss with you the possibility of referring you for additional support from other agencies like Victim Support or the Council.
No matter how much support you feel you require or, even if you are happy just to be updated on your case, we will listen to, and work with you, to try and tailor our service to your needs.