You have the right to enjoy your home in peace, quiet and safety. If you are experiencing inconsiderate behaviour from neighbours, there are several steps you can take. If the person causing the nuisance is a council tenant, our tenancy management team can also support you.
We understand that our tenants are coming to terms with the increasing demands of managing life in unfamiliar circumstances as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic. This situation will impact on different people in different ways depending on their own personal circumstances. People are spending more time in their homes and many are already feeling anxious about the current situation. It is therefore particularly important that tenants do not behave in a way which is antisocial and which could have a negative impact on their neighbour(s). We ask all our tenants to be particularly considerate of their neighbours during this difficult time, and we ask our tenants to show tolerance and compassion to one another where ever possible.
Dealing with ASB complaints during the Covid-19 crisis
The Council is having to change the way it deals with complaints of antisocial behaviour as a direct consequence of Covid-19 which means the Council is not a position to respond to complaints of Antisocial Behaviour (ASB) in the normal way. For example, the way in which we communicate with our victims and perpetrators is limited to non-personal contact such as letters, emails and phone calls.
The Government has passed the Coronavirus Act 2020 which prevents evictions taking place or the commencement of new possession proceedings for period of three months starting from 25 March 2020 (the date the legislation came into force). This means that as a landlord our ability to take enforcement action to deal with persistent or serious ASB is limited as this time. However, we will still issue written warnings where appropriate and can serve a Notice of Seeking Possession, again where appropriate, providing that we adhere to the rules set out in the Coronavirus Act 2020.
We wish to make it absolutely clear that we will continue to make every effort to support victims of antisocial behaviour. For example, we will make full use of all our alternative powers under the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 where it is appropriate to do so. We will also make it clear to perpetrators that antisocial behaviour will not be tolerated, and that whilst we may not be able to progress possession proceedings, other measures can and will be taken in response to any incidents of significant antisocial behaviour.
A temporary statement of the Council's procedures on antisocial behaviour can be found here.
Action residents can take
For low level neighbour complaints you may want to contact your neighbour directly in a non-confrontational way. An easy way to do this is to print out one of our Dear Neighbour leaflets and post this through your neighbours letterbox.
Waste Disposal and Fly tipping
We also ask residents to be mindful of how they dispose of their waste during this period. We fully understand that it's tempting to use this extra time at home to have a clear out but please only do so if you have a legitimate means of storing your waste until such time as it can be disposed appropriately.
All the household waste sites are now closed and items MUST not be stored in communal areas until they can be disposed of because this creates an unacceptable fire risk.
If you live in a block of flats you must not put excess waste into bin stores as this may result in bins becoming overfull and prevent the waste crews from collecting them, if this happens we will have to ask for a special collection that will be recharged to residents in the relevant block of flats.
Fly tipping is illegal and a breach of your tenancy, you must not fly tip anywhere in the Borough. Anyone who is caught fly tipping will be dealt with accordingly.
Distraction Burglaries and Fraud
We are aware that there are potentially some fraudsters operating in the area, this has included members of the public claiming to be council workers claiming there are measuring up for materials or to inspect kitchens and bathroom. We advise residents to:
Always use your door security chain before opening your front door
Ask to see an identity badge and any paperwork before letting anyone in
If in doubt check the person's details with the council by telephoning 01932 838383.
Be very suspicious of cold callers
We are also aware that there are some criminals who are trying to take advantage by using the Covid-19 pandemic to scam residents, remember the following:
Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information about yourself
Ask yourself whether a request for money or information could be fake? Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
Contact your bank immediately if you think you've fallen for a scam