Anti Social Behaviour – Customer Charter
This Anti Social Behaviour Customer Charter has been produced in consultation with Arches tenants. Arches Housing Ltd is committed to meeting the standards it sets out. With your ongoing help we will monitor how well we are keeping to these standards.
1. What is Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB)?
The Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 defines ASB as conduct which is: -
‘Capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to any person’
Arches accept that ASB forms a wide pattern of behaviour which can include:
- Noise nuisance
- Aggressive and threatening behaviour
- Racial and other forms of harassment
- Actual violence
- Damage to property
- Allowing premises to be used for drug dealing
This list is by no means exclusive and the determinant factor is deciding whether behaviour is anti-social or not, will be its impact on others.
2. Reporting Anti Social Behaviour
You can report anti-social behaviour in person, at our office, in writing, by telephone or by email. In certain circumstances an officer from Arches will visit you at home.
When you have made contact with Arches, the following will happen:
- You will have a brief interview, where you will be asked to provide details of what is happening.
- We will explain how we will deal with your complaint.
- We will inform you which officer is dealing with your complaint.
- We will issue you with an acknowledgment letter which will have a unique reference number. This number can then be quoted when you enquire about your case.
- We will give you incident diary sheets to complete. The officer dealing with your case will explain how to record the incidents.
- We will provide you with an appointment to look at the diary sheets and decide what action we can take. This appointment will be no more than 10 working days after the first report.
- We will also give you a leaflet about the Mediation Service (MESH) and a copy of this Charter.
3. Dealing with your Complaint
- Deal with your complaint as quickly as possible.
- Aim to resolve the situation without having to take any legal action.
- Contact the person complained about. We will work with them to resolve the problem and issue appropriate warnings and take any necessary action.
- Contact you at least once every 2 weeks until your complaint has been closed. Keep any information you provide strictly confidential.
- Work with other agencies (e.g. The Police, Environmental Services and Social Services) to try and resolve the problems.
4. Closing your Complaint
If we have resolved your complaint or, after investigation we cannot take the case any further,
- Explain in detail our reasons for closing the case.
- Confirm in writing that the case has been closed.
To take action against anyone we need evidence. That is why it is essential that you accurately complete the incident diary sheets that we will give you. Any incidents should be recorded on the sheets as they occur, with as much detail as possible.
In serious cases we may take a witness statement from you, when you first report the problem to us. This will allow us to take immediate action such as applying for an injunction.
Within 10 working days of receiving your initial complaint, we will meet with you at your home or in our office. Using the information you have submitted on the incident diary sheets, we will ask you;
- Who is affected
- How they are affected
- Where it happens
- When it happens
We will then decide on an action plan and agree what you need to do and what we will do to resolve the problem. The case is now a partnership – we are working for you but you must help us by keeping to your part of the action plan.
Talking it through
It is important that we are all tolerant of neighbouring residents and accept that we will hear some noise from their daily activities. However when this becomes excessive and unreasonable, then a nuisance is caused.
Sometimes a neighbour just needs reminding that their behaviour is upsetting. The action plan could include talking the problem through with the other person. If the person is behaving unreasonably, do not get involved in an argument.
If you do not feel comfortable with this approach, we can arrange a meeting for you and be there to help you talk through the problem together. Alternatively there is an organisation called Mediation Sheffield, who has expert advisors who can help find a solution that you are both happy with.
If it is not possible to resolve the problem by talking it through then there is other action we can take.
Action we can take
- Verbal/written warnings: We will warn tenants that their actions are unacceptable and warn them regarding their future behaviour.
- Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABC’s): These are usually used to stop anti-social behaviour from young people aged between 10 and 18. The contract specifies a list of anti-social activities in which the young person has been involved and which they agree to stop.
- Injunctions: These are an order from the Court. They either make somebody do something or stop doing something. Injunctions can be used to make an Arches tenant comply with their tenancy conditions. An injunction can only be used against people over the age of 18 years old. Breaching an injunction can result in a fine or imprisonment.
- Possession Proceedings: As a last resort, we may need to ask the court to evict somebody from their home. To obtain a possession order we need strong evidence that proves to the court that it is reasonable to evict someone. In some cases the court may grant a ‘Suspended Possession Order’. This means a person can stay in their home provided they comply with certain conditions.
- Demoted Tenancies: We can apply to the court for a demotion order where we have evidence of anti-social behaviour. If granted, the order will end the existing tenancy and replace it with a less secure tenancy. A number of rights including the tenants Right to buy or Right to Acquire will also be removed.
- Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs): These are legal orders which can be used specifically against people aged 10 or over, who are proven to be responsible for persistent anti-social behaviour. Breaching an ASBO is a criminal offence. It can result in a fine or a prison sentence.
How we will keep to these standards
To ensure that we are keeping to the standards that have been set, we will
- Carry out regular customer satisfaction surveys.
- Publish details of our performance in the quarterly newsletter and office reception area.
- Report to the Tenants Forum.
Tell us how we are doing
If you have any views on how well we are keeping to these standards, we would like to hear from you. This may be a complaint a compliment or simply a comment. Whatever it is, we welcome your views on the service we provide.
How to contact us
Arches Housing Ltd
122 Burngreave Road