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How to behave

As a tenant, you are responsible for looking after your home and neighbourhood, and for being a good neighbour to other residents.  The following are issues that can become areas for dispute if everyone does not respect each other. 

Pets

You can keep pets without our permission as long as they do not cause a nuisance to your neighbours and you do not break any law or court order relating to the animals.  If you do not look after your pets properly or keep them under reasonable control, or if you allow them to cause a nuisance to your neighbours, we will ask you to take steps to improve the situation.  This might mean finding another home for your pets.  If you do not do this, we may get a court order to remove the pet.  

A pet is a domestic animal such as a dog, cat, rabbit, caged bird, fish, small rodent, non-poisonous reptile or non-poisonous amphibian which is generally kept as a pet.  If you want to keep any other animal you must get our written permission.

If you have a dog, you must not let it stray and you must clean up after it, especially in areas where children might play.  

If you find a stray dog in your area, contact the dog warden at the local council, who will arrange to come and collect it.

If you have a dog that you leave alone in your home or garden, it can disturb your neighbours if it barks or whines all day.  If we receive complaints, we may have to take action against you.  Please do not keep pets unless you know you can look after them and you know they won’t be a nuisance to other people. 

Parking

In some estates there is not always enough parking for everyone to park in front of their own front door.  Unless the parking spaces have been designated for particular homes, parking is generally on a first come, first served basis.  Please think before parking in a spot that may cause problems to or annoy other people.  In particular, please consider the needs of neighbours who are elderly or who have mobility difficulties or small children, and leave spaces for them where you can.

Do not park in areas that have been designated as disabled parking spaces (unless you have a disability which means you need to use the space) or have been designated as no-parking areas.

Abandoned vehicles and vehicles which are parked on the road or in one of our car parking areas without a current tax disc will be removed by The Highland Council. 

Play areas

Please encourage your children to use areas set aside for play if these are provided.  

Make sure you know where your children and teenagers are and that they are not causing a nuisance to other people in the area.  You are responsible for the behaviour of your children and they should not be allowed to damage other people’s property  

Adults also need to remember that young people need to play and that groups of children are not always a cause for concern.

If you have a dog, make sure that they are not allowed to foul in areas where children might play. 

Shared areas and facilities

If there are any areas you share with other residents, respect their privacy and keep the areas you share clean and tidy and free from any obstruction.

If we do not employ a contractor to keep shared areas clean you and your neighbours are responsible for doing this.  We will leave it to you and your neighbours to organise yourselves.  However, if this is not possible we may set up a rota.  If the areas are not kept clean, we may arrange for the work to be carried out by a contractor and charge the cost to all tenants sharing the area.

If you are not sure which areas you can use or are responsible for, please speak to your neighbour or ask us. 

Rubbish

We will provide you with a bin to use during your tenancy.  This will normally be a wheelie bin for your own use, but some tenants in flats may share a larger bin.  The bin will remain our property and must be left in good condition when your tenancy ends.  We will also provide somewhere for the bin to be kept.  

This could be a bin store or stand.  You must return your bin to its proper storage place as soon as possible after it has been emptied.

The local council will empty the bins if they are left in the right place on the right day.  We will tell you which day this is at the start of your tenancy.  If you are not sure, please speak to a neighbour, ask us or check with your local council.

The Highland Council will normally only collect rubbish if it is in the bin provided.  If you have extra rubbish you will have to make arrangements with the local council for a special collection.  They will normally charge for this. 

If you have large items to get rid of, please contact The Highland Council.  You will have to pay a fee for this.  Fly-tipping is forbidden.

To contact The Highland Council phone 01349 886603.

Gardens

If you have a garden, keep it tidy and free from weeds.  If you cannot manage to do this because of ill-health or a disability, you may be eligible for help from our garden maintenance scheme.  To find out if you can get help, phone our Customer Services Team. There may also be other garden schemes that you could join.  Contact us, or your local council, for advice. 

Noise

Noise is a fact of life, and everyone has to accept that everyday activities will create some level of noise.  However, some types of noise are unacceptable and there are times of the day and night when noise really does become a nuisance.

Complaints about noise can be easily avoided by showing consideration for others.  Think before you have a party or start noisy housework or DIY.  Will it disturb your neighbours?   Have you warned them?  

Please keep noise down and, if possible, avoid times that are going to disturb other people.

If you continually make loud noise, or make a lot of noise at inappropriate times of the day without considering your neighbours, it can become antisocial behaviour.   We will then take action that will have serious consequences for your household.

If your neighbours continually disturb you with noise you should talk to them about it.  We all create noise and sometimes people do not realise that they are disturbing anyone.  If talking to your neighbour doesn’t work, there are various steps that you can take.  If you contact us we can give you advice and may be able to take steps to prevent future disturbance.  If you are seriously disturbed by loud noise in the night or at weekends, contact the police and let your housing services officer know about it as soon as you can.  Please ask for our Neighbour Complaints pack by phoning the Customer Services team.  Please keep a record of the date, time, address, and type of disturbance and send it to your housing services officer.

Harassment

We will not tolerate any form of harassment caused by you or anyone living with or visiting you.  Causing harassment breaks the conditions of your tenancy agreement and is also a criminal offence.

Harassment means any antisocial or nuisance behaviour towards someone. It includes physical attacks, damage to property, verbal threats and insults that cause alarm or distress.  If you are suffering from harassment contact the police straight away and let your housing services officer know about it as soon as you can.

We will only be able to help you if you let us know what is happening. 

Neighbour problems and antisocial behaviour

Neighbour problems cover a wide range of issues and we are committed to tackling them.  If you have any problems with your neighbours you should try to sort the problems out with them yourself.  If you cannot solve the problem yourself, contact us at our Invergordon office.  

If you think you would put yourself or your household at risk by contacting your neighbour, phone Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

When we receive a complaint we will prioritise it in line with the type of complaint and how serious it is.  Wherever possible, we will contact everyone involved within two working days to gather more information about what has happened.  If you have been abused or harassed, or the victim of a crime, we will contact you earlier.  

We will contact you again as soon as possible, and no later than 14 days after you make your complaint, to let you know what action, if any, we will be taking.

After speaking to everybody involved, we may find that the issue is a difference of opinion or lifestyle and not related to your tenancy, or is a personal disagreement that does not cause a nuisance to anyone else.  For instance, if somebody parks their car outside your house, but it is not in a designated parking space or causing an obstruction, we cannot intervene. In this type of case we will not take any further action.  However, if other incidents happen and they do become a tenancy issue, we will take appropriate action against whoever is causing the nuisance.

If we think that you have good reason to make a complaint, if you agree, we will warn the person you complained about that their actions are causing a nuisance and that we will take appropriate action against them if they do not stop. This could include giving verbal, written or final warnings or taking formal legal action.  

If the problem continues after you have reported it to us, it is important that you keep a record of these problems.   The Neighbour Complaints pack contains log sheets for this purpose.  To get a Neighbour Complaints pack, phone our Customer Services Team.                  

As well as the information you provide, we will also collect statements from tenants, check incidents reported to the police and contact other witnesses in case we need to take a case to court.

You must always give us as much information as possible about the problem – what has happened, dates, times, the names of those involved and any other people who were witnesses.  It is important that we know about incidents as soon as possible as they can be very difficult to investigate properly at a later date.

If there has been any criminal behaviour, you must report every incident to the police so that they can respond straight away.  The police should give you an incident number. Please tell your housing services officer about the incident and keep a note of your incident number in case we need to check the details.

There is more information on how to respond to and deal with neighbour problems in our Neighbour Complaints pack.

We will keep any information you give us confidential.  We will not say where any complaint came from.   However, if your complaint is specific to you, the person you have complained about may be able to work out that you made the complaint.  If this is the case, we will make sure you want us to continue before we follow the complaint up.

Please bear in mind that when your housing services officer is dealing with a complaint about antisocial behaviour, it may take a long time to find a solution to it.

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