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Complaints Policy Statement

The TMO believe that all residents have the right to the quiet enjoyment of their homes;

free of noise, annoyance, disturbance and harassment. Upholding this right is an important responsibility for the TMO.

The TMO takes nuisance, harassment and anti-social behaviour very seriously and will take whatever effective action against perpetrators as it deems appropriate. This action may be taken with other individuals and organisations and may involve criminal or civil prosecution in the form of criminal proceedings, injunctions or possession of property.

The TMO aims to provide a responsive, supportive and efficient service to resolve disputes between neighbours and deal effectively with anti-social behaviour. Where possible disputes should be resolved amicably. However, where the complaints amount to a breach in the Tenancy Agreement, the TMO shall serve Notice of Seeking Possession on the perpetrator of the nuisance resulting in the eventual eviction of that tenant.

Although the range of disputes has no single definition, the TMO are likely to deal with the following:

  • Excessive Noise
  • Rowdy, unruly or threatening behaviour
  • Criminal Activity
  • Nuisance caused by residents
  • Nuisance caused by residents children
  • Nuisance caused by animals
  • Vandalism
  • Harassment
  • Dumping of Litter or Rubbish
  • Statutory Nuisance
  • Nuisance caused by activities such as Car Repairs.

This list is not exhaustive, and nuisance may be caused by anti-social behaviour not listed here.

The following procedures will be followed where the TMO intervene in any disputes. The procedures work in conjunction with the TMO’s Equal Opportunities Policy, Harassment Policy and the Tenancy Agreement.

At any stage in the complaints process parties to the disputes are entitled to be accompanied by a person with whom they may consult and whom they may designate to speak on their behalf.

Each stage of the complaints process, decisions made and action taken shall be recorded in the “Complaints File” to be left in the TMO’s office. A simple guide on how to use the complaints procedures will also be available in the TMO office and general advice provided through the Tenants Handbook.
Tenancy Disputes Procedure

Receipt of Complaint

The TMO Officer will ask the “Complainant” to make a written complaint detailing the nature of the complaint, citing dates and times, names of witnesses to any occurrences where appropriate. The Officer should ask the Complainant if they have discussed the matter with the offending person. If not he/she shall suggest that they do so as a first step, unless it is a case of threatened or actual physical violence.

The Officer will provide the Complainant with a “Procedure Sheet” explaining the Tenancy Dispute process in detail.


Investigation of Complaint

Stage One

The TMO Officer should assess the seriousness and level of complaint within two working days and decide whether the complaint should be investigated further bearing in mind the conditions of tenancy. The Officer must NOT disclose the identification of the Complainant. If the complaint is not to be investigated or pursued the Officer will advise the Complainant accordingly, in writing, stating the reasons. This must be done within three working days.

Stage Two

If the complaint is to be pursued then the following steps will be taken:

The TMO Officer should arrange an interview with the alleged offender to discuss the allegation.
The Officer must NOT reveal the identity of the complainant. If the alleged offender fails to keep the appointment for the interview, the Officer will write to the resident concerned within five working days noting their failure to attend and reminding them of their responsibilities.

If the alleged offender denies causing any nuisance and the Officer has no collaborative evidence to support the Complainant’s case, the Officer will remind the resident concerned of their obligations and responsibilities as a tenant or leaseholder and that there should be no further complaint. Where the complaint can be verified the Officer will write to the resident concerned within five working days of the interview date explaining that they are in breach of the tenancy agreement or the conditions of their lease, requesting greater consideration in future, and, if this is not forthcoming, warning of possible legal action that may be taken if they do not comply.

Where the resident responsible has already agreed to behave in a more responsible way in future, the details of any agreement should be reiterated in the letter.

The Officer will tell the complainant to report matters immediately to the Police where threatened with or where actual physical violence is involved.

If the complaint concerns graffiti the Officer will arrange for it to be removed immediately.

Stage Three

In responding to the Complainant, the Officer will carry out the following:

The Officer will respond to the Complainant within five working days outlining the outcome of the initial investigation together with the steps that have already been taken to resolve the problem.

The Officer will advise the Complainant of other possible courses of action he/she can take should the nuisance continue, such as:

        The Complainant may contact the Department of Environmental
        Services who may be able to take action under Section 80 of the
        Environmental Protection Act 1990.

        The Complainant may wish to take action themselves under Section
        82 of the Environmental Protection Act.

        The Complainant may wish to apply to County Court for an Injunction.

If the complaint is about noisy parties, the Officer will advise the complainant that the Department of Environmental Services may be able to help.

The Officer will advise the  that if the TMO takes the offender to court, then it may be necessary for them to give evidence in court and that they should keep a diary of any further incidents.

A dedicated file will be set up for each complaint including copies of correspondence and written reports of interviews. The TMO will also keep a record on the alleged offenders house file and the victims, but care will be taken in ensuring the victims identity is not disclosed to the perpetrator. (In some cases, it may be necessary to disclose identity to enable perpetrator to respond fully to allegations  Should such a situation arise, this issue will be fully discussed with the complainant who will be given the option to refuse.).   

Stage Four

If complaints continue to be received the TMO Officer will review the available evidence; the interview/s with the offender and any witnesses and formulate an opinion on the seriousness of the complaint. If action is decided upon by the TMO for Breach of Tenancy Conditions the following course of action will result.

“Low Level” Breach of Conditions

Examples of “Low Level’ breaches include: one off noisy parties; occasions of playing radios/T.V./Stereo etc. loudly.

Where this is established the offender will be written to within five working days telling them that they are in breach of their conditions and this should cease. They will also be informed that their case will continue to be monitored.

Full details of “low level” breaches will be kept on file and repeat behaviour will be recorded and used at a later date if possession proceedings are taken.

The complainant will be written to within five working days advising them of the warning given. The need to keep a diary of any future events will be stressed. A diary/report sheet will be provided.

Serious/Re-occurring Breaches

Where the complaint is serious and/or re-occurring legal action will be warranted to end the nuisance. This will include the serving of a Notice of Seeking Possession on the grounds of nuisance/annoyance. However this should not be automatic and other legal remedies will be considered as they may prove to be more effective and speedier. i.e. injunctions and use of the environmental protection legislation.

Mediation

Underlying the TMO’s approach to investigate complaints will be the principle of introducing mediation at the appropriate stage.