Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /home/customer/www/homesnorth.org/public_html/wp-content/plugins/timetable/timetable.php on line 1361
Homes North | Antisocial Behaviour Management Policy
 

Antisocial Behaviour Management Policy

Antisocial Behaviour Management Policy

1. Purpose

This document defines Homes North’s approach to responding to issues of antisocial behaviour when a resident breaches their Residential Tenancy Agreement.

 

Note: It is important to note that applying this policy Homes North staff will maintain a focus on the maintenance of tenancies.

 

2. Scope

This policy applies to all tenants of Homes North.

 

3. Definitions

  • Applicant – the person who makes the formal application for housing assistance
  • Tenant – the person who signs the Residential Tenancy Agreement with Homes North
  • Resident – a person who lives in the property on a permanent basis
  • Spouse – a husband or wife considered in relation to their partner
  • Resident/ Household members – all people living in the property on a permanent basis regardless of age or relationship

 

4. Policy Statement

Homes North is committed to maintaining a peaceful living environment for all residents. Homes North residents have the right to the peaceful enjoyment of their property and to live in peace and harmony with their neighbours.

 

Residents have a responsibility to abide by the Antisocial Behaviour conditions of their Residential Tenancy Agreement, including being responsible for their own conduct as well as that of other occupants of the household and visitors to their property.

 

When antisocial behaviour is brought to our attention, Homes North will firstly encourage residents to sort out their own problems by discussion or through mediation. If the antisocial behaviour concerns a breach of the tenancy agreement by a Homes North resident, Homes North will take action.

 

This policy aims to balance the responsibilities of tenants, the rights and wellbeing of their neighbours in community housing, private residents and the broader community with the need to support tenants to sustain their community housing tenancies.

 

As this policy incorporates the Residential Tenancies and Housing Legislation Amendment (Public Housing – Antisocial Behaviour) Act 2015, Homes North will communicate new provisions for responding to antisocial behaviour by providing fact sheets in all offices; by including factsheets in the Tenant Sign up Pack; and by a prominent article in the quarterly tenant’s newsletter.

 

4.1 Definition of antisocial behaviour

Antisocial behaviour is behaviour which disturbs the peace, comfort or privacy of other tenants or neighbours or the surrounding community which results in a breach of the tenancy agreement under the provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010.

 

What is regarded as acceptable behaviour may vary according to local culture and practice and the degree of tolerance of difference in various locations across our region. This policy categorises antisocial behaviour into three categories outlined in section 4.3 of this policy.

 

4.2 Early intervention and mediation

Early intervention practices and referral to support services where appropriate can minimise the escalation of neighbourhood conflict. Homes North will work with tenants and other household members to seek referral services to assist tenants maintain their tenancies. In the case of antisocial behaviour involving young people Homes North will discuss referral to diversionary youth services with parents or relevant householders if services are available.

 

Homes North will encourage residents to try to resolve problems with other residents themselves, such as through discussion with their neighbour or with the assistance of mediation services. Homes North will refer residents to the Community Justice Centre for assistance when and where appropriate and if the parties agree to attend. Homes North will not act as an advocate or third party in such disputes.

 

In general, Homes North will make information available to all residents about how to be a good neighbour and seek to build positive relationships through mutual understanding and acceptance.

 

4.3 Categories of antisocial behaviour

Homes North defines antisocial behaviour in the following three categories:

  • Severe illegal behaviour is behaviour which poses a risk to the safety or security of residents, neighbours, Homes North staff or property and may result in criminal charges and/or conviction; or significant damage to a Homes North property.
    Examples of severe illegal behaviour may include but are not limited to:

    • Committing injury to a neighbour or visitor which constitutes grievous bodily harm;
    • The use of the premises for the manufacture, sale, cultivation or supply of any prohibited drug;
    • The use of the premises for storing unlicensed firearms;
    • The use of the premises for a show cause offence within the meaning of the Bail Act 2013;
    • Intentional or reckless damage to a Homes North property making it uninhabitable;
    • The use of the premises as an illegal brothel;
    • The use of the premises for the production or distribution of child abuse material;
    • The use of the premises to facilitate organised car or boat rebirthing.

 

  • Serious antisocial behaviour involves activities that severely disturb neighbours; place the safety or security of a tenant, other household members, neighbours or Homes North staff at risk; or cause damage to a Homes North property. These behaviours may also be illegal and may include, but are not limited to:
    • Threats, abuse, intimidation or harassment towards neighbours, visitors, Homes North staff or contractors;
    • Victimisation and intimidation towards neighbours or visitors;
    • Provoking pets to attack neighbours or visitors;
    • Hate and threatening behaviour that targets members of identified groups because of their perceived differences (e.g. race and ethnicity, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, mental health or disability);
    • Negligent and extensive damage to a Homes North property.

 

  • Other significant antisocial behaviour involves activities which disturb the peace, comfort or privacy of other tenants or neighbours. Such behaviour may include but is not limited to:
    • Obscene language towards neighbours and visitors;
    • Bullying and harassment towards neighbours and visitors;
    • Noise causing nuisance e.g. loud and uncontrolled parties, excessive shouting/screaming or excessive noise from music or television;
    • Environmental and common area issues e.g. vandalism, graffiti, abandoning vehicles in the front yard and refusing to remove them, carrying out noisy vehicle repairs in communal areas;
    • Leaving large amounts of rubbish within the home, garden or on communal areas;
    • Behaviour which limits other tenants’ access to communal facilities, such as preventing other tenants from accessing communal gardens or laundry facilities, and
    • Damaging any Homes North property including individual tenant’s properties and common areas.

 

4.4 How Homes North manage antisocial behaviour

Homes North will work with all tenants to:

  • sustain tenancies in a peaceful living environment
  • pay regard to mitigating factors of mental health and or domestic violence in all cases of antisocial behaviour, prior to taking action.
  • deal with all matters of antisocial behaviour involving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander household in a culturally sensitive and culturally competent manner.
  • work in partnership with support agencies to support tenants to minimise the escalation of antisocial behaviour and the need to resolve cases through the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).
  • exercise discretion and in particular to consider the safety of victims of antisocial behaviour when making decisions on the action to be taken for substantiated incidents.

 

Any reasonable suspicion that a child or young person is at risk of significant harm will be reported to NSW Family and Community Services – Community Services. When a substantiated breach of the tenancy agreement has occurred and it relates to antisocial behaviour and it is appropriate to take formal action, Homes North may respond as follows:

 

Homes North response to severe illegal behaviour

Homes North will generally apply directly to the NCAT to seek termination of the tenancy after assessing any exceptional mitigating factors. Any action to proceed will be taken only on the approval of the Chief Executive Officer. Homes North will move to investigate allegations of severe illegal behaviour within 5 working days or 24 hours in an emergency. Homes North may seek further information regarding any level of antisocial behaviour allegation from the NSW Police via a Record of Understanding (RoU). Police my also volunteer information under a RoU agreement provisions.

 

Homes North response to serious antisocial behaviour

After investigating any mitigating factors Homes North may issue a Notice of Termination followed by an application to the NCAT to seek termination of the tenancy. As with severe cases, all serious cases of antisocial behaviour will require Chief Executive Officer approval prior to action.

 

Homes North response to other significant antisocial behaviour

Homes North may follow the Strike Notice provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 to record strikes against a tenant for breaches of the tenancy agreement. The Strike Notice process clearly establishes for all tenants what type of behaviour is not acceptable and when they are putting their tenancy at risk. A tenancy will be at risk when a tenant repeatedly breaches the terms of their agreement through antisocial behaviour. Homes North will work with all tenants to build positive working relationships and to recognise any mitigating factors in cases of antisocial behaviour.

 

Homes North will communicate the new Strike Notice provisions to tenants. Strike provisions will only be used after discussion with a Senior Housing Manager and the approval of the Chief Executive Officer. Homes North staff will first issue a warning notice to a tenant after the first substantiated incident of antisocial behaviour, and will generally issue a Strike Notice for subsequent substantiated incidents. Where three strikes have been recorded within a 12 month period, Homes North may make an application to the NCAT to seek termination of the tenancy.

 

4.5 Antisocial behaviour involving non-Homes North tenants

Where a written complaint is received from a Homes North resident in relation to problems being experienced with a non-Homes North resident, Homes North will seek to establish its responsibility as a landlord to intervene in such disputes.

 

If it is determined that Homes North is unable to or should not intervene, Homes North will further counsel and inform the resident of the avenues available to them, such as:

  • Communication with their neighbour
  • Intervention by local authorities including bodies corporate, Councils, etc
  • Intervention by the police, particularly if the complainant may be at risk
  • Available mediation processes, including the Community Justice Centre.

 

This policy is subject to change from time to time at the discretion of Homes North.

 

5. Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of:

  • Chief Executive Officer to ensure this policy and associated procedures are applied and committed to by the Senior Management Team.
  • Housing Managers, Asset Manager to ensure familiarity with this policy and related procedures, to commit to following them accordingly and where relevant, promote the policy to their teams.
  • Employees to ensure they comply with this policy, be responsible for their own behaviour and if required, attend relevant training as provided by the company from time to time.

 

6. Where to get more information

Contact Homes North on 67725133 or armidale@homesnorth.org.au

 

If a client believes Homes North has made a wrong decision they should ask for a formal review of the decision. To do this, the client needs to complete an Appeals Form stating why they disagree with the decision. Homes North have an Appeals Policy, Appeals Factsheet and Appeals Form.

 

If the client is dissatisfied with the outcome of the internal appeal process they can proceed to make an appeal to the independent Housing Appeals Committee (HAC). Homes North will advise the client how to lodge an appeal with HAC. Alternatively, they may access the HAC website or free call on 1800 629 794. The HAC is an independent appeals agency for all NSW community housing clients.

 

Relevant legislation

 

Related documents/resources

 

National Community Housing Standards

Standard 1.2 – Establishing and Maintaining Tenancies

 

Policy information

Policy no: 1.2.1\3

Adopted: March 2017

Download Antisocial Behaviour Management Policy