How can I be a good neighbour
To be a good neighbour, you can:
- welcome new neighbours
- make sure your house/flat contributes positively to the appearance of an area, for example by keeping your garden tidy
- alert someone, such as the Housing Customer Services Team, if you notice a change in your neighbour, for example, if you haven’t seen them for a while
- help neighbours who are unable to use communal bins by taking their rubbish out for them
- become involved in local groups
- don’t carry out noisy DIY work at night or early in the morning
- be cooperative if asked by a neighbour to reduce noise
- be quiet when you return home late at night, don’t slam doors or shout to your friends
- respect the fact that different people have different lifestyles, but do not impose your lifestyle on your neighbours
- if you have permission to keep a pet, look after it properly, clean up after the animal, don’t let it foul public areas, or let it cause a nuisance in any other way
- dispose of rubbish properly
Abuse against staff
The council will not tolerate violence, threats of violence or abusive language towards our staff and contractors.
We'll support the prosecution of tenants or members of the public if any council employees are assaulted.
Tenants who threaten staff could be taken to court and face eviction proceedings.
Anti-social behaviour (ASB)
As a council tenant, your tenancy agreement states that you, anyone living with you, and your visitors must not behave in an antisocial manner or use your home or neighbourhood for any criminal activities, such as drug dealing.
You must not:
- cause a nuisance
- harass anyone
- do anything that unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort and enjoyment of other residents or adversely affects their health and safety
ASB can be anything that prevents another person from enjoying their home, garden, estate or neighbourhood. You're responsible for the behaviour of every person (including children) living in or visiting your home, both within your home and in the surrounding area.
Examples of ASB include:
- loud music
- criminal damage and graffiti
- drug dealing
- vandalism or causing damage to property
- harassment or intimidation
- dumping rubbish
- racist and homophobic behaviour
- problems caused by pets such as noise or fouling
- abuse or violence towards someone living in your home, neighbours, other people in the community or council officers and contractors
- vehicle-related nuisance
- verbal abuse
Reporting anti-social behaviour
To report anti-social behaviour use the online anti-social behaviour and hate crime reporting form.
In an emergency, you should contact the relevant emergency service, fire, police or ambulance on 999.
You can also contact the Housing Customer Services Team:
Read more and download our anti-social behaviour leaflet and our Witness and Victim Support leaflet.
There are charities in the city that may be able to assist with a neighbourhood or family dispute.
Brighton & Hove Independent Mediation Service (BHIMS) offers a comprehensive range of services aimed at resolving many different conflicts and disputes including neighbourhood disputes and family conflicts.
For more information:
You or anyone living with you or visiting you must not harass or threaten any other person (or group of people) at all and in particular not do so because of their age, disability (which includes mental health conditions) ethnicity/race, gender reassignment, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, or for any other reason.
This applies to residents, their families, friends and visitors, officers and employees/agents of the council.
Examples of harassment include, but are not limited to:
- physical violence or assault, threats of violence or violent gestures
- using intimidating abusive or insulting words or behaviour
- persistent and vexatious or offensive contact by post, telephone or any other means
- damage or threats to damage property
- displaying any notice which is visible outside your home that is inflammatory, offensive or defamatory
- using social media to post any material which is indecent, abusive, offensive or false which causes needless anxiety or distress
- allowing your property to be used as a platform for radicalism or extremist activities or to publish or broadcast hate messages
Anybody can be subject to abuse including older people, people with a physical disability, mental illness or learning disability. The abuser can be well-known to the person being abused. The abuser may be:
- a partner or a relative
- a friend or neighbour
- a paid or volunteer care worker
- a professional
Abuse can occur anywhere and people can be abused in different ways, including:
- physical abuse
- financial abuse
- domestic violence
- psychological or emotional abuse
- sexual abuse
- discriminatory abuse
- modern slavery
We follow the Sussex multi-agency policy and procedures for safeguarding vulnerable adults.
If you experience, witness, or suspect abuse is happening to a vulnerable person, it's important to tell someone about your concerns.
For help and advice, you can phone:
- Access Point on 01273 295 555
- Sussex Police 08456 070 999 or 101
In an emergency phone 999 or visit our keeping people safe webpage.
If you're concerned about a child or young person, visit Front Door for Families.
What are communal areas?
Communal areas are shared areas of a block of flats, or an estate, which tenants, residents and visitors can use. This includes:
- stairs and lifts
- bin stores
- shared gardens
- car parks
Are there any special considerations if I live in a flat?
Living in flats and maisonettes brings extra responsibilities. Everyone living in a block is responsible for keeping the communal areas clean and tidy, and must not:
- leave rubbish or property on the stairs or in the hallways - rubbish should be disposed of carefully
- smoke in enclosed shared areas
- interfere with fire safety equipment
- block emergency exits
- throw rubbish or other items from balconies - if you, your family or visitors do this, you'll be considered to have broken your tenancy agreement and legal action may be taken
- let someone you do not know into the building
- wedge the door open or leave it open for any reason
In the case of flooring, we recommend that floors should be carpeted with underlay. Wooden flooring in flats must be avoided altogether.
The fire service and the council have agreed that personal goods should not be stored in communal areas as they could be a hazard if people need to leave the building in an emergency. If we need to clear any items belonging to you from shared areas, you'll need to pay our costs.
You must contact us before purchasing any mobility scooter in order to get permission and to discuss safe storage options. It's your responsibility to find a suitable location to store scooters.
We'll take action to remove any items left in shared areas without our permission, including mobility scooters, and apply appropriate charges for removal, if necessary.
Where can I park my car?
There are different parking control schemes across the city. It's your responsibility to ensure you and your visitors follow the rules relevant to the area.
Vehicles cannot be kept in front gardens unless you have a driveway with a lowered kerb and a hard standing for your vehicle, then you can use this to park.
Apply for an alteration. This will be subject to approval by housing and the Highways Team and you'll need planning permission.
How can I rent a garage or parking space?
We have dedicated parking bays and garages across the city on housing land.
You can rent a garage or parking space online. If you do not have access to the internet, phone 01273 293 030 for more information.
If you rent a garage or car parking space, you'll pay a weekly rental charge. If you're in arrears with your rent, you will not normally be allowed to rent a garage or parking space.
Can I repair my car outside my home?
You can carry out minor routine maintenance to your own vehicle in your garage, parking space or outside your home, if you do not:
- cause a hazard or nuisance to your neighbours
- make a mess
If the council has to clear up after you, you'll be charged the costs.
You are not allowed to do welding, spraying or major car maintenance on housing land.
You must not dispose of oil or oil-based paint down the drains. If you do, we may take legal action which could result in you losing your home.
Anything non-routine or a cause of nuisance should be reported. To report this to the Housing Customer Services Team phone 01273 293 030.
Caravans, boats, trailers and other vehicles
If you want to park a caravan, boat, trailer or other such vehicle in your garden, in a parking space or on other housing land, you'll need to get permission from Housing Customer Services.
You cannot leave a vehicle, which has been declared SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) on housing land without permission from Housing Customer Services.
Abandoned and unroadworthy cars and motorbikes
You are not allowed to leave unroadworthy vehicles in your front garden or in parking areas. If you do, we may take action against your tenancy. Any vehicles considered to be abandoned can be removed and disposed of.
What do I do if my vehicle is ticketed, or taken away?
Your vehicle will only be ticketed or removed if you:
- have not followed the instructions of the local parking control scheme
- have left it untaxed or abandoned or in an unroadworthy condition
If your car is ticketed, you'll need to contact the company responsible to make payment. Full details are given on the Parking Charge Letter, which will be sent to your home address.
If your car is taken away, there will be a notice nearby telling you what to do to get it back.
Pets and animals
If you want to keep pets you must get our written permission. The number of pets we'll allow will depend upon:
- the type of pet
- the size and type of home you live in
If you live in Seniors Housing, check with your Scheme Manager to see whether your scheme allows pets.
We will not unreasonably withhold permission but will not give permission for residents to keep the following animals:
- any dangerous wild animal as detailed in the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976
- the specific breed of dog restricted by law and detailed in the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, such as pit bull terriers and Japanese Tosas
- a species prohibited by trade, import or export as detailed in the Endangered Species (Import & Export) Act 1976
- all venomous (poisonous) insects and spiders
- all large, venomous (poisonous) or constrictor snakes or lizards
We do not permit pet breeding on our properties and strongly recommend that you have your pet neutered. There are an enormous number of unwanted pets and neutering helps control the problem. Your vet can explain the procedure and tell you about the health benefits it can also have for your pet. We have a list of local subsidised schemes which can help with the costs.
View our Pet Policy, download a pet permission form, or read our leaflet about keeping pets. For more information and paper copies, contact Housing Customer Services:
If you believe an animal is being mistreated phone the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.
The Animal Warden Team investigates complaints about stray dogs, animal licensing, dangerous wild animal licensing and home boarding. They also investigate:
- dogs causing fear or minor injury to people
- injury caused to dogs by other dogs in public places
- attacks on assistance dogs
To report any of these issues:
Read more about our Animal Wardens.
Contact the police about:
- dogs used as weapons
- incidents involving guard dogs
- incidents involving banned breeds as listed in section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (amended)
- dog attacks of a serious nature on humans
Incidents of this nature should be reported to Sussex Police on 101.
Visiting officers and dogs
If an officer visits your home we ask that dogs are kept in another room.
Gardens and balconies
Tenants are required to maintain their own gardens and balconies to make sure they look acceptable and do not cause a nuisance to their neighbours.
If you're having difficulty maintaining your garden, contact Housing Customer Services:
You're responsible for:
- keeping the garden tidy and free of rubbish, household items and vehicle parts
- trimming shrubs, hedges and trees to make sure they do not become a nuisance to neighbours
- maintaining any fencing that is your responsibility
You'll need our written permission to:
- put up a garage, shed or greenhouse
- put up or change a wall or fence
- cut down, remove or destroy any bushes, hedges or trees (unless you planted them)