Neighbour Policy

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Purpose

Servants Community Housing works hard to maintain positive relationships between residents in each house and their respective neighbourhoods. We recognise that we do not operate in isolation but are part of a broader community. The purpose of this policy is to provide information on how Servants works to support neighbourhood harmony and positive relationships between neighbours. It also explains how Servants will respond when a resident breaches their Residential Tenancy Agreement by interfering with the reasonable peace, comfort or privacy of neighbours. 

We are committed to aligning our Neighbour Policy with the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities, to create positive communities within Melbourne’s inner eastern suburbs. 

Definitions

Neighbour –a person living within a Servants Community Housing house, the same general area as a Servants Community Housing house, or someone directly affected by a Servants Community Housing house or resident

Staff member –the CEO, Tenancy Manager, Housekeeper, Operations Manager or Assets Manager

Policy 

Complaints

Under the Victorian Residential Tenancies Act (1997), all residents have the right to live in reasonable peace, comfort and privacy within their rooming house, and also within their neighbourbood. Residents must not in any manner that causes an interference with the reasonable peace, comfort or privacy of any occupier of neighbouring premises. Servants Community Housing will not tolerate any form of harassment, discrimination or abuse towards any neighbour. This includes, but is not limited to, verbal, physical or any other form of harassment, discrimination or threatening behaviour related to racial, religious, cultural or sexual orientation. If a neighbour deems this duty to have been breached, they have the right to make a complaint. 

We strongly believe that addressing disputes or complaints early reduces the likelihood of any further escalation. To this end, we take each complaint seriously and endeavour to resolve it quickly and amicably. We will involve all necessary parties and maintain confidentiality where possible. 

Neighbours should contact a Servants staff member to register their complaint in one of the following ways:

In personeach Servants house has Housekeepers who would gladly discuss any neighbour’s concerns regarding their respective house

Websitehttp://www.servants.org.au/contact-us/

Phone03 9819 6073 (office)

Feedback 

While investigating and resolving the dispute, a staff member will keep the neighbour informed. After notifying a staff member of their concern or complaint, the neighbour will receive a response from a Servants staff member within 7 days. We encourage neighbours to maintain open communication with Servants and inform us of any developments (for example, the concern continuing or escalating). 

Ongoing or unresolved issue

The following information is from the Victorian Housing Registrar (with Servants Community Housing inserted as appropriate) and can be accessed online at this location: http://www.housingregistrar.vic.gov.au/Publications/Information-sheets

If no action is forthcoming, or you are not happy with the action or its outcome, you can make a formal complaint to Servants Community Housing. It is important that you tell Servants that you wish to use their formal complaints process. The complaint will need to be put into writing. 

Registered housing agencies are required under the Housing Act 1983 to have a formal complaints process for tenants and prospective tenants which they may apply to other complainants such as neighbours. A timeframe of 30 days is usually allowed for investigation resolution. 

If your complaint is about anti-social behaviour by tenants of registered housing agencies, there may not be an easy, quick solution. The Victorian Privacy Act 2000 limits the information too that an agency will release to you about any action it is taking. 

Tenants of properties managed by registered housing agencies come under the provisions of the Victorian Residential Tenancies Act 1997. Any action to end tenancies outside of the tenancy agreement period generally involves a hearing at the Victorian Civic and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). This may mean you will be asked to appear to give evidence. Prior to any hearing being scheduled, a tenant will generally be issued with warnings by the registered housing agency that their behaviour needs to change and given a specific time to do this.

Emergency 

If it is an emergency, call 000. 

Related policies 

Code of Conduct and Conflict of Interest Policy

Complaints and Appeals Policy

Resident Transfer Policy 

Legislation and standards 

This policy implements the obligations of Servants under:

Transparency and accessibility

This policy will be available on the Servants Community Housing website www.servants.org.au/policy.

Review

This policy was written in April, 2019. It is rescheduled for review in April, 2021. 

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    1986Servants Community Housing established by members of Hawthorn West Baptist Church and Hawthorn Home founded
    2010Canterbury Home founded (short term lease)
    2011Kew Home founded
    20142nd Kew Home founded
    2018Women's House founded
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    info@servants.org.au

    03 9819 6073

    36 Barton Street
    Hawthorn Vic 3122
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