ASB – Heroes Day
Not all super heroes wear capes! Today is heroes day during ASB Awareness Week. We wanted to share with you a chat we had with one of our Tenancy Enforcement Officers about their role and how they help customers who are victims of ASB.
What does a Tenancy Enforcement Officer do?
“It’s certainly a role that wears many hats. I’m now in my 33rd year in housing at various levels and have a lot of experience in dealing with ASB. It’s something I’m really passionate about – I care about our customers who are victims and helping them resolve the ASB so they can live safely and happily in their home.
Most of my time is spent supporting residents to change the behaviour in a way they can stick to long term, allowing them to keep their tenancy – without it having an impact on others.
This involves investigating reports of ASB, working with external agencies, making referrals, warning letters to include tenancy cautions and ABC’s. Sometimes, due to the severity of the case or the amount of incidents, we have to consider legal action such as injunctions and as a last resort possession proceedings. It’s important that we handle each case individually and consider this in our decision making as no two cases are the same.
The Tenancy Enforcement Team deals with everything that is considered/reported a breach of tenancy. So long as we receive diary sheets of ASB complaints, we’ll investigate and do our best to achieve a positive outcome.”
Is there an ASB case with a positive outcome that stands out from over the past year?
“As Tenancy Enforcement Officers we have a heavy workload and there are many cases that stand out, however, this year alone, there have been a few that come to mind. One in Redhill which was significant ASB issues affecting the whole community which resulted in an initial injunction being obtained which was being breached. A full closure order was obtained by Surrey Police of which we supported. As a result of a full closure order, social landlords can apply for possession on mandatory grounds, which is what happened, and in January 2023 full possession was granted. An injunction remains in place preventing this resident from coming back to the area.
Another case has involved an ex parte injunction against a resident due to assaulting a staff member. The conditions of the order was not to cause harassment alarm and or distress to anyone to include staff, contractors or agents. This has been breached recently and a committal application is being sought to deal with the breaches. If the breaches are made out, this will give us mandatory grounds to evict.”
We have a zero tolerance policy with verbal or physical assaults against our staff and you can read our procedure on this here.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
“I enjoy making a difference to people’s lives, whether this is the complainant resolving the issue for them or with the person causing the ASB getting them the appropriate support in place to enable them to maintain their tenancy.
I have a pet hate for drugs and the effect it has on people’s lives as users or victims. A lot of people think cannabis is legal and not a breach of tenancy but it is and we’ll take action if this is reported. This should also be reported to the Police.”
For more information about how we handle ASB issues, click here.