In October 2022 the Housing Ombudsman produced their report, “Spotlight on noise complaints: Time to be heard”.
This included recommendations for improving the way social landlords respond to noise complaints that do not reach the statutory levels of noise nuisance.
The report is the result of their investigation, which included findings from their resident survey, which we promoted last year.
The focus of the report was noise that does not constitute anti-social behaviour, such as internal noise transference, and to look at what measures can be taken, including developing good neighbourhood relations.
We have carried out a self-assessment review looking at what we can do as your landlord to reduce and manage noise transference in our homes.
Our review looks into a number of areas, from home improvements to how we communicate with residents and staff training, to tackle noise transference.
Our noise action plan includes:
- We’ll make sure all homes above ground floor have anti vibration mats as standard before they’re re-let to reduce noise transference from washing machines
- We’re piloting a new approach in empty homes, leaving good quality carpet in situ and removing hard flooring
- We’re making improvements to communications we send to residents about noise - how the issue is being dealt with, what will happen next and how to make a complaint
- We’re developing a Good Neighbour Policy and procedure which will include interventions such as mediation and introduce a ‘noise toolkit’
- We’ve introduced a welcome booklet for all new residents which includes information about how to be a good neighbour and anti-social behaviour
- We’re reviewing our structures and resource; and will ensure all customer facing roles include the requirement to effectively handle noise issues
- We’re delivering enhanced staff training on how to handle noise complaints, manage expectations and hold difficult conversations
Neighbourhood Management Policies and procedures
One of the areas covered by the noise review is Neighbourhood Management Policies and procedures, to develop a best practice approach.
Residents have a key part to play in this, and the Resident Scrutiny Panel in our North region selected Noise as their scrutiny topic.
Over the next few months, they are carrying out focus groups with residents who have made a noise complaint, along with surveys and interviews as part of the scrutiny process.
The scrutiny will continue for a number of months and we’ll keep you updated on their recommendations, and the progress of our self-assessment action plan.
Thank you in advance to all residents taking part in this important review.