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Last updated 30/10/2018

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Unreasonable behaviour policy

  • Aims

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    The Group aims to respond to all queries and expressions of dissatisfaction, whether or not these are in the form of formal complaints, in order to improve our services.

    We recognise that customers expressing dissatisfaction may raise several issues over a period of time and may be frustrated and aggrieved. The majority of these customers will genuinely believe things have gone wrong and are seeking resolution and the Group will therefore focus on the merits of their enquiry and not simply their attitude.

    A small number of customers will repeatedly express dissatisfaction and this will not be in order to seek resolution but with the aim of engaging staff to waste their time, to offend or to damage the organisation. The Group aims to manage this vexatious behaviour so that staff are protected from unreasonable demands while carrying out their duties and the efficient delivery of services for other customers is not hindered.

    In addition, the Group recognises that some people may have difficulty in expressing themselves or communicating clearly, especially when anxious or upset. We also understand that some people may find it difficult to identify what impact their behavior might have on other people. However, all of our staff have the right not to be subjected to aggressive, offensive or abusive actions, language or behaviour, regardless of the circumstances.

  • Scope

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    This policy explains what Jigsaw Homes Group defines as unacceptable and unreasonable behaviour so that both staff and customers can be clear what to expect.  This sort of behaviour can take up large amounts of staff time and may prevent us from providing services to other residents. The policy provides details of the action we may take against our customers who we consider to have behaved this way. This policy applies to everyone who interacts or communicates with Jigsaw Homes Group, including tenants, homeowners and their representatives.

     

  • Policy statement

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    Jigsaw Homes Group is pleased to hear from its customers when services are appreciated, but we also want to know when things go wrong. We are committed to dealing with expressions of dissatisfaction fairly and impartially and to providing a high quality service. As part of this service the Group does not normally limit the contact that customers have with its staff.

    However, a very small minority of customers make complaints, enquiries or demands in order to make life difficult for staff rather than to genuinely resolve a problem.

    Some customers may behave in a manner that is aggressive and or abusive towards staff or representatives of the Group. This behavior and type of contact can hinder the consideration of their issue and the ability of staff to provide a quality service to customers as a whole.

    How we manage these customers will depend upon the nature of the contact. If their behaviour adversely affects our ability to do our work and provide a service to others, we may need to address their unreasonable behaviour by restricting contact with our staff.

  • Monitoring and delivery

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    The Chief Executive’s Department will monitor the delivery of this policy and it will be reviewed annually. We may review this policy sooner if appropriate, for example, if there are changes to legislation or business requirements.

  • Our approach

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    Jigsaw Homes Group is committed to providing a fair, consistent and accessible service. We believe that everyone who contacts us has the right to be heard, understood and respected. We believe that our staff have the same rights, and the Group must provide a safe working environment for our staff.

    Unreasonable behaviour includes two broad categories of behaviour:

    • Aggressive, abusive or threatening behaviour towards staff and representatives of the Group.

    • Making vexatious complaints/enquiries – such as being persistent in continuing to pursue an issue after it has been dealt with or pursuing unjustified complaints.

    Examples of actions or behaviour which may have a negative effect on our staff or our work include:

    • Any actions or behavior that could cause staff to feel intimidated threatened or offended. These include, but are not limited to, threats, physical violence, personal verbal abuse, derogatory remarks and rudeness; whether made to the member of staff directly or elsewhere (including online bullying).

    • Deliberate provocative or inflammatory statements and unsubstantiated allegations.

    • Requests for a service that are pursued in a manner which can be perceived as intimidating and oppressive by the recipient.

    Complaints which are obsessive, over persistent, harassing, prolific, repetitious.

    • Insistence upon pursuing unmeritorious complaints and/or unrealistic outcomes beyond all reason.

    • Insistence upon pursuing meritorious complaints in an unreasonable manner.

    Complaints which are designed to cause disruption or annoyance.

    • Demands for redress which lack any serious purpose or value.

    • Using new complaints to resurrect issues which were addressed in previous complaints.

    When we consider that a person’s behaviour or actions are likely to have a negative effect, we will tell them why and we will give them the opportunity to modify their actions or behaviour. If the actions or behaviour continue, we will take steps to prevent or minimise the negative effects.

    Where a customer is deemed to be abusive or vexatious, restrictions may be placed on when and how that person can communicate with staff. The form of restriction to be applied will be determined by the relevant senior manager.

    Any restriction will be appropriate and proportionate to the nature of the customer’s contacts with the Group at that time. However the maximum period of restriction at any one time will be 12 months.

    Where this policy is applied the customer will be informed in writing why the decision has been made to restrict future contact, the restricted contact arrangements, the length of time that these restrictions will be in place and what they can do to have the decision reviewed.

    The following are examples of the types of action or restriction which may be used:

    Staff may either place a caller on hold or end the telephone call if the caller is aggressive, offensive or abusive, or is making unreasonable demands

    • Placing time limits on telephone conversations, e-mails and personal contacts.

    • Restricting the number of telephone calls/e-mails that will be taken (for example one call on one specified morning/afternoon of any week).

    • Limiting the customer to one medium of contact (telephone, letter, e-mail etc.)

    • Requiring the customer to communicate only with a named employee.

    • Reading and filing future correspondence but only responding to it if the person is raising new information or making a new complaint/enquiry.

    • Requiring the person to communicate with the Group through a representative.

    • In some cases there may be a requirement for two members of staff to be in attendance when visiting the property or interviewing the person.

    • Restricting contact with our offices to either written communication or through a third party. In extreme cases reporting the matter to the Police or taking legal action. In such cases, we may not give the person prior warning of taking this action. There will be no contact restrictions on customers reporting emergencies where there is a clear and present risk of harm to persons and/or of serious damage to property.

    For the purpose of clarity the Group will not normally charge a fee for the handling of normal Subject Access Requests as defined by the General Data Protection Regulation but reserves the right to charge reasonable fees for additional copies of information already supplied to a data subject. For requests that are manifestly unfounded, excessive or repetitive (i.e. vexatious), the Group may charge reasonable fees or may refuse to comply with the request. The decision as to whether or not a request is vexatious shall lie with the Data Protection Officer.

     

  • Appeals against restriction for unreasonable behaviour.

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    Any person against whom a restriction has been imposed has the right of appeal against the decision. An appeal against the decision to impose a restriction should be submitted in writing to the Chief Executive’s Department within 28 days of being informed in writing of the decision to impose a restriction.

    A senior manager who was not involved in the original decision will consider the appeal subject to any pending or over-riding legal action. Their decision whether to remove; amend or to continue with the restriction will be made within 21 days of receiving the request for a review of the decision.

  • Stopping re-offending

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    Where there are instances of persistent re-offending and/or the restriction has not proved to be effective, the Group and its subsidiaries may consider further action to control the unreasonable behaviour. This may include legal injunctions to restrict contact or ending a persistent offender’s tenancy.

  • Legislation and regulation

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    Schedule 2 Housing Act 1985 and Schedule 2 Housing Act 1988. (as amended by Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014)

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  • 30/10/2018

    Updated by Athanasios Protopapas on 30/10/2018 09:04:29

    Comment: Updated linked documents

    Details: (show)

    Chapter title changed from "Appeals Against Restriction for Unreasonable Behaviour." to "Appeals against restriction for unreasonable behaviour.".

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  • 30/10/2018

    Updated by Athanasios Protopapas on 30/10/2018 09:02:24

    Comment: Updated policy and name change following approval by Board

    Details: (show)

    Document title changed from "Time Wasters, Serial and Abusive Complainers" to "Unreasonable behaviour policy".
    Chapter title changed from "Overview" to "Aims".
    Chapter titled "Aims" content changed.
    Chapter title changed from "Our Commitment" to "Scope".
    Chapter titled "Scope" content changed.
    Chapter title changed from "Our Approach" to "Policy statement".
    Chapter titled "Policy statement" content changed.
    Chapter title changed from "Appeals" to "Monitoring and delivery".
    Chapter titled "Monitoring and delivery" content changed.
    Chapter title changed from "Persistent Re-offending" to "Our approach".
    Chapter titled "Our approach" content changed.
    New Chapter added; title:"Appeals Against Restriction for Unreasonable Behaviour." image:"" order:"6".
    New Chapter added; title:"Stopping re-offending" image:"" order:"7".
    New Chapter added; title:"Legislation and regulation" image:"" order:"8".
    Group assignment removed: "".
    New Tag assigned "unreasonable behaviour".
    New Tag assigned "unreasonable".
    New Tag assigned "Unreasonable behaviour".

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  • 01/11/2016

    Updated by Athanasios Protopapas on 01/11/2016 17:41:37

    Comment: Updated policy following the winter 2016 cycle of policy reviews

    Details: (show)

    Chapter titled "Overview" content changed.
    Chapter titled "Our Commitment" content changed.
    Chapter title changed from "Restricting Contact" to "Our Approach".
    Chapter titled "Our Approach" content changed.
    Chapter titled "Persistent Re-offending" content changed.

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  • 19/11/2014

    Updated by Athanasios Protopapas on 19/11/2014 15:28:14

    Comment: Updated the document according to changes made to the policy and approved at the November 2014 Board Meeting.

    Details: (show)

    Chapter titled "Overview" content changed.
    Chapter titled "Our Commitment" content changed.
    Chapter titled "Restricting Contact" content changed.
    Chapter titled "Persistent Re-offending" content changed.

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  • 12/12/2013

    Updated by Athanasios Protopapas on 12/12/2013 08:54:41

    Comment: Updated Overview and Our commitment chapters.

    Details: (show)

    Chapter titled "Overview" content changed.
    Chapter titled "Our Commitment" content changed.
    Chapter titled "Restricting Contact" content changed.

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  • 04/12/2013

    Updated by Athanasios Protopapas on 04/12/2013 15:03:44

    Comment: Added examples on restrictions to contact following the review of the policy at the November 2013 round of Board Meetings.

    Details: (show)

    Chapter titled "Restricting Contact" content changed.

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  • 06/02/2013

    Updated by Athanasios Protopapas on 06/02/2013 08:19:23

    Comment: Checked for updates. No change required.

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  • 20/01/2012

    Updated by Admin on 20/01/2012 18:03:35

    Comment: Edited to improve the consistency of language used in the document.

    Details: (show)

    Chapter titled "Overview" content changed.
    Chapter titled "Our Commitment" content changed.
    Chapter titled "Restricting Contact" content changed.

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