General information for tenants

When visiting the communal play areas please regularly wash your hands and those of your children.

Estate inspections

The inspection will provide the opportunity to inspect the estate for any Caretaking issues, refuse issues, outstanding repairs, health and safety concerns and any other estate related matters.  All return visits will also provide the opportunity to check that repairs have been completed or chase these up if required.

We hope that our estates are maintained to a reasonable standard, and these estate inspections provide the ideal opportunity to monitor this.  If you do see any issues on your estate, please do not hesitate to bring this to our attention by speaking to a member of the Contact Centre on 01277 312500 or by emailing housing@brentwood.gov.uk

Information for new or transferring tenants

Any new or transferring tenant is required to pay one weeks rent charge upfront before they receive the keys to their new home.

Financial information

Brentwood Borough Council sometimes requires you to fill in an income and expenditure form if there is a need to have a better understanding of your financial circumstances.

Before you begin, it would be useful to have recent bank statements and bills available to refer to.

Please try to be as accurate as possible when filling in the information as incorrect information could lead to problems with the assessment of your circumstances.  

There is a calculator included at the top of this form to help you correctly calculate bills that are collected at different increments, such as weekly, fortnightly, monthly or quarterly bills.

Submit a housing tenant income and expenditure form

If you are making an application for financial assistance; such as a Discretionary Housing Payment, please e-mail Estates.Management@brentwood.gov.uk and attach 3 months of recent statements.

Good neighbour guide

Getting along with your neighbours is an important part of living in a happy and safe community. Here are some suggestions to being a good neighbour.

Car parking and repair
You must not park any vehicle on any part of the estate, including the garden of your home, on grass verges, pavements or designated walkways. You may park in a garage or other place approved by the Council. You must not park anywhere that would obstruct emergency vehicles.

You must not park an illegal, untaxed, SORN, or unroadworthy vehicle on the land around your home, on the road, on any communal hard standing, parking bay, forecourt nor anywhere else on the estate. Cars found to be in breach of this will be removed by the Council at the cost of the owner.

You must not park any trade or commercial vehicle of greater than 30 cwt or 1.524 tonnes on any communal hard standing parking bay, forecourt or in the driveway, garden or anywhere else on the estate.

You must not carry out major car repairs on any Council land around your home, on the road, nor any Council garage site.

The Council’s responsibilities
The Council expects most people to solve their problems with their neighbours, but if that fails, we will investigate complaints, especially in cases of nuisance, harassment or victimisation.

If tenants do not meet their responsibilities, we may consider taking Court proceedings for an injunction or possession order, which could lead to eviction.

Any information supplied by others when making a complaint or supporting a complaint about a neighbour will be treated in confidence. The identity of the person making the complaint will not be given to the person(s) being complained about, although it may be obvious who is making the complaint if you are the neighbour. For further information and to report anti-social behaviour please go to the Anti-Social Behaviour web page.

 

Your responsibilities
You are responsible for the behaviour of every person living in or visiting your home.

You are responsible for them in your home and on surrounding land, in communal areas and in the locality around your home.

You must prevent them doing any of the things listed in these conditions.

‘You’ includes all the people and animals you are responsible for.

Nuisance
You must not use or threaten to use menacing, abusive or violent behaviour towards anyone living in or visiting the locality of your home.
You must not do or threaten to do anything that is likely to cause a nuisance, annoyance or disturbance to anyone living in, visiting or engaging in a lawful activity in the locality of your home.

Examples of behaviour which may cause nuisance, annoyance or disturbance:

  • Loud music, radios and television
  • Rubbish dumping
  • Arguing and door slamming
  • Obstructing communal areas
  • Dog barking and fouling
  • Dismantling and repairing motor vehicles
  • Operation of noisy machinery
  • Offensive drunkenness
  • Playing ball games near to someone else’s home or where games are not permitted
  • Drinking in communal areas
  • Graffiti
  • Letting gardens overgrow or become untidy

Harassment
You must not commit or threaten any form of harassment which may interfere with the peace and comfort of, or cause offence to anyone living in, visiting or engaging in a lawful activity in the locality of your home or which is likely to do so.

Examples of harassment:

  • Racist behaviour or language
  • Using or threatening to use violence
  • Using abusive or insulting words or behaviour
  • Damaging or threatening to damage another person’s home or possessions

Illegal activities
You must not use or threaten to use your home or anywhere in the locality for any criminal or illegal activity.

Examples of such activities:

  • Storing or selling illegal drugs
  • Storing or distributing racist material or pornography
  • Storing or selling stolen goods
  • Prostitution

Domestic violence
You must not inflict or threaten violence against anyone who lives with you, or harass or use mental, emotional, physical or sexual abuse.

Violence towards staff
The Council will not tolerate threats of violence towards staff.

Damage to property
You must not interfere with security or safety equipment in communal areas and entrances.

You must not damage, deface or put graffiti on any part of your home or the estate or block nor anything belonging to the Council. If you do so, we will require you to pay the cost of putting the damage right, and we will report it to the Police.

Animals
You must not keep or bring into your home or anywhere in the estate or block, any animal that we consider is unsuitable. It is advised that you speak to your Housing Officer or Scheme Manager prior to obtaining a pet.

Animals under the control of, you or anyone for whom you are responsible, must not annoy, frighten or cause nuisance to other people, or be likely to do so.

Communal areas
You must not keep or leave rubbish, dangerous materials or any other belongings in any of the communal areas.

Refuse disposal
Residents in flats or maisonettes must dispose of household refuse in the designated bins. If you have large items to be disposed, please contact the Special Collections department at the Town Hall on 01277 312500.

Running businesses
You must not run a business from your home.

Permission may only be given in exceptional circumstances if the business or trade does not cause any inconvenience or nuisance to neighbours and does not damage the property. You might also need planning permission.

Sheds
You must not put up structures such as sheds, garages or pigeon lofts anywhere on your home or in the your garden, unless you have written permission, and planning permission where required.

Gardens
You must keep your garden tidy by cutting the lawn and trimming any hedges. If the garden is overgrown and there is no good reason why you cannot do it, the Council can take action against your tenancy.

Help may be available for the elderly and disabled, please ask your Housing Officer or via your Scheme Manager for more information.

Flats, maisonettes and sheltered accommodation
Any person using the common parts shall do so as quietly as possible and cause no disturbance or annoyance to other residents.

The tenant shall not install any object on the exterior of the building that will alter the appearance of the block.

Tenants shall not use any heater or cooker or other appliances fuelled by liquid petroleum gas.

Tenants must ensure that no nuisance or annoyance is caused by the presence of any pets or other animals.

All pets must be kept under proper control and not be allowed to foul any common areas.

Tenants shall not block corridors, walkways or emergency exits with any object.

Fire safety

Brentwood Borough Council is committed to ensuring the safety of it’s tenants and leaseholders, especially in relation to fire safety.

We have recently been completing up to date risk assessments of all our blocks, and from this compiling a list of planned works to be completed, to ensure we meet all the up to date standards expected.

We continue to work closely with Essex Fire Safety and meet with them on a monthly basis to discuss our progress, and this also provides a good opportunity for information sharing and learning from the professionals in this area.

Not only do we as a Council have responsibilities in relation to fire safety, Residents have their own responsibilities to keep themselves safe.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind tenants and leaseholders that communal areas should be kept clear at all times. Personal items, including scooters, bikes, buggies or pushchairs and play equipment should NOT be left in communal corridors, areas or cupboards. All communal areas should be sterile and free of obstructions.

The Council will be seeking to work with residents to ensure the above is achieved. If residents consistently fail to adhere to fire safety standards and breach their tenancy then further action will be taken in the interests of communal well-being and safety.

Please note that any items left in communal areas may be removed without prior notice and recharges made where necessary. Any item deemed high risk, such as gas bottles, motorcycles, gas bbqs etc... will be removed immediately without notice and recharges made where necessary.

Information and advice on fire safety

Stay Safe Policy

A 'Stay Safe' policy is implemented in our properties and the details below outline what action Residents should take in the event of a fire.

At all times:

  • Make sure that the smoke alarms in your home are working.
  • Do not store anything in your hall or corridor, especially anything that will burn easily.
  • Use the fixed heating system fitted in your home. Do not use any form of radiant heater there, especially one with either a flame (gas or paraffin) or a radiant element (electric bar fire).
  • Do not store chemicals or flammable things in the cupboard(s) where your gas and electricity meters are fitted.
  • Do not block access roads to the building.

If the alarm sounds in your home:

  • If you are in the room where the fire is, leave straight away, together with anybody else, then close the door.
  • Do not stay behind to try and put the fire out.
  • Tell everybody else in your home about the fire and get everybody to leave. Close the front door and leave the building.
  • Do not use a balcony unless it is part of the escape route from the building.
  • Call the fire and rescue service..

If you see or hear of a fire in another part of the building:

  •  It will usually be safe for you to stay in your own home.
  • Please do not leave to investigate as this could put your life in danger.
  • Keep all windows and doors shut.

Calling the fire and rescue service:

The Fire and Rescue Service should always be called to a fire, even if it only seems a small fire. This should be done straight away on 999 or 112. Give clear instruction to the operator and do not end the phone call until they have repeated your address back to you.

When the Fire and Rescue Service arrive, they will take charge of the situation and tell you what to do to be safe

Contact us

If any resident has specific concerns or has identified any particular issue pertaining to fire safety please contact us via housing@brentwood.gov.uk or 01277 312500 (please ask for the estates officer covering your area).

Further advice:

Any residents requiring further information on fire safety precautions may wish to look at Essex County Fire & Rescue Services’ website, particularly high rise accommodation and home fire safety advice.

The Council's Fire Safety Policy can be found below along with fire evacuation notices for the different block types:

Fire Safety Policy 2018 pdf

Communal Area Management Procedure pdf

General Needs High Rise Evacuation Notice pdf

General Needs Low Rise Evacuation Notice pdf

Sheltered Evacuation Procedure pdf

We hope the above information is of assistance to you and we look forward to working with you to ensure safety for our communities.

Domestic violence

Don't stand for it!

A new 'rail to refuge' scheme offers free train travel to women fleeing domestic abuse. You can email refuge@womensaid.org.uk or view the Women's Aid website

Please complete our form below or telephone us on 01277 312500 if you, or a member of your family, are threatened with homelessness because of actual or threatened domestic abuse.

Apply for housing advice

Whilst we recognise that victims of domestic abuse would prefer to remain in the current area that they reside in, it is highly recommended that you approach an area or authority that you have no known local connection to, to ensure your future safety for you and your family.

It may be suitable and safe for you to remain in your current home with the right physical and legal securities put in place. You can contact your current social landlord or your Local Authority to ask for a 'Sanctuary Scheme' to be installed allowing you to remain in your home.

Our Housing Advice staff have been trained to respond sympathetically and give advice on your housing options. When approaching the Council you have the right to request an interview by an Officer of the same sex, if you so wish.

We will need to make appropriate enquiries and obtain information from the Police, your G.P. or any other agency involved. It is a good idea to keep written records of what has happened, as this will support your case.

Whilst enquiries are being carried out, we will assist you with finding refuge accommodation which may be anywhere in the Country. No person at risk of violence in Brentwood will be placed in emergency or permanent accommodation in the Borough of Brentwood, unless a Police Officer of Inspector rank or higher provides written assurance.

You would only be offered accommodation in an alternate area. Refuge accommodation will be sought in the first instance to ensure your safety and to ensure you receive the ongoing specialist support and guidance you will need during this difficult time. Many victims appreciate the support of a refuge. Womens Aid can help, and you can approach them directly if you wish.

You can approach any Council that you wish to help you with housing. If you have no local connection with the Council that you approach, then you may be referred to a Council where you do have a local connection, but it can't be to an area where you would be at risk.

Remember...

If you have made the decision to leave an abusive relationship try to take the following with you:

  • Proof of identity for yourself ie, Passport, driving licence, birth certificate
  • Any supporting evidence, ie police incident reference numbers, support agencies, court documents or evidence such as threatening text messages/letters etc.
  • Birth Certificates and proof of child benefit for your children
  • Clothes for yourself and your children
  • Medical cards
  • National Insurance number
  • Proof of residency (i.e., where you have been living)
  • Mortgage/tenancy details
  • House keys

If you are in immediate danger, just leave or call the Police!