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Information and advice for council tenants

General information for tenants

When visiting the communal play areas, you should 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

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.

Useful Documents

Financial information

We sometimes require you to fill in an income and expenditure form if there's 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.

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's a calculator 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.

If you're applying for financial assistance such as a Discretionary Housing Payment, e-mail and attach three 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 us. 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. We will remove any cars found to be in breach of this, 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.

Our responsibilities

We expect 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, though it may be obvious who is making the complaint if you're the neighbour. For more information and to report anti-social behaviour, visit Anti-Social Behaviour.

Your responsibilities

You're responsible for the behaviour of every person living in or visiting your home. You're 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 anything listed in these conditions.

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


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


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

We 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 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.


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.

Waste disposal

Residents in flats or maisonettes must dispose of household waste in the designated bins. If you have large items to be disposed, call 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.


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


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 can't do it, we can take action against your tenancy.

Help may be available for the elderly and disabled. Ask your Housing Officer or your Scheme Manager for more information.

Flats, maisonettes and sheltered accommodation

Anyone 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

We are committed to ensuring the safety of our 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 make sure 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 have responsibilities in relation to fire safety, Residents have their own responsibilities to keep themselves safe.

We want 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.

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

Items left in communal areas may be removed without prior notice, especially high risk items, such as gas bottles, motorcycles, or gas BBQs and recharges may be made where necessary.

Information and advice on fire safety.

Stay Safe Policy

A Stay Safe policy is implemented in our properties, and these are the actions Residents should take in the event of a fire:

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

If the alarm sounds in your home:

  • if you're in the room where the fire is, everyone should leave straight away and close the door
  • don't stay behind to try and put the fire out.
  • tell everybody in your home about the fire and get everybody outside, closing the front door
  • Don't use a balcony unless it is part of the escape route from the building
  • call the fire and rescue service on 999

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
  • don't 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 for a small fire. This should be done straight away by calling 999 or 112. Give clear instruction to the operator and don't 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, email or call 01277 312500, asking for the estates officer covering your area.

More advice

For more information on fire safety, particularly for high rise accommodation and home fire safety advice, visit Essex County Fire & Rescue Services.

View our Fire Safety Policy and fire evacuation notices for the different block types:

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!

The rail to refuge scheme offers free train travel to women fleeing domestic abuse. For information, email or visit Women's Aid.

If you, or a member of your family, are threatened with homelessness because of actual or threatened domestic abuse, complete our form or call 01277 312500.

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

It may be suitable and safe for you to stay 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 stay in your home.

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

We will need to make appropriate enquiries and get information from the Police, your G.P. or any other agency involved. It's 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 help you find refuge accommodation which could 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 make sure you get the ongoing specialist support and guidance you will need during this difficult time. Womens Aid can help, and you can approach them directly if you want to.

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

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

  • proof of identity for yourself such as Passport, driving licence, birth certificate
  • supporting evidence such as police incident reference numbers, support agencies, court documents orthreatening text messages, letters, or emails
  • birth certificates and proof of child benefit for your children
  • clothes for yourself and your children
  • medical cards
  • national Insurance number
  • proof of residency such as where you have been living
  • mortgage or tenancy details
  • house keys

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