Find out how to develop a good relationship with your neighbours, so you can settle into your new community.

Introduce yourself

Being a good neighbour is important for living well in the community. You could introduce yourself to your neighbours on the day you move in – this is a great way of forming a positive relationship from the start.

It is useful to get on with your neighbours as you’ll be able to ask for advice, such as finding out when your bin collection days are, and it will help you settle into living as part of the local community. 

See our video for tips about living in the community.

Try to keep the noise down

If you plan on having a party, let your neighbours know in advance and tell them when it will finish. You must still comply with the obligations under your tenancy agreement or local council noise regulations. 

Try and plan parties for a Friday or Saturday night – during the week your neighbours may have work or school. Keep in mind that your neighbours may also have plans at the weekend. Being a student doesn’t mean you are outside of society – you are part of it like everyone else.

Complaints are most commonly made in relation to the frequency, noise levels, and duration of parties. Avoid hosting parties too often, and make sure they end at a reasonable time. 

Remember to:

  • keep the noise as low as possible and within your property
  • keep windows and doors shut
  • ask people to come inside at a reasonable time if you are using your garden at night
  • speak to guests about behaving considerately (remember, you are responsible for their behaviour)
  • think about the position of TVs and stereos in your property. Try to avoid placing them against walls you share with neighbours and turn the bass down.

Neighbours can complain about your behaviour to:

  • your landlord or letting agent – they can enforce clauses in the tenancy agreement and take action
  • environmental health at Brighton & Hove City Council – it can serve warnings about noise and noise abatement notices, which are legally enforceable (and if broken you could be taken to court)
  • us – as a student you have signed up to the Student Charter, agreeing to behave considerately in the community. If your behaviour breaks this then we have a complaints process in place, which includes disciplinary action.

Keep your property clean and tidy

You should try to keep your property and street tidy. You can do this by:

  • ensuring your bin does not overflow. Wildlife may rip open bin bags spilling the contents on to the street. If you need a bigger bin ask your landlord or contact the city council
  • checking what you can recycle. You will need to put glass in a separate box from the rest
  • bringing your bins in after the refuse and recycling has been collected so you don’t lose your bins or block the pavement
  • donating any unwanted items to charity.

You will need to contact the council if you need to get bulky waste removed (there may be a fee for this) or you can take it to the tip.

For garden waste you will need to get in touch with the council to order a garden waste bin. There is a charge for this service.

When moving out from your private sector accommodation, it is important to consider your community responsibility. You should also show respect for those living around you and care for the community you have been part of during your time in the private sector. The property should be left clear of unwanted items and excess rubbish. Find out more about how to clean the premises when you move out.

Get involved in the community

You can get involved by:

  • signing up to volunteer in your community
  • signing up to hear about and attend community events.

Community ambassadors

Our community ambassadors can help you settle in locally and support you to live well in your new community. 

The ambassadors share information about the services provided by the University. They can also give you guidance about: 

  • maintenance issues
  • general private sector advice
  • living in the community
  • ways to make a positive contribution to your local community
  • any issues affecting you in your home.

Community walkabouts

Our Community Ambassadors often join the Private Sector and Community Liaison team on community walkabouts in the local area. This is your chance to come out to speak with us and tell us about your experiences in the private sector and the local community.

Look after your home

Make sure you:

  • remember to lock up, including locking your windows and doors when you go out
  • let your neighbours know if your house is going to be empty for a long period of time.

Find out more about looking after your home.

If a complaint is made against you

It is important to respect the community while you are living in private-rented housing and remember the way we expect you to behave. As a student in private-rented accommodation, you will be closer to other members of the public who may lead very different lives, have different work patterns and schedules, and sometimes very different lifestyles to you.

If a complaint is made against you (a complaint can be made by members of the public, local council teams or the police) the University has a responsibility to investigate any allegations reported concerning Sussex students living in private rented accommodation in, or around, Brighton. 

Housing Services have no enforcement powers. Our role is to investigate, share advice and issue guidance on the next steps. If deemed necessary, any information gathered can be shared with our student discipline team to review at a later stage.

  • What we can investigate

    If the University receives a report concerning allegations of potential misconduct, we may conduct an investigation into the information received.

    See examples of when an investigation may be launched.

    Examples of common reports that we investigate include:

    • causing a disturbance or nuisance to others, for example excessive noise, such as a loud party late at night held at your property which results in distress to others (stress/lack of sleep/children being woken up in the night)
    • anti-social behaviour directed towards members of the community
    • causing damage to your neighbour's property
    • issues with rubbish and recycling management which is affecting neighbours and the wider community and environment around your property
    • reports of misconduct via the police or local council, or damaging the reputation of the University as a result of your behaviour.
  • How the complaints process works

    Housing Services are the initial point of contact for community complaints. Reports can include written accounts and video evidence.

    There are three steps to our complaints process:

    • upon receiving a first allegation an initial visit to the property is proposed, this allows us to outline the allegations sent to the household and listen to your response in the first instance. This visit is primarily for us to establish a relationship with you as a household and to offer information to you with regards to the community complaints process
    • a meeting is held with the household in the second stage. This is a useful and important meeting, as we get the opportunity to discuss in depth your feedback and share our advice and guidance. A summary of the meeting is sent to all Sussex students within the household and is kept as a record of your account. At this stage, we will send further information to you with regards to the student discipline process
    • if a third allegation be received, a decision is made, based on the nature of the allegation and what has been discussed previously, as to whether all information gathered will be passed onto our Student Discipline team for review or a further meeting with Housing Services held.

    If the student discipline team become involved

    If the investigation is passed to the student discipline team, they will review it and decide whether any action is appropriate. If they take on the investigation any new allegations made will be passed onto their team to review.

    Find out more about the student discipline process.

    Involvement of third parties

    While any allegations made to the University are investigated internally, it may be the case that the allegations have also been made to other parties in line with Data Protection regulations.

    These typically can be:

    • landlord or letting agent
    • council teams such as Environmental Health and Private Sector Housing
    • police/PCSO.

    It is important that you engage and share your feedback with your landlord/agent or any organisation involved.

Support available

There are a number of support services available from within the University and externally, who can provide welfare and wellbeing support, as well as help with engaging with neighbours:

See more from Living in the property