Hi, we are Kate, and Zainab, your Student Community Wardens this academic year. We help students with all the confusion and challenges that come with living out of college and try to bridge the gap between student and non-student residents in our community. You’re likely to be hearing a lot more from us over the next few months!
We’ve all been there: you’re coming home, talking and laughing probably a little bit louder than you should be, and you tend to forget about how it’s the middle of the night and other people have places to be early in the morning. The result could be a noise complaint from your neighbour who is fed up because it’s the third time that week they’ve been disturbed.
It’s easily done. But it’s just as easily fixed.
Here are our Top Tips to be a Good Neighbour
1. Say “Hi!”
Sometimes, all it takes is starting off on the right foot to be a better member of the community. When you move into a new house, knock on doors, and introduce yourselves to the others on your street! It doesn’t do any harm and from past experience we can tell you it goes a long way to improving relationships and avoiding complaints about noise and rubbish. Take the time to learn your neighbours’ schedules and find out when you need to be quiet and respect them. Put it this way: you’re a lot less likely to file a complaint if someone is taking the time to get to know you and making efforts to work around your schedule.
2. Be aware of your rubbish!
Helping to keep your street tidy is easier than you might think. All it takes is properly recycling your rubbish, taking out your bins on the right day, and taking them in on the day the rubbish is collected. You don’t want to cause an obstruction on the pavement and make pedestrians put themselves in danger by having to walk on the road!
For all the right information surrounding your rubbish and bin collection dates, follow the link to ‘My Durham’ on the Durham County Council webpage
3. Stay safe!
Please be sure to read all the information that the university has published online about staying safe when you’re out in Durham, especially at night, at this link:
It’s always a good idea to have a sober friend with you on a night out and walking back – they can provide a feeling of security and make sure everyone is quiet on the walk home and doesn’t get fined!
4. Keep updated!
To get all the latest information on what your responsibilities are as a house, what the consequences may be if your neighbours file a report, and for all other updates on what the SCWs are up to, check out our Instagram and Facebook pages!
Instagram: @durham_scws Facebook: @DUSCWS
5. Get involved!
Are you feeling like maybe you haven’t been treating your community with the most respect? Or just excited to meet people and have something extra to add to your CV? Then get involved! We’re recruiting for volunteer ‘Street Champions’ who can help be a point of contact for their street and help strengthen community relations.
To ask any questions or to register your interest, email [email protected].
Anti-social noise procedure
Nobody wants to receive a warning from the council and have a visit from the Community Response Team after being too noisy. With the arrival of the new Anti-Social Noise Procedure, the University and Durham County Council are taking steps to stop noise being an issue for everyone living in Durham.
You can read the whole procedure if you want to, but here is a brief summary:
- Overnight anti-social noise at a student property is reported to 101.
- The University Security Community Response Team (CRT) visits the property (between 21:30 and 03:30) and requests an immediate reduction in noise, informing those present about this procedure and potential further action.
- If the same property is reported via 101 a second time, Durham County Council (DCC) will issue a Community Protection Warning (CPW) to its residents if there is enough evidence to do so.
- In the case of a third instance of anti-social noise, DCC will issue Community Protection Notices (CPNs) if there is enough evidence to do so.
- Failure to comply with a CPN can result in a Fixed Penalty Notice and prosecution.
We advise that you bear the potential consequences of noise in mind, and remember that students can report noise too, not just non-student residents that live in Durham!