Association of Residential Managing Agents

Members' Area

Unreasonable Behaviour Policy

ARMA is committed to dealing with members of our organisation and members of the public who contact us fairly and impartially and to provide a high quality of service to everyone we deal with.

Occasionally, there may be instances where we deal with somebody whose behaviour or use of the service, we consider is unreasonable. We have a duty to ensure that the secretariat staff of ARMA are properly protected, in accordance with our health and safety obligations and our general responsibility to safeguard their welfare. We do not expect our staff to tolerate this type of behaviour.

Enquiries from members of the public

We are unable to provide any legal or technical advice to leaseholders or members of the public, however we provide a self-service library on our website which contains documents which may be able to assist you.

  • We are able to provide guidance on how to raise a complaint ‘Complaints Guidance’ in relation to a member firm, which can also be downloaded from our website.
  • Our staff cannot deal with individual complaints in relation to a member firm and can only provide you with and/ or explain the complaints process to follow which will enable your complaint to be dealt with.
  • We will provide you with details of the government funded body who are able to assist you and they provide free information, initial advice and guidance to members of the public about residential leasehold. They are independent and impartial and all of their advisers are legally qualified.

This will enable you to:

  • Be aware of the process to follow to raise your complaint and who to contact for further guidance and advice. 

Where a person makes unreasonable demands, for example for a particular outcome to an enquiry; or for us to deal with an enquiry in a particular way, we will explain clearly our reasoning as to why we cannot do this.

What is unreasonable behaviour?

People may act out of character in times of trouble or distress. There may have been upsetting or distressing circumstances leading to an enquiry coming to ARMA. We do not view behaviour as unreasonable just because a person is forceful or determined. However, we do consider behaviour that results in unreasonable demands on ARMA or unreasonable behaviour towards our staff to be unacceptable.

Wherever possible, we will give the person the opportunity to change their behaviour or action before a decision is taken. In the event that action needs to be taken to deal with unreasonable behaviour, we will make a detailed note of events, including the unreasonable behaviour and any action taken to mitigate it. This will be recorded in our central register held by the Chief Operating Officer and we will do this as soon as possible after the event.

The following behaviour is deemed unacceptable when liaising with our

Being unreasonably persistent – for example, ringing us frequently to raise points already addressed; sending us voluminous repetitive or irrelevant emails or letters; (Note that there is no set period for being unreasonably persistent as the nature of the persistence will inevitably vary. However, depending on the circumstances, we will consider whether a person is being unreasonably persistent by assessing the frequency of persistence over a period of 3, 6 and 12 months).

Rudeness – swearing (generally or directed at a member of staff), persistent interruption, name calling or general discourtesy;

Anger – shouting;

Aggressive behaviour – threats of physical harm to person(s) or property; behaviour which indicates that physical harm to person(s) or property is imminent or actual physical aggression.

Insulting or disparaging remarks or comments on the grounds of an individual’s sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, race, colour, national or ethnic origin, religion, belief or age;

Inflammatory remarks or personal remarks directed at a member of staff.

These are examples and not a definitive list of unacceptable behaviours. There are other behaviours not included in the above which may constitute unacceptable behaviour.

Dealing with unreasonable behaviour

Where a person behaves unreasonably during a telephone call to a member of staff, we will ask them to change their behaviour. If they persist in doing this, we will warn them that we will terminate the call and if they persist, we will follow that through. The staff member who terminates the call will report this to the Chief Operating Officer when this happens and a written note of the telephone conversation will be made and this will be logged.

Where a person is unreasonably persistent, for example by telephoning us several times a day for a number of days in succession, or by sending us voluminous or repetitive emails or letters, we will ask them to reduce their contact with the office to that which is absolutely essential. If our request is ignored, we will take steps to limit their contact with the office. Such steps might include requiring contact in a particular form – for example by letter only; requiring telephone contact on specified days or at specified times; or insisting that contact is only made with specific staff member(s) or through a third party to contact us on the persons behalf. 

In exceptional circumstances, we may refuse to have further contact with individuals who are unreasonably persistent or abusive. Where we put limitations on contact with the office, this will be sanctioned by the Chief Operating Officer.

Where we receive threats against individual staff members/voluntary advisers or office property, immediate action may be taken including informing the police or other emergency services.