At ARMA, we are dedicated to treating both our organisation’s members and the public who reach out to us with fairness and impartiality, striving to provide a high-quality service to all.
However, there may be instances where we encounter individuals whose behaviour or utilisation of our services, we deem unreasonable. In fulfilling our commitment to safeguarding the wellbeing of ARMA’s staff and teams, in accordance with our health and safety obligations, we cannot expect our staff to tolerate such behaviour.
Enquiries from the Public
We are unable to offer legal or technical advice to leaseholders or members of the public, we provide a self-service library on our website containing documents that may prove helpful: www.arma.org.uk/leaseholders/leaseholders-advice
We can provide guidance on how to raise a complaint concerning a member firm through our “Complaints Guidance,” which is also available for download on our website: www.arma.org.uk/leaseholders/complaints-about-a-member/
Please note the following:
- Our staff cannot address individual complaints regarding member firms but can offer guidance on the complaints process.
- We will provide details of a government-funded body capable of assisting you, offering free information, initial advice, and impartial guidance on residential leasehold matters, all staffed by legally qualified advisers.
This information empowers you to:
- Understand the complaint process and know who to contact for further guidance and advice.
Defining Unreasonable Behaviour
It is important to recognise that people may display unusual behaviour when they are facing difficulties or distressing circumstances. We do not label behaviour as unreasonable simply because it is forceful or determined. However, behaviour that imposes unreasonable demands on ARMA or is disrespectful to our staff is considered unacceptable.
Whenever possible, we will offer individuals the opportunity to modify their behaviour before any action is taken. If it becomes necessary to address unreasonable behaviour, we will maintain a detailed record of the events, including the unreasonable behaviour and any steps taken to mitigate it. This record will be maintained in our central register under the supervision of the Chief Operating Officer, recorded promptly after the incident.
Unacceptable behaviour when interacting with our staff includes:
- Unreasonable Persistence: This can include frequent and repetitive communication over a period of time (typically assessed over 3, 6, and 12 months).
- Rudeness: Such as swearing, persistent interruption, name-calling, or general discourtesy.
- Anger: Shouting
- Aggressive Behaviour: Threats of physical harm to individuals or property, behaviour indicating imminent physical harm, or actual physical aggression.
- Insulting or Disparaging Remarks: Comments related to an individual’s sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, race, colour, national or ethnic origin, religion, belief, or age.
- Inflammatory or Personal Remarks: Directed at a staff member.
Please note that these examples are not an exhaustive list, and other behaviours not mentioned may also be considered unacceptable.
Handling Unreasonable Behaviour
When a person exhibits unreasonable behaviour during a telephone call, our staff will request a change in behaviour. If the behaviour persists, a warning will be issued, and if the individual continues, the call will be terminated, with the staff member reporting this action to the Chief Operating Officer and creating a written record of the conversation.
In cases of unreasonable persistence, such as excessive calls or emails, we will ask the individual to limit their contact to essential matters. Failure to comply may result in restrictions on their contact with our office, including specific communication forms, designated contact times, or communication through a designated staff member or third party.
In exceptional circumstances, we may decline further contact with individuals displaying unreasonable persistence or abusive behaviour. Any limitations on contact will be approved by the Chief Operating Officer.
When we receive threats against staff members, voluntary advisers, or office property, immediate action, including notifying the police or emergency services, may be taken.