Getting Along with Your Neighbours

The University of Birmingham places great importance on its relationship with the local community in which students live.

We encourage students to engage and participate in community life and to get to know their neighbours. Many students live in areas with a high number of other students nearby; however unlike University accommodation, you may not be aware that there are lots of non-students living in the area too. Many are very welcoming to the student community and understand that student life sometimes can be more nocturnal than theirs, but it is essential that you respect their rights to a peaceful life as they should respect yours. You should bear in mind that your conduct whilst living in the community reflects on the University and students as a whole.

We hope these guidelines will help you settle into the neighbourhood and prevent problems arising from differing lifestyles.

  • Introduce yourself to your neighbours when you move in and establish a good relationship. It will improve your experience of living in the local area and you never know when you may need their help
  • Volunteer in your local community as this will impact positively on your life and it’s a great way to meet people. The Guild of Students will be able to provide some suitable opportunities.
  • Make sure you are signed up to hear about community events and local community news at l Love Selly Oak website.   

A good neighbour is mindful of the following...

Waste and Recycling

You are responsible for keeping your property free from rubbish inside and outside. As well as impacting on the condition of the property, failure to do this properly also contributes to pest control problems. It is your responsibility to ensure that your rubbish is put out on the correct day in the right place for collection. Visit Birmingham City Council website to check your collection dates. Please be aware that Birmingham City Council (Environmental Health) can issue Fixed Penalty Notices for waste that is put outside for collection on the incorrect day.


If you are planning a party it would be considerate to let your neighbours know the date and likely times, and provide a contact number for you.  During the party, please keep disturbance to your neighbours to a minimum (especially if people are in the garden or street), turn your speakers away from the wall and ask your friends to leave quietly and at a reasonable time at the end.

One of the most common disturbances complained about is groups of students getting into taxis on their way out late at night, or when returning from a night out either from taxis or walking back through the streets in the early hours of the morning. Please do your best to be considerate and as quiet as possible when doing this.

Guests: it is extremely easy to unintentionally raise your voice, particularly when there are a number of you.

Stairs/creaky floorboards: Running up and down the stairs is easily heard through many neighbouring walls and floors, especially if you have wooden flooring. Try to remember to remove shoes indoors.

Cars: ensure your car stereo is not playing too loudly and be mindful of car alarms which can go off in the night.

If a neighbour complains to you about the noise you are making, be sympathetic to their concerns and take all reasonable steps to address the problem. Remember your neighbour will probably experience noise from all housemates and in your absence you may not be aware of the noise that is being caused.


What to do if you encounter anti-social behaviour in your community?

The University offers advice to students and residents living in the community to avoid any problems occurring. However, should you encounter any problems with anti-social behaviour that you are unable to resolve yourself, please consider approaching your neighbour to explain politely what the issue is that is affecting you. Try to come to an agreement/compromise on managing the situation. You may find this difficult, but often people are unaware that they are causing a problem.  However, approach the matter carefully if you think your neighbour might react angrily to the complaint.

Who you can contact for support?

West Midland Police
In case of an issue needing urgent attention we recommend you contact West Midlands Police on 999 (emergencies) and 101 (non-emergencies)

Birmingham City Council
To address loud music after the event (environmental health section). The Environmental Health section offers a unique service to  Birmingham’s residents, traders and visitors. They ensure pests, refuse and noise nuisances are controlled. Where possible they bring about behavioural change through education and advisory means, but where necessary and in line with their Enforcement Policy, they use the legislative powers invested in them by the City Council to ensure compliance. Please phone 0121 303 6007

Living is based in the University Centre. This is the University’s accommodation service, and is here to help with any issues relating to the University, local residents and students living in the community. We have a dedicated team who deal with all aspects of private sector housing and community issues and are happy to assist you with any issues you may have. Please contact Living on 0121 414 8000

Guild of Students Community Wardens
The Community Wardens, a University of Birmingham partnership with the Guild of Students, aim to encourage all residents to get involved in, look after and feel proud of their local community and promote a safer, cleaner, greener community. Please phone 0121 251 2502.