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Immediate Aggression

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  • Immediate Aggression

    Writing on behalf of a friend.

    My friend's ceiling started to fall away in large pieces. He has made plans to repair it. While awaiting the repairs he noticed quantities of water coming through from the upstairs flat (perhaps the reason for the ceiling falling).

    He talked to the neighbour and asked what the problem was such that water was coming through the ceiling. The neighbour's response was a threat to punch him. My friend said this would result in legal action. The neighbour replied: "No it won't because you'll be dead".

    Does anyone have any ideas for dealing with such an astonishing escalation. The requirement for two instances of bad behaviour in a course of conduct (PFH97) seems not very useful in such circumstances.

  • #2
    Welcome to the board jimckechnie

    My first thought - what a 'guilty conscience' this neighbour above has, just who do they think they are making idle agressive threats?

    Has your friend reported it to the police? I know that's an obvious question - if they haven't they must, even if there's no/little action the local police can take. Were there any witnesses to the neighbours threat? Your friend needs to record it themself too (recording log sheet - check Resources)

    Unfortunately, chances are if this has happened once, it'll happen again, especially with a neighbour in such close proximity.

    Even if there's no proof, get it properly and officially recorded with the Police, so there are possibilities as you say to use the two seperate instances (when/if 2nd occurence happens) using the PFHA 1997.

    Can you give us any more info - anything else happened before, after? Did your friend (obviously probably! ) just retreat after the threat - what else was said, if anything? Just trying to get a mental picture.

    Have you had a look at the NFH Harassment & Bullying Article - you may have done already, but worth mentioning.

    As for the ceiling, has your friend contacted the insurance company for advice and asked them if they may consider getting a surveyor etc in to see what may be the cause for the damage and if it's water damage related? The insurance co may be interested to do this as if they fork out and it happens again they have a ££ pricey interest.

    Hope that's been of some help.



    • #3
      Just had a thought too, the 'Criminal Justice & Public Order Act 1994' states:

      Section 154 creates the offence as such:

      To intentionally either (a) use 'threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour, or disorderly behaviour'; or (B) display 'any writing, sign or visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting'; to cause someone 'harassment, alarm or distress'.

      Could be applicable for your friend, again 'evidence' holding out or use of the 'Criminal law of Assault'.

      See Harassment


      • #4
        Matthew, thanks for responding.

        No, there were no witnesses as far as I understand and I don't know what transpired after the threat. I have a copy of the recording form. As you say, a report to the police is probably a good start. However, even in the unlikely event that the police go so far as to issue a warning in the absence of any witnesses my friend would still be in a frightening situation given that the threat was made immediately and with no provocation.

        As far as insurance goes - the insurance company have already indicated that the damage is not covered by the policy.


        • #5
          Hi jimckechnie,

          It seems your friend is going to have problems even communicating with the neighbour, especially if this is a problem where the water is damaging the ceiling structure and plasterwork etc. They do need to interact to deal with the problem I would think (if the neighbour is the cause - could be a leaky pipe or anything).

          Out of interest, does the other neighbour rent or own the property? Maybe go direct to the landlord or HA etc if they rent?

          Maybe a visit to a local CAB first for some free (legal) advice could help also; as if it is proven by an expert, that the water damage is the cause of ceiling collapse, your friend will probably have to unfortunately make a legal claim against the neighbour to recover expenses. Surveyors etc to establish this could also cost a bit

          I agree, it will probably be a no-hoper with the Police, but a definite must do on this occasion ASAP. It's so odd, this neighbour has been so agressive first off. Have they had other negative 'communications' together before do you know?

          Ask the Police when it's reported also (as per 2nd add on post here) about the 'Criminal Justice & Public Order Act 1994' Section 154.

          Worryingly too, your friend is obviously going to be worried to even approach the neighbour again and I can't say I blame then, (again obvious this) but make sure they don't ever communicate/meet/interact with them wherever possible without someone with them. Reporting it officially too may aggravate the situation, so be prepared.

          Good luck to your friend


          • #6
            Hi Jim and welcome

            Sorry to hear about your friend I think Matthew has give a fairly comprehensive reply so there's not a lot I can add to it. I would suggest your friend get a small dictaphone and he keeps it handy so he can record any further threats that might be made.

            Good luck

            "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi


            • #7
              Hi and welcome

              I can't add anything to the advice already given by Matthew, but it would help to clarify the housing situation of both your friend and their NFH. Do they both own?


              • #8
                All, thanks for your thoughtful responses.

                hollygolightly (loved the film), in response to your question - my friend and his NFH are both owners.

                misty, with regard to the dictaphone: I will suggest this to him.

                Matthew, he is in the process of talking to CAB to establish a best course of action.