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Neighbour's Teenage Son Is Trying To Hurt Us

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  • Neighbour's Teenage Son Is Trying To Hurt Us

    I'm new here so pardon me jumping in here straight off asking for help

    We got back from holidays yesterday (me, husband, three children) and came up the stairs to our first floor flat. The place was stinking of choking perfumed air freshener, so much you could taste the bitter taste of it, my kids and I were coughing, I threw up soon after getting indoors, had a headache for hours after. My hubby was not so sick but I am sensitive to different things from him (he seems to be allergic to house dust which doesn't affect me at all, but he is an ex-smoker and I am severely allergic to cigarette smoke, and some perfumed things affect him while some affect me). This is not the first time we have had trouble, we know who did it, and would like advice on how to get hold of a CCTV, to watch our doorway and the area thereabouts and prove who is harrassing us. My youngest daughter's buggy wheels have been let down, and we have had people messing about ringing our door bell. Hardly the actions of an adult, we are sure it is the son.

    What really annoys me is that I really tried to be a good neighbour when they moved in, my kids can be noisy and from that point of view we are not perfect ideal neighbours, but I am in no way the malicious type to hurt anyone on purpose or be sneaky. We are always telling them to pipe down anyway. If someone has a problem with me and discuss it rationally I will try to change my behaviour so as not to be a problem for them. I was in a lot and accepted deliveries for them, even though one was heavy and caused me back trouble. I have only got angry with them because the man put up an air freshener device in the communal hallway, claiming it was because of smells from our flat (washable nappies are the main problem we think). But he never asked anyone else living here if it was OK to do it! He has stopped filling it up since I complained how it was making me ill and I have genuinely made an effort to make sure we keep the nappy wash odour from escaping to bother them, so far so good, an unspoken truce, but I know it was his son yesterday who deliberately sprayed some nasty stuff in the hallway just as we were arriving home from 10 days away. I know it is retaliation because I told him off about the doorbell ringing incident which happened when he had some friends round, and it had to be either him or one of his friends messing with our bell as there was nobody else about. Yesterday there was no-one else in but the son, the father was out and when he got home he was mystified when we told him about what had happened as the nasty stuff that had been choking us when we got in was not from his wall device, so I can only suspect his son of spraying it just before we got up the stairs. He obviously has learned that these things make me get sick so the scary thing is he has discovered my achilles heel, I get ill from cigarette smoke and strong perfume (thankfully they don't smoke which would be 10 times worse!). I don't have an actual diagnosis of asthma although I have had ventolin on a short trial, but now I have nothing because the doctors don't know what it wrong with my lungs so it is very frightening if I breathe something that causes me wheeziness and phlegm. I grew up in a smoky home with my mother a heavy smoker and it did cause me a lot of ill-health especially with phlegm and breathing problems. I thought I was mostly over it, but this problem with the neighbours and their heavily perfumed air fresheners along with times when I am exposed to cigarette smoke has made me so sick often more than once a week. I don't think the anxiety is good for me either.

    I've never done the naighbour's son any harm, even if it was one of his friends and not him who played with our bell, I had the right to be angry over that, even if I was wrong to blame him entirely. He could have admitted it was one of his friends instead of denying all knowledge. I deserved an apology, not retaliation.

    I want to be able to put up CCTV but have no idea how to do it!


  • #2
    Hi Lesley and welcome to the Forum

    Just to get a clearer picture of where you're living: do you own or rent your lfat? What about the downstairs neighbour? If you rent, is it from a Housing Association, the Council or a private landlord?

    From reading your post, it would seem like both you and your neighbour are sensitive to smells. Have you tried to speak to your neighbour recently about the problems you are both experiencing?

    Have you considered contacting your local Mediation Service? They can act as a "go-between" and arrange meetings between you both to enable you to reach compromise solutions to your problems.

    You asked specifically about CCTV - from reading other members posts, I think that CCTV units are readily available in shops like B & Q, a member of staff there may be able to advise you further on more specific issues about installing the equipment.


    • #3
      I seem to recall many years ago finding there appeared to be no mediation service locally!

      The neighbour we have the problem with is not downstairs from us, but opposite us. We live in a small private block with 6 flats in all, three flats on each of the two floors and we are upstairs.

      Thanks for the advice on CCTV.

      I feel largely upset with the neighbour from the start because he installed the thing in the communal hallway without having first told us he was having a problem with smells from our flat. He could have talked to us first, I feel extremely insulted that he did not do this because I am not and never did give the impression of being unreasonable, I had been nice and helpful over taking deliveries so he had no reason to believe I was unapproachable, and I am quite willing to admit there could have been an odour problem. I had been leaving our front door open a few times, but now it is firmly closed and our windows open when a nappy wash is on, I simply was not aware there was a smell coming out of the flat to bother him and I am trying to minimise it by also keeping the kitchen door shut so that is an extra door closed between the washing machine and the communal hallway. I'm not so much sensitive to smells as to smoke or fumes or chemicals in the air whereas the man opposite seems sensitive to smells but not bothered by chemicals.

      My husband owns the flat but it is leasehold and the freeholder will not get involved but says it is up to the mangement company (that is the flat owners) to get the thing taken down. To be perfectly honest I don't mind the thing in the hallway being there or even with a little perfume from it, just not too strong, and he has not refilled it since I complained, but I am more upset by the boy's seemingly malicious behaviour towards us which I feel is undeserved. The stuff he sprayed at our doorway was overpowering many times more so than anything we had experienced from the wall device in the past.