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  • Victim of Bullying?

    Hello All,

    This is my first post here so I'll try to keep it brief but to the point.



    Background.



    We are young family who moved into a semi detached nearly 4 year ago.

    Our immediate neighbours are approaching retirement age and have lived in their house about 30 years.

    They made no attempt to hide their feelings when we moved in - they did not want a young family next to them.

    That is how it was left. We didn't need them, they didn't need us.

    Nothing was done or said by them for 9 months.



    After settling in we decided that some improvements were required to the house.

    Some of the work was noisy, but it was performed during normal working hours and occasionally at a weekend.

    The first indication that they had been upset was in the form of the obligatory letter from the EHO stating that working late at night if witnessed by an officer would result in a noise abatement notice. Eh, this was work done during the day!

    Why couldn't they tell me they had concerns - I speak the same language as them?



    We duly discussed this with the EHO but he took their side immediately and ignored anything we tryed to present in our defence.



    This was the start of things to come.



    Since then we have received over 10 'initial' warnings from the EHO's.

    Not once has any action been taken because the events described by the obsessive complainants are fictional.

    Despite this, once particular senior EHO has taken it personally and has expressed his personal opinion about my family based in evidence from the people who despise us the most!



    The latest complaint seemed to reflect both the complainant's and EHO's desperation.

    I was reported 'working late at night on someones car in my garage'.

    I was 'actually' checking my oil level by torchlight on my drive - quite a quiet process if I remember correctly!

    The ' in my garage' bit was included to attempt to secure a change of use on my garage claiming I am running a repairs business...

    The point to note here is that my garage is still under construction as it has no roof, and secondly the scaffolding prohibits anything greater the 5 foot wide being put into the said garage!

    I relayed this information to the council following reciept of the letter and they refuse to comment but still uphold the validity of the information given to them by the claimant.



    With this type of behaviour from the council how can I be certain not the be the subject of further defamatory claims?



    Other neighbours who initially welcomed us have been fed a wide variety of allegations against us by the complaintants and have since stopped speaking to us.



    I have refrained from calling my neighbours 'NFH' because in context with other peoples stories mine is more trivial.



    However, it still troubles me, otherwise I wouldn't be talking to you.



    In an attempt to resolve our differences I asked the Local Ward Councilor to speak to the complaintants. He offered to mediate for both families.

    Their response - there is nothing to mediate, we have no problems with this family. :banghead:



    Any advice would be greatly received.

    Best regards

    Peter

  • #2
    Hi Peter



    welcome



    you describe harrassment, for what ever reason they are trying to get you into bother, can you think of anything that might of sparked it off in the first place?



    I think I would write to EHO, recorded delivery and tell them about the councilor offering to mediate and their response, tell them everything and invite them to your house to see that they have been lying...ie the garage scenerio



    also tell the EHO you feel this is harrasment by your neighbour and you are considering taking action against them for this, and you would like to prove your innocence to EHO, after all they are wasting EHO time as well. When it comes down to it they do not want to be wasting time and energy over untruths



    10 intial warning letters and no follow through!!!! even the EHO must be twigging by now!! :huh:



    you could also ask your councillor to contact EHO asking them to tell their side of events, coucillors are actually listened to by most authority workers



    I know others will be along shortly to ofer support and advice too, dont be down hearted please, and keep coming back!

    Comment


    • #3
      There are others here who are better informed than me, but from what you say your neighbours are making a series of untrue allegations about you, forcing you to defend yourself when you have done nothing wrong. That sounds like harrassment to me. If you also think the the EHO are not treating you impartially you need to take care to carefuly collect evidence that they can't ignore. If for example you can show that the allegation about working late at night on someone's car is clearly untrue. Perhaps it may be time to think about a solicitor.



      I'm sure you'll soon get plenty of good advice from the real experts on here.

      Comment


      • #4
        Whoops, sorry Beth didn't see your post until after I'd sent mine

        Comment


        • #5
          :lol: no worries eskander!! all advice is good advice!! :thumbs:

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Peter, and a warm welcome to NFHiB



            This does seem like quite bullying behaviour! Do you know if your neighbours have had problems with previous neighbours...either from the point of view that this may cause them to be over-sensitised to noise, or in the sense that they could have caused problems for previous neighbours?



            I think you have taken some really sensible steps already....including being prepared to take part in Mediation. I feel you have to be very canny now, and on your guard, until you see if you can straighten all this out.



            There are an excessive number of warning letters here from E.H. considering there has been no action taken. If they have evidence, why are they dallying about like this?



            I would be tempted to see if you can get a meeting with the Manager, armed with a comprehensive list of your answers to these complaints. And do reiterate a desire for Mediation. It might be worth taking some advice on this.....have a look at the link below to see what advice is available in your area

            http://www.justask.org.uk/index.jsp



            Do let us know how you go on.



            Regards,





            Sapph

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks Beth and Eskander for taking time to reply.



              I can only think they are envious about what we are doing and our style of life.

              We are adding an extension to give more space, that probably upset them, but nothing unreasonable, and certainly nothing to cause me to act in the same manner as they have should the tables have been turned.



              I have tryed to place myself in their position and think what I would be feeling towards them if they were doing what I'm doing.

              I don't reach the same conclusions they do!



              There have been numberous reports the Police.

              For example 'suspicous' packages arriving in our post, when in fact is was something totally innocent.

              It seems where there is a problem in their eyes they bend the truth to gain some sort of action. They also choose events which cannot be proven so I have no evidence to defend myself with.



              One of the complaints (from Building Control this time) was about a shed I was constructing.

              I had preempted the expected complaint prior to building the shed by seeking Planning and Building Control permissions - neither were required.

              However the Council still followed up the complaint. Obviously no action was taken as I had acted within the guidelines set out.

              The neighbour had let his feelings be known to the council though - I wasn't 'allowed' to build a shed in 'his' neighbourhood.



              I have invited the council to see the proof about the garage scenario.

              Their response was they didn't have the manpower to follow it up, even if they did it couldn't be used as evidence because I could have altered 'things' as I knew I was under investigation.

              Ie, Removed the garage roof and repositioned the scaffolding after the event is what they said!



              Despite all the warning letters the EHO is taking this the wrong way - probably fueled by what he has been told by the neighbour.

              The fact that 10 letters have been issued and the EHO can't take any formal action is reinforcing in his mind that I am proving difficult to catch - and he seems determinded to pin something on me.

              After all he has to justify the time and resource spent on all the fruitless investigations.



              The Councillor has contacted the EHO and mentioned the failed attempt at mediation.

              The EHO is as deluded as the neighbour - THEY can do no wrong but every thing I do IS wrong.



              I have approached a Solicitor. The response was that the neighbour is evading prosecution from harassment because they are manipulating a third party.

              The council would be difficult to prosecute because what they are doing , ie sending written warnings is part of their policy and are not being seen as doing anything untoward, despite their rather haphazard approach.



              I am contemplating making a formal complaint to the council about the EHO's conduct and the general way the complaints are handled but I'm concerned I won't be treated fairly and impartially.



              Best regards

              Peter

              Comment


              • #8
                it makes me sick to the back teeth all this nonsense



                so they are contacting the police as well? umm sound like they really want control of your life



                check this out harrassment self help



                self help articles on loads of stuff including harrassment



                have you mentioned to the police that your NFH are wasting police time?



                thanks for giving us more info, it all helps to get the picture of what you are going through

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi Peter



                  What a horrendous situation! Your NFH obviously have very little in their lives so they feel to the need to disrupt others. Sad little people



                  I find it quite disturbing that they can get the EHO to send you TEN warning letters and also report you to the police because 'suspicious' packages are arriving at your home! What did the police say about that?



                  I'm inclined to think they (NFH) might have 'connections', otherwise how have they got away with all this harassment for so long? They must be permanently camped at the window, watching what you are doing and what you are receiving in the post! And then to tell your councillor that they have no problem with you is the height of hypocrisy! It really isn't fair



                  Have you approached your MP? He/she might be able to get more sense out the council.



                  Good luck



                  Misty
                  "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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi Peter



                    Welcome to the forum, and sorry that I have come into this a bit late. Your neighbours seem to have reached a point of obsession, and it's ridiculous that Eh should be allowed to send you 10 letters without any proof or taking matters further.



                    You certainly do need to log a complaint to the council and express your concerns about the harassment. You should make it clear that your neighbour is working on a campaign of persecution, and that as far as you are concerned the EH is only working to facilitate this



                    I hope that you find the articles that Beth has posted of help, and do come back and let us know how things are going.



                    Take care



                    Blue Cow

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi Peter,



                      Sorry to read that someone has it in for you, and also that they apparently have an EHO in their pocket that they're not afraid to use. It does sound a bit, as Misty says, like they must have 'connections' - no doubt someone in petty authority, as sad and pathetic as they are.



                      Personally, I wouldn't want to fork out the hard-earned on a Solicitor, unless things got completely intolerable, then I understand you may be able to learn the identity of the complainants for a harassment case.



                      10 initial warning letters??? Your EHO sounds an utter pi**ock! As your council tax pays this twit's wages I would make a formal complaint about his actions in repeatedly pestering you over nothing on behalf of some malicious complainant. Furthermore I would question of his superiors whether said EHO had sufficient intellect for the position. Hope you have fun doing so.



                      Good luck. Sounds like you could do without this nonsense in your life.



                      H.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi Peter,



                        Belated Welcome to the Forum .



                        I read your story and my jaw dropped to the floor - are you sure you are not my husband? If so, I've already put a thread on dear ! :lol:



                        Joking apart...

                        Your story sounds scarily similar to mine



                        I have elderly NFH next door too, only they moved in after me, but because they have lived in the town for longer, that gives them the God given right to be the 'self-appointed' estate manager for our properties and therefore the right to interfere with absolutely every aspect of my life.



                        Oh your comment about 'Do we not speak the same language?' - I know exactly how you feel! Mine came straight out with a very stroppy and upsetting solicitor's letter - completely out of the blue, I mean, we'd got on previously - they'd even come to our wedding merely a few weeks previously . Yet, they had no qualms or compassion to do that to us, with no warning whatsoever. :frown:



                        I too am building a very tiny extension to house a utility room at the back and I cannot tell you the amount of grief they have given us over this. The building is so tiny, it does not even come into planning - it's permitted development. But My NFH seems to think I still need his express permission to do this work and he can't stand it that I don't need his permission. Therefore, he has tried EVERY trick in the book (and some not in any books) to stop the work.



                        He used to be involved with the Council Planning Committees, so he tried to use those connections to stop us. He knows the Building Control officer, so tried nobbling him. He knows police officers - and this is where your story is so similar - my NFH had the police eating out of the palms of his hand with his 'I am a poor old pensioner, living next to young upstarts from hell, look at them destroying my ''amenity'' by building up to the boundary'.



                        I had cause to call the police on an unrelated matter and the police officer that was sent had already decided what he thought of me and my family before he even clapped eyes on us :angry: , all because he swallowed the NFH lies, hook, line and sinker. However, the way I dealt with it was to keep calm, deep breaths and not raise my voice. It was tough going, when you are confronted by such bigotry, but I did it, and by the end of my little 'meeting', that police officer was singing a different tune.



                        I think that your NFH must have some sort of connections for the EHO to be behaving in such an unprofessional manner and for him to be taking everything so personally. I think you should give the guy just one more chance to hear your side of the story and then tell him, in a very calm manner that you feel that he is taking sides. Also tell him: if he is not prepared to give you the right to have your say and be treated in accordance with the Council's Equal Opportunities Policy, then you will be making a complaint to the Council's Chief Executive using the Official Complaints Procedure. I would also inform him that you will be contacting his professional body (Royal Institute of Environmental Health Officers - or whatever it's called) to complain about his professional misconduct too.



                        Keep copies of every letter and keep a log of any phone calls you have made etc. As this will become essential if you have to take this further.



                        Believe me, you HAVE got Neighbours From Hell ( ), so you just carry on using that term. They are horrible, little tin-pot dictator bullies and I hate them as much as I hate my NFH's.



                        How on earth do they know what post you are getting? What on earth is anyone even entertaining and pandering to this claptrap for? The more these 'officials' act on this nonsense, the more it feeds them and encourages them to look for more codswallop to report. It actually becomes an addiction - they are little more than junkies.



                        It all comes down to jealousy and the fact that they are highly resistant to change that they have no control over. This constant harassment is their way of trying to undermine you and wear you down.



                        Stick with us and we'll see you through!



                        mazza

                        :ban:

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi there Peter, welcome to the forum



                          When i read your story i did think of mazza's situation (and a couple of other people's , e.g. hazlenut ,on here) and the pattern of behaviour and emotional impact it has had on you is , unfortunately, a familiar one. for some reason elderly NFH seem to know how to get right under your skin...a bit like fleas!!!



                          i did wonder what on earth the EHO are playing at, with all these letters....there are many forum members who find it extremely difficult to get their EHOs to respond proactively to their complaints, yet yours are literally harassing you on behalf of your neighbour. i do agree with mazza that you must complain about this very strongly.



                          :nfh1: :badmood: :ban:
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                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Oh Peter! First, sorry to hear you are having troubles with your NFH. Yes, they are NFH!



                            Welcome to the forum, I know I'm very late coming into this.



                            I think everybody else knows your reg's, rules, and admin in Britain, so definitely follow their advice. I'm from Canada, but it looks like your admin over there with all your different infrastructures to deal with the NFH problems has it's good and it's bad sides. Over here there is nothing available to us if we have NFH, except for the police, who are actually quite helpful.



                            I'm sorry to hear about your NFH troulbes. It sounds definitely like harrassment, and THAT doesn't change no matter what country you're in.



                            I have an old pensioner NFH living next to me, and she's just as bad as the lot of the NFH pensioners you find here in peoples stories. I feel for you, so hang in there, come back often as I have and you'll find you feel better with the support you get from those who know exactly how you feel about having people like that living next to you.



                            You don't deserve b*stards like that living beside you!



                            Cheers!

                            N

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Your council's EHO is batting on a sticky wicket. Just because he is a council employee does not mean that he is above being prosecuted for harrasment himself.



                              "I am only following council policy" will not cut any ice with the courts. He might claim that he has "privilege" because he is a council officer. Well, perhaps. But only up to a point. It would only be qualified Privilege. I.E., limited to cover what he is allowed to do under the law.



                              Becoming partial and acting as a willing cat's paw for someone? That's beyond his duties.



                              I think a letter to the Chief Executive, with a copy to the head of legal services, might put a stop to his silly games.

                              Comment

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