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  • am i in the wrong

    Hi not sure if i'm doing this right. but i really need advice on what i should do now.

    18 months ago i bought my first house with my son. I have a long term boyfriend but i didnt want to share a mortgage as i didnt want all the complication blah blah.

    The first night i had the keys i asked my bfriend to stay at the house to keep it safe. He did along with some music.

    When i arrived the next day the neighbours approached me and complained of him playing music, i apologised and stated that if it was noisy it was probably due to the empty house. Their reply was that they didnt think he lived there that theyd been told it was only me and my son. i didnt think anything of the comment at the time but it has been repeated over the past year and a half.

    then about 3 months later we were listening to some music one sunday at about 8pm. (my neighbours are mid 40s and have two teenagers) the lady came round and started screaming at me to turn the music down. which i did but my boyfriend refused to turn it off as it was early evening. Later her husband came round and asked if we could turn it off now as he had an early start, we did this.

    then during the summer, whislt gardening my boyfriend was playing music into the garden (which alot of people do around here) and the police were called, they left saying there was no problem, this happened another three times. (each time i was at work so i couldnt tell if they were right or Alan was right) After this i then recieved a noise letter from the council who fitted noise sensors in thier house - the outcome being no problem with the music.

    during this time i personally wouldnt leave Alan alone in the house incase he was playing music loudly, i was constantly turning TV down, walking around in socks, i wouldnt hoover, do any DIY, mow the garden or basically do anything that may make a noise - even shout at my child. i asked my dad to put in a double wall - he laughed at my patheticness, i moved wardrobes against the ajoining walls, etc etc.

    Then Al bought me a puppy (stupid yes) my neighbours saw it and said i hope that doesnt bark - which it didnt it was too young. They had also commented on the rabbit i'd bought my son (asking why would i buy an animal?) and all the time they kept saying Alan wasnt supposed to be living there. After the good result from the noise sensors, the man next door had an arguemnt with alan and hit him 5 times, i called the police and that was the end of that. we stoped talking (apart from the one day when i got a new car and the comment was thank god for that the last one was noisey)

    after this it was just little things such as if al parked at the front of the house and then went out, she would come out of her house, take the steering lock off the car and move her car forward two inches (this went for 8 months every time Alan left) If any of us were in the garden, if we looked up the lady and her two children were watching us, the same if i left the house, returned from work, or if any of my family visited, it wasnt glances it was 5 minutes or longer watching us. This has affected me to the point that i dont go in the garden and i sneak out of the house. The only time ive done any gardening is when they were on holiday.

    at xmas last year, i got another council notice this time saying that the dog was barking and that my nieghbours were to log all the times this happened. I now felt really watched and stopped going to work ful time incase the dog was barking when i went out, i also stopped going out in the evenings and took the dog anywhere i was going. The council did put noise sensors in again and this time it was true, the dog was barking and i faced a 5,000 fine. I got in touch with the council and the British doga association who sent me an anti bark collar which gives the dog static shocks. Although this cured the dog, it didnt cure me and i was still worried that it was working or that we were being too noisey. the neighbours started talking to me again, she did say though that she was concerend that Al was beating me up as she'd heard a crash one night and that her children were afraind of staying in alone if Al was here!!. In the end my relasionship broke down due to my stressed attitude and no noise aloud policy althought i did go back to work, Al moved out. this was in september. Al comes round alot still to walk the dog and we are trying to work things out (another story)the neighbours went on holiday about a two weeks ago and Al started staying over alot so when they returned from holiday he was back in his usual place! i left him for a couple of hours on the Saturday night and the next day he left about 10.00am, the doorbell went and it was my neighbour - she said that the dog was barking all day everyday again and had been for the past three weeks and also that whislt i was out Al had been playing music. I said that maybe the battery had gone in his collar and that'd replace it (the dogs not Als) after she left i thought that it was strange as i'd been home over half term and that Al had been with dog everyday that week and that the neighbours had also been away. I went to get a battery but i have to order one. Two nights ago she came back and complained about the dog again saying that it had cried the friday night before when i was out (but not the wednesday night i was out) and that she couldnt put up with, again the dog has only been left on his own that night as everyother time i get Alan to sit for it. i'd reached the end of my tether and told her that i was unhappy with her constant maonaing and that if the dog had been so bad why didnt she tell me strainght away instead of waitng, i also told her that i was sick of being watched all the time. ( She only ever complains when im on my own, never infront of Al or my son whose 12, when she saw my father pull up, she left in a hurry) I didnt want to upset her but im tired of my life not being my own. Am i pulling it all out of proportion or is she harrassing me - i understand noise complaints but not being watched and feeling like im being listened to. sorry for going on, but im woried what cause of action she may take now - i even asked the pet shops i went to (for the battery) to log my visit and phone calls in case i get into trouble for not have replacing the battery sooner. :sad:

  • #2
    hi and welcome

    if you have bought the house.....then surely you can have your partner living there :huh: if you have bought it you do not need a tennacy agreement and whats its got to do with your neighbours anyway??

    sounds like you have done alot to minimize noise, that shows you are not a NFH, if you were then you wouldnt care in my opinion anyway

    moving your wardrobes to the party wall is a good idea, as is the double wall.....but then again why should you have to???

    theres a good thread about sound installation around somewhere, will have to dig it out, if no one does it first! :lol:

    just curious....but how much noise does a bunny make?? :huh: :lol:

    I know you will get loads of support here and advice too


    • #3
      Thank you Beth for making me laugh

      In reply - the previous occupants were good friends with the family next door (however i do remember the man telling me that my neighbour was a good candidate for neighbourhood watch - i didnt get the hint)

      The lady i am having problems with has repeatedly told me that she had no problems from the previous occupants even though they had three children! she has also told me that her children use headphones (i got that hint and bought Al some, which he used no problem using until he moved his stereo out) on the topic of the music its not played often it was the first time Al had played it at night (without headphones) since the council complaint (a year ago now) Whats affected me the most has been the watching i even got my sister to park around the corner last week so i could sneak out without them knowing, and Al has taking to parking his car elewhere so they dont know he's here. But complaints are only ever made when there are no witnesses (eg: if me and al are listening to music - no complaint is made)

      Also my son told me that the daughter is always banging on his wall (yet this cant be for noise as my son doesnt play music or watch the Tv in his room)

      Anyway thanks again


      • #4
        Hi Minniemo,

        Your neighbours sound exactly like ours, except that it's the husband who complains to me, not the wife. If you want to look back in What's Your Story: Poor Tom's story, you'll find it all - well most of it. And he hasn't yet accused me of wife-beating (just child abuse :badmood: ).

        I suspect that there is NO problem at all, except in your neighbours' heads, but that can then cause YOU and your son, and Alan, big headaches once they start abusing the complaints systems. Next is likely to be the social services and child abuse. If they write to you to arrange a visit, then they're not expecting trouble: if they have REAL evidence - which your NFHs can't provide - they just turn up without warning. Sorry, don't mean to cause a panic, but I remember how I felt when the letter from Social services dropped on the mat - unitl I had a chat with the head teacher, who told me what I've just told you. Maybe your NFHs are so unconcerned about children that they won't think of that!! Like my NFH who has only NOT complained to RSPCA!! - he hates dogs, so couldn't imagine why anyone would want to protect them.

        I'm puzzled why your neighbour thinks she can comment on who lives in your house: it's YOUR house! :hihi: The Queen could go and live with you if you and she wanted - what has it got to do with NFH??!! They should get a life, not live yours...

        Still, it's best to cover yourself. If your dog is trained he's less likely to bark, and if you can prove he's trained you'd look much better if things ever went to court. But NFHs don't actually like court because there are standards of proof: gossip isn't enough! Can you find a local dog trainig club which uses the Kennel Club's Good Citizen scheme (mixed-breeds are welcome: it's not a snobby pedigree-only thing like some parts of the kennel club). Oh, and my dogs get used to their ultrasonic anti-bark thing, so we only use it when we're out and they're home alone. I imagine you're not using the collar when there's someone in. Oh, and it's acceptable for a dog to bark if someone comes to the door or window of your property, so bear in mind that the NFHs might be setting him off. Similarly if NFH is doing loud DIY.

        I think you should keep all correspondence safely, including copies of anything you send, to NFH or to Councils, etc. Keep a log of when the complaints are; note down what you and others say on the phone straight away - that will count as valid evidence. So when NFH complains to the next agency, you can tell them that they complain about you to anyone they can get to listen and you think they have a grudge or something.

        You should consider Mediation. NFHs don't like it because it demands being reasonable, but if you have initiated an offer of mediation (details from your council) then they will look silly trying to complain about you again. They'll do it, probably, but they'll look silly.

        There are implications if you try to sell your house if official complaint have been made - either way, I think but another member will be along in a minute to correct that if I'm wrong - and you may have a claim on the people you bought from if they experienced NFH problems and didn't inform you (other members know more).

        If things get desperate, there's the protection from harrassment act, but that's likely to cost a lost, financially & emotionally, and being law has pages and pages of small print. Other members can advise better than me.

        Above all, be polite to NFH. You can be assertive, but you must be polite. NFHs like to see their power to control other people, and if they can't control your love life or your dog, they'll try and control your temper (by making you lose it...). Get counselling if you have to; you son should be able to get it through the school if he's feeling the stress too, though it's not cool to admit to being stressed, especially at that age.

        Your NFHs are bullies. They all are. You've done nothing wrong.

        Good luck. I hope you get the advice and support you need from this site. :notworthy:
        "Poor Tom shall lead thee" (King Lear)


        • #5
          You lot were quick with your replies: I thought I'd got in there first!!
          "Poor Tom shall lead thee" (King Lear)


          • #6
            You are allowed to make some noise in your house. Find a dog training club, and ditch the collar. Buy your young dog some toys, ones that he likes. You can buy Kong toys that you fill with food, this will keep him quiet. Put him in a room furthest from their wall, when you leave him.

            It is none of her business, who does or does not live with you. Ok he may have played it a bit too loud when he first stayed. But he knows not to now. It's not on her making comments , about him and you.



            • #7
              Originally posted by goosegirl@Nov 29 2003, 10:19 PM

              Ok he may have played it a bit too loud when he first stayed.* But he knows not to now.*

              yeah, and if you had just moved in how did you know the noise could be heard by your neighbour

              one of the tips we give here for noise is to actually say to your neighbour, excuse me you might not know but we could hear your music (or what ever)

              at the end of the day you cant hear the noise you are making in another house! but she could of been a lot more subtle about it!!


              • #8
                I agree with Tom. Make records of what she does. It might be worth having a form letter created to send to the various authorities she complains to. "To whom it may concern. I am sorry for having to send you this form letter, but it is my opinion that X is carrying out a campaign of bullying and harassment againt me. As X continually makes complaints against me that I feel are groundless and baseless, I have had to have this standard letter created to correct some of the misinformation that she has been spreading. I am, of course, reserving my option to take legal action against X. Yours, etc."


                • #9
                  Hi minniemo and welcome

                  Have you considered writing a letter to your neighbours? That might be a start, and in the letter offer the option of going for mediation (which I think someone has already suggested).

                  You can find your local mediation service HERE!

                  Good luck and please keep us posted with how you're getting on.


                  • #10
                    Hi Minniemo

                    Belated Welcome!

                    Sounds like a right one you've got there... :sad: .

                    I do hope that you have foung the replies helpful already - I particularly like Neighboured's letter :thumbs: . It is a typical NFH tactic to use the authorities to bully and harass - it is extremely common.

                    Just to re-iterate, this woman is certainly harassing you - nobody has the right to tell you that you can't have your boyfriend to stay or live - what a blimmin nerve :frown:. And someone ought to have told her by now that day to day noise has to be expected and tolerated.

                    Keep records of everything you have been having to put up with. I hope you can get this nosey stupid twit out of your face.

                    Keep us posted




                    • #11
                      Hi everyone and thank you so much for your advice its made me feel a lot better.

                      in response to having a dog and leaving it alone for periods of time - Im a teacher so he's only left for a few hours aday and then he's taken straight for a walk. Also im around holidays and Al's around the rest of the time due to being casually employed. so if its seperation anxiety then the dogs only on his own occasionaly and Al's been training him as well to get use to this.

                      I've started logs of when I'm out and how long for and the times Al is here - we went out today for an hour and on returning we looked through the window to see what he was doing, he wast fast asleep on the chair and didnt move until we came in an woke him up!! - so there goes my neighbours theory on the dog sensing my return thats unless the dog's holding parties when im out and pretending otherwise

                      Tom i read your story and i think im better off then you and most of the people posted on here, although i did express concern to my mum awhile back that she'd probably call SS on child labour after she saw My son building a step in the garden and washing the patio windows !!

                      Anyway thanks again. Minnie


                      • #12
                        Hi Minnie and a belated welcome

                        Your neighbours seem to have developed an extremely unhealthy obsession with your lives, and are definitely harassing you.

                        You've been given some excellent advice from other members, and I hope that it helps.

                        This is just a silly little suggestion, but if you want to know for sure how long your dog has been barking for whilst you are out, you could always get a voice-activated dictaphone and leave it with him.

                        What happened about the fine BTW - are you having to pay it??

                        As you are on speaking terms with your neighbour (and I would really encourage you to stay that way if possible, as it makes things so much easier), then mediation could really work for you. You can explain to them how the constant nagging and personal remarks are affecting you, and it will also give them an opportunity to have their say, but with somebody else present so that you have back-up.

                        They don't like Alan being there - it's probably because they've got off on the bad foot with him (and probably think that things would be quieter for them with out him). But they have no right whatsoever to dictate to you who you live with.

                        Good luck with this

                        Blue Cow


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by minniemo@Nov 30 2003, 7:43 PM

                          Tom i read your story and i think im better off then you and most of the people posted on here
                          Strange how many people say they're not as badly off as others when they first join NFHiB!

                          I disagree (mostly). Bullying is bullying! We all deserve to be here, and have a right to be treated like human beings rather than Untermenschen. :nfh1:
                          "Poor Tom shall lead thee" (King Lear)


                          • #14

                            Do you think there is any possibility of reason improving the situation?

                            Our problems are basically about our relationships with our neighbours. These are not always easy to manage because we don't get to choose who moves in next to us. Sometimes an attempt to get them to see how things are for us improves things. Sometimes getting to understand them better helps.

                            If you think mediation might work, try it.
                            'The only kind of courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one minute to the next.' - Mignon McLaughlin


                            • #15
                              Many nfh are bullies. Asking for mediation with a bully is fruitless. Because a bully will see it as a sign of weakness on our part.