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  • Those Idiots Next Door!

    Hi folks, Glad I found somewhere with others in my predicament. I have tried all other sources for help but not yet got anything that looks like it will work.



    My questions are (my story is just below) :



    -Is they something in the human rights act they are breeching, what is the legal take on this,

    -can I apply for an order to stop them from doing this?

    -what evidence to I need to gather?





    My story



    starts 2 years ago, someone bought the plot next to me to do a home build.



    Laterly the idiots have built a set of scaffolding (covered in tarpaulin) 20 ft tall in their back garden to block my satillite signal. The local council planning cannot do anything as it is not classed as a permenant structure. The citizens advice say my only option would be going through a solicitor. I may contact my councillor.



    They are not physically or verbally harrissing us, only through these indirect routes.



    Over the 2 years they have

    - flodded my garage 3 times (first time was an accident, second time was because they never fixed it the firsttime and 3rd time was because that is how they are)

    - Sprayed grey gundge while they were stabailising their plot.

    - tried to build for 16 hours aday 7 days a week, I had to get environmental health to put them in check and adhere to the 9am to 6pm timelimits they enforce. This is the real reason they are harrassing us.

    - radio is put on in the garden as soon as we go out, or they put on the house or car stereo and open the doors and windows. Environmental health ahve told them they cannot do this, but that probably will not stop them.

    - Twice put up a structure to block our satillite signal.





    Thanks

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum Falkirk



    Your neighbours sound extremely irritating to say the least with a lot of willful attempts to make your life difficult.



    I would say that this does sound like harassment, just because it isn't physical or verbal it certainly does seem like an harassing behaviour - have you asked your local police for help/advice out of interest?



    See our harassment article for info:



    Harassment constitutes any form of behaviour which is unwanted


    You can read the full help article here:



    http://www.nfh.org.uk/resources/Articles/h...sment/index.php



    Check the info on the Protection from Harassment Act '97 too - info in the above article, ask your police if they can instigate this, you certainly seem to have more than the required two seperate occasions needed.



    We also have snippets of the HRA 1998 here:



    http://www.nfh.org.uk/law/human_rights_act..._1998/index.php



    Not an expert here by any means - but is the scaffolding safe and properly attached to your neighbours property? I believe this is the law, but perhaps someone else will know a bit more here.



    To deliberately damage your property (e.g. flooding, 'gunge' etc) could constitute criminal damage, get this checked if needed.



    As for the noise nuisances, your neighbours are attempting to bully you it seems. Are you keeping logs of everything that happens nuisance wise? However small that is, please do as they all add up and the Env Health will probably ask to see them.



    Just to get a full picture, where have you asked for help so far?



    Hope you come back often to the board.



    :nfh1: :nfh1:

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by falkirk@Jul 15 2003, 11:27 AM



      -Is they something in the human rights act they are breeching, what is the legal take on this,

      No, Human Rights Act doesn't cover the actions of individuals, or even (I think..) organisations. Just Government agencies, local national or whatever.
      "Poor Tom shall lead thee" (King Lear)

      Comment


      • #4
        I have so far been to



        - the environmental health due to the noise issues. They have done what they can and the noise has been ok for a couple of weeks.



        - the police say because it is not verbal of physical they treat this as civil and theycan not do anything about it. I will try them again and quote the protection from harassment act 1997 angle.



        - the planning folks say that it is not permenant so it is allowed.



        - the health and safety folks say that if it is for private use it is not really covered by them but they may visit if it is too dangerous. But they can not enforce anything, they can just advise.



        Not been to a solicitor yet, but that is the next source after here.



        Thanks

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Falkirk and welcome to the Forum



          Sorry to hear about your neighbours from hell (NFH). To answer your questions:



          - Human Rights Act doesn't apply here. Poor Tom is right, the HRA covers only public bodies.



          - Applications for orders, will depend. If the noise is a "statutory nuisance" then you would need to involve the EH department, they may serve a Noise Abatement Order. If your nfh are harassing you, then an Order may be made under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 (via Police).



          - Evidence? Gather anything and everything. Write everything down (there are some blank sheets in the Resources section on the NFH Home Page), photographic evidence, witness statements....



          Am I right in thinking that these "builder/nfh" have just put this scaffolding up to block your satellite signal? Or does this monstrosity have another purpose? Definitely make sure you get photos of it.



          I think you're on the right tracks with this anyway, if I were you I would see a local Councillor or MP and then consider making an appointment to see a Solicitor.



          There is of course the other option of Mediation which you could think about, although that does involve an element of reasonableness, sadly not something many nfh are endowed with.



          Wishing you all the best. Let us know how you get on.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks folks,



            The council have asked that we look into mediation but I have reservations that the NFH always agree with the council and are very sincere in there replies and as soon as the council are away they do what the hell they want anyway and going through mediation is just going to be more of the same we have seen in the last 2 years.



            I do not need these people as friends and I have other interesting things to do with my time.



            You are correct that the scaffolding is just to block my satellite signal.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi again



              Apart from you contacting the EH department about the noise, do you know of any other reason why the nfh would behave so pettily?



              I have been trying to find some information to give you a bit more to go on, but sadly not come up with anything yet. I'm sure some other members may be able to offer you some helpful advice, so keep checking back .



              Do you think that you could put something in writing to your nfh? If you start bringing in Solicitors, the whole thing could take ages and could completely ruin the relationship between you (even more than it is now) .



              If you wanted to put something in writing, you could always post it here to get some feedback from the membership. Anyway, it's just a thought.



              I wouldn't dismiss mediation just yet. If you do volunteer to take part, then if the problems between you started down the legal route, then you would be seen in the better light for agreeing and instigating mediation.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by poor tom@Jul 15 2003, 12:59 PM

                No, Human Rights Act doesn't cover the actions of individuals
                Poor Tom is right here, the HRA '98 covers all public authorities, including Governing Bodies and they must act in compatibly with convention rights (the HRA '98 incoroporated the European Convention on Human Rights and Freedoms into the UK law base).



                That reminds me, I've got a HRA '98 Help Article in draft form, I must get it online! :lol:

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: the mediation....at the moment the dislike we have for them is high and I have no intent to give them an inch, I am sure this is just due to the heat of the moment and may change in a few weeks.



                  Do I know why they are being so petty....yes, 3 reasons, 1 - when they were building the house last year we had to have the council enforce the hours they could work. They were working every hour they could 7 days a week and we asked the council to review the hours they should work. The second reason is they keep playing loud music when they see us in the garden and only when we are in the garden, I know speaking to them will have no effect so I donot bother going round to them, I got the Environ Health to write them a letter to tell the to cut the music, the 3rd reason for the satellite dish is this is the only thing they can get us with, we are not noisy, messy, abbusive or illegal in anyway so they think this is the only way to annoy us. I could move the dish to another part of my propoerty but don't see why I should, they will just try ti affect us in a nother way.



                  - putting something in writing to them would serve no purpose as they already know the bug us. I feel the only way is through a solicitor or possibly my councillor (I am waiting for a reply from him).



                  Thanks

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by falkirk@Jul 15 2003, 4:08 PM

                    - putting something in writing to them would serve no purpose as they already know the bug us.
                    I know how you feel, very frustrating!



                    Anyway, it is worth putting it down in writing to them, even if they know what the score is - otherwise you have no proof that you have brought your concerns and specifics to the attention of the NFH in question, therefore you haven't given them the official chance to put it right - and if they claim this, their first line of defence could be to say they were unaware of your views and they didn't realise what they were doing is/was a problem - even though you know they are aware and they could blatantly lie about it.



                    At a later stage too, the Local Authority, Courts (if it got that far, I hope not) may ask for proof before things are allowed to go to the next step that you have made attempts to rectify the situation with the NFH - a letter is your proof.



                    I know mediation is probably the last thing on your mind, but again, even if you never ever want to speak to them/know them (totally understand BTW!) - you must be seen to make the required efforts



                    See Mediation snippet here:



                    http://www.nfh.org.uk/resources/Articles/n..._part_three.php



                    :ban:

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Aren't they just so infuriating :angry: ? I often wondered why my nfh behaved they way they do, but I have yet to come up with a rational answer, I just shake my head in bewilderment at them.



                      Noise nuisance is a common theme on this Forum. If your NFH are deliberately putting it on when you go out, then what you could do is go out and enjoy your garden and try to ignore them. Nothing will annoy them more. Put on your sunglasses B) , take out your personal stereo and don your headphones.



                      We suffered with noise and pursued it via the EH, we are still at final warning stage - it has been quiet for a few months now. No incessant bass beat at 2am but still what I would call quiet/background music. I can live with that in the knowledge that it is reasonable to expect some noise from your neighbour.



                      How badly is the structure affecting you as a household though, in terms of your mental wellbeing? I know that when we first had issues with our nfh over parking and noise, I felt all consumed by it. In fact I would go so far as to say it had completely taken over my life, I found it very hard to concentrate on anything else.



                      I think if I had alternatives, then I would have used them. What I suppose I'm saying here, is that if you could move your satellite dish, then I would. That would be one of my coping mechanisms in trying to alleviate the stress on me and mine. I wouldn't really see it as giving in, but saving myself the aggravation. I know we're all different though and we all deal with things in our own way.



                      Hopefully the Councillor may come up with something constructive for you. Good luck.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yes, it does begin to take over you life and you actually read going home wondering what will be there this time.



                        I agree that moving the dish would assist this issue but there would be another way to annoy us. If we move it then what next. Atleast with the dish they seem to think they are getting to us, but the truth be told I spend too much time watching the TV anyway!!



                        I like the idea of sending the letter just to document the issue and that I have brought it to their attention. I may do this by Firday, I will see if my councillor comes up with anything first.



                        It is so good being able to share this stuff with other sensible people who understand the frustration.



                        Thanks

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It's good to talk and espcially with people who can appreciate what you're going through.



                          Glad to hear about the letter. It's a good idea. I think there is a template letter in the Resources section on the NFH Home Page, which you could adapt to suit your circumstances.



                          If you want someone to read it before you post it, just post it here, or in members only or ask any member if you could e-mail it to them.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by falkirk@Jul 15 2003, 4:08 PM

                            3 reasons, 1 - when they were building the house last year we had to have the council enforce the hours they could work. They were working every hour they could 7 days a week and we asked the council to review the hours they should work.
                            You don't say whether you asked them politely, first. Presume you did, but... My NFH is far from polite, and TOLD me when he would allow me to do d-i-y. Got my back up completely. Didn't want to hear my offers to be flexible around his needs, eg if he was having visitors, someone was sick I'd keep quiet, even during 'permitted' noisy hours... A failed control freak, him!



                            If you write to him/them, you could express regret that relations are sour, for whatever reason. Doesn't make any acknowledgement of guilt on your part.



                            We went for mediation, feeling like you do about NFH. We had our first meeting with mediators ('we' i.e. my wife & I), he was invited by the mediators to participate and eventually declined, after ignoring the invitation for weeks. So you probably won't have to speak to him or even see him!
                            "Poor Tom shall lead thee" (King Lear)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hi, yes, I have spoken to the politely about the noise (radio/ cement mixer all day)and they are polite(ish) back but do nothing about it. they are the same with the council, all the yes sir no sir garbage and then the next day just as bad (or even worse).



                              My councillor call me back yesterday and could not beleive my story, there are always 2 sides to every story, so he is coming round tonight to talk to us and then pay the NFH a visit too.



                              Lets see how that lead balloon helps!! I'll let you know.

                              Comment

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