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  • My Living Hell

    A True Story Of Living Hell

    For fairly obvious reasons all names, places and details likely to give away my true identity are altered.

    I have spent most of my life in London and in my younger years was by no means a saint having always been a fairly explosive type of individual up until late maturity and becoming a family man. I certainly was a lot worse than some of the animals described by some of you as NFH on these forums. Though I have never shown disrespect to another individual unless the situation warranted it and in the early days probably would have been arrested years back for some of the things I have been subjected to by this NFT. However as I have got older I have got wiser and probably a lot smarter.

    Three score years ago I met my wife and got married, we lived in a nice rented private flat. I decided to change my ways and make something of myself especially when my wife had our first daughter. I wasn’t in the position to buy our own as by then I was more concerned with making a living and providing for my daughter. I worked and studied in my own time eventually gaining a career (a respected one). My wife who is also from London suggested we put our name on the council list as in those days it was no disgrace to live in a council property. I have used the word disgrace as now what tends to get into these places are the high priority low lifers with no ambition but to ride the gravy train and contribute little back to society. Before anyone snaps at these comments, I am not referring to all council tenants. The irony is that these are the ones that tend to cause the greatest problems to the likes of us. We waited about 6 or 7 years and still didn’t get an offer of a place. By chance in those days if the council couldn’t make an offer due to an individuals lack of points, housing associations were starting to take selected tenants. I believe this was because they were receiving funding and one of the conditions of that funding was they provide some housing stock to the ones they couldn’t house.

    The heavens opened up and my wife and I were offered a beautiful two bedroom flat in a reasonable part of London on a newly refurbished estate. We moved in and life was great though gradually over the years I noticed the type moving in was changing and the area was becoming less healthy for my young daughter to spend her formative years. As chance would have it my wife had a second child, another daughter which gave us the opportunity to put in for a move out to another area. We made enquiries, visited many locations where my HA had property and put our name down to move to our selected one in an area on the outskirts of London called “Quietsville”. A few years later we got our move to where we are now. My god it was paradise. The majority of people were elderly and the property was a low level (in height) building. My flat was first floor overlooking a lovely communal garden.

    My estate was originally owned by a company called ‘Grant manufacturing’ and all of the tenants were employees or ex employees of Grants. They had all lived here for many years and were a pleasure to have as neighbours. Unfortunately shortly after we moved in the company changed ownership and the ties within the community changed. All the tenants then came under my current HA called ‘Short Housing Association’

    Underneath my dwelling there lived a truly lovely elderly couple and above me the same and just as nice. As years have gone by the elderly have passed on or moved to sheltered and warden flats. Unfortunately there has been some sort of policy change in the tenants that are now offered these dwellings. As the people move out it seems that the highest priority council tenants move in. I don’t entirely blame ‘Shorts HA’ as its clearly political and not their fault. Lets face it they can’t ask for a CV from prospective tenants.

    The change started to happen about 6 years ago. The husband of the old lady below passed away and she was left on her own. She coped with it and we retained a great relationship with her. Her husband would always keep other kids out of the beautiful garden, which she tended with help form us, and from other directly adjacent tenants. But basically we left her to it as she enjoyed it, along with cooking and baking my kids the odd cake! I was often at home due to the nature of my work so was in a position to see exactly what started.

    A woman (Miss Dubious) and her two kids (and two dogs) moved in nearby after doing a questionable exchange with somebody on the estate. We always had a rule here and that was the gardens were for the use of the tenants directly overlooking the area below. Which my children kept to and it worked fine. No ball games were allowed in the garden areas and mostly with the odd telling off the kids obeyed. You see the kids were originally from parents who worked for ‘Grants’ and that tended to be an asset to behaviour. Alas this was not the case of the children of Miss Dubious who started continuously entering the well tended garden causing noise and encouraging others in. The old lady tried desperately to ask them to stay out but they just ignored her to the point where she broke down in tears. I tried my best by continuously writing to the HA. I would shout to the kids to get out but it continued for some time. They were often climbing on adjacent roofs and generally it was getting out of hand. By now I am sure I was being pegged as a troublemaker by complaining. Now Miss Dubious wasn’t a fool and somehow got other parents behind her and started to turn some of the neighbours against the old lady. She came on my door trying to get me to sign against this nice old lady and was given my view of the situation and didn’t like it.

    She could take no more and was forced out of her home and into applying and moving to a warden flat. This was after a shouting match on her doorstep from Miss Dubious when she broke down and I telephoned her son as I felt helpless for her. She did say to my wife why didn’t your husband do more and I don’t think she realised just how hard I had tried.

    So the old lady left and another younger woman with small children moved in. At first appearance this new tenant sounded quiet and to be honest ok. Though soon as she moved in, metal railings were hacked off from the rear of her flat giving a new entrance. A party under my window was thrown. This woman (Miss Lost) gradually started to show her real nature. Miss Dubious started to get chummy with Miss Lost and before long we began experiencing the true meaning of hell. I have always tried to be fairly quiet and not to get familiar with neighbours as I have my own family and friends and at that time was heavily committed to my career. My wife also has a career and even now works six days a week to pay our way. We consider ourselves family people with family values and claim nothing from society for free. Unfortunately it certainly appears that Miss Lost claims to be a single parent yet has lived with some man since the day she moved in. Its strange because there is no trace on the electoral register for two people living in her dwelling and the HA tell me there is one tenant? The importance of that to me will become apparent later.

    The hell begins with Miss Lost encouraging all the kids to come and play directly under my rear living room window overlooking the once enclosed garden. We had sometimes up to 10 young screaming children practising for England FC. Ladders are used to access the roofs adjacent to my rear bedroom windows. I send letter after letter to the HA and eventually now the football ceases. It is now is done in such a way that I just get the screaming, shouting et al. The garden is now communal after years of the opposite being the case. Two other woman moved into the estate Miss Loudmouth and Miss Very Quiet. Miss Loudmouth is the worst case of noise pollution I have ever come across. She shouts ever time she speaks and can be heard from her flat shouting.

    Miss Loudmouth, Miss Dubious and Miss Lost become friends. Miss Dubious’s kid I see propping a ladder up against the roof so I use a digital cam to photograph the ladder and back of the kids head to get evidence then forward this to Shorts HA. The day I do this I get Miss Dubious and Miss Lost on my doorstep demanding to know why I am photographing their kids. I explain for evidence to forward to the HA. I also explain to Miss Lost that it has nothing to do with her so why come on my doorstep and I explain its nothing to do with her kids.

    Now the real hell begins with my car suddenly being scraped down one side (the pavement side) by somebody. The son of Miss Dubious is seen coughing up spit and spitting it over my car window. Kids are now continuously coming into the rear garden and screaming to an unacceptable and intolerable level. I record it on a dictaphone and play it back to the Housing Officer. He goes to see the tenants and as usual it goes a little quiet for a few days.

    Miss Dubious suddenly leaves the estate for good with her kids and I breathe a sigh of relief. Bad mistake for me to think it will stop. It continues with other kids of Miss Loudmouth and other tenants coming into the garden. I can’t hear my television when they are out there so I buy headphones and a new television so I can watch it in my bedroom. The stress and anger is getting to me I start to dread coming home, fortunately I work it so I finish late some nights. I get long holidays so I go away over the next couple of years as its hell to be at home. I can’t invite friends back as its embarrassing and annoying. Door slamming begins underneath my livingroom as they use the rear door to the garden, sometimes 30 times a day though that has reduced and I have had to move my computer to the opposite side of the living room.

    Miss Lost has running arguments under us with her male friend. Often till 2am and later people are invited back the worse for drink. One occasion the male friend has an argument with another neighbour outside which goes on till morning with someone calling the police. One night a loud argument ensues with the F word interspersed between every other and the police escort the male friend away in a van. I assume she called them. She seems to delight in annoying us and harassing us, her friend Miss Loudmouth is often down there where I assume due to drink, they both get louder and louder at times.I could list a whole load of incidents but I am sure what I have said should be enough to convince most. I appreciate it’s a difficult area of law but I am sorry that’s not my problem. The Short HA has had 5or 6 different managers in under that many years which hasn’t helped the situation.

    I have written letter after letter to the HA and they do write to Miss Lost and have spoken to her. All I want is for the fairly obviously deliberate behaviour to cease. It’s unfortunate that I feel that my rightful complaining has only made things worse. I have been given forms to start filling in to keep a record but find it remarkable that this has only just been done.

    A while back I became very ill and was forced to take ill health retirement. When I say ill I mean life threatening ill. I have been on chemotherapy and suffer now with hypertension and arthritis. This behaviour of theirs is killing me. It culminated in me last week collapsing and being rushed by ambulance to hospital after a suspected seizure after having to call the police when my wife and daughter was stopped by Miss Lost’s male friend when entering our flats and having a go at her verbally though not swearing.

    Guys I don’t need to tell you how I am feeling about all this but let me say I am frightened I will do something extremely serious unless this is stopped. The HA say they will come to see me in a couple of days and that I did the right thing to call the police who quite frankly were powerless to do anything much. I am sure these people think I am an easy touch. I am doing my best to do things the proper way both in the lines of complaint and the procedures. I realise that using ones brain is the sensible approach. This seems a little unfair when the perpetrators are not doing likewise and getting away with it. The most frustrating thing is that if I let go on them I will be arrested and probably be evicted without any consideration for the mitigating evidence. I cannot tell you how it feels for a man to have to ignore his wife and daughter being got at and how scared I feel that I can’t deal with the situation without extreme measures.

  • #2
    Hi chaser and thanks for posting your story

    So sorry to hear about the problems you're having with the neighbours from hell (NFH) who seem to be all around you.

    It does seem very bad of your HA not to have been more pro-active with your problems, if they've only recently given you a sheet to record everything down on. Have you had a meeting with the HA staff? If not, it might be worth suggesting that you want a meeting to talk about all your concerns.

    Do you know if anyone else living near you is having similar concerns to you? If so, you could maybe work together to get the HA to do something.

    I can imagine it is very frustrating for you. Having to cope with NFH is extremely frustrating as their nuisance just never lets up. I think you have summed it up very well about retaliating with force: you wouldn't really achieve anything and at the end of the day, you can guarantee you'd end up up being the one who is worse off.

    Have a look at the Self-Help Articles on the Home Page, in particular the one about coping with NFH:

    Have you spoken to your local Councillor about the problems in your area? There may be something they can do to help.

    Other members will be along shortly to offer you more advice and support. You have come to the right place, welcome again.


    • #3
      chaser, its diabolical that your housing is having such a terrible effect on your health.

      i think the best solution would be to press for a move on health grounds (in view of your recent illness) and continued harassment from other tenants. they are obviously vicious inbreds with no qualms about making the lives of others hell. the 'short - life' moniker makes me think they might be people who have already been through the social housing process and removed from other properties - but i could be wrong.

      it sounds like the HA is making some token gestures towards resolving the problems but as they are not there 24/7 they will not see the worst of it. i don't think this is a battle u should fight, your family need u - u might get rid of Dubious to get something worse instead. concentrate on getting your family out of there - sounds like its become a 'sink' estate with anyone worth their salt abandoning ship.

      i'm spent 17years in social housing - i treated all my neighbours with respect and tried to be fair and considerate and got a bag of sh**e in return - so learned the hard way u cannot 'teach' people good manners, certainly not by example.

      CAB (citizens advice) and shelter (have good free housing law advice) might be able to help.

      best of luckxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


      • #4

        I'm very sorry to hear about your problems.

        Please don't allow yourself to be provoked into doing something rash, the last thing you need is to be arrested. Try and channel the anger you feel into getting the HA involved so your situation can be improved.

        Do keep a log of every incident, make it as detailed as you can with time and dates - include the effects on your health.

        The self help articles are very good - they'll give you lots of ideas on what to do and how to cope.
        'The only kind of courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one minute to the next.' - Mignon McLaughlin


        • #5

          Hello there, I really feel for you as I too have NFH who let their KFH (kids from Hell) play out on our communal green screaming, yelling, playing agressive games of football, golf, cricket from early morn until sun down. :angry: Of course when you ask the parents to control their kids the next thing you know, cars are scratched, mud and stones chucked at your house, plants trampled on etc etc etc until you think you will go demented from the sheer frustration of not being able to do anything. You see, this is not, 'social housing' it is a private road of owner occupiers and we all pay yearly maintenance fees to upkeep this' lovely' communal area which we cannot even enjoy. :angry: :angry: anyway enough of me, save to say i know where you are coming from. :cry:

          I fear that you are in an extremely difficult situation. The kind of people that live in social housing or who get offerred social housing are going to be this type of people. people with small kids on low incomes whatever whatever. they will see your lovely areas as the pinnacle of wh\t they could ever have hoped to achieve. they will instantly think they have total and unalienable rights to do whatever they please and likewise their obnoxious offspring. you can complain and maybe one or two of them will move, but what will move in next? more of the same, its the nature of the game.

          If I were in your position, with your state of health, i would ask to be moved. or i would enquire about a grant to vacate, sometimes authorities have money available and can give you a grant and you can go and buy somewhere. these kids will grow up and they will get more irritating and aggressive. this is what decided me to move. I looked to the future and saw no peace of mind, no quality of life. i am sorry if this sounds negative...

          :ban: :nfh1:

          I decree today that life

          Is simply taking and not giving

          England is mine - it owes me a living

          But ask me why, and I'll spit in your eye

          Oh, ask me why, and I'll spit in your eye ~ Morrisey/Marr

          Politics is Showbusiness for ugly people ~ Jay Leno

          I don't like liars, I don't like cheats. I don't like bullsh***ters. I don't like schmoozers. I don't like ar*e-lickers. ~ Sir Alan Sugar

          "Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford." ~ Samuel Johnson

          The secret of success is the capacity to overcome failure ~ Noel Coward

          An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn’t happen today ~ Laurence J. Peter

          Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine ~ Lord Byron

          Better bread with water than cake with trouble ~ Russian Proverb

          There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a cup of tea ~ Bernard-Paul Heroux

          Carpe Diem

          Give Yourself to It ~ Sue Gadenne


          • #6
            What can I say? I recognise the kind of people your NFH are, they appear all over the country, I've a few of them as my NFH.

            Hopefully there will be legislation passed soon to remove housing benefit from these NFH. I don't think it will take many examples to show the others that if they don't change their behaviour they'll be in trouble. Having said that, I expect all the bleeding-heart, liberal agencies will be wringing their hands and crying 'foul'.

            Have you approached your MP about your situation? Granted, some MPs are better than others but it might be worth a go. If you feel that your HA isn't doing enough to help you could get in touch with the Independent Housing Ombudsman and make a complaint (URL: )

            It's amazing how a tiny minority of NFH families can cause so much grief and anguish to their more decent neighbours. It's no good HAs 'talking' to these tenants. What is needed is action. I'm sick of being told by the HA man that he'll 'talk' to them. He can talk 'til he's blue in the face, they know that if they have kids they're virtually untouchable. Meanwhile good decent people have to put up with their obnoxious behaviour and be seen as troublemakers if they complain!

            I hope you are well on the way to a good recovery from your illness. All this cannot be doing you any good at all. Perhaps you should consider moving away, although there's no guarantee that you won't find a similar situation somewhere else. Sometimes it's best to deal with the devil you know.

            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

              Holly and On the move and any others.

              Regarding the HA staff, I have had meetings with the site Housing Officers over the years (used to be called housing managers). The problem is they keep changing and then I am back to square one each time. We even have had temp agency ones! My current HO is away the last week but back on site tomorrow. I have lost track of the number of written communications with head office.I have even forwarded a copy once to the most senior at HA level but the problem continues. I am seriously thinking of going as far as I can on this as my health as you point out is affected now. I have asked for a meeting at Head Office level but still get pushed back to site level. I have last Friday been informed I will be contacted tomorrow with a call from the current HO who is split between two estates at different areas of London?

              "Does anyone else near you have similar concerns"

              Yes they do from what Ive heard but they seem frightened when it comes to standing up for themselves. They verbally complain alot but do little up front. I have one neighbour who is going through similar problems who actually told me to give their name as a witness. Which I did to the HO the night I had a drinking binge till 2 am outside my daughters bedroom as well as several other people invited and the Bacardi and Rizla's flowing.With continuous swearing and quite frankly childish behaviour.The HO went around to the underneath resident and questioned Miss Lost. The reply was basically she denied it...... can you believe that! It was then I was given the diary forms.

              After that visit my wife was putting washing out and the moron boyfriend walked past my wife and shouted to Miss Loudmouth " I supose now we will get a letter complaining we are using too many lines". I ask you how pathetic can a being get!

              "Local Councillor"

              That is something I have thought about but I can't rush aroud too much as I am trying the official route and am restricted physically due to ill health how much I can do. Being disabled I have been in touch with the social workers at my local social services but they just phone up the HA. I have been some while back to the CAB but they didn't really offer any suggestion further to that which I am proceeding with. They did mention seeing a solicitor but that costs money. I am going to do that within the next week and get a letter. I believe thats about £25. What I would like is an injunction preventing these animals approaching my wife, daughters or me untill the HA sort it out.


              You are spot on I fear about the sink setting in and I have applied to move nearby to a house and have high med points due to my medical condition. Out of fairness they did offer me a house fairly quickly which was beautifull and where I wanted. The trouble is it was the one house near where I am where up to 15 youths hang around at the house next to it and as I explained to the HA I don't ever want a repeat living hell that I am going through at the moment.As you can appreciate I am sure houses are in short supply but if another comes up I am sure I will get it.The alternative is to move elsewhere but lets be honest wherever I go I will encounter sh***, the answer seems to be select the right one when available.

              I think the biggest problem seems to be with the HA failing to tackle the obvious breach of their own regulations and failure to provide any on site monitoring of behaviour, damage and loutish behaviour. It seems to have become a case of here is your home now goodbye and you manage the estate. If you have problem neighbours don't contact us and society and current laws appear to be set up to make it hard to get fair treatment or action allowing the sc*m of society to rule.

              Thanks guys


              • #8
                Hi Chaser

                You really are living in hell by the sound of things :angry:

                I really do know where you are coming from, but I'm afraid that the others are right. Maybe the only solution to this problem is to move and get a better place to live. Time is precious and considering your health problems, surely it would be better for you and your family to spend this time enjoying life rather than having to endure these low-lifes.

                It sounds as though the HA is not really wanting to deal with this situation the way it should be dealt with.

                I know you will get lots of support and advice here from everyone

                I really do wish you and your family well



                • #9
                  Hi Chaser

                  I am so sorry to hear of your neighbour problems - this is the last thing you need with all your health problems. You have been given very good advice so far but just to say everyone is here for support and this does help whatever the circumstances of your nfh problems.

                  It is beyond belief to read stories like yours and to see how useless the Housing Officers and the Police can be.

                  Good luck and I hope things sort themselves quickly.



                  • #10

                    I am so sorry for you. You are a victim of the Housing Law and allocations policies that makes 'vulnerable' persons or persons with children the only types who will normally be granted a social tenancy these days.

                    Believe me, I know only too well what it is like to suffer interference (in whatever form) from your neighbours when you are seriously unwell - it is the absolute last thing you need to be fighting at this point in time and it makes me rage that these evil 'people' are putting you and your family through this. I bet they are still doing it even though they know how ill you are :angry: .

                    I really, really hope that you get a transfer that is suitable very soon and that your health can stand up to the move. :unsure:

                    I really wish you well.




                    • #11
                      Hi Guys

                      Great to have the replies Ive had from all of you.


                      Thanks , My health can stand up to a move if it means getting away from the intimidation I feel I am being forced to endure. The problem is and its no fault of the HA that its a question of waiting.In the meantime I just want to be left alone.

                      It strikes me that its like a game these people play (pretty sick game at that). I am quite sure if it wasn't my family it would be someone else. Thats the problem with the 'fish wife mentality' which probably occurs in many other communities.


                      I wish I could say its great to hear from another sufferer of both LT Illness and NFH but that wouldn't sound right would it.I am waiting today to get a visit from the HO but I won't be placing bets online on it thats for sure.

                      Your spot on about contacting agencies and it leading back to the HO. I also found the CAB pretty inappropriate and got the impression after waiting with a number outside that I could have found out more by research on the web and joining this forum. The CAB individual went away after talking to me and came back with a couple of print offs from their data base.Quite honestly its put me off the CAB. I have had some pretty nice offers of extreme help from one of my wifes more streetwise relatives as well as people offering to solve the problem for good. However, I don't feel I should have to result to that and I am battling to get it solved in a lawfull manner at the moment.

                      Thanks and I wish you well


                      • #12
                        Hi chaser

                        You may find it useful checking out the Self - Help Article here:



                        • #13
                          Please Note:

                          Housing Legislation (the Housing Act 1996 as amended by the Homelessness Act 2002) mentions applicants in "priority need" - this can include people who are "vulnerable": people just like chaser and many other members on this board.