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  • Living in Brierley HELL

    Dear all,



    I have just stumbled upon this forum and I'd like to share my story with you. I'm after useful links to organisations who may be able to help with my particular problem too.



    I have been living in a council flat in Dudley since March of this year. When I first moved in, everything was fine. I got on well with the guy who lived next door. About 2 months ago, a young family moved into the flat opposite. I thought they'd be okay as they have a baby.



    Ever since they moved in, everything here has gone rapidly downhill. These people are constantly having friends round (probably to do drug deals) even at 2am. Their door is contantly banging, there's shouting outside in the 5th floor hall area too.



    Recently, they've started vandalising things, particularly glass. They smashed the glass in the door leading out to the stairs. I did report this to the local housing office who replaced the glass. I asked if they'd rehouse me, but they refused. They basically wanted me to name those responsible - something I wasn't prepared to do for fear of my own safety.



    Anyway, they broke the glass AGAIN and they've even vandalised the small bit of glass in the lift door. In addition to the vandalism and intense noise, they leave litter everywhere.



    I had social anxiety BEFORE I moved into this flat, but now my condition is a LOT worse. Although I'm a relatively healthy 28-year-old man, I live in constant fear. I seldom leave the flat unless it's to go to work. I wouldn't dare go out at night. I am terrified of a possible confrontation with a bunch of yobs who hang out in the hall area, definately drunk and probably smacked out of their heads on drugs.



    Although they haven't threatened me (yet), I still feel scared. Anyone who's prepared to vandalise property, deal drugs, make that much noise and leave the place in a disgusting tip would have very little regard for me or my well-being.



    I've become pretty depressed living here, even though I had problems with depression before. I can't afford to move out and pay for a deposit on a new flat on my own - not yet anyway.



    I am tired of being a prisoner in my own home, but I don't feel like I can go to the housing office as they'll take action. Because I'm the only other resident on this particular floor, I'll be at risk of comebacks.



    The only way I can sleep at night is with my radio on fairly loud, to drown the noise out in the hall. It's affecting my health.



    Are there any organisations out there who deal with this sort of thing, or is there anywhere I could turn to for help, anonymously?



    I really can't live like this for much longer. I'm not "streetwise".



    Thanks for reading.

  • #2
    For the past 2 months, I have experienced pretty severe problems with my neighbours.



    I live in a council flat in the Brierley Hill area of the West Midlands. When I first moved in here, everything was fine. It wasn't exactly peaceful, but I wasn't living in fear like I am now.



    2 months ago, a young couple with a baby moved in. I didn't think they'd be any trouble at all, but I was wrong. Where to begin.....



    Firstly, there's the noise. They slam doors and there are constantly people coming and going from their flat, even in the early hours of the morning. It makes it very difficult for me to sleep here, so now I have the radio on fairly loud and (try to) fall asleep to that in order to drown their noise. Along with slamming of doors, they're constantly shouting. There have been quite a few arguments out in the hall area of the 5th floor.



    Then, there's the vandalism. These animals seem to love smashing glass panes in doors. They even smashed the small glass pane in the lift door.....pathetic. I reported this to the council to begin with and they did repair the door, but unfortunately it got vandalised again, only a week later.



    There's the litter too....which is thoroughly disgusting. Some mornings, there's litter everywhere in the hall area. I notice it when I leave for work in the morning and it doesn't usually get cleaned up for at least a week.



    I also believe that my neighbours are either dealing drugs, or they're involved in drug dealing in some capacity. Why else would people constantly come to their door at ungodly hours of the morning? Sometimes I can even smell cannabis. I don't have a problem with people using cannabis, but I don't like the idea of drug dealing going on on my doorstep.



    Although I haven't been threatened by these yobs in any way, I'm still living in fear. I don't go out, unless it's to go to work. As soon as I'm back from work, I lock the doors and stay in. I certainly don't go out at night for fear of coming home and finding the yobs in the hall area outside my front door, either drunk or smacked out....or both. Although I'm not a woman or an elderly person, I am constantly in fear for my own safety. I also come home each day, half expecting to find my flat burgled.



    When you live alone, it's pretty frightening. I'm too scared to report these people to the council because I fear comebacks. I'm the only other person living on this floor and they'd know it was me who reported them. I have no doubt that people who smash glass, slam doors, shout, deal drugs and leave litter wouldn't think twice about attacking me.



    I'd like to be re-housed, but that doesn't seem possible. I can't afford to move out and pay for a deposit on a private flat on my own. I've had depression and social anxiety for a few years, but this is making my condition a LOT worse. I'm not sleeping....I've got very jumpy and it's affecting my ability to do my job, along with having adverse effects on my social relationships with friends/family.



    I can't take this for much longer. Any ideas?



    Thanks for reading.



    (TWO TOPICS MERGED)

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi there and welcome to the forum,



      sorry to hear you are going through it at the moment.



      record everything, write it all down, times and dates and what has happened.

      you will find some blank logs you can print off under the resources section on the main web site.



      get back onto the housing office as well...I assume the young couple are also tennents?



      if they are making your life hell I can guarrentee that others in your block are feeling the same

      do you know any of your other neighbours?



      personally I would go and have a chat with others to see if they are being effected, then all complain to the housing office, there is strength in numbers.



      I can only imagine what it is like for you, I had nfh who screamed abuse at me though the walls and it was very scary, not knowing if they were going to lob a brick through my window or not.

      even now I sleep with the tv on quietly, as we had to do the same as you to drown out the noise.



      you can fight this and win, you say you are not street wise, you dont have to be



      after we have finshed with you, you will be so empowered you can do anything!!! :lol:



      the main thing here is that you can get support from people who have been there, we all know what that sinking feeling in your tummy is like, not wanting to go out in case you bump into "them"



      when ever you need to vent your anger or just talk to someone please pop by!

      you will always get an anwser



      mean while why dont you check out our links section and our resources section on the main site, there is loads of helpful advice



      good luck and come back often!

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Living and welcome to the forum



        It's a horrible thing when you feel like a prisoner in your own home. You're afraid to be there but you're afraid to leave it because you don't know what you'll come back to. You have my sympathy because I recognise those feelings



        You have every right to be afraid, only a fool would not feel afraid in such circumstances. But maybe, because you are on your own your feelings will be that much more acute, especially as you say you have suffered from social anxiety.



        Unfortunately, unless someone informs the relevant authorities it's not going to change. I can understand your fears about come-backs. You are in a very difficult position but it's possible they won't know it's you who has informed on them. Have you thought of phoning Crimestoppers? They can pass on information to the police.



        As Beth says, keep a diary of all incidents. Have a word with your local neighbourhood police officer. You should be able to make an appointment to see him/her rather than have a home visit.



        When you asked to be rehoused did you tell the housing office why you wanted to move? If they don't know about the goings on they can't do anything to help. Are you friendly with any other neighbours? Are they also troubled by your NFH? If you can get together with some others the coucil or HA might be more willing to listen to your complaints. Whoever you talk to about NFH, make sure you let them know about your fears for your safety.



        I'm sure other members will have lots more advice for you. Don't despair. Take care



        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


        • #5
          Hi,



          I was really upset to read your post. What you are going through sounds horrific. It amazes me that this couple are behaving like this when they have a baby.



          Beth and Misty have offered some really good advice. Hopefully this will start you thinking about how you can begin taking steps to get you away from this situation.



          It really helps if you have someone that you can talk to about how you are feeling or to vent your frustration to, so this forum is a good start.



          Take care of yourself and let us know how things go



          Blue Cow

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi livinginfear, and I'm so sorry you have needed to find NFHiB :badmood:



            There have been good points from other members. I would like to ask, have you approached your GP to explain how this dreadful situation is making you feel? I ask this because it may be that your Council's Housing Need's department(or homeless unit) maybe able to consider that it is unreasonable for you to remain in this situation. This may only be an option with back-up evidence from reporting to the Housing Department, reporting to the police (if necessary through the Crimestoppers number, especially if to do with dealing!), and medical evidence on your behalf.



            Set the ball rolling as best you can, and as other members have said, you are probably not the only person complaining. Maybe have a meeting with the Council Estate management Oficer, explaining as well how fearful you are, and the psychological effect this is having on you. Log everything, every incident. Anytime you speak to the police, get a log/crime number. If needs be, you can speak to them at the station, instead of them coming to your home.



            Is there a tenant's and resident's association in your area(ask the Housing Office)? They should be able to give you support, and may know of other complaints.



            I don't know if there is a Housing Aid/Advice Centre in your area, but if so, they can advise you on the law, your rights, and support you in trying to get moved, if this is what you wish. Check what is available in your area on

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



            and,if you haven't already, have a look at (for a bit more info)

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



            I really hope that,armed with some info, and support, you can feel in a position where you do not feel so alone and in fear. Glad you found us!



            Please let us know how things are going Regards,



            sapph



            P.S. Apologies for link to justask previously, now amended!

            Comment


            • #7
              i would just like to add to all the good advice you have already. You must have a "Tenancy agreement" Check this out because they must be in breach of several sections. Try and get hold of a dictaphone or tape recorder and record everything and log it.



              Good luck.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi livinginfear and welcome to the Forum



                Isn't it awful when one household can cause so much disturbance to another individual?



                After checking on just ask, the nearest (and best) place for you to go for advice may be here:



                http://www.justask.org.uk/directory/result...ivery=2&lang=en



                You should/could approach your local authority's Housing Needs service like sapphire has said, as it seems like it may no longer be reasonable for you to live where you are.



                If you are suffering from noise nuisance, then you may wish to consider involving the Environmental health department (part of your local authority). But, generally, they want you to have spoken with your neighbours in the first instance. Have you talked to them about the noise problems yet or not? The other thing you could do, is to write to them - there is a template letter in the Resources section (always keep a copy!!).



                You could also apply to Housing Associations to be rehoused - they will need you to supply as much information on the form as possible (and the more supporting letters you can get, the better, e.g. from your Doctor). There is a list of HA's in your area here:



                http://www.housingcorp.gov.uk/resources/re...r/las/la517.htm



                Take care and please let us know how you're getting on.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi Livinginfear



                  hope you feel a little bit relieved now you have found us - just getting a few replies can be quite a relief and give you a bit of strength, I hope.



                  I would say that you should definitely get to your Housing Office asap and make sure you have all the relevant info attached to your Housing Application form - be sure that you have completed a 'Medical Form' and ask your GP for a supporting letter as the anxiety you are suffering is affecting your wellbeing.



                  Unfortunately from what you say and even with GP supporting letters, it will be highly unlikely that any Homeless assessment you have will determine that it is not reasonable for you to stay at your current accommodation :sad: . This is because there does not appear to be any 'real' evidence of harassment aimed at you personally nor any recorded crime against you (unless you can give any further info). The Housing Officer will look at it as being reasonable for you to remain as long as someone is tackling the anti-social behaviour of the people causing you the stress.



                  However, it is still worth getting the GP letter as it may give you additional points for your standard housing application. Obviously if things deteriorate further, then the Housing Officer would need to look at your circumstances again.



                  This means that you will probably (as will the Housing Dept) have to go down the route of trying to get the NFH's evicted or at least quietened down. Definitley log every incident and keep contacting (pref in writing) the housing office to report incidents. They certainly sound like they are breaching many parts of their tenancy agreement.



                  Also keep the police informed - the more info they get, the more likely it will be that they can act. You can do this completley anonymously and it is often the better way - via Crimestoppers.



                  It is also worth involving your local councillor and MP. They can take up your case with the Housing Office - housing officers have to respond to these enquiries within certain timescales and cannot be fobbed off.



                  On a more personal level if you cannot wait much longer and are prepared to move of your own steam, you could be pro-active in looking for your own accommodation via private lets or housing associations as others have mentioned. Don't forget that if you qualify for benefit, you can still claim housing benefit on a private rented tenancy. Some local authorities can also help with paying deposits on private rents - it's worth asking in case yours does.



                  Also ask about mutual exchange schemes and look up HOMES on the 'net (or ask at your Housing Office when you go) for exchanges across the country - at least it covers another possibility.



                  Finally, do not forget that you are not alone. Many people live within the shadow of the fear of crime and disorder. You have made the first step in asking for help which puts you 'one up' already. Be sure to come back here often! .



                  You can get what you want with a little hard work, the right advice and assistance - be strong. Also have hope - you never know, they might move on very soon and leave you all in peace.



                  Best of luck



                  Mazza



                  :nfh1:

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi



                    So sorry to hear of your problems. Follow the advice given and most importantly look after your own health.



                    Keep coming here. This site can be a very calming influence and if you have a calm mind, things are easier to deal with.



                    Take care and good luck.
                    "You have to be the change you wish to see in the world"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If they ask you who is responsible say: "Sorry, I don't know. And I am certainly not going to go and find out. It is your responsibility as my landlord to ensure that the tenants can have a peaceful and secure enjoyment of our properties.



                      You live in Dudley? Then I suggest you listen to the Ed Doolan show (9am until noon Sunday to Friday) on BBC Radio WM and call Ed's show. He is a very resouceful consumer broadcaster who doesn't take nonsense from officials.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yes, do try Ed Doolan!



                        His page at the BBC is: http://www.bbc.co.uk/england/coventrywarwi.../eddoolan.shtml

                        You can e-mail him: [email protected]



                        The station's phone number is: 08453 00 99 56



                        If you haven't listened much before check the show out for a few days. (10.00-13.00 weekdays, 9.00- 12.00 Sundays)



                        I tend to listen when I'm in the car
                        "Poor Tom shall lead thee" (King Lear)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Good grief! Has Ed changed his weekday times again?



                          When I first started listening it weas 12 til 3, then 11 til 2, then 9 til 12 now 10 til 1. I used to listen to Ed when I worked form home and when I later worked an evening shidt. But now I do ordinary 9 to 5 I miss Ed's show.

                          Comment

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