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  • Cardiff Hell

    My girlfriend and I bought our first house together in May of this year. It took us a long time to find exactly what we wanted but eventually we thought we had found the perfect place.



    In the month before exchanging contracts I made regular visits to the street (both day and night) in order to make sure everything was suitable regarding our new neighbours. I saw nothing which made me think twice.



    How wrong I was. Since the weather started improving we have had nothing but hell from one council tennant family directly opposite our house. The family consisted of a single mother and her 13 year old sister and 5 children all aged 12 and under.



    The kids are left with no supervision out in the street until gone midnight most evenings. They basically run riot - pulling up paving stones, scratching cars and generally screaming. The mother just sits on her front window ledge drinking, smoking and laughing (oh and screaming as well). We have and end terrace house with the garden on the side which faces onto the road. There is a 10ft wall between us and the street but on many occasions I have come home to find kids jumping over my wall or all out plants trashed. Not to mention all the rubbish they also throw over the wall.



    Most nights the family is out until 1 or 2 am.. sitting on their window ledge, drinking and screaming. The mother allows her 13 yr old sister (?!?) to smoke openly and also her 12 year old son. She also lets their boyfriends/girlfriends sleep over.. infact the house seems to attract a variety of waifs and strays on a daily basis... some characters looking decidedly dodgy.



    4 weeks ago, the father of 2 of the kids moved in with the mother. Although he wasn't the most pleasant of chaps, he did seem to have some control over the kids and we thought things were improving.



    Yesterday we realised this was more to do with the bad weather we've had than the fact he has any control over them. We arrived home yesterday to find all the kids outside our house smashing a bike to pieces with a large metal bar. As it was a nice day and we wanted to sit out in our garden I kindly asked them to stop doing it or at least do it infront of their own house. My request was met with the usual expletives.. but eventually they moved. We went in the garden and within about 3 minutes the large metal bar was hurled over the wall and missed my head by inches.



    Sadly this pushed me over the limit and I confronted the father. However he was completely drunk and threatened me to such a point I had no choice but to back down. I genuinely felt worried for my safety at that point.



    Me and my girlfriend are praying for rain... every day of the year. It was our dream to buy a house together but it has been shattered. I work for our local council and have been advised to lodge a formal complaint to social services, but after yesterday I am worried about the repurcussions.. especially if social services cannot do anything about it.



    Our only other choice I guess is to move.. but we dont feel that we should be threatened out of our own house. Even if we do decide to move, we are concerned that we may not find a buyer, especially if their solicitors ask if we have had any problems with neighbours.



    Its starting to take its toll on us both now.. sooner or later something is going to snap.



    Any advice greatly appreciated.. and after reading this forum it is somewhat satisfying to know we are not alone in this.

  • #2
    Welcome to you both Craw I'm glad you found us here, as you've said many, many members have experienced very similar things to what you're living with at the moment. Unfortunately, it's all too common and the feelings of nausea and sheer frustration you'll undoubtedly feel over this are also normal.



    It certainly will take it's toll and I feel you did exactly the right thing backing off from the drunk father - never, ever get into a confrontation, however tempting it is. Not only will you be held accountable (and sods law says you'll get into trouble or even arrested and the NFH won't!), you will also lose the psychologically higher and morally higher ground with your NFH - which is often important. Especially if you decide to tackle the issues and show these people you will not be bullied, intimidated or harassed by their childish and poor behaviour.



    It is a tough decision. To make a stand and have to deal with the possible repercussions of what there could be or to ignore it and carry on the best you can. It's a very personal choice for you both to consider that's for sure. There are also impacts to consider if you may decide to sell up after making a formal complaint (e.g. SPIF form). So, bear this in mind too.



    Social Services could well be a point of call concerning your points over the welfare of the children/young people. If you decide to do this, try and keep the issues clear and to the point, otherwise they could get clouded and even appear to look like you're using SS to address their other issues indirectly - even though you're clearly not. So, you could keep it simple there, just flag up the Children's welfare, appearance, health, innapropriate and potential risks to their safety and so on.



    As terms of the EH Dept - if you do decide to get them involved, they will keep your complaint confidential if you ask them to. Check this with them too. But, depending on other neighbours, they could guess it's you?



    Are other neighbours being affected? Can you club together and take action?



    You say the NFH are council tenants? Can you contact the LA housing dept/section and complain about the general nuisances? They could well be breaking some terms/conditions of their tenancy agreement.



    You also need to start logging down all complaints you have, however small they may be (they add up) if you haven't already. Keep a diary log, it's your evidence. As you've spoken to the NFH you could also now consider formally writing to them, as it's your proof you have attempted to tackle the problem informally before involving other services (e.g. EH Dept). Some LA's won't even act unless you do this sort of thing first.



    Mediation may be an option for you, try our links directory here for some pointers:



    http://www.nfh.org.uk/links_director...p3?category=10



    If you've not seen the online articles yet for help, these are also relevant, have a read through, they are pretty detailed:



    ASBO's/Anti-Social Behaviour:



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



    Noise Issues:



    http://www.nfh.org.uk/resources/Arti...oise/index.php



    Harassment from your neighbour:



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



    If you decide to approach your neighbour(s) again, don't do it alone if at all possible. Take a witness with you to back up what's happened and above all protect yourself. Don't even consider going round to address issues while they are drunk, it's often a total waste of time.



    Don't hesitate either to ring the police at any sign of trouble, some people feel embarassed to do so, but it is your right. Whether they are threatening you physically or verbally (or even throwing items over your wall could be construed as a possible attack at you both), is a criminal act. Criminal Damage also seems to be a problem from your NFH.



    Whatever you decide to do, keep calm and cool. Always try to stay above them morally and legally, don't ever give any ammunition back, although I'd be the first to admit it's extremely difficult sometimes not to retaliate; you are only human and can only take so much. It's never cowardly to back away and play things by the book, in fact it's often more difficult and a lot more courageous.



    Your enjoyment of your home is being disturbed by these people, it is your right to enjoy your home and live peacefully, not dread coming back to it.



    Blank recording sheets are available at NFHiB if you need them:



    General Sheets:



    http://www.nfh.org.uk/resources/docs/Recor...m_Nuisances.doc



    Sheets for Noise Nuisance:



    http://www.nfh.org.uk/resources/docs/Log_t..._Neighbours.doc



    Template letter to use with Neighbours:



    http://www.nfh.org.uk/resources/docs/First..._Neighbours.doc



    Above all, stay safe and come back often - let us know how things are going and how you both are.



    :nfh1:

    Comment


    • #3
      :huh:



      Hi there Craw and welcome!



      I have had very similar problems to yours, but not as extreme. I too have KIds from Hell to put up with, playing out at all times of the day from the crack of dawn till nighttime. last night they were out till 10.30 p.m. before the 'mother' decided to shriek at the top of her voice to get them in. i know its not all that late, but these kids range in age from 4 to 10.



      we have had our cars scratched and damaged and footballs and golf balls smacking around until you just think you will go demented.



      dont worry you are not the only one who has prayed for rain, unfortunately it doesnt always out them off. :angry: we have avoided coming home because we cant face being in our own hime :sad: our daughter was bullied and eventually couldnt go outside for even a second without the little ignoramouses calling her names or worse. :badmood: my next door neighbour moved a month ago, because he too was being driven nuts, and he was a single guy. yet they still decided he needed to have his car dented and scratched as well.



      the upshot of all of this, which has been going on for over 2 years, is that we decided to move. everyone around here owns their property so there was no point us starting up official complaints to the police or taking legal action. so we decided to sell. as we hadnt made 'official complaints' to anyone, i decided i didnt have to disclose anything on the SPIF (Sellers property information form) .



      i ddnt want to be driven out of my own home, but we would have moved anyway because of schooling issues, but we just had to do it sooner than was ideal. i lookeed at what the future might be for us here and all i could see was these brats getting older and even more obnoxious. at the end of the day, your family life is much more important than the house you are living in. our house is very nice and will have been perfectly adequate for agood few years yet, but is you dont have your peace of mind, your house becomes more like a prison, than a place of sanctuary. :cry:



      please think long and hard what is most important to you; if you feel you have the energy and determination to try and sort out these neighbours, then fine. I think, if they live in rented accomodation there is a lot you can do in terms of pressurising the landlord, housing assoc or council to do something. if , however, these people are owner occupiers, it is a lot lot harder.



      well the last thing i want to say is DO NOT under any circumstances, react to these people. I have found,( as have many other fellow NFH sufferers) that this type or person is very good at turning things round to make it seem the you are in the wrong. and this is a horrid, sickening feeling. please dont retaliate.



      well, i am sure you will find a lot of support here, keep on posting as it will definitely help you. i know how much better i felt and how it has helped me 'rise above ' a lot of the nonsense that has been going on round my way lately. B)
      http://bestsmileys.com/sparkle/1.gif



      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

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Craw



        Neighbours From Hell? You are not kidding :sad: .



        Matthew has really given you the most comprehensive advice, all I would like to do is reinforce that you must log every single detail of their behaviour. It's time consuming and aggravating, but if things progress any further, you will find your log to be essential.



        I would also advise you to write, every week if necessary, to your Local Council's housing department (you said they're Council tenants - presume that's their landlord). Start you letter with 'I would like to make a complaint about my neighbours, Mr and Mrs X...' and list all the goings on that you have had to put up with during the past few days. The more letters they get, the more they'll have to go on and act on. If any other neighbours are prepared to do the same - even better.



        Your letters are confidential and you can tell the Housing Official to not, under any circumstances, divulge your name as a complainer to your NFH.



        These 'people' are in breach of many, many parts of their tenancy agreements and the Council is duty bound to act. The police are also duty bound to act in conjunction with the Housing Dept, so be sure to call them often too. Use the Crimestoppers no. if necessary as it's completely anonymous.



        If you are feeling that you are getting the brush off, get your MP and Local Concillors involved. The Housing Dept (and Police) have to reply to MP's and Councillors enquiries, they cannot fob them off!



        You are in for a slog, think long and hard about this. The wheels of officialdom grind very slowly especially with cases like these where kids are involved - unfortunately .



        It might be worth considering a move before you get involved with putting things in writing as it could affect any future sale of your property. However, like you say, why should you be forced to move, it's outrageous!! :angry:



        You can prevail, and these low-lifes can be brought to book. Come back to this site often for support and advice. Just knowing that you have others standing firm with you can help.



        Best of luck,

        Mazza



        :nfh1:

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Craw and welcome to the Forum



          How awful for you both to buy your first home together and find that you have this family living opposite you.



          There isn't anything I can add to the comprehensive advice already given to you. At the end of the day, you and your partner have three options (that I can see...):



          - Stay and put up with your NFH/change the way you cope with their behaviour

          - Stay and pursue every legal avenue you can to deal with their behaviour

          - Move



          Only you two can decide which is the best for you.



          You will find a lot of support from members here at NFHiB, so please call often to let us know how you're getting on.



          :nfh1:

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for your advice guys.. it really is most appreciated.



            There are a lot of issues for me and my partner to mull over here.. it certainly is more complicated than I first imagined.



            Thanks again, we will keep you informed.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi Craw, and welcome to NFHiB



              It is such a shame that this family have blighted your dream home :badmood:



              Matthew has given great advice here, along with other members! I can only reiterate, log everything, if you feel you wish to take action!



              The tenant of that property is responsible for the behaviour of others living in/visiting the property, no matter what their ages. And in the tenancy agreement will be clauses relating to her responsibility as regards noise nuisance and nuisance and harassment. By all means, ask the Council Housing Department for a sample of their tenancy agreement so you can have a look at their tenancy obligations and see which ones you feel the tenant is breaching. Armed with this, and examples of these breaches, write to the Area Housing Manager, asking for a meeting asap, where you can discuss the options open th the department for action. Are there any other neighbours who may be experiencing similar problems? Maybe they would like to add their complaints to yours?



              If you are considering cutting your losses, it may be worth looking at the information you are obliged to disclose on the Seller's Property Information Form regarding property disputes prior to pursuing this. It may be useful to talk this over with a solicitor, but there is interesting discussion on the subject in the following link

              http://www.nfh.org.uk/forums/index.php?sho...&st=15&#entry16



              Whatever you choose to do, the best of luck! And do let us know how things are going



              Regards



              Sapph

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Craw and welcome to the forum



                Sorry to hear your story, it sounds a lot like mine There's nothing I can add to the advice already given by Matthew and others but you have my sympathy. I think I can appreciate what you're going through and it isn't very nice



                I think you might find that just by talking about it on here it will help dissipate those feelings of utter frustration and isolation. If you need to rant we have a ranters folder, it's a great way to get rid of stress and you'll get a very sympathetic hearing.



                Come back often



                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


                • #9
                  We bought the house in May 2003. Were the previous owners obliged to tell us about the neighbours?



                  I have heard from our next door neighbour that they had frequent confrontations and it got to the point where the previous owner put broken glass on top of the garden wall to stop the kids climbing over (it is gone now).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi Craw



                    I need to state here that this is not a website where specific points of law can be answered, and the opinion of a solicitor is advisable;the members here are not legal professionals.

                    I do, however think that you are pondering a very pertinent question re whether someone selling a property should have declared something which was a dispute/might have led to a dispute about their own, or a neighbouring property. This then begs the question of whether action can be taken if someone fails to disclose.



                    I would seek the advice of a legal professional if I was in this situation, as no one else can advise on points of law. Hopefully we can draw people's attention to the existence of law, in order that they can seek the right advice when needed.



                    Good luck with this!



                    Sapph

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I don't know the direct answer to your question Craw, like sapph has said, I think you need to speak to the Solicitor who dealt with your conveyancing about that.



                      Did the vendors mention anything about the neighbours on the SPIF?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        this is worth pursuing craw. if they had a problem and failed to disclose it, and they made any type of official complaint to the council or police you may be able to take this further.



                        there have been cases whereby failure to disclose information has led to the vendor being sued successfully.
                        http://bestsmileys.com/sparkle/1.gif



                        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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I emailed my solicitor today - basically he told me that this information should have been disclosed during the sale. I have replied to him with all the details so I should get a fuller answer tomorrow.



                          As for making a log.. thank the lord for video cameras! I have about an hours worth of different footage from the last 3 months. Hopefully this may come in handy at some point.



                          Thanks for all your support so far though... it really makes it easier when you dont feel alone.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hi Craw,



                            Good that you have got your solicitor on the case now so that you can at least see if there is any come back on that front.



                            Keep us posted, hope you feel at least that you are getting somewhere and that most importantly, there is help and support here for you



                            Mazza



                            :nfh1:

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It does sound then Craw like your previous neighbours were aware of the conflict(s) with the neighbours - however, they could well claim that they did not feel this was a problem and hence didn't make any complaint 'official'. (Hence, playing the 'interpretation card'?).



                              I hope you can take some action though if it becomes apparent the your home's previous owners deliberately mislead of misrepresented the neighbour situation via the SPIF.



                              Let us know how you get on with the solicitor if you can

                              Comment

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