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2 and a half years of abuse/noise from neighbour

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  • 2 and a half years of abuse/noise from neighbour

    I have had a severe problem with my neighbour for two and a half years. Things have escalated to such an extent that she has been arrested twice and the second time, she was charged and a court date was set. Today that court case was due to happen but it got adjourned because a vital police witness couldn’t make it. I hope my story will give others hope because I have learned a great deal and I hope I can help as many of you out there as I can. At the end of this post, I will list my words of advice which could help you depending on your situation.

    It all started when I bought my new house in March 2000 which is a semi-detached. It needed renovating so there was quite a lot of DIY noise coming from my house although only ever between 9:00 – 5:00 on weekdays. The property next door has been converted into two flats, my problem neighbour rents the top flat and the landlord is… HER FATHER and there lies my biggest problem. The father wanted to buy my house to convert into two flats as well but I got there first and that is the root off all this and now he and his daughter want to make my life hell. He offered my vendor 10k over the asking price but they refused because they knew what he was like. Just to say, I am 33 and have a child of 11 (Daniel) and am also a single mum. My neighbour, Tina is about my age too.

    My first bad experience with my new found neighbour was in October 2000 where she banged on my wall ALL NIGHT for no reason I could see. The DIY work happened in the day and had been going on for some weeks and this is the first time I even knew of her existence. As my bedroom was next to her side of the house, I got no sleep. Just to say that a few months later I moved bedrooms to the box room on the other side of the house because I was getting no sleep AT ALL! I am still in that bedroom today. Anyway, back to the story! I went round there the next day to ask why she was banging, she said because I was making noise which was stupid of course because I wasn’t, I was trying to get to sleep! She said about the building work and I explained it was short term and never in unreasonable hours. She thought any time before midday was unreasonable because she liked to lye in but I explained it wasn’t practical to have them do it only after 12:00. She seemed ok at this point and I gave her my mobile number and said “Any problems, just ring, don’t bang on the walls coz it won’t help!” I even said “Come round for a cup of tea sometime!”. I wanted to be her friend and honestly believed she was just a normal person.

    Since this point things got oh so bad! I’ve bullet pointed the main events below this paragraph! I’d like to say that from October 2000 to today, I have had the noise environmental people involved but they are USELESS! I’ve had sound monitoring equipment three times (twice the equipment was faulty!), I’ve had them visit many times to witness the noise and they agree it’s loud but they can’t do anything! Added to my problem is that the landlord is her father so can’t complain to him and he obviously won’t evict her.

    - Up until January 2001, banging on the wall in the middle of the night for no reason

    - January 2001 she started leaving me vicious voicemails accusing me of trying to break into her property and said the police were going to arrest me. I spoke to the police and they said it was nonsense. They also said she’d been making complaints about me for months and she was a laughing stock!

    - Abusive calls from her mother

    - February 2001 more phone calls (I recorded all messages), more banging, threatening letter, abuse in the street (she called me a junkie, alcoholic, prostitute etc.. and I am none of them believe me!) and shouting through the walls. I went to the police and they arrested her for harassment due to the evidence I had.but because it was her first offence, they let her off with a caution. So, to those of you out there, don’t get too excited as I did if the police talk about arresting the person because unless they have a criminal record, they will be let off. I did get some satisfaction because she was humiliated and also spent all day in a cell but to be honest, it just made her worse. After this I changed my number so at least she couldn’t call anymore.

    - March 2001 – neighbour in the downstairs flat moved out coz she couldn’t stand it anymore. Another poor soul moved in a few months later and lasted about six weeks before she moved out. Since then it’s stood empty. I can’t just move out because of reasons I won’t go into but more importantly, why should I sell my house because of her! I love my house too!

    - About June time I received a ridiculous letter from her father accusing me of terrible things. I had solicitor letters accusing me of the same kind of things and the final straw was a letter from the social services saying that she’d told them I was mistreating my son. Luckily for me, the police were on my side (and found her (and still do) a pain in the neck!) so they called the social services and explained that she did it for malicious reasons.

    - I started to develop arthritis due to the stress because every time she banged on the walls or shouted etc.. I would shake with fear and anger. I had a friend of mine stay with me EVERY night for over a year because I was petrified in my own home.

    - For the next few months, problems continued until one night in May 2002, I went round there at about 2:00am because she was banging on the wall (I’d been round in the past to no avail but thought it couldn’t make things any worse). Got there and she stuck her head out of the window and threw a bucket of horrible liquid over me so I ran away. The stuff stank and was a brown yucky substance. Police came IMMEDIATELY and arrested her for common assault and criminal damage (my clothes were covered in this stuff), They thought the stuff was vomit which totally freaked me. To this day I don’t know what it was but will do when it goes to court in April I hope. As I said at the beginning, the court case was due today but was adjourned.

    - After this event, I had a severe RA attack and was house bound for months pretty much. All of my joints swelled up to such an extent that it ruined my already crappy life due to her. It’s much better now but for many months I was suicidal due to the pain. I can’t prove it was because of her – maybe the stuff she threw at me contaminated me and set off the attack, I’ll never know for sure. The problem with this is that the police and others thinks she is mentally ill (I agree) which should be a good thing but it’s not because if it’s found she is, she’ll get off with no punishment and can continue living next door because it’s her father’s property.

    Now for my advice!

    Always log events WITH THE POLICE! They are happy for you to make a call and just request the incident is logged. Just state you don’t need a visit, you just want a record made. I’ve been told this many times by the police. It’s hard to keep it up because you lose your appetite for it but it’s very important.

    The noise team at the council always say “We can’t send someone out to you unless we have three complaints at least”. This is obviously stupid because only the adjacent neighbour(s) can hear the noise. The police have told me however that if the case has been going on for a long time then they CAN send someone out if there’s only one call so do insist they do. If they still won’t, as the police to call them with the police log number and they are obliged by law to attend your property and log the noise level. Again, whatever happens, you must log all events with the noise team even though it feels a waste of time.

    A lot of people think that it’s ok to assault someone if they are on THEIR property. This is not the case and my neighbour found this out the hard way, I don’t want you guys to!

    Tape everything you can – voicemails, abuse whatever. This will help you enormously in getting the neighbour arrested. Without my taped voicemails, they couldn’t have done a thing.

    Use the system’s uselessness to your advantage, ie, the noise team at the council are so cr*p it’s unbelievable so if you make noise to ‘get your neighbour back’ then it’s unlikely that they’ll have any joy with the council also. I find the T*t for tat doesn’t make things any better but it’s a good stress reliever.

    Obvioulsy, it’s worth trying mediation because it’s the best way but my neighbour was not interested in making peace, only making war. I so wish she’d agreed to it because this could have all been solved months ago.

    I am so pleased I found this site and will be on it constantly I imagine!

  • #2
    welcome Pip

    I am so sorry to hear your story, you really have been through it.

    you sound very strong though!

    I hope you get the support you need here, we have all been there to varing degrees and total understand!

    I will write again later, love to your son



    • #3
      Hi Pip,

      Nice to meet you.

      Your story seems so familiar i'm afraid but you are obviously dealing with not one but two problems in as much as her father is her landlord which has closed one "avenue" for you!!

      cue Marlon Brando Godfather voice " you are dealing with the family"

      Your story seems fairly advanced so you seem to be making the right moves in this issue AND I am pleased to see you log your bullet points.

      Boy am I glad to find someone else who advocates a "fight fire with fire "policy

      Keep us posted re the courtcase and its outcome


      The Horsefans

      "Take off and nuke the site from orbit- it's the only way to be sure!"

      apologies if you are an "Aliens" fan

      Posh Noodle - NOT for the likes of YOU!!


      • #4
        Hi Pip_Hodge

        Welcome to the NFH Forum! Great to have you here, and your story so far, phew.......what a nightmare for you that's just escalated and escalated with this obviously mentally ill neighbour you have.

        You've lived through a variety of things, and to boot, you've still managed as a single parent, you're obviously a very resilient and courageous individual and have certainly learnt a lot about the law and what can be done about an NFH (and what can't be!) the hard way. Thanks for sharing what you've learnt with us too.

        May I ask, how has this affected Daniel? Is he un-affected (I hope) by all of this and how does he view your NFH too?

        It must have been very frustrating to have the court case adjourned on you today, how annoying to have to wait until April! Still, it could be worse, it may have been December eh!

        Your NFH sounds un-reasonable and in her own little world, like so many we learn about on here, she just doesn't care, she is 'bricked' off from the real world and she makes her own rules and justifies what she wants, all very conveniently. The bucket thrown over you sounds very upsetting as well as extremely horrible! I'm glad the Police could take some action anyway.

        Come back often, it's good to talk (as the nice BT lady says!) even if you can't always get a solution you need, it does help


        • #5
          Hi Pip, welcome to the board.

          I'm so sorry to read your awful story. The NFH and father have really put you through the mill. I can't really add anything to what other members have said. But as Badger says the police are a powerful ally for you. Although your story is so horrendous it is heartening to hear that the police have taken your complaints seriously.

          I hope your son isn't being upset too much, luckily children are fairly resilient but you can never take that resilience for granted.

          The law works so slowly, it must have been a blow to you that the court case has to wait until April. But with luck that stupid NFH will get what's coming to her. Perhaps she will be made to accept psychiatric help, she certaily sounds like she needs it.

          Keep your chin up and visit often,

          "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


          • #6
            Wow!!!!! I am overwhelmed with the responses to my story! I only posted it a few hours ago! I am so touched by all of you! I kick myself because it only occured to me at court today when we were waiting to find out if it was going to go ahead or not that there must be some forum somewhere! I am a member of many arthritis sites and have found them very helpful too.

            To answer some of the questions from the ones that asked them:-


            Matthew - Daniel is pretty ok. In fact to the point where he asked to move to the bedroom I left because the room is huuuuuuge and both our rooms were tiny. I said are you sure you want to sleep next to that din? He said the benefits of the big room out weighed her noise plus he can sleep through a thunder storm! He really does sleep heavily; luckily. I guess the effect on him is really about the effect on me because when I'm affected, I am moody, upset and he hates to see me like that. We have cried together many times.

            Badger - the police took my clothes which had the stuff on. This is why the damn case was adjourned because the arresting officer who has the clothes was called at short notice to attend a crown court hearing. I did see the doctor but he said he couldn't put in writing that my RA was due to her coz he simply can't know for sure. What he did say though is that my RA is on record and would hopefully make some difference. As for details regarding the stuff. As I ran, I could smell a sort of bleachy disinfectant smell and thought that's all it was. It's only when the police asked for my clothes that I saw that it was more than that. You see I took them off soooooo quickly after getting in I never saw it! It looked like runny mud if that makes and sense with 'bits' in it (it looked very much like vomit {how pleasant this all is} ). When the police searched her flat which I might add, they said it was in a terrible state, they found a sink full of the same stuff. They say she's probably been adding yucky things to this mixture for months ready to chuck over me so maybe it was once just simple washing up water, who knows...


            I will visit often, try keeping me away! I love this site! It helps to rant, share and finally feel no longer alone. That's the worst of it! I try saying to friends that when someone say dumps you, at least we've all had heart breaks so you can share it with anyone and most will understand but I know not a single person (until I found this site of course!) with a neighbour problem! I remember the council once said to me "Well can't you just sleep somewhere else tonight?" I thought "Cheers!!!" they really don't give a t*ss...

            Tonight I logged yet another incident - she does this thing where she puts her music on full blast then goes out for the whole night. It so gets to me. When I was at court today, I looked into her eyes and she immediately looked away - suddenly, I felt stronger than her.

            I am hoping this year will bring good things and I hope it does the same for each and every one of you who visit this site.

            It's 12:15am and I am now going to attempt to get some sleep... hmmm...


            • #7
              Dear Pip

              What an awful situation for you. I'm glad to hear, though, that you have the police on the right side in your case, and that you're fighting your corner. Good on you, and good luck.

              Your nfh clearly is mad, obsessive, malicious and needs psychiatric help. I recognise some of the symptoms she displays from a situation we had to take our kids away from.

              One thing stands out, the smelly gunk issue. By sounds of it she had been saving it for such an event, probably a high spot of her life. In doing so she would also have been making her own life reaally cr*p too.

              How can a human being debase themselves so much?

              The loonytune barrage of accusations and allegations. We had that too. Her mind must be in cesspool, and why should you have it chucked into your life?

              We were badly let down by the police and CPS, our and other witness evidence was not heard and a meaningless bind-over ensued. Don't let this happen to you.

              Do take the opportunity to express yourself in the witness box. Personally I would urge that she be made subject to psychiatric help. A Restraining order prohibiting her from being within x mile from your home may be the best thing for you. A custodial sentence may not be for all that long, and there would be a risk that she reappear untreated and even more twisted.

              If you do find the perfect antidote for a malicious fixation against you, let us know.

              Good Luck. Hope you get your life back. Keep us posted as to how you get on.



              • #8
                Hi there everyone! Thought I'd give you an update for those of you who have read this.

                The court case has now happened and she was found guilty of criminal damage/common assault. She only got a fine (some of which payable to me) and a suspended sentence but at least it's something.

                Thanks for listening....


                • #9
                  one small victory in the courts should be a big victory for you (was going to be the moon landing speech but didn't work!!)

                  thats great news, I am glad you had the courage to see it through and I hope it gives other members the courage to do like wise.

                  I hope she backs off from you now and you can get on with your life peacefully again.

                  let us know how it goes


                  • #10
                    Hi Pip!

                    Great to have an update from you, like you say even if it's a small victory, it's a victory nonetheless

                    Like Beth says, it's very motivating to people in similar situations too, thanks


                    • #11
                      Good news indeed!!

                      You must be very relieved. Thanks for keeping us updated


                      "Take off and nuke the site from orbit- it's the only way to be sure!"

                      apologies if you are an "Aliens" fan

                      Posh Noodle - NOT for the likes of YOU!!


                      • #12
                        Hi Pip,

                        It might not seem like much of a sentence, but it sets a precedent. If the NFH kicks off again you can point to the previous court case. So good news

                        Hope thing stay quiet

                        "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


                        • #13
                          Well it is a lot better now but not so much because of the court case, it's because I rang her mother up (at 7:00am!) about four weeks ago after yet another night of no sleep. I said to her "If your daughter chooses to keep me up ALL NIGHT then I'm afraid I am going to have to play T*t for tat and make a hell of a din the next morning". I also said that I would be phoning her (the mother) each time it happened (which obviously she could do without!) because she and her husband are the landlords of the property! To her credit, she was very civil to me and I think this is where the court case helped coz her mum was there and unless she's totally stupid (which I don't believe she is!) must have seen a side to her daugher that she'd not seen before.

                          I've been meaning to update the sight for ages but lost my job due to redundancy just before the court case and was out of work for sometime so had other stuff on my mind. Now I'm settled in a fantastically new job, I can get back to normal stuff (yeah, dealing with my NFH has become normal unfortunately) and one of the things on my list was to let you guys know how things are!

                          As Sue says, "You still have to live next door to 'em" ... the only thing that would end this situation is for her to move but that just aint gonna happen!!!! Knowing she has a criminal record and a little less money in her pocket due to the fine is very low compensation.

                          I saw the Neighbours From Hell on channel three the other night and if any of you saw it, well, the girl in the first story reminded me a lot of my neighbour although I have to say, I'd much rather live next door to the girl on the show to the girl I have next door at present! My problem is, and has always been and always will be that my NFH has singled me out so I have no allies in the street. It makes an enormous difference if you have others that also have problems with the same person. This website has helped me more than words can say...

                          Anyway, I'm rambling now and it's late. Ooooh! My NFH has just come home! Oh joy!!!

                          Take care all of you!


                          • #14
                            Hi Pip. I've been meaning to reply for ages but I've got a few issues of my own to sort out on the "Stupid Neighbours" thread.

                            Good for you anyway. You've clearly shown that you aren't one to be intimidated and you've clearly played your cards wisely. You've pushed the envelope a bit more than I would but its obviously worked.

                            Anyway your story has proved an inspiration to many, myself included.

                            I hope to have some sort of result like yours soon.
                            Now, these creatures are bringers of death and misery. They will never eat, they will never sleep, and they will never stop.

                            We are part of an ancient secret society. For three thousand years we have guarded the Cities and Towns. We are sworn at manhood to do any and all in our power to stop the NFH from ever being reborn into this world.

                            So what's the plan?

                            Rescue the damsel in distress, stop the bad guys, save the world.