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  • various problems

    I've spent the last couple of days reading all the stories on here (when I should have been working!) and had to share some of the problems we've had over the last 5 or 6 years with neighbours. I've think we've had them all at one time or another!!

    About 5 years ago we lived in a rented flat in Crouch End, we'd been there about 6 months when a nfh appeared in the flat next door - up to that point we'd never had any problems of this type. Well she was basically mad and used to play REALLY loud music in the room next to our bedroom all through the night. I can totally sympathise with anyone who is suffering this problem because it completely messed up my life - I found i couldn't sleep because i was waiting for it to start and ended up sleeping on the landing because that was the only part of the flat with 2 walls between us and the neighbour!! Anyway fortunately we were renting and managed to get out of the contract early and moved to another flat in Finchley. It was a totally horrible experience though and I ended up haveing to take sleeping pills....

    Anyway this new flat was much better but I think once you have experienced a NFH you are permanently sensitized to noise - it really has a profound effect on you and you never really get over it. In the new flat we had an inconsiderate neighbour below who would complain about us walking around but would play her TV really loud until about 1am. We got over this by swapping the living room and bedroom around and buying earplugs. We also had neighbours the other side who used to have really loud sex all the time (this was just funny - we used to stand by the wall and copy the noises, he was either an expert or she was oscar standard at faking it!). Then the squirrels moved in about our heads!!! Don't know if anyone else has ever experienced this but they drive you crazy. They would leap from surrounding trees and took up residence in the attic above our heads and would scuttle around up there having fights etc at all hours - had pest control out etc etc went on for months until the trees around the house were cut right back and they couldn't get up there. Crazy or what...

    Anyway eventually we decided we had to buy and moved further out to a ground floor maisonette, purpose built with our first garden which we loved - however the problems were still there! Upstairs was a family with 2 kids. The first year was OK but then they had another baby and really the noise became upbearable - every weekend morning the kids were up around 7.30am running around and screaming - aaaarggghh, no chance of a morning lie-in. So after 2 years there we sold (luckily made money and managed to buy a house - there was no official dispute with them, though we did have a few rows where the woman screamed at us "do you f****** hate kids or something" - no but we do object to them skipping above our heads and deliberately smashing our plant pots etc!)

    Anyway the problems continue at the house, now it is kids playing football in the street outside! Most nights they are there just lingering - it was brilliant over the winter but of course now they are back out, it's like living opposite a youth club sometimes. In other ways it's good, the neighbours either side are quiet and we have had double glazing put in, but it's still like "why do these problems keep following us around"???? Sometimes I think we are hyper-sensitive, but then I think no, these kids shouldn't be there, after all there is a big park just up the road, why don't they play there instead? Trouble is I don't want to approach them because at the moment they just ignore us and judging by people's experiences on here it will just make the situation 10 times worse - they will start to target us.

    So the plan now is to do this house up and try and move again next year - trouble is we live in the South East and everything is SO expensive. However I think we are going to try and go for a "nicer" street even if we have to get a smaller house. Still really p****** me off that we have to keep moving because of inconsiderate nfh

  • #2
    Hi Eeyore,

    Firstly a big welcome to you. I'm so sorry that you have had an epic run of NFH's. It is not uncommon that this happens. I certainly do not think for one moment that you are hyper sensitive at all. It is quite normal to want peace and quiet.

    At the moment it seems that you are getting it. I think you are spot on when you say that you don't want to approach these youths hanging around and playing footie. I personally feel it would be a disaster if you so much as contemplated it. It is a kind of talisman to any youngster who is challenged - a kind of laying down of the gauntlet so to speak, if you were to complain. They would provoke you even more and the reality is that this could in effect swell the numbers of them. Trouble acts like a magnet and news travels (unfortunately for some) fast.

    If you have peace and quiet with good neighbours at the moment consider that a huge bonus. As I have said privately between friends and family, I don't really think that you can get this moving thing right - even for a whole lifetime. There is always something that niggles away and you end up thinking oh why didn't I spot this earlier/sooner/when we were looking round etc etc.

    If you have good neighbours either side and just this gang of football playing kids about I would stick it out. Annoying as it is. It is a whole lot better than having to live with NFH for 24/7. Have you asked your neighbours either side if they have had any trouble/concerns etc from them in the past. Put this in a very tactfull way and they might give you an answer that would surely put your mind at rest. It could even be that these youngsters have only just turned up, in which case they could move on somewhere else.

    I'm having a good guess here that these lads (could be girls also) are only around for a few hours each days or whatever.

    Although as we discuss this the lighter nights are soon approaching upon us fast. I hope that at some point these youngsters will eventually get fed of this meeting place and find somewhere more exciting. Lets hope that is the case.


    • #3
      Thanks so much for your replies, it's nice to speak to some people who understand, because our families think we are just totally neurotic now and that adds to the problem because we start to believe them! It's because they have been lucky enough not to experience any of these problems.

      On the whole you are right and it is an improvement. I forgot to mention that the gangs of kids are there because one of them lives in the house across the street - so I don't think they will move on. Only thing is they might grow out of it eventually as they must be around 16 already.

      I definitely won't say anything though because I am sure you are right that would only be a red rag to a bull. I know they annoy our immediate neighbours too - I met one in the doctors and he described it as the "madhouse"!

      What area do you live in? Where is the house for sale? Thanks for the offer but I don't think we can move just yet though it sounds great. There is absolutely no way we can afford a detached though


      • #4
        welcome eeyore!

        I am sorry to hear of your ongoing problems,

        we too have had this problem, after two sets of NFH we will never be happy!

        we are over sensitve and we still jump at the slightest sound, in fact we have decided we are going to live in a field next time!!

        the more you have to put up with the more you notice the imperfections around you, it will take time to regain some normality in your life but you will get there in the end.

        I know you have a problem with kids hanging around and its incredibly frustrating as a lot of them are little swines.....but please try to ignore them, yes I know it is so easy to say, but dont get wound up by them, the last thing you need is to have them replace your NFH(s)

        our NFHs moved almost a year ago now and we still have to remind our selves that the new neighbour is not them, even now we can hear their music and try to decide if it is too loud, it is actually fine but we are looking for the trouble to start as that is what we had become used to.

        our nfh experiance has made us a little paranoid and we have turned in to grumbling old biddies, where in fact we have only just hit 30 and should be having a ball!!

        the nfh have trapped us this way, so we will never be able to trust an unknown neighbour again, in fact it even raised concerns over our good neighbours!!(but only briefly!)

        your NFhs have now affected you long enough! time for new beginins and a positive out look on life!!

        I send you postive thoughts for your new home and wish you will be happy there (and I reckon you will!)


        • #5
          Hi there, in my experience of teenagers hanging around the streets is that if left alone they move on to some other place where there is more excitement. If you make a big fuss about them, they will think that they can have a good time by winding you up up anytime they feel bored. They will move off eventually.


          • #6
            Hi eeyore - you could be describing our neighbour saga in your post! It is so like ours.

            - Even down to the neighbour who went mad at us 'stomping around our flat' - when we were both asleep on the settee!!! Mind you (no kidding) he had a false eye and liked to take it out to show people without warning and was a bit erm.. unbalanced!

            If there's one thing I want to put across on these forum boards it's this; NFH are in every locale and every property price bracket. We too said; "right, next house is a detached" - and that was where we got our NFH - big time. It was a few years ago and we've since moved house four times (once to get away from them, selling at a loss, and three job moves) but I still suffer from what they did to me. Yes you don't get the party walls in a detached which is a big difference I agree, but the gardens will almost certainly be adjacent. That's where our problems started. The day the two little monsters from the adjoining garden sat on top of the dividing fence looking over into our garden banging chains against the fence. Even now it makes me feel angry and sad to think about it.

            On a lighter note!!!!! The chances are high that, a semi or a detached will be a good move.

            Here's wishing you a move in the not too distant future.

            I also agree with Scooby, to make a comment to those kids playing outside is now like asking for a part in the film "Assault on Precinct 13" - you'll get a whole load of trouble at your door.

            Beth - you want to live in a field? - Make me an offer!!!! (wink!!!)


            • #7
              Welcome eeyore Great to have you on board!

              You are so right, many of us here are very sensitive to noise and noisy occurences from inconsiderate neighbours - it does get a little better honestly (e.g. for me, I've slowly regained a more normal reaction to every day noise from next door, although still a little sensitive to it), but I think you never totally regain what may have been a more 'blinkered' view you had before of it.

              Squirrels is a new one on me! I bet that was highly irritating. As lovely creatures as they are, I don't fancy them scurrying around above me for hours on end!

              We have quite a few members on the board (e.g. Misty et al) who suffer with kids in their local communities, often running around with little or no supervision and causing damage with footballs/playing - as well as the noise/nuisance it can inflict on neighbours, so I'm sure you'll get real insight and info there


              • #8
                I know exactly where you are coming from, I also feel like nfh's are following us and that we are serial victims of their behaviour. It is a horrible feeling. When you are in your house, you just want peace and quiet don't you? These people invade all of that and have a huge impact on the quality of your life.

                I agree with what other people have said about the football players, sometimes it is easier to just let them carry on for fear of any repercussions. At the end of the day, I suppose it depends on how strongly you feel.


                • #9
                  No I'm definitely not going to say anything to the kids about the football unless it causes damage to our property. I know before we moved in they broke one of our windows but I think they've got the message now not to come onto our drive. We've planted a lovely row of Leylandis which will hopefully grow up nice and big and block them out (then we'll be the nfh!).

                  The problem with having suffered noise problems I think is that it is like a kind of assault. If you were physically assaulted then you get support from Victim Support etc and everyone fully understands why you are forever afterwards scared of going out alone etc, however noise assault is regarded completely differently even though it can have just as profound an effect on your life. It is also so much more difficult to prove.

                  I'm also not very fond of squirrels any more!!


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by eeyore@Mar 20 2003, 2:23 PM

                    The problem with having suffered noise problems I think is that it is like a kind of assault.* If you were physically assaulted then you get support from Victim Support etc

                    You couldn't have hit the nail more squarely on the head! Exactly. This is something we've thought a lot on here during discussion - if you got mugged down a street and got hurt/had money stolen, if you're burgled, if you're attacked or even raped - you suffer physical and emotional/mental effects and you then have suffered from an invasion into your personal space.

                    The same is true for being a victim of NFH, your personal space is invaded against your will - like you said. When the Government wakes up to this, then finally, victims of NFH may start to get the support and help they need and deserve


                    • #11
                      I would back something like that, a special support group for those suffering from nfh - like this forum but different. Sometimes it feels like you are the only one suffering, it is nice to hear others' experiences.

                      I wonder if the Samaritans ever get calls from people suffering from nfh's?

                      It can feel really awful when you're in the midst of it. Being woken up in the middle of the night, not being able to sleep, feeling very weepy/angry, not knowing where to turn.

                      The previous owners had planted leylandii on each side of the back garden (a year apart), those on the normal neighbours side are growing quite high, the ones on the "reformed"nfh side have some catching up to do. I was out in the garden most of last weekend pruning them all back and planting lots of lovely new evergreens.


                      • #12
                        I have found this whole area of posting and all that have contributed to it, hugely beneficial to my own situation in so far as the mental scars etc.

                        I don't think that NFH abuse is something that you ever really get over - in Matthew and Beth's case it is something that they are now having to adjust to even though their NFH's have since moved on.

                        Madhatter is we are fairly sure on the move - too much activity in too small a space of time, he has been in the backgarden this afternoon digging - he nevers digs the garden and he has been creosoting the fencing - again it is something that just does not happen and considering this is the time of the year that people generally put their homes on the market, we are hoping that they decide to bugg*r off.

                        I don't think that we personally will ever get over the mental scars that have been inflicted upon us. It is something we will in due course hope that with the passing of time it will heal, but the pain that is caused does not receed in a flash.

                        People who have good neighbours and I suppose some might say lead the kind of home life the rest of us here dream about, are generally speaking, unsympathetic to our cause. However, their neighbours only have to move house for their situation to change overnight into something similar to what we have experienced here.

                        This website can only grow in numbers and in my experience of just under a months membership it has given me a valuable lifeline and I thank Matthew and Beth for that and their courage and commitment to get this off the ground from the bottom of my heart. Like others have said here before "We thought it was only us", when you click onto this site you suddenly realise the problem is a whole lot more entrenched and deep routed than one could ever imagine.

                        Laws are coming into effect shortly for Anti Social Behaviour Orders to be passed, but this does not help out those who own their own homes and with ASBO's it can take months even years to get through the courts. The law is changing and adapting to new situations but unfortunately for the majority of us here it is too long coming and too little too late.


                        • #13
                          Hi Eeyore,

                          Sorry I've not posted before. Seems like everybody has covered everything so all I can do is give you my sympathy.

                          I know from bitter experience that to say anything to footballing kids is only going to bring down more trouble on your head. If there were decent laws to deal with with this sort of thing it would be ok, but there aren't or at least none that anybody in authority is willing to uphold.

                          I have clear memories of passing the close that I now live in when I was a child at school around the corner. There were clearly positioned signs saying that Ball games were illegal. When I pointed this out to someone at the HA I was told it was useless putting them up because they were unenforceable. Maybe we should be lobbying our MP's and councillors to MAKE BALL GAMES IN STREETS ILLEGAL! It only takes willing on their part. But they've got bigger fish to fry now

                          Hope things get quieter for you Eeyore. Take care.

                          "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