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  • Had Enough

    I was recommended to this website whilst desperately searching for help with the nfh problem that I've been experiencing for about 2 & a half years. I’ve just had the most horrendous weekend due to the noise & am feeling so stressed, tearful & depressed. It’s now getting to the stage that I really do think that I cannot cope for much longer. I cannot believe how bad my quality of life has been over this time & how little support I have had. My stress levels are so high that I'm putting my job at risk & as for the people in my life! They have to put up with my constant moods & depression. I’m starting to feel as though there is something wrong with me for not being able to dismiss this & just get on with my life.

    Approximately 5 years ago I purchased my first property with my partner at the time. We were so pleased to have been able to purchase such a great flat, or should I say maisonette, as it is correctly termed. It was large & spacious with a front & back garden. But the best thing was that we had already

    been living in it & renting it for about 3 years & so we had dodged the real hassles of purchasing a property & then moving. So we lived comfortably for about 6 years. The neighbours above & either side were fantastic & we all got along well. We were all well aware of the fact that although the flats were great we were living in flats & therefore noise from our immediate neighbours could travel & be disturbing & therefore we all adopted this kind of neighbourly consideration. This seemed like a small price to pay for living in harmony with the people around us.

    However, just over 2 years ago and after having amicably split with my long term partner, my neighbours above moved into the house of their dreams & new neighbours moved in. They were a young couple with a baby on the way. This is unfortunately when my life turned around completely. I have to admit that I used to half watch TV programmes like neighbours from hell & think I'm sure that that sort of stuff really can’t happen. & I could not comprehend people not getting on & making other peoples lives a misery. I now know first hand that it is possible. & that people suffer but unless you have experienced the sort of distress & anxiety it causes, it may be difficult to understand. Basically from the minute the new people moved in for the first time ever I began to hear so much noise from above. It was unbelievable, but at first I put it down to them simply moving and trying to organise their

    new home. However in time I thought, just how long does it take to move in & get settled. It sounded like things were being dragged across the floors & being dropped on the ceilings as well as constant heavy thumping & footsteps. It soon dawned on me that was how it was going to be from now on. So then there came loud voices, shouting & loud music at any time during the day. Some people may think that this is not something that would annoy you but believe me if you are subjected to that the whole time that you are in your home with absolutely no let up what so ever, it is intrusive. It got to the stage where by I had to live my life according to my neighbours. They got up a 6, I got woken & so I had to be up at 6. They decided to go to bed at 2.00 on a work night, then I had to. Eventually I decided that it would probably be a good idea to speak to the new neighbours & point out the constant disturbance. This action proved to be the start of friction. Instead of being productive it made the situation worse & resulted in antagonistic behaviour. The next step was to contact the Environmental Health. They were helpful & set up some tests on the property. At first they were sceptical, as the noise from above seemed to be more everyday living rather than TV's or Hi fi noise. But I have to say that at least with their TV & Hi fi they have to switch it off at some point! Anyway, the sheer extent of the disturbance led me to believe that something was not quite right. I have a number of friends in flats & although to do hear some noise, you do not hear conversations (normal level), people walking around although with the sound travelling it tends to sounds more like a basket ball game in action), & people using the bathroom. It is so difficult for me to explain the disturbance because on paper I cannot express the noise level. It is not merely background noise, it actually sounds as though there are people in your house, at all times.

    From the beginning I enlisted the help of the Housing Association, as they are the freeholders of my property. I was initially very upset & disappointed by their lack of disinterest in my case at the beginning. They seemed to be under the impression that the problem was social & simply a neighbour dispute. & they told me that the neighbours above had complained about me having my TV loud. Which admittedly I did on occasions when I’d had enough of listening to the racket from above. The times when I felt so desperate to not hear them & to concentrate on something else. Contrary to what people thought it was not to pay them back but simply to drown out their noise. Eventually the Housing Association paid a few visits to the properties in question, to due some tests. & when the results came back proving that the properties were substandard they agreed to take action. I was moved into temporary accommodation whilst work was carried out on the ceilings of my flat. This work was supposed to ensure that the property was bought up to standard, reducing the sound transmission. A month later I moved back & the following week further tests were done to ensure that the work had made the promised improvement. But for me, the moment I moved back in I realised that if anything

    the noise was now worse! The results of the tests showed a slight improvement surprisingly & this

    proved to be sufficient as far as the Housing Association were concerned. They have now closed the case & any further responsibility. They have now concluded that any more work should be carried out by either the people above or by me. Even if I could afford about £10,000 worth of work, given the circumstances my nfh, who can’t even begin to comprehend the disturbance, would be very unlikely to agree to this work being done as it would mean that they would have to vacate their premises for a while. The reason that I am also so stressed is that because not only can I not cope with living this way any more, I am unable to sell my property because of the dispute. I have basically been treated as though I'm simply a person of low tolerance & that is that. There has been no positive solution to date & I'm still living this way. I never seem to sleep too much at all anymore as they seem to be up & down all night & I am now really noise sensitive I guess. I do realise that the flats may be substandard, but I do know that they could be a little more considerate. I have had the guy from above bashing at my door & then he pushed his way into my flat complaining about the TV & I said that I’d gladly turn it down as I didn’t realise it was so loud that they could hear it, & that it would be nice if he could be considerate also. & I am woken every morning by then thumping about & at the weekend loud music at 8.30 am & karaoke singing or something. I do not mean to disturb them but as I have said it is only a means of drowning out their noise. However I have been really good & kept everything down so as not to cause any more friction but have instead listened to their racket & been reduced to tears. Unfortunately after months of being really quiet myself & having to put up with them I lost it the other day & had a horrible confrontation with the guy. They also caused some other neighbours to be nasty to me by becoming friendly with them making it a real nightmare for me to come home or leave my flat. His friend also came bashing on my door & shouted at me because my drain was leaking. I was unaware & got it sorted immediately. I am so sick of it all & now I look like I’m a mad person when really its just stress. & being a single female I think people can make you feel threatened very easily.

    I have no idea what more I can do to. I have also written to my MP who was helpful but when she contacted both the Environmental Health & the Housing Association they gave pretty negative feedback, one implying that the problem is simply a people problem. I have also had some recoding equipment from the Environmental Health but don’t feel that it’ll be any use as the main problem is not music or TV although bad at times, its not the main disturbance.

    If I cannot sell as people keep telling me, what alternative have I got. It seems as though I’m going to have to live like this for longer than I can physically cope with. Sorry that this is so long winded! I’ve tried to get it all in but still haven’t managed too! I am desperate for some help & advice before I go insane.

  • #2
    Hi Missy and welcome to the site, I am sure that you will get a lot of support and/or advice from everybody here, we have all experienced problems with our nfh's.

    I really felt for you when I was reading your post. Noise nuisance is an awful thing to suffer and I know from first hand experience how it can make you feel...drained, tired out, wondering when the noise will start up again, in emotional turmoil, unable to concentrate, not knowing what to do next etc.

    You have obviously followed all the correct channels so far, i.e. contacting the HA freeholder and Environmental Health, and trying to discuss the matter with your neighbour. Has the relationship between you broken down so completely that you couldn't try putting in writing how their noise is affecting you?

    I get the feeling you are in a difficult situation, in terms of knowing what to do next? What would be your ideal solution? Staying or going? Are you in a position to rent out your home and buy or rent somewhere else?

    Keep coming back to the site often, again, I know from first hand experience how supportive it is to have people out there who can fully empathise with your situation.

    I'll be thinking of you.


    • #3
      Hi Hollygolightly,

      Thanks for your reply. & yes you are right I am totally exhausted & drained with it all. & yes the relationship has completely broken down that I think even if I did write to them they would prbably not read it & tear up the letter or something. I did in fact write to them about a year ago & nothing came of it. In the letter I was polite & said that I know that its not a personal thing & that its a shame that the flats are not better soundproofed etc. It was a really positive letter & I explained that it would be great if we could just all help each other out here & be considerate, me included. But nothing!

      I would love to move as I have had enough now but I do need to sell this place first as I'm not in the position to buy another with out doing this first. However, moving into rented accommodation myself & renting out my whole flat is an option I've been thinking about. But I can just imagine my tenants complaining & moving out time & time again, as has happened with lodgers I've tried to take on. I made a point of not mentioning the problem to them because I was feeling that I may now be noise sensitive, but on numerous occasions after having stayed at my boyfriends at the weekend I have come back to a distressed lodger complianing that my neighbours had disturbed them at the weekend. I've had them ask what on earth are they doing, why don't they wear slippers or take their shoes off, why they have to play loud music so early in the morning, why is the guy above always shouting! etc. Then needless to say, they move out. It's a horrible situation, but I'm so glad to have found this site. Thanks for you support it really is nice to know that there is somewhere I can go to have a whinge & find people who really do understand.

      Thanks again



      • #4
        Hi Missy

        welcome to the board,

        I am sorry you have been going through this and I too have first hand experiance of this sort of noise.

        you have done the right things by contacting people, you need to record all noise and get back to the EHO and express the urgancy of this,

        If you need to see your GP then do it and tell the EHO you have had to see your doctor because of your is making you ill. you need to do all you can before your mental health suffers.

        Being stressed by NFH is nothing to be ashamed of, many of us here have sought help from our GPs and have been prescribed medication, if it helps then take it.

        Don't let pride damage your sanity!!

        You say this guy barged in to your home, if this happens again please contact the police, use the single female bit for a faster resonse.

        the more stuff you have in writting the better for your case.

        you can not let this person be so controlling of your life. He sounds like a typical NFH bully.

        I hope you get the advice and support you need, we will not dismiss your concerns as we have been there.

        good luck and please keep posting


        • #5
 can sell your home but you will proberbly have to declare the dispute,

          have you thought about selling it back to the housing assoication?


          • #6
            Hi E.Beth,

            Thank you also for your reply. I'm sitting here at work trying to hold the tears back but all your lovely replies are getting me going!!!!

            I will go to the doctors this week to get some medication. He has prescribed me some in the past, but said that this is not something he wants to keep doing. I do need something though as I'm feeling pretty ill at the moment. & I will try to get a bit of order back in my life & try to start thinking about positve solutions again. & yes I was just in the process of writing a letter to the H/A reagrding them buying the property back. They mentioned this some time ago & then decided that they would not be prepared to give me anywhere near the amount I wanted for it. But now I don't care. As long as I have enough to buy myself a little top floor one bed place where I can sleep & relax, I'll be happy.

            Yes I'll have lost my investment & hopes of getting a house but that can all go on hold & maybe in a few years I can do this. If I don't do something soon I'll loose my job too as I really am not working as well as I should be.

            Thanks again



            • #7
              Hi Missy, welcome to the forum board and I'm really glad you found us

              Thanks for posting in such detail and I know that we will all be able to relate to your problem - you are so right, you cannot understand the full implications of living with a NFH (Neighbour From Hell) until you have to live with it day in, day out - many of us compare this to a 'chinese water torture' type syndrome. The noise builds and builds and intrudes and like you rightly say, your neighbour's start to dictate your life to you; what you do and how you do it. It is similar to a physical assault and in some terms it is exactly that, an unwanted invasion into your home and your physical space. You cannot avoid it and it's extremely difficult to live with.

              It certainly seems like you have exhausted all the normal possible first things, you made your NFH aware of the problem, approached the Environmental Health Dept, contacted your MP and communicated with the Housing Assoc.

              When the housing Assoc completed the work on the ceiling, just out of interest, did they use plaster board? Personally I think plaster board can make the problem worse sometimes and cause even more reverberations or possibly give the sound a different 'tone' if you like. Not an expert there, so that's just a theory

              As Beth says, the dispute will need to be admitted on any relevant paperwork if asked for, making it harder to sell up, but not impossible. But there again, you obviously love your home, why should you have to move? It isn't fair and the problem isn't you, it lays with your NFH, they are they cause.

              What typical NFH tactics, 'gathering support' from other neighbours! We often hear that a certain NFH, in an effort to damage a sufferers reputation even more, 'recruit' other neighbours to further discredit a victim of NFH. Can you address that and have a word with all the other neighbours? Incidentally, are any other neighbours having a problem with your NFH upstairs? This would certainly help strengthen your case.

              Beth has mentioned the GP, so I won't go into too much detail there, but I would also say see your GP too, they may be able to help and your health is important, it's already suffering because of your selfish NFH, try to keep it on the level if you can.

              You haven't mentioned Mediation in your post; is this something you've considered? I know it's probably the last thing you want to do, and who would blame you (sometimes, it feels like using mediation services, we feel like we are admitting to a problem we have 'helped' to cause when clearly that isn't the case!) - they may just be able to reach your NFH and act as an advocate for you. Of course, the NFH has to agree to mediation intervention, but there may be a local and succesful Neighbour Mediation group in your area?

              We understand how hard it is to live like this with NFH, don't give them the satisfaction that they are seeking to gain from the disturbance they are causing you, you have done nothing wrong and it is not your fault. Your NFH are bullies, purely and simply. They take pleasure in victimising people and gaining an almost sadistic pleasure from it.

              I'm also thinking about harassment issues - do you feel you've been repeatedly targetted and/or verbally abused by your NFH or any other neighbours? (e.g. 'drain man').

              Come back often, there's normally someone on here at all times and even if we can't offer you a quick solution, it's a real relief to just be believed sometimes


              • #8
                Hi Matthew,

                Yes you are so right, it is increasingly more difficult to live with as time goes on & people really do not fully understand. My work colleagues look at me as though I'm being a drama queen sometimes when I try to explain, & the amount of people that say to me 'just try to switch off from it' or 'just ignore it', & funny things like 'have a hot bath with some relaxing oils, that should do it' etc. Its amazing, if only it were that simple.

                & with regards to the work that was done. Yes they did use plasterboard & you have hit the nail on the head about the noise beign different!! that is unbelievable. I have been trying to explain to the H/A about this but they will not listen. I now have a vibration that comes through the house along with the banging & thumping from above. & the doors rattle now if someone is heavy on their feet upstairs???

                I forgot to mention the mediation. We did have this but I would not sit face to face with them as the guy was very abusive & the names that he had called me were so offensive that I was freaked out at the thought of being in the same room as him. Instead we had the mediators come & sit with myself & my boyfriend & then with them upstairs. However, although I was very optimistic this really did not achieve anything. The people above focused on the fact that I disturbed them & that I was making their lives a misery??!! After explaining to the mediators the whole situation & that I'd lived here with no complaints for 6 years I think that they understood. I promised that I would no longer put my TV on to drown the noise or ever bang a door again out of frustration & in return they would make an effort. But then after about a week the only thing that changed was that they got louder, the music started getting blasted out when I got in from work & his girlfriend was out at work. & the mediators decided that our case was more a structural problem, & that was that.

                I feel so bad that I used to put my TV up to drown out their noise. It was silly & childish when I look back, but then how long are you expected to sit & listen to the pandemoniam going on above you. What probably happened is it drowned out their noise so much so that & I didn't hear when they stopped making noise & then when they did they could hear me. What a nightmare.

                & with regards to the other neighbours, I have been on friendly terms with the people to my left & they are not taken in by them, afterall they have know me for about 9 years now, plus the drain man lived above them & disturbed them. & he being a very thuggy type & he was fairly new, I kind of expected it. As for the guy on the other side to me, he is very old & is nice to me as well as nice to them. I really don't know any other neighbours too well so don't know what they think. But great news because the drain man has moved. & something else, on a Monday after work I used to find my wheelie bin slung on my lawn. The H/A said it was my fault for not putting it back after the bin men had been, but they would come after I'd left for work & so I'd have to put it back in the evening. I now know that it was the neighbour above that did it & my next door neighbour started picking it up & putting back for me so that I didn't have even more upset.

                Anyway, I'm going on here!

                Thanks for being here to talk to, & yes it is so nice to actually have people believe in my problem & the stress its causing me.



                • #9
                  colleagues look at me as though I'm being a drama queen sometimes when I try to explain, & the amount of people that say to me 'just try to switch off from it' or 'just ignore it', & funny things like 'have a hot bath with some relaxing oils, that should do it' etc. Its amazing, if only it were that simple.[/b]

                  It isn't that simple Missy is it?

                  The way that I got through my very difficult time (particularly bad in December) was, (a) to drink alcohol - but then I realised this was actually having a negative effect. I went to my GP and explained that I was finding it very difficult to cope, relax, sleep, concentrate and that my temper was getting very short. My GP was very understanding and prescribed me an anti-depressant with a mild sedative effect - I was on them for two months and am now on a very small dosage (although I forget to take them!). They worked for me. I stopped being weepy all the time and it also gave me the courage to be my old assertive self!

                  Through reading postings on this site, I now understand that NFH's all over the country act the same, they all (well, nearly all!) make themselves out to be the victim. Ours called us petty (for parking in our own spaces and blocking his friend in) and said he wouldn't talk to us because we were unreasonable, i.e. we didn't like his music being played at 2am.

                  Badger is right about the Agents - if you do consider renting your house out, let them sort it. They will deal with everything and you get whatever rent is left after paying their fees. It would mean less stress for you.

                  Make sure you get quality time for yourself. This will probably be away from you home - visit friends, get out for walks, try and get somewhere really quiet and peaceful with plenty of fresh air. Try and recharge your batteries every now and again and make sure that you take good care of yourself.

                  I know it will be difficult for you at the moment, but there are positive that will come out of this. You will be a stronger person, you will have more knowledge and awareness of this kind of issue that the average person, when you next move you will have a much better idea of what you want, you have met a whole new on-line community of people who are here to support you 24/7 and when it is all over (and it will be, because one way or another it won't go on forever) you will be proud of what you have accomplished and achieved.

                  Keep Strong.


                  • #10
                    Hi Missy,

                    My heart goes out to you. Although my problem is not with a next door neighbour I do know the feeling of dread when returning home from somewhere and seeing the yobs milling around.

                    Everybody seems to have given you really sound advice and there's not really anything I can add to it. It's so difficult to try and 'screen' out the problem and unless someone has been through it they think you're over dramatising. But most people here will know exactly what you're going through.

                    Good luck in getting the LA and EHO to listen again. Hmm, that was said in an encouraging fashion not a sarcastic fashion Take care and if you need to rant or just need a shoulder to cry on this is the place.

                    "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


                    • #11
                      Hi hollygolightly,

                      Too right it isn't. & I'm afraid I've been taking to drinking to blot it out too. I am at the stage where I need to make sure that I have a drink every night. & funnily enough I never used to drink at all!

                      So I know now that its off to the docs this week, definitely! I do need something to get me back on track & calm me down. It'd also be fab to be able to get a good nights sleep & to come into work feeling ready to face the day, not ready to snap innocent people's heads off!

                      Thank you so much for your support. I will go home tonight feeling just that little bit stronger now. Today really has been so much nicer & I'm really glad I plucked up the courage to use this site.



                      • #12

                        You have never been childish or silly to turn up your own TV! Just trying to save your sanity, it's self-protection. These people are trying and succeeding in invading your physical environment and they are also trying to affect your wellbeing and mental health - you know that NFH traits are so similar from the forum and when armed with more knowledge you can re-address the balance knowing what makes the NFH tick!

                        Did that make sense?! Basically I'm saying, think positive, act positive and deal with these people in the best way you can, keeping yourself safe always (I don't just mean physically) - if your state of mind is fresh and stays positive you are halfway to beating these people who are playing 'life and mind' games with you.

                        The mediation option sounded dissapointing, but at least you tried it, I too wouldn't want to be in the same room as your NFH! How's it all affecting your boyfriend by the way? Is he managing OK?

                        As with the plaster board - I think it produces a more 'hollow' kind of sound - some say it insulates more, I don't think so, just insulates in a different way (it may affect the warmth of a room and make it warmer, not sure, just a theory?). Maybe, as plaster board is attached (glued etc) to brickwork or to beams etc, there is sometimes a gap in between the board and the base, thus producing a wider gap than before etc).

                        Keep your head held high


                        • #13
                          Hi Missy,

                          I am quite disturbed to read your posting and I am in agreement with Badger on the point that your NFH cannot just come barging into your own home - this is NOT ON AND IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.

                          Matthew, Beth, Misty and Holly, not forgetting Badger too have given you some very constructive advice - follow their lead by example you will not go off the track if you take their advice.

                          Do not think for one moment that this is you or that you have a low tollerance level, that is not the case. My NFH about three weeks back brought me under such stress that the skin on my face broke out into crater like lumps. I went off to my friends for a few days and she calmed me down no end. Don't get yourself into this state. Nothing is worth that and neither is the point of loosing your job.

                          It is very easy for bosses to say that you should keep your home and work life seperate but when one impinges upon the other that is easily said than done.

                          Look, I don't know how you feel about this point, but I personally would try to sell. Yes you would have to declare that you have had problems but if you word it carefully in the information booklet when you come to sell you can get round a whole lot of demons by using different words and descriptions - Badger certainly has a fair grasp on this point so he would - I'm sure - advise you how to go about this LEGALLY. If you sold you would certainly make money on the property anyway as prices have risen since when you purchased. Think about it and talk it over with your estate agent they are there to sell houses and will have encountered this type of problem many, many times before and they will have ways of getting round this. Remember they want to sell your property so they can get the money into their bank account. It would be worth bearing in mind and trying out a few different agents too, go by your gut feeling when choosing an agent too.

                          My thoughts are with you sweetheart, do not loose your job because of these horrible people become a survivor and start living your life again. ASAP


                          • #14
                            Hi Missy

                            Horsefans here , really touched by your story so just wanted to offer our advice in our own usual pragmatic way.

                            It would appear very much as though you are approaching a point where things will deteriorate further and you job etc could suffer.

                            As I uauslly say, You need to make a choice and make it TODAY!. Not tommorrow, not next week but TODAY.

                            You have two options stay or go!!

                            Personally I would go! get your flat up for sale ! I know that you will have to "declare" your dispute but all you need to do is lie as to why it started- a stupid argument etc. All you need to do legally is state that a dispute has taken place. Might take a wee bit longer to sell but I would also get my tuppebce worth out of your estate agent and ask them the best way to get round it!

                            If you decide to stay then my advice is stop putting up with their nonsense!!!( notice my choice of word gang!! ) You need to be ready and strong enough to give as good as you get girl but my honest opinion is that you are not in the right state of mind for this.

                            We can totally relate to everything you have said and you will find real friends on this site!!

                            keep in touch!!

                            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!!


                            • #15
                              poor poor you, i have a NFH at the back, but at least it is very quiet at night so i can sleep well, how is it that most people who you live near are quiet then you get a noisy lot, i mean those lot at the back of me never talk quietly its always screaming and shouting, but why, when my kiddies were small i used to talk to them quietly but if i got angry at them i would raise my voice that would shut them up. We must in these Islands of ours use respect to others and be able to talk proper to each other, i am nearly 59, never had a shouting match with neighbours in my life, i take kids noises easily they need to play but these lot get on my wick, you just cant enjoy the garden. Please move even if you have to sell at a loss, i would rather live in a caravan than to put up with my ignorant neighbours.