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I finally snapped!

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  • I finally snapped!

    I has been an ongoing nightmare since we moved into our semi in 1998. The NFH lives directly opposite us and often plays football on the street in front of the house. They can be often boisterous and the ball sometimes land with an almighty thud on our cars, walls, door... and what have you. We have one of those open drives and a small 18 inch fence in front, so they are constantly clambering over to get their ball.

    5 years of politely requesting they stop and £200 worth of damage later, I finally snapped and shouted at NFH's son for coming into our front lawn to collect his ball last week. The following day, she knocked on my door and we had the biggest shouting match the street has ever heard.

    Now, there's a constant sense of uneasiness in our household. Also, we are fearing for our properties in case they suffer malicious damage from the NFH.

    To make matters worse, NFH has also wowed to let her kids continue coming into our lawn and drive to collect their balls. This means that she has no intention of asking them to be careful in case it causes damage to other people's property.

    We are at our wits end worrying. Please, if anybody can offer some advice to help us sleep soundly again, it'd be much appreciated.

  • #2
    Get a camera up, its funny that once they know they are being captured on a video they keep away.


    • #3
      Hi Machofairy

      Welcome to the NFH board, hope you find it useful.

      Badger has beaten me to it there, I was also going to ask the age of the 'children' - are they teenagers, or younger? I understand where you're coming from with this one, it would make most of us feel uneasy to be honest and the worry of repercussions although you've done nothing wrong is stressful. There are many members on the board that have similar problems to this too, I know they'll be able to offer their own perspective on things.

      I know you may not want to even look at your neighbour, let alone speak to her again, but is there any chance a mediation service may help you? To reach some kind of agreement or compromise? Maybe you've tried this? What's been happening over the course of 5 years, what's been said in the past, are these neighbours just bothering you or others in the street? Have you been recording and keeping a note of issues/problems etc?

      Sorry to sound like 'Mastermind', but as Badger says, the more info you can give, is better for the complete picture


      • #4
        Hi machofairy, and welcome.

        I understand perfectly the anguish of having ill mannered, loutish kids with their endless footy games ruining your quality of life. And their ignorant, loud mouthed parents as well.

        I'd be interested to hear your answers to Badger and Matthews questions. If other people are suffering too then it might be an idea to get together. Also, are you living in a council/HA property or privately owned? Have you approached your local police station and reported these incidents?

        It can be so upsetting when you can't get any peace because of these yobs. Hope to hear back from you soon.

        "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


        • #5
          Thanks for all your support. I never realised before that thre was such a support group on the net or I would have joined up sooner and probably avoided last week's confrontation.

          I'll try to build up a more complete picture... It gets worse!!

          The kids are around 7 - 10 (2 of them). Our small front garden is usually empty apart from the patch of grass, so no damage can really be done there.

          Fortunately, no damage on the front of the house o far, apart from the occassional impression of a ball on our door / wall / windows, which can be cleaned.

          On the subject of our cars, that's a different mater. My previous car had some marks on it, which looked like where a ball would have hit. This would have devalued it somewhat when I part-exed it.

          Also, we had 2 broken exhausts...

          to be fair, the first may have been because it was wearing already and may not take too much force to make the tailpipe come off.

          The second was discovered during an MOT. Mechanic pointed to physical damage not caused by wear and tear.

          Then, there has been moe minor incidents like scratches on the windscreen.

          My previous car was fitted with a cheapo extra-sensitive alarm and it used to go off all the time, proving how often they knock the ball against it.

          We have never seeked compensation as I had no evidence. Instead, a year ago, I started taking snapshots of the kids whenever they approachd too close to my car... and guess what... next couple of days, we had 2 NFHs knocking on our door accusing me of being a PAEDOPHILE!! Not surprisingly, the mum had spread the gossip on the whole street, or whomever cared to listen to her. I even over heard her doing spreading this lie to a new neighbour a few months ago!

          So, a camera will probably cause more problems.

          I have told the police about this and my fear of vigilante attacks as a result of these lies. I have also mentioned the constant nuisance NFH's kids are causing. But there was nothing they could do, which I understood, as no 'serious' crime had actually occurred. However, it is no less distressing.

          As for other neighbours, I have seen arguments with this NFH as well, but they get on well afterwards. It is perhaps to our disadvantage that we have chosen to keep ourselves to ourselves over the years, but we have no interest in all their gossips and namecallings. also, from my observation, we suffer more than anyone else in the neighbourhood (apart from NFH themselves) from this ball playing as we are in the direct line of fire - living right oppsite them on a narrow street. Not being 'friends' with them probably made NFH less willing to restrain her kids despite polite requests to do so, over he years.

          This is the first time I spoke of this NFH to anyone, so, no, I have not seek outside help previously. I doubt if she would even agree to some mediation talks for, as far as she's concerned, she's got the right to let her kids do whatever she wants.

          I may just take up Badger's idea of some thorny shrub in he front lawn as some form of deterrent. But apart from that, I'm afraid there's little we can do without fear of reprisals. We own our house, which makes it impractical to move, and also have a 3 year old son, which is all the more worrying as we do not want him caught up in any kind of reprisal action they may take.


          • #6
            Welcome to the board machofairy.

            You sound like you are having the same sort of problems as me.

            We have a camera fitted and it has been hidden inside a security light, that way no one knows that it is there.

            My husband took all the insides of the light out and just placed the camera inside it and then put it on the wall, so when you look at it, it does look like a light, only thing is it doesn't light up!

            Keep a log of all incidents and perhaps phone the police and ask them to log it as well that way you have proof that you have made complaints against the children.

            My NFH children are well known to the police and it now turns out one is over 10 and can be put on a ASBO order.

            If they are LA tenants complain to the Housing officer as well, do it in writing as other wise it doesn't count as a complaint.

            I have learnt the hard way.

            Good luck.



            • #7
              Hi and welcome Machofairy

              As I read your post it was like reading my own, we all know how you feel and hope to help you in some way

              I can only echo the advise given already, all I can add is make diary sheets and log everything, taking photos is good, but 1 thing I will say is (I know this is very hard to do) try not to get into a screeming match with your NFH, she will love the idea that her kids are upsetting you.

              As for the Camera, I have one set up in full view and my NFH have taken no notice of it at all, in fact they are aggrivating me even more, so it don't always work

              Stop by often, you will always find good advice and people who care, you don't need to go through this alone


              • #8

                Machofairy, this is EXACTLY as I am experiencing - see my post "Psychopath next door". My car is covered in ball marks, mysterious indentations and scuffs because of this. I have also had borderline threat letters from NFH kids, (sooo frustrating as I cannot confront them, and their father I suspect has Borderline Personality Disorder and encourages his children to do this).

                Love the thorny bush idea, do this immediately - using glass or other spike systems is illegal, but hey, you love the flowers on the bush and are entitled to plant whatever you like. The previous owner of my house had similar problems with the NFH and put up loads of these types of bushes in the driveway near to where NFH had to manoeuvre out his car - he repeatedly asked me to remove these when I was out gardening as they scratched the paintwork (aaaaah shame) but this I did when we still spoke to each other - wish I'd left them in now!!

                This is a particularly frustrating, niggling problem that little can be done about. She sounds a little unhinged too, and whilst a confrontation is regrettable, at least it showed you can stand up for your rights. Do you have double glazing installed? usually this is toughened glass, so don't worry about reprisals.

                Just as an aside and update, I am still trying to sell my house. My nicer neighbours tell me that last week whilst out, a black couple with a child came and knocked on my door. NFH sent out his kids to play football against my garage and walls loudly and boisterously. When another (white) couple arrived later on that day, he called them inside to play in the field at the back. What a racist ars****e!


                • #9
                  You've had a go at her and more power to are within your rights to do this.However,I'm not sure about the layout of your property and the area you live in,but is there anywhere else for these boys to play football safely,or is it a case of your particular area being the safest place for some boys to kick a ball about?It would be very hard to stop these boys playing footy if this is the only area they have to play in,so you need to think laterally about how you can deal with it.I think putting cameras up won't really help,as you are just inviting the neighbours to look at you as someone who wants to remain isolated and is developing a siege mentality.Maybe you could do something proactive to help find somewhere for these boys to play?


                  • #10
                    Welcome to the board machofairy!

                    Sorry to hear about the problems you're having with your nfh and her children.

                    I would be tempted to follow Badger's advice and get some thorny plants planted at the earliest opportunity. Have a chat to someone in a Garden Centre and ask what they recommend as something that will grow quickly, bushy, thorny, spiky, high (and of course very pretty...).

                    Do consider writing to her to explain about your concerns and offer the suggestion of mediation. I must admit from your post, it does seem like she is wholly unreasonable saying that her kids basically have carte blanche to do whatever they want.

                    You say that you own your own home and as such it's impractical for you to move. At the end of the day, you need to weigh up the pros and cons of staying or moving. We owned our home and moved after problems with our first nfh (we did also feel it was time to move, he just gave us the impetus to get it sold).

                    It never ceases to amaze me what little parenting skills are around these days.


                    • #11
                      Thanks for all your replies. While its a relief to know that I am not the only one having this kind of NFH, it is discomforting to find that there can be so many inconsiderate (to put it mildly) neighbours about.

                      Tracy, I think that hidden camera sounds like a good idea. An obvious camera is out of the question. I can see Anto's point too. The nearest playing fields are not near enough that I would let my 7 - 10 year olds (if I had some) go on their own. So, there ae some decisions to be made here.

                      Also, Badger's idea of thorny shrubs is definitely a starter, so I'll speak to my wife about this, as she is the gardener. Again, I'll have to anticipate if this will cause any problems should the shrubs get put up.

                      I must admit of not making logs of events in the past, but I will start doing so from now, and taking pictures of any damage that they have cause.

                      I wont even bother trying mediation. During our argument, she did not accept any liability for anything. When I said,

                      "your kids could've caused up to £200 of damage already, but I cant prove it as you accuse me of being a paedophile when I tried to get the evidence"

                      she just laughed contemptously in my face. Never once attempted to ask for details of what the "damage" could have been. So, based on this behaviour, she is not likely to sit over a table to listen to reason which may question her parenting skills. And she had the cheek to shout at my wife saying "you're not suitable to be a teacher!" - based on no physical nor verbal evidence!

                      Gordytjg, I've just read your thread. It really feels like a problem halved when you hear of others having similar experiences. Bad as it may sound, as nobody enjoys NFHs, to feel not alone in your problem is quite comforting. And yes, we have double glazing and not had damage to windows so far.

                      Funnily enough, I do not think they are racist as, in the midst of all her abuse, she has not said one racist remark to us (yes we are a minority couple). So, I guess this should be one redeeming feature or our NFH, to be perfectly fair. Lets hope it stays like this.

                      The layout of our house is:

                      Standing at the front door facing out;

                      Drive is a tarmac on the lhs of the house. This is a shared drive with the lhs neighbour. Our house is detached from thris, so they used one half and we use the other half of the drive. There is no partition nor gate to the drives.

                      The front lawn is the same width of the house and is situated in front of the door. It is only about 4 feet long, then you hit the public pavement, separated by a small 18inch metal fence running across the front of the lawn.

                      Hope illustration below makes sense:


                      I I ---------

                      I I Lawn I

                      I I----------

                      I I House I

                      Once again, thank you all for your advice and suggestions. I'm so glad there is a place to air my NFH problems. I will continue to post updates of any new significant events that may take place.


                      • #12

                        Like Badger says, offering to go for mediation might actually work in your favour. If she refuses, the benefits are twofold:

                        1. Any further disputes (lets hope not!!) would take this action on your part into account as reasonable people

                        2. Wonder what the rest of the neighbourhood would make of it when perfectly nice and reasonable people wanted to make an effort to sort it out amicably and she refused? Who would be the problem party then?

                        Just a thought


                        • #13
                          Machofairy, I think other members have given you a lot of good solid advice so there's not much I can add.

                          Your NFH sounds the type of person who, even if mediation services were available, would refuse to use them. I don't even think that if you installed a taller fence it would make any difference as the NFH seems determined that her kids can do anything they want with her approval. I get so mad at people like this

                          Yes, Badger, you were right, my husband also was accused of paedophilia because he tried to bluff the young thugs that he'd filmed them throwing stones at our house. Until you actually hear the words directed at you or your husband I don't think you can even begin to imagine the horror you feel. All sorts of thoughts flood your mind and you are terrified that these evil NFH will spread malicious rumours and you will end up being a target. I think it is even worse than being physically beaten.

                          but let's face it, what paedophile goes around openly photographing children in front of where they live? Surely they would be more likely not to advertise the fact, or go somewhere else?[/b]
                          Badger, unfortunately these people either do not have the intellectual capacity to reason like normal people , or they don't give a damn and will carry on accusing anyway, it's the nature of the beast!

                          I also know the feeling of being trapped because you cannot move away. You say you own your house machofairy, is this true of the NFH? If the NFH is a tenant you might be able to get her landlord to do something.

                          Good luck, I think I might pay a visit to the local garden centre this weekend as well

                          "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


                          • #14
                            My nice elderly couple recommend something called Pyrocanthus, it has vicious pin-like needles sticking out in all directions, but also some foliage. I removed some of this by hand from my own garden - OUCH!

                            My pensioner friends also recommended I let the property not necessarily sell it - that way, I can still make a new start somewhere, have a long-term investment, and possibly p**s off the NFH when they get a tenant who is 6 foot and built like a brick u - no - wot.

                            Have ceased being angry/upset, am now being devious diva!!!!


                            • #15
                              Last night, I had a long chat with my wife about all the suggestions given. In the end, we agreed that we should just keep a low profile and not do anything to aggravate the curent situation further. It may be a good idea to let the emotions cool down.. give it a month or two... then we can perhaps make a clearer and logical decision as to the next step. While I maintained that conciliation is a good idea, my wife suggested we hold that thought for now. I think she is right too. The idea of concilation may be the last thing the NFH is interested in at the moment. However, after a few months, she may think differently, after she has cooled down.

                              As for thorny shrubs, I guess they will happen if NFH's kids continue in their boisterous ways. Now, so far, they have not been playing outside our house since the argument, and yesterday was a nice day in the north west and also first day of the school hols. Has she decided to change her ways, despite her defiant words??? I highly doubt it but you never know..... I believe I'm a reasonable person and will give her the benefit of the doubt for now. The next two weeks will certainly decide what the future is going to be like as we are going to have good weather and its the school hols. Normally, these are the worst times for us, as far as her kids behaviour are concerned.

                              So, no action for now, and I hope it will remain this way. Nobody likes to take drastic measures if they can be avoided. So, thanks again for all your help. I will keep you all posted as to further developments in this dispute.