fenceAn NFH?

You’ve undoubtedly seen the term ‘NFH’ on the Neighbours From Hell in Britain community in more than one place and maybe come across its use in other areas of life. Chances are though that you’ve heard the terminology ‘Neighbour From Hell’ (NFH). Most people have and it’s a term we all use in varying descriptions and applications of use.

Neighbours From Hell form many, many different types of situation and really are a personal issue of interpretation, lets though have a look at the different types of what can constitute a Neighbour From Hell.

Firstly and most obviously a neighbour is often someone who lives close by to you or in your immediate vicinity. Whether you have a neighbour who is a commercial business (say a noisy factory), an individual or family that are causing you distress through their noisy behaviours next door, they are most probably your neighbour in the literal sense. Your neighbour could be a source of disturbance or distress and most certainly are a nuisance if you are bothered by their actions.

An NFH doesn’t actually have to live immediately next door to you.

As strange as this may seem in some senses, let’s consider the anti-social behaviour and specific crimes that orientate from gangs of young people or adults on the street. Let’s look at the local people who regularly display and use antisocial behaviour to the detriment of other local residents in their area. These NFH could live down the road from you, opposite your house or even in your local area and may not be a ‘neighbour’ in the traditional sense of the word. They may even be individuals or gangs that regularly use your community for their activities, but whoever and wherever they are, they could well be your ‘NFH’.

So, your ‘neighbour’ can really cover everything and anything and if you are unfortunate to have a neighbour from hell, one or more of these areas is going to be very, very familiar to you.

NFH Issues

Neighbours From Hell in Britain members experience a whole host of neighbour problems and sometimes these problematic neighbour issues can be vast and encompass a lot of different areas.

It’s impossible to list them all here and with all the subtle differences, but suffice to say NFH areas are considerable. Most importantly it’s not often we see and experience problems in isolation, with one issue almost certainly comes another NFH problem.

Let’s look at the possibilities. Your neighbour could be making a lot of noise, this could well be human or machine made (hi-fi and music noise or neighbour arguments for example). What if you’ve got a neighbour who is harassing you (racially or sexually), bullying and intimidating you (physically or verbally), threatening/stalking you or displaying homophobic behaviour – these are all forms of NFH actions.

You could have a boundary or garden orientated issue with your neighbour, a dispute over land or right of way, again these are just as important and valid situations where you could be experiencing a Neighbour From Hell.

Perhaps some of these really strike accord with you or you could be suffering with a neighbours pet (dog problems for example), rubbish/litter problems, car parking troubles, children/young-people problem situations, or just general crime in your area.

The area can be huge and as equally diverse. In a past poll conducted by Neighbours From Hell in Britain, the top percentage of voters at that time listed Noise as their main NFH problem. We’re willing to bet if we asked each one of those voters who selected noise if they had other NFH associated problems such as bullying or antisocial behaviour, 99% of them would say yes.

Basically speaking if you have a problem that is bothering you or intruding into your life via a neighbour, then it’s a problem purely and simply. It’s a relative issue – you may not think your problem constitutes a neighbour problem but remember it’s a deeply personal issue; what may disturb you with noise issues, may not disturb others for example.

Don’t fall into the trap of comparing yourself with other NFH sufferers although you will undoubtedly see similarities and differences between your situation and that of other victims. This is good as it can help you recognise you’re not alone and you are experiencing similar issues that many other people live with too. It’s to be expected with these commonanilities, but every single NFH victim is unique in what they experience and endure.

Into the mind of NFH

If you’ve got an NFH, some of this could well strike similarities with you. Often we hear at Neighbours From Hell in Britain, “is my NFH from the same mould as yours?!”. Let’s face it, you’d be forgiven if you thought all NFH come from the same mould, as typically neighbours from hell do appear to display similar traits and patterns of behaviour as each other.

If you suffer from an NFH, you are a victim of an unwanted ‘assault’. Full stop.

NFH are imposing their activities on you, they are unwanted, un-needed, un-requested and lets be honest, actions you could totally do without.

Although in some respects living with an NFH isn’t a crime in its legal sense, it has the same impacts as having to deal with any unwanted crime or assault on your person. Living with a nuisance neighbour can be as damaging to you on the same levels as any other crime. It is a mugging of your life and can intrude into every area of your personal, physical, emotional, mental health, work and home life areas. Maybe you’re suffering with noise nuisance and like many other NFH problems you’ve probably got very little control over its effects and when it happens. It can make you feel powerless and intimidated.

Many NFH appear to feature with the same personality traits and perhaps the same psychological profiling. Their personal, social and emotional skills are often very self-centred. They appear oblivious to your suffering and where they do realise, no guilt (or very little) is often displayed.

Nuisance neighbours often belong to a group in our society that regularly display arrogant, bullying, selfish and manipulative behaviour. Individuals who are NFH often deliberately and consciously make attempts (at varying degrees of success) to blame the victims of their behaviour and shift the spotlight back onto them. NFH can do this by becoming involved and actively discussing their victim in false, malicious gossip and slanderous conversation within local communities. All in attempts to discredit their victims and harass them further.

By doing this on a conscious or sub-conscious level, NFH not only feel they have the ‘upper hand’, it can also give them a false sense of security in the sense that they are ‘superior’ to their victims; it can also prevent them from having to recognise and deal with their own behaviour. In their eyes, they, the NFH themselves are the victims and then can truly believe that you are the cause of the problem, even though in reality you are not.

The neighbour from hell can for instance in one example, become the ‘victim’ (or feel they are even where totally unfounded), after you complained about their actions or behaviour.

So for an NFH to wield absolute power by attempting to bully and in many cases publicly slander your character, is their immature attempts at hiding themselves away from the real reason – themselves.

By burying their heads in the sand in this manner, NFH ultimately attempt to protect themselves and their own vulnerabilities. They hide from the true cause of the NFH situation.

The way forward

Recognise – you are not necessarily the fault or blame of your circumstances if you’re living with an NFH. If you complained to them or another party about their behaviour or set of circumstances and this has made the situation worse, you didn’t ask for this and again you are not to blame for the possible degenerating of their behaviour or the situation problem.

You have a right to stand up for yourself, and you have an absolute right to enjoy your home. Your home is your castle and should be a safe, peaceful haven. It shouldn’t be a battleground where you are frightened to return home to.

Unfortunately, laws and legislation to deal with an NFH are weak, ineffective, slow and frankly do not fit a lot of cases. Legislation is too generalised and doesn’t always specifically address the different NFH situations, some of what we’ve touched on here. It doesn’t cope effectively and above all quickly enough.

NFH victims can sometimes live with a problem for many years – those that can move often do as it’s the quickest resort. It shouldn’t be, but in reality it often is easier to get up and move away rather than tackle your neighbour from hell. Some NFH victims prefer to not formally complain and make their complaints ‘official’ for fear of having to announce this on their seller’s information when selling up and moving and who can blame them?

Those that do tackle an NFH are faced with a tedious and confusing barrage of legislation and specific avenues open to them and with differing local authorities, housing associations and local police forces that all seem to take localised and amazingly different approaches dependent on where you live.

You could be faced with a literal postcode lottery. Where you live does in some instances dictate the help you may receive. In some cases this will boil down to money, resources and human resources. If you live in areas of London for instance your local authority may operate an out of hours Environmental Health Team, whereas in Birmingham you may even struggle to get an Environmental Health Department visit during Mon-Fri ‘normal working hours’.

The recognition that you have a problem with your neighbour and what you are prepared to do about it, is often the turning point for many people experiencing Neighbours From Hell. It all comes down to personal preference and what is right for you. Do what is necessary in your circumstance and take action where appropriate according to your situation.

Above all, we would urge you to take control back wherever you can and always, always remain within the law and act on a higher moral ground than your NFH. It may sound arrogant, but morally higher behaviour will empower you ultimately.

Once you slip morally or legally, you could well become as bad as your neighbour from hell. Your NFH then gains ground and ammunition to fire back at you and this could well be ultimately damaging to your success.

Remember ‘success’ isn’t always measured in a physical win. Success can cover many forms, both mental and physical.

More Help

At Neighbours From Hell in Britain we have many areas where you can find more help, advice, information, clarification and support. Ultimately our forum should be one of your very first points of call, where we currently have thousands of registered members.

The forum boards are very active on a daily basis and can give you speedy, effective information and guidance. Please consider coming to join if you can, it’s totally free and takes only a minute to sign up to.

We also have different self-help articles and resources that could assist in giving you a good grounding in which to find out more or sufficient information to tackle a problem alone if this is the way you want to go. Have a look at the different article areas we offer specific and comprehensive help within.

Remember above all, you never asked to experience a Neighbour From Hell, you don’t just have to live with it and in many ways it does constitute a form of abuse and a serious crime to your person.