Nightmare Neighbours- HELP

I debated for a long time about writing this post, but desperate times!

Our home is split into two flats- the ground floor (us) and the first floor, where my neighbour A lives alone. A has serious mental health issues- we were not aware of this when we bought our home a few years ago. In fact, the estate agent said that a “single, quiet, professional woman” lived there. Yeah right.

In the 6 years that we’ve been here, we have:

1) Dealt with her shouting episodes when she’s not taken her medication

2) Had really dodgy men in our shared hallway, for god knows what reason- who called me a bitch when I told them to leave.

3) An even dodgier boyfriend that has been rude and aggressive towards us (thankfully no longer on the scene it seems)

4) We have put out a fire in her kitchen, after she walked out the house and into the street after telling us, as an afterthought, that we ought to get out.

5) She has flooded her flat, which in turn flooded through our ceiling and caused us even more property damage and repairs. I woke up early one morning to the sounds of rain coming from our kitchen…it was literally showering down with water from her kitchen leak.

6) And the piece de resistance- infested her flat with RATS AND COCKROACHES because she cannot cope living on her own. In fact the pest controller that we hired said it was one of the worst infestations he had ever seen.

Honestly, the list goes on. I have no doubt that had we not put that fire out, the whole house- including our neighbours- would have burnt down.

I have complained to Haringey Council- zero help.

I have complained to her Housing Association, Circle 33- little help. In fact, we paid for a pest controller and sent them the report and only then did they do anything.

I have spoken to her doctors at her hospital- they say they can’t do anything since she is regularly taking her medication and refuses to go into assisted living accommodation.

Darn it, I have even had a letter sent to my local MP (his office replied- said they were busy cleaning up the London riot aftermath?!)

Your first home together is meant to be a dream- because of our problems with her, I have never truly felt at ease or allowed myself to fall in love with our flat. It’s been so stressful and infuriating when the place you have saved everything for, to invest in, is put in danger. We have reached out for help through all the official channels and have been ignored or at best, made to feel like we are wasting their time.

Tonight, as the water leak drips through our light, as I sit here worrying about the electrics and the money that it is going to cost to repair the unseen damage- money that we should be setting aside towards our wedding day- is going be thrown at yet another fruitless endeavour to get her out of that flat and to patch up the damage inflicted on our home. Our dream home is in fact, a nightmare.

The emergency plumber the Out of Hours team for Circle Housing have sent has confirmed that there is definitely structural damage- which is the worst case scenario I feared. I can’t help but wonder if I had been listened to in my last complaint a few months ago- would it have gotten this bad?

Have you ever had a nightmare neighbour? Did you manage to resolve your problems? Any tips or advice gratefully recieved!

These are the Twitter handles for Haringey Council and Circle Housing- please help me get their attention!

Haringey Council: @haringeycouncil

Circle Housing: @circlehousing

 

*Update: 28th Oct

– Circle sent one contractor out to assess the ceiling in our bathroom- he said it was not immediately dangerous but there was definite structural damage and said it needed to be replaced/repaired asap.

– Circle sent a plumber; originally booked 2 weeks ago- who has blatantly only temporarily fixed the leak. He was in and out of the house in 30 minutes. Nothing dries off adequately in 30 minutes. He was also pretty disgusted by the state of my neighbour’s flat, I don’t blame him for leaving pronto. He said her entire flat needs to be redone, as it’s in a terrible state.

– 8 days after this original post, I feel like little progress has been made. If you can call it progress- it feels like a band aid has been used to stop a ship from sinking.

*Update: 23rd November

– still no repairs. Out of frustration I have emailed the CEO of Circle Anglia.

Author: Angela Shek

just a clueless mama in East London

10 thoughts on “Nightmare Neighbours- HELP”

  1. Sounds absolutely horrific Angela 😦 my two friends and I had problems like this with our neighbour in our second year at uni. The flat was fab but we moved out cos she was harrassing us and threatening us by the end of it. Luckily we were only renting. I don’t know what I would’ve done otherwise 😦

    We got the police involved eventually. She and daughter started threatening and harassing us and I was suffering from panic attacks and scared to even turn the kettle on in case the noise set her off. The police were really helpful, especially when I got really upset giving my statement. Maybe try them next? Especially re: the dodgy men and awful boyfriend!!

    I retweeted your tweet to Haringey Council and Circle Housing. I hope it gets sorted soon! ❤

    Sending you and your partner lots of good vibes xxx

    Little Miss Katy | UK Lifestyle & Fashion

    Like

  2. oh god, that really sounds awful. on a whole other level to petty complaints about neighbours, this is really affecting your life and your most important belonging – your flat! it is honestly unacceptable. I agree with the commenter below, maybe it is time to try and involve the police – if only to scare the council into dealing with it? keep us updated, I’m sorry I don’t have any better advice xx

    Miho @ Wander to Wonder

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  3. Thanks for your retweet!

    That sounds awful! I have called the police before, but they couldn’t help since she hadn’t committed anything illegal and told me to speak to the Council- who have been BEYOND unhelpful. I’m actually shocked I was acknowledged on Twitter by them!

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  4. What a nightmare! God knows what you’re meant to do about it – sue the vendors for false information so you can cover your costs and potential value decrease of the property – or sell and lie!! What a horrid situation, and one I hope I never have to deal with. I guess the police is the next option but if it’s been hard to get the attention of the correct authority channels who knows if the police will be anymore helpful 😦 Good luck and I hope you find a happy solution very quickly. Well done for writing this post, I think it’s the right thing to do
    Rosie xx

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  5. Surely due to her negligence she’s causing damage to your property and that grounds for something? I agree with Rosie, sue the effing estate agents, find out how long she has been living there and how many people have lived there during that time, and if they’ve dealt with that property before. Or find out who the previous owners were!

    That is so awful Angela, I’m sorry that you’re having to deal with it.

    One of my friends was renting a place in Streatham, a similar situation with the neighbour downstairs and mental health issues which the estate agents denied knowing about. I don’t even want to share the stories from that situation, just horrible.

    Hope some kind of ball starts rolling for you to get this mess sorted out x

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  6. Hi Ala! I don’t even know where to start either! Luckily, Circle have been pretty responsive (thanks to putting it out on Twitter!) and someone’s been round to check the damage in our flat- but we couldn’t get into hers. It sounds like it’s going to be a big job 😦

    I’ve been on the phone to the council all day, and no one wants to know- which is what I expected! They are honestly the worst!

    *bigdeepbreathsbigdeepbreaths*

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  7. Hi Rosie! I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. Aside from the damage, it’s the frustration that no one will listen, even though it’s their job, it just falls on deaf ears! I’m glad I published this- both the council and Circle have responded quickly over Twitter- although Haringey Council have yet to actually be of any help!

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  8. I can completely stand here and understand completely how helpless it feels to have a horrible neighbor. I’m stuck with a family across the way that have made life in my new place pretty unbearable at times. We bought the place 6 months ago, but I keep my fingers crossed they don’t renew their lease. Ours do not have a mental illness, more so a lack of common sense and respect for others. I wrote a tongue-in-cheek post about them- http://www.fashionableheart.com/2014/04/how-to-be-bad-neighbor.html!

    Despite many complaints to office management and security, they continue to be horrible. The cops are my next step, a step that I truly wanted to avoid. I just can’t believe that office management won’t tell the person they are renting from to warn them of their tenants actions. I feel like I have no voice in this matter at all and that everyone just sides with them. I wish you well and that you end up with a suitable outcome! It sure has made me appreciate the good neighbors in my life more.

    Wendy | Fashionable Heart

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  9. Hi Wendy, I’m so sorry to hear you’re going through that. You’re right about how helpless it makes you feel. There’s just a permanent cloud of dread- I can’t even bring myself to think about the cost and repairs to follow. I hope going to the police brings you closer to some closure with your horrible neighbours!

    Like

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