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Problem Neighbours 
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I’ve posted about these in the past. A recap: one has mental health problems and emphysema (and is on oxygen), the other (his wife) had a stroke and is partially deaf and has some paralysis as a result. They have always been a bit argumentative, but nothing too problematic. Generally, they’ve been reasonably OK. This year, though, they’ve started getting louder and louder. She’s the worse, shouting at her husband to do things - from getting up, getting dressed to gardening. The shouting is audible from everywhere in the house (our houses are in a terrace).

On some days, you can hear them about 10 doors away. It gets that loud. The shouting can become just general screaming.

It can start early in the morning, around 7am. I caries - so it’s not predictable, but there’ll now be one or two incidents during the day. A couple of times recently, there has been shouting at 4am. I started keeping a log last weekend, because there needs to be a record now, I think.

I did speak to their daughter a couple of months ago (she turns up now and then to check up on them), and in the brief time we had while she was waiting for them to get downstairs on the chair lift, I managed to glean some info from her and tell her that they are a problem. It seems that her brother (who is far, far away Up North) thinks there’s no problem with them, so it seems that not much is happening. The problem is that we don’t have any contact information, and I’ve not seen the daughter around recently to speak to her more about this.

We have asked the neighbours on the other side of us about them, and, apparently, the shouting was going on the the 1990s when hey had kids. It seemed to have settled down when we moved in and their kids moved out, so they feel it’s just them being them. The neighbours the other side live in their own sound cloud of dogs and cars, so don‘t seem bothered. They are also, I suspect, likely to leak anything we say to them to the problem neighbours, so I am reticent to talk to them about this.

The neighbours have always framed any small concerns we’ve had with them in the past as us “having a go” - stuff like “why did you trim plants our side of the fence? Please don”t without asking in the future.”. So something more major like this will be escalated above this. They also don’t really listen to anything of importance. They have always just bumbled on in their own little world.

They are Housing Association tenants, we own out house, so there IS a route for complaint should we need to. What we don’t really want to do is something that would be seen as an aggressive move. Ideally, we’d want to get their daughter’s OK to lodge a concern - after all, we’re not being vindictive or nasty - we both think that there is a genuine welfare concern. I can”t help thinking that the shouting/screaming is them not coping with their situation and health issues, and that they would be better off in some kind of warden based sheltered accommodation where problems could be lifted by pressing an alarm button, not yelling.

It’ll all boil down to money, and the lack of it to move them on.

Anyway, I know there’s wisdom here, and I’m hoping that there may be suggestions about what we can/can’t do, and what steps (if any) to take. We’re poling others as well, and I guess in the new year when we have a few weeks of noise and incidents logged, we can work out what to do next. Frankly, I’ve had enough of it, it’s not doing us any good, and it’s definitely not doing them any good at all. Their daughter looked fraught too when I spoke to her that time. They need to be elsewhere being looked after.

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Thu Dec 13, 2018 12:25 pm
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We are in a similar boat.

One neightbour is mentally disturbed, but not enough to be a danger to herself or others.

She spends the whole day sitting in her kitchen window and shouting out at the top of her voice. Usually she is insulting people who live next door (3 sides) or the people passing in the street. It seems that she thinks that they are all talking about her behind her back, even when they are walking alone down the street.

She even reads the number plates of parked cars and starts calling them out and insulting the owners.

There is currently a move to prosecute her, because of the insults. It seems that that will be the best / only way to get some action, at the worst she will be fined, but can't pay as she is on the equivalent of the dole. At best it could force the authorities to examine her and get her some help.

But this has been going on for a couple of decades. The brother and his family live on the ground floor. If I was his wife, I'd have walked out years ago!

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Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:39 pm
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Make a noise complaint to the council?
If they are unwilling or unable to moderate their behaviour then at some point it's going to have to get official.
It's a horrible position to be in but it's being detrimental to you and yours as well and you have to look after your own family first.

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Thu Dec 13, 2018 2:07 pm
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davrosG5 wrote:
Make a noise complaint to the council?
If they are unwilling or unable to moderate their behaviour then at some point it's going to have to get official.
It's a horrible position to be in but it's being detrimental to you and yours as well and you have to look after your own family first.


Ditto. Noise is noise. Complain to council and report it to the police

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Thu Dec 13, 2018 2:55 pm
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I’ve been looking at the hosing association guidelines. They’ll help with a mediator, but that seems to be about as far as they’ll go. That means that the neighbours (who are, and I hate to use the word, thick, and anything you say to them goes in one ear and out of the other). The mediator will try to find a common ground, and get a solution.

The police will only get involved if there is genuine violence or threats of that. We’ve not got to the point, and I hope we don’t.

The next step is to go to Citizen‘s Advice and see what can be done. What we don‘t want is a confrontation or to cause friction, as we don’t know if there will be repercussions. We want to frame any intervention we do as helping them, rather than being adversarial if at all possible. There is *something* in the back of my mind that is ringing alarm bells. I don’t want to discuss why here, but it’s a concern I’ve articulated to my wife, and we’ll be proceeding cautiously.

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Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:58 pm
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Very much depends on how deep you wish to get involved.

Making a log and engaging the local council services on this is "light".

If you have genuine concerns, you may have a safeguarding service that allows friends and family to contact them and share information. Your local GP (if they're the same one as the neighbours') might be interested but technically they're not allowed to even acknowledge the neighbours are registered with them without the neighbours' permission.

If you ever get to a stage where you're concerned about your or your neighbours' immediate welfare, then call 999.

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Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:59 am
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Thanks all. On Saturday, there was more shouting, and we heard some things being smashed. At this point, it’s worth noting that that was followed by her shouting something about him not doing something.

Anyway, we went round and knocked on the door - and asked if everything was alright because we had heard something smash and wondered if they needed help. The man opened the door, and he looked rather taken aback that we had knocked. Everything was OK, he told us. My wife thinks that taking this “are you OK” approach is better than just telling them to “shut the fcuk up” which is probably the only language they’d really understand.

Then it was quiet. And the silence continued all day yesterday. It started again today though, with some argument about a key.

This silence after being asked if all is well is a pattern we’ve experienced before. Last time, they were int he garden, and there was this scream, and my wife asked them if everything was OK and did they need help, like an ambulance? They scuttled (genuinely, not a pejorative word - they just seemed to get very bashful and went to hide) inside and were silent for a day or so.

Anyway, yes. Keeping a log, and we’ll be going to get a bit more advice from CAB on what we can do on Thursday. The housing association does do mediation. Shouting is one of the things they shouldn’t do on their tenancy agreement. I am wondering how they’d cope with such things. They seem genuinely oblivious to anything that goes on around them.

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Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:06 pm
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Went to the CAB today, and basically their thoughts were that we should start on a softly-softly basis, and ramp up if things don’t work out. So we’re going to try to speak to their daughter off site sometime in the new year (we know where she works, so we can arrange a time for that). The person we saw was helpful, and seemed to understand the situation we, and indeed out neighbours, are in. So in a sense it was also helpful to speak to someone detached about it for advice. He confirmed some of our ideas, and had a few suggestions for other directions to take too.

Escalating this would involved the council, the landlord, and possibly going legal (which is the nuclear option).That’s way off. Right now, it’s the gentle approach (unless there’s more apparent domestic noises going on, in which case I think a call to the police may be helpful). The key is to take the “we are concerned about you” line, not the “shut the fcuk up” line.

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Thu Dec 20, 2018 4:22 pm
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No real developments here, mostly because it was Christmas, but also because we were both really ill and didn’t really do much over those weeks. However, we have maintained the log of shouting and arguments. The aim is to talk to their daughter about them soon to see what her plans are before we go further. After that, following CAB advice, it’s the council. If that fails, the housing association they rent from, and if that fails we’ll have to consider further legal action. That’s the nuclear option.

However, one shouting session over Christmas had her shouting something along the lines of “you’ll get us kicked out” to her husband. That was interesting - are they becoming aware of the noise they are making, or has someone else complained?

Then, a few days later they kicked off at 10:45pm - I banged on the wall and they fell silent for a day or so.

So it’s ongoing, but some interesting things are arising.

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Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:34 am
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paulzolo wrote:
No real developments here, mostly because it was Christmas, but also because we were both really ill and didn’t really do much over those weeks. However, we have maintained the log of shouting and arguments. The aim is to talk to their daughter about them soon to see what her plans are before we go further. After that, following CAB advice, it’s the council. If that fails, the housing association they rent from, and if that fails we’ll have to consider further legal action. That’s the nuclear option.

However, one shouting session over Christmas had her shouting something along the lines of “you’ll get us kicked out” to her husband. That was interesting - are they becoming aware of the noise they are making, or has someone else complained?

Then, a few days later they kicked off at 10:45pm - I banged on the wall and they fell silent for a day or so.

So it’s ongoing, but some interesting things are arising.


You haven't got the council involved already? Why not?

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Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:08 pm
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