Just after a bit of advice in case any of you have been in a situation with evil people living next to you.
SITUATION: They slam doors like they are going out of fashion. All the doors are on the wall that separates their house from ours. Slamming starts from the first thing in the morning until after midnight. They’ve also got an extractor fan in their bathroom which is very close to our wall, so whenever it is switched on, it sounds like a plane taking off with lots of vibrations. At times, they have it on for an hour or so and that’s after midnight when we are all sleeping. Don’t get me started on them blocking our car on a daily basis.
WHAT WE HAVE DONE: We’ve had chats with them in a nice manner but they just make it even worse, the slamming goes on for even longer. We’ve tried this numerous times but it’s always the same response - “you don’t like it, move”! The Council’s Environmental Health Team have said they will not get involved because we are not Council tenants and door slamming all day all night is acceptable (that came from the senior officer in that team). Mum won’t let us call the Police - she is petrified of them, 2 have criminal records and have done time. I’ve looked into getting the house soundproofed but the house is old and it’s not just the walls that would need soundproofing, it’s the ceilings and floors too x 5 rooms and I can’t afford that.
I care for my Mum and she just freezes me out if I mention moving from here. She had a bad marriage and her husband was very controlling so I think the thought of moving out scares her. She also has a sister and a brother who live a few streets away - not that is makes any difference because they are both housebound as is Mum. I do randomly go and view properties but she always makes excuses for why they would not work out. Unfortunately, there are no bungalows in the immediate area and the only ones they do have are owned by the local authority (we put in an application form but she is on the lowest banding possible).
The caring I do for 3 people is doable but the fact I am on no to little sleep has got me running ragged. I also work part time and there are times at work when I have nodded off in the toilets because I am so tired. Sleep deprivation is really affecting me.
There are times when I think “sod it, I will just find somewhere to rent and she will just have to manage on her own” but then I feel guilty about it and it never happens. There are also 2 others at home who are carees and I know Mum would feel she would have to look after them even though she has OA, diabetes, mobility issues and various other things.
Is there anything anyone else has done? If you have been in a situation like this, how did you cope?
The environmental health team in my area do get involved whether or not you are a council tenant. Does their website colloborate what they say? Although slamming doors, driers on party walls and barking dogs are things I have never asked for help with. I have complained about loud music at all hours though making it impossible to relax and sleep.
The website doesn’t say anything but it does mention the local authority housing unit and that complaints can go directly to them. I work alongside them in my day to day job and they are shit hot when an introductory tenant is a nuisance - one warning and then eviction.
I was specifically told that if both houses are privately owned, then they don’t get involved and it’s more of a civil matter.
The website only mentions barking dogs, music and security alarms. Maybe that’s why I was told door slamming all day and night is fine?
So my local council sent me and ask us to complete. A daily diary for ten days. Following that the council set up in our home a noise tape recorder. Which we used for seven days. Every time the noises started I had to turn on the machine and record the noises.
I have to say once some people know they are a problem. It makes the worse!
I think it’s correct councils will only intervene with council / social housing tenants. This is because they can speak directly to the housing/association depts.
Were you a Council tenant? I know that is the policy with Council tenants. I work with young adults who get a Council tenancy and the rules are quite strict “music at 2pm can be a noise nuisance as can music at 10pm” and it’s drilled into them unless they want to be evicted.
Once we told the ***** about the noise they were making and how it was affecting us, they turned it up, so even more slamming and hoovering bedrooms at 1am etc. We only told them in a nice way and didn’t accuse them and we certainly weren’t argumentative about it either.
It’s just so frustrating when you have people to care for but are also harassed by inconsiderate ******!
Can you contact your local newspaper or not? Sell your story as a human rights feature for maximum impact and attention. Do not be afraid to tell your story either. Why should you be scared? Start keeping a diary of future incidents for peace of mind and reference from now on. And I agree with you. It is truly exhausting and irritating at the best of times. Please do not suffer alone.
If the council can’t or will not assist, then contact the police. Alternatively you can take legal action in a court if things escalate further. But this is not guaranteed to work so only consider it if all other options have been tried already without success. In other words it is a last ditch option. Nor is it cheap. Bear that in mind. What about a meditation service? That could do the trick. You can find a mediation provider in your area here Civil Mediation Council — The No. 1 information resource for civil, commercial and workplace mediation in England and Wales
If there is a disabled person involved, you can go directly to the Police. My son had the neighbour from hell move in upstairs, who played loud music well into the night and in summer would have outside drinks parties. The Police came and sorted it out, and the young lad had to move out!
" Your council has a duty to investigate any statutory nuisance
If the council decides someone is causing a statutory noise nuisance they must issue a ‘noise abatement’ order. This tells the person what they must do to stop making a noise nuisance or else face further legal action."
It doesn’t matter if they’re council tenants, housing association tenants, owner occupiers, squatters or royalty, they’re all governed by the same laws.
I did a council application for Mum about a year ago. She wanted to be honest and say she was a home owner so she has got the lowest banding possible which means it’s not going to happen. The only way to overcome this would be by getting a medical banding.
The OT from the OA clinic came and said they could fit a stairlift which means no higher banding but the issue is not just going up and down steps. She can’t manage doors now nor can she get from the front room to the kitchen which is 3 rooms away. Also, we live nowhere near a bus stop and we live right at the end of a long street with a dead end so when we do have GP / hospital appointments she has to walk to the end of the street for a taxi. Oh and with the stairlift, they would have to rip out the door from the front room to upstairs, how would we keep the front room heated if there is a large gap where the door was? We have to have the central heating on at all times and the gas heater but even then, the front room is cold and Mum’s hands and feet are always cold due to poor circulation from diabetes. All the walls are insulated too but the house is old and never really stays that warm. Oh and don’t get me started on my brothers physical health issues which they have not taken into consideration!!!
The medical team mentioned that we could write a letter to tell them why living here is not suitable for her, as in why this house is not livable for her but I can’t think of anything else. Any suggestions?
I like your style but one of the siblings is always at home but I will definitely bear that in mind. I do bang some kitchen cupboards but no one else from our house will resort to their lowly nasty tactics so it’s me vs 3 to 4 from the evil house next door. All our doors are on the other side of the house so it’s no good slamming them.
I don’t think the OT was very helpful. For example, it should be possible to fit some automatic door openers for her, or change the doors so that they are easier to opener, maybe with what I would call a little ball catch.
In my area they have a team called something like the “Stay at Home” team where they can do work on a privately owned home to make it more comfortable and energy efficient. My own cottage is over 100 years old, no wall insulation, but we do have good double glazing and an extra thick underlay and good carpet. The doors also fit snugly so no draughts come under the doors.
Could the way you use the house be changed, maybe with mum having a downstairs bed/sitting room?
We have a similar team here but they can only spend up to £5K on one property, so they mentioned the stair lift to us but Mum said she would think about it. They didn’t mention anything about doors to her though. The original referral was made by the arthritis nurse who sent the OT from the housing medical team to us.
We’ve had other work done where they put insulation into the cavities in the walls or whatever they are called.
About a year ago, I had really expensive carpets and underlay put in which cost about £1500 for just the front room but I thought why not. The nephews love the fluffy carpet when they come over and start “swimming” on it. Had some recliner sofas too but Mum is petrified of them. We’ve also had the ceiling lowered to decrease the room size but it still doesn’t heat up that well.
I would love to move Mum’s bed into the front room but the wall it would be against is where the ghastly neighbours have one of their doors and they slam all day and night, so she would not get any sleep.
How I wish a bungalow would turn up in the area we live in. I would work 24/7 to be able to afford to pay for it. I just want to get Mum out of this hell hole so she can have a good few years. I don’t mean to sound morbid, we are all going to go one day, I just want her to have some relaxing times instead of constantly being on the edge. Mind you, she won’t move from here so there is nothing more I can about it other than keep cajoling her. Even if she moved into a home, it would be nice and quiet wouldn’t it? What to do when she is adamant she won’t move!!!
What about the police? I know people often call the police when they have problems with noisy neighbors. We had a similar problem and any discussions did not help. After we called the police once we do not have any issues with our neighbors.