Don't know where to turn! SOMEONE HELP ME

This forum is for Garden Law problems that don't fit into the other categories. Please treat it with respect.

Moderator: Angelisle

Post Reply
michelle71
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 3:44 pm

Don't know where to turn! SOMEONE HELP ME

Post by michelle71 » Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:59 pm

I bought my flat over 12 years ago, it is a converted house, with 1 other flat below. Everything was fine until the flat below was sold to a landlord who now rents it out. The last few tenants have been fine, but the current one is making life a nightmare. I don't even know where to start!!!
We share a driveway, which in the deeds states is a communal area with paarking for one vehicle. When he moved in he had 2 cars, one of which he parked on the road and one on the driveway. Shortly after this he aquired another vehicle, so he ripped up the garden beds under his window on his side of the drive, so that he could park another vehicle there. There have been a string of different vehicles parked there over the years, mainly big old classic, smokey, rusting heaps, some of which he likes to start at 8am on a sunday with no exhaust attached!!! Our drive looks like Steptoe's yard.
Our front door is at the rear of the property at the end of the drive, so in the past we have had to struggle with shopping, boxes, new sofa, in order to get past these vehicles. When we go out of the door at night, we have to park a way forward in order for our security light to go on, and run the risk of walking into one of these vehicles. On one occasion he was sat in the car as I got home with bags of shopping, and waited until I had got my front door and started the car, the exhaust of which was right by my door. I was almost sick while I tried to find my keys and get in the door. I have been informed he uses red diesel, which is maybe why it smells so much. We have to shut our windows or door if he starts any of his vehicles on the drive.
This current vehicle and other piles of junk, is also preventing access to our electric meter cupboard, and we have had estimated bills for the past 2 years. We have to wait for him to go out in the car, so that we can get access and take a meter reading. Southern electric have said there is nothing they can do about this.
His cars also drip oil/fuel all over the drive and road, which, when it rains, spreads even further. We have to walk through this to get in, and the cats keep coming in covered in oil as they sit under the cars when it rains.
He is now under the false impression that he owns half the driveway, and thinks that he has a right to put as much junk on his side as he wants. We have asked him twice now to move this car, but have received nothing but abuse and argument.
Our cats enjoy sitting in the sun on the drive or on top of our meter cupboard during the day, so he has put junk on top of our meter cupboard, and put down lime dust around his car to burn their paws and to prevent the cats using 'his side' of the drive.
We also have a garden space each at the rear of the property, at first he wanted to bring a portacabin in to his, but it wouldn't fit without him taking down a party fence, which I said he couldn't. He then put up a shed, which was fine, but the shed opens on to the drive, and in the mornings he pulls out loads of junk to find his gardening equipment to load into his car, which is the scattered over the drive, preventing me from getting out. He then put up another shed next to this, the door of which, when opened, actually means I can't actually open my front door. He does the same with this every morning, leaving junk down the drive which he loads his car. I now have to make sure I get out of the house early enough to get to work before he comes out of the house, otherwise I am waiting upto 30 mins in order to get out of the door. This newest shed is also using the party fence as one of it's walls, and has no guttering, which in time is going to damage the fence, and he has items resting against the fence inside this shed, which are now bowing the fence.
I came home one day to find he had a satelite dish installed on my wall, without even asking.
Going back to the cats, when he moved in he complained thathe could hear our cats scratching at our bedroom door in the morning trying to get us up to feed them. This would happen maybe once a week, so as soon as we hear them we will get up. He still complained and said we had to leave our bedroom door open, so I explained that this was not possible, and why should we do what he tells us. So we have put down 2 more layers of carpet to dampen the noise, which is still not good enough for him. Our cats have a litter tray inside, but they still go to the toilet outside if they want to. If I see any mess I will pick it up, but I have found cat censored 2ft up in a plant in our garden, which I can only assume he has thrown over the fence. On one occasion there was cat saliva/spit on the drive one morning, which he circled in chalk and wrote 'clean up' next to it. (This was actually on the half he thinks is ours anyway) We have now had cat censored put on our doorstep most mornings this week, which again we assume he has put there, I can't believe the cats would do it so close to their catflap, they only use the soil or gravel paths so they can bury it. I don't know why the thinks ours are the only cats who use the garden and drive, at night a few other cats have set off our security light, but I can only assume he has done DNA testing on the censored in order to know it is from my cats.
There have been so many other problems, like his washing across the whole drive which we have to limbo under to get to our door, his children kicking footballs against my car which is on the road, and actually rolling across the bonnet of our other car on the drive. If we accidently drop something on the floor in the flat, he bangs on his ceiling. One evening I was resting on the sofa after work and he started banging for no reason, I wasn't even making a noise, but after about an hour of his banging, I realised that the neighbour next door must have had his music on. When we went down to let him know he was accusing the wrong person, he wouldn't answer the door. Yet we put up with his 3 noisy, rude children, shouting, banging, loud music, slamming doors, as we appreciate the the floors of a converted building are not very sound proof, so we expect a certain amount of noise. We can even hear him snoring! We try to make sure we don't make too much noise, keep our music and tv to a reasonable level, don't stamp on the floor, don't slam doors, don't raise our voices, I even make sure he is out before I practise my violin, so as not to upset him any further.
We are now getting to the end of our tether, if we could afford to move we would do it tomorrow, but then why should we have to move from an area we like, with lovely countryside views, because of him. Even if we could move, what impression are potential buyers getting as they walk up the drive to our door. We wouldn't have a hope of selling.
I have got to the point where I am scared to go out of the house if he is anywhere around, I find him intimidating, selfish, and antagonistic. Not a nice person at all.
It got to the point this weekend where my partner asked him civilly to move his car, and he refused and then started a stand up row, I thought my partner was going to punch him, and I wouldn't have blamed him, after the rubbish he was spouting, and saying that he is doing nothing wrong. He has now threatened to pullhis car even further back on the drive so that we can't get out of the door, as he thinks that owns the path to our front door too. I also understand he wants to put a carport or garage on 'his side' of the drive.
I don't think a letter to his landlord is going to do any good at all, previous experience with him has shown that he doesn't actually care what his tenant does, as long as he gets his rent. I shall start with a letter to him anyway, with the help of a neighbour who is also affected, by him, as speaking to the tenant is futile, but I don't know where else to turn
This is only a few of the problems we are encountering, if I go on I would be here all night, and I think I have gone on enough already.
Is there anyone who could give me any advise on this. I have never know such a nuisance neighbour, and don't know how this can be resolved.
Please help me!!!!! :cry:

mr sheen
Posts: 2428
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:33 pm

Re: Don't know where to turn! SOMEONE HELP ME

Post by mr sheen » Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:19 pm

You are clearly very upset but this is a very long post that seems to focus on what things look like rather than what he has actually done on land that you own, perhaps you could list what he has specifically done on land that is owned by you since no-one has any control over what someone else does on their own land (owned or rented) even if it looks a mess. Once you have listed specifics, people may be able to offer some help.

Roblewis
Posts: 1833
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:41 am
Number of Posts per Page: 20
Number of topics per page: 20

Re: Don't know where to turn! SOMEONE HELP ME

Post by Roblewis » Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:29 pm

Get hold of your freeholder, I presume you are a leaseholder, as is the "landlord" of the flat below. Most leases have conditions relating to causing nuisance to neighbours and the landlords lease can be subject to recission and potentially forced sale if he does not remove this obnoxious tenant.

If you are a freehold owner and the block is freehold then the Env Health are the people to complain to with regards to Statutory Nuisances, which are what you have described.

michelle71
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 3:44 pm

Re: Don't know where to turn! SOMEONE HELP ME

Post by michelle71 » Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:19 pm

I apologise that this is a long post, and you right, Mr Sheen, it is upseting us. The problems I have mentioned are relating to a communal driveway and fence that we are both resposible for the maintanance of.
If, having written to his landord, I do not get any resolution, I shall contact the freeholder. I thought that contacting the landlord would be my first job, even though I don't hold out much hope, and I am also afraid that this might make matters worse, but suppose I needed to make sure I follow the correct procedure.

juliet
Posts: 715
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2008 6:26 pm

Re: Don't know where to turn! SOMEONE HELP ME

Post by juliet » Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:43 pm

An awful tale and I feel for you but my experience tells me that you will get nowhere with this. There is so much that is going on in terms of really bad tenants that deal drugs from their house, have all night drunken parties, set fire to their neighbours cars .....and so on. Even when the involved authorities decide to do something, they find it really hard. I might, of course, have a quite limited view working on some sink council estates.

Your best bet is to try and change your own attitude towards what is going on and try to develop yourself some coping strategies.

Roblewis
Posts: 1833
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:41 am
Number of Posts per Page: 20
Number of topics per page: 20

Re: Don't know where to turn! SOMEONE HELP ME

Post by Roblewis » Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:56 pm

Go to the freeholder at the same time - the landlord is responsible to the freholder for the behaviour of the tenant and he needs to know that action is an absolute must to prevent action by the freeholder and that this is exactly where it it is now heading unless he acts within a week. If you wish send the landlord another letter - recorded delivery and give a 7 day deadline for action.

User avatar
WILL*REMAIN*STRONG
Posts: 6230
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 3:16 pm
Number of Posts per Page: 5
Number of topics per page: 15
Location: Home Sweet Home

Re: Don't know where to turn! SOMEONE HELP ME

Post by WILL*REMAIN*STRONG » Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:07 am

michelle71 wrote:We wouldn't have a hope of selling.
So you have nothing to lose by fighting back...legally of course. It won't be the popular opinion, but I would advise you to record every shred of his idiotic behaviour, go to the police and keep a log.

Install a camera and allow him to carry on, without you doing anything back. Resist the urge to do anything back, as he will be provoking you to do so.

Your neighbour sounds like he needs your attention, you do have to learn how to ignore a lot of what comes from people like this.

Anything criminal, report. Try and ignore much of the rest. If they get desperate and try harder for attention, the camera picks it all up and you just keep it for a rainy day.

andrew54
Posts: 6994
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2005 7:25 pm
Location: north yorkshire

Re: Don't know where to turn! SOMEONE HELP ME

Post by andrew54 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:23 am

michele, what evidence have you got re the 'shared' drive. The ownership is not likely to be shared. It's best to be sure where you stand, so down load both yours and his titles from Land Registry 9costs £4 each) Then you will be certain of the situation.
Also you need to realise how annoying cats and cat sh1t can be to other people. Think how he will feel if he lies down to repair his cherished car and lies in cat sh1t. Many of us would welcome a law that banned all cats and dogs.

michelle71
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 3:44 pm

Re: Don't know where to turn! SOMEONE HELP ME

Post by michelle71 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:14 pm

Thank you all for your feedback, most helpful.
I have written a restrained letter to the landlord, bringing up the problems with the driveway and given him 14 days to sort this out with his tenant otherwise I will be contacting the freehold landlord and environmental services.
Andrew, I have checked the deeds of the property and all the info in it, and the plans show a defined 'common area' and there are details in there regarding the joint ownership of this area. I do also realise how annoying cats mess is to other non-animal-lovers, and make an effort to clear up any cat mess I see in this common area and indeed my own garden area, however there are areas I am unable to get to, due to the items on his drive and I am not able to follow my cats 24 hours a day. I do have a litter tray inside too, however I can't force them to use it.

auntsally
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:03 am

Re: Don't know where to turn! SOMEONE HELP ME

Post by auntsally » Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:40 pm

Michelle 71

You need to look at your leasehold/freehold relating to the communal area/ parking bay. Note what needs to be maintained by both you and your neighbour or the landlord. Start to keep a diary of all the annoying things he is doing. photographic evidence would really help. Its helped me. There might even be an option to have CCTV installed on your property, as long as you have a notice to inform the public that CCTV is operational .

You are getting no response from the tenant, so I would really go for the Landlord. I don't think a restrained letter will do much. you need to really find a good solicitor to draft a letter and give the solicitor all evidence you might have collected. If the tenant is refusing to abide by his leasehold re the communal parking, the cars etc then this could prove to be a tricky situation for the landlord. I think you should call environment/planning/ and pollution anyway and you should get a result. If this neighbour is aggressive you need to get him out of the flat. Carry a small voice recorder with you, in case he decides to verbally abuse you.

It sounds like he ( the tenant) has done this thing before.Might be worth just finding out where he's come from. In my experience with our horrible neighbours that is exactly what has happened. Things are beginning to unravel for my neighbours as people are beginning to realise how awful they are. The landlord might be in breach of his freehold too.

best of luck.

victor508
Posts: 1167
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Don't know where to turn! SOMEONE HELP ME

Post by victor508 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:28 am

Hi Michelle 71,

One option which was tried in our area , an old couple were having terrible treatment from a bunch yobs living next door.

The leader of our neighbourhood watch was asked to help , he went around to see them and the old lady was sitting on the floor in the corner of a room in floods of tears. These "people" would party till 3 am and then sleep till midday and then start again.

The leader went to the landlord and he said not my problem.

So he then contacted the local MP who sent letters to the local police and the landlord.

This was enough for him to evict them.

Worth a try.

Good luck,

Victor.

Post Reply