Janieb wrote: ↑
Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:23 pm
I've been reading this thread with interest. It's all low level harassment. I put up with this for 12 years. I did tell my children about it but they just thought I was being silly until my daughter was here last summer when he(next door neighbour but one) appeared in my garden and started shouting at me for no reason. She appeared from the house and told him not to speak to me like that.
The trouble with this type of harassment is that it destroys your confidence in yourself and there is no easy solution. He has now been gone for a year and I'm still not comfortable going out in my garden, and I love gardening. My next door neighbour has been a friend for about 15 years, and moved in just before last Xmas, we used to car share. He has about 2 square metres of my land because of the ex nfh. I have told him but I don't want to fall out with him so haven't pushed the subject.
It's one of those situations that isn't worth taking to court but is like a virus that infects your world and you can't get rid of it.
I know what you mean Janieb. It can be difficult coping with neighbour harassment, but the best thing (if you can) is to choose not to let it bother you. If they see that it does, it only encourages them. Laugh at them; it makes them feel belittled. That is what I did. When they cease to get any enjoyment from harassing their neighbours, they moderate their behaviour. It's a bit like training a dog.
In the interests of laughing at our harassers - and as Uriah Heap asked about it - I have been rooting around in my old PC's backups and found a copy of the account I posted on the, now defunct, Neighbours From Hell forum many years ago. (I assume it's okay to re-post it here as the NFH site no longer exists.) It's done in a humerous way (with a bit of 'artistic license'), but every incident portrayed actually happened pretty much as described. However, all is not as it first appears...
thin and crispy (NFH forum post 2005) wrote:
Our NFH seemed quite friendly when we moved in 7 years ago. He always said hello and responded politely when we addressed him. But suddenly, after getting on well for a few weeks, his attitude seemed to change overnight.
I'd just given him a list of repairs that I wanted him to do to his house when, instead of thanking me, he became very rude and insolent. Frankly, I was shocked that he should speak to me in such a way. He even went so far as to say that some of the jobs on my list were "unnecessary"! He dismissed the roof out of hand, and simply refused to re-point the side of his house. I even offered to remove the trellis that I had attached to his wall. But he just grumbled some rubbish about me not having the right to attach things to his house, and walked off saying "there's nothing wrong with the wall" Unbelievable! It's actually so bad that one corner of our trellis is coming loose.
Then, just to compound his display of arrogance, the NFH told me he wanted to install a uPVC soffit on his house. I mean, uPVC of all things! Needless to say, I soon put a stop to that idea. I refused him access over my drive to install a new soffit, and instead I only allowed him to repaint the rotten woodwork. It was very presumptuous of him to think he could do as he wanted!
Anyway, after I exercised my rights over the soffit, the NFH started complaining about every little thing I did. He complained when I tied one of my Scots Pines to his fence. (I had to: the pine was leaning at a very steep angle and it would have fallen over otherwise.) He complained when I stretched a rope over his roof so that I could tie it to a tree in another neighbour's garden. I mean, it was the only way I could hold my shed up. Why should I ask the NFH's permission first? My shed's got nothing to do with him - or the other neighbour. The NFH even asked me to get off his roof "for my own safety". Arrogant swine! I didn't of course.
Then he complained about a leaking sewer under my floorboards. He said the smell was coming through his air-bricks into his pantry and causing a health hazard. A health hazard! That would be laughable if it weren't so insulting. I mean, we only eat organic vegetables. But the NFH just wouldn't listen to reason. He said he could "smell the sewer in every room of his house". In fact, he complained repeatedly for 14 months even though I kept telling him I was going to fix it. What on Earth is the matter with the bloke? Couldn't he have just opened his windows or something?
Next he complained about the live sub-main cable I'd hung over his fence. I had to hang it his side - it would have been unsightly, not to say dangerous, on ours. All he had to do was keep his family away from it and they would have been perfectly safe. But he just couldn't resist being petty.
After that, the NFH complained about the wooden beams I had leaned over his fence. They only protruded a few feet into his garden, but apparently they "blocked his path". He complained that the compost heap I had piled against his fence would rot it. He complains about the smell from my kids' cannabis. He complains when they chuck their fag ends into his drive. He complains when I use his front wall as a workbench. He complains when I collect rubbish from the street and dump it on his wall. He complains when my kids walk on his wall. He complained when my lad tried to kick the coping stones off. He complains about everything: he's just a miserable old git and very, VERY inconsiderate.
To give you an example, we have some nice 30-foot Beech trees next to the boundary in the back garden. The problem is: our view of them is rather spoilt by a 7-foot conifer located about 4 feet away in NFH's garden. I can even see the tip of his conifer over the fence! And when the Sun is just setting, the shadow from his conifer plunges my garden into ABSOLUTE DARKNESS. The NFH would only agree to cut about 2 feet off the top. That's hardly fair, is it? I hate conifers.
Anyway, I could reach the 5-foot conifer in his front garden, so I chopped the top off that one myself. NFH didn't like it, but I just kept calm like you're supposed to, and said I would do it again whenever I felt like it. And I did - on several occasions. He then had the audacity to send me a written complaint and got his solicitor to threaten me with legal action. What a cheek! The other two neighbours that I've told to cut down their trees have obeyed me. Who does he think he is?
He won't behave reasonably, yet he expects me to bow to his every whim - like getting my teenage son to turn down the volume on his electric guitar. Why should I care if it stops the NFH from sleeping? When he complained, I told him straight: "The thing is, we can hear your door hinge squeaking" - which really put him in his place. And the elderly couple on the other side of me are just as bad. When they have their windows open, we can hear their kettle boiling! My wife told them it's VERY loud and that we weren't going to put up with it. It's gratifying now to see the old girl trying to run when she hears the kettle coming to the boil, but the fact is they still use the kettle! So I'm not going to bother about our lad's electric guitar.
Anyway, my son is entitled to artistic self-expression. It's his right. Restricting my son's activities would stunt his personal development.
The NFH complained to the Council about the guitar, so now we are forced to play it at full volume for the first 20 minutes, and then turn it down before their EHO can get here to witness it. The inconvenience of it all is really starting to get me down.
And just because the NFH couldn't get it all his own way, he became extremely antisocial. He started ignoring me! When I shout over the fence "Hey! You people next door", I really should get instant respect - especially when I use my most commanding voice. But there's just impertinent silence! Now, when I interrogate his visitors or demand to know why he's in his garden, I get completely blanked.
Mind you, he does still complain to me when I block his drive. He's so unreasonable about it. If I didn't park in front of his drive I'd have to park in front of my own - and then how would my wife get her car out the next morning? But the NFH is just too arrogant to see the bigger picture.
Last year he decided to rebuild his front garden wall. How petty can you get? I mean, I'd only driven into it twice, and most of the brickwork was still standing. The NFH said he needed a higher wall "to deter abuse". He obviously wanted to stop the postman from taking a shortcut - but that's no reason for the arrogant sod to assume he could go ahead without my approval. His attitude was beyond belief. He just wrote me a letter enclosing the plans - all cut and dried.
Anyway, I ignored his invitation to let him know my views, and I went straight to the Council. I wrote them a stiff letter with plenty of lies, insults and misinformation to illustrate my point-of-view. It didn't do much good though. The only way I could stop him rebuilding was to have a load of heavy slabs delivered and lean them on his wall. I'm not going to move them to allow him to begin work, and he can't move them himself because he'd be trespassing on my land. One up to me I think. But just for good measure, I repositioned one of my downpipes so that rainwater from my roof now gets discharged over the side of his house. When his plaster gets damp and his wallpaper starts to peel, that'll teach him.
Sometimes, the postman misdelivers the NFH's letters to our house. Despite NFH's nastiness, I try to be a good neighbour, so on the first few occasions we resealed his letters and posted them on after a couple of weeks. Since his complaint about the noise though, we just bin the letters - especially if they're not very interesting.
Judging by his credit card statement the NFH has spent hundreds on a CCTV system. I suppose he's planning to get me on tape next time I chop his plants down or climb onto his kitchen roof or stare through his windows. He's got no right to keep me under surveillance like that.
But its no good getting wound up about it. I keep telling myself that if I let the NFH upset me, he wins! So I decided to bide my time and handle the camera situation calmly and diplomatically. I carefully planned everything I wanted to say and I went round there to reason with him, last Saturday night - at 3am. But he wouldn't answer the door, even though I banged it, kicked it and screamed abuse for at least ten minutes. Can you believe it? He completely ignored me! And in the end I couldn't actually get into his house - he had obviously wedged something behind the door to stop it giving way. Anyway I got my point across by ripping one of the security cameras off his wall.
After putting me to all that trouble, he then had the cheek to call the Police, accusing me of criminal damage and threatening behaviour. I think the NFH must have friends in the Police, because they said they would arrest me if I tried to kick his door down again. As I'm extremely intelligent and able to think on my feet, I told the officer that I needed to get in next door to stop NFH from doing midnight scientific experiments in his back bedroom - I think that portrayed me in the right light!
Anyway, the NFH now refuses to speak to me at all - even when I stand in front of his car to stop him leaving his drive. He won't acknowledge me when I chase his car down the road, and he won't even raise his voice when I try to intimidate his mother. The Police asked why I had been pestering him, so I said that, as a concerned neighbour, I only wanted to let him know that some of his roof tiles were loose. Lucky I had the foresight to go up there the previous day and break a few - you have to keep one step ahead of these people.
Trouble is, after 6 or 7 years, the whole situation with NFH is getting a bit wearing. I know I'm the victim in all this, but what with the NFH's grumbling, his constant complaining - both verbally and in writing - his solicitor's letter, his complaints to the Environmental Health and to the Police, anyone would think it was me who was the Neighbour From Hell! I'll be glad when I've finally forced him to move out.
[A lighthearted view from the other side of the fence: based upon my delightful neighbour's true, and ongoing, story.]
Prejudice, not being founded on reason, cannot be removed by argument. Samuel Johnson.