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Should I move? I really don't want to. What would you do?

(39 Posts)
Pippins6133 Sat 06-Mar-21 21:37:43

I've lived in my property, which I own, for 28 years with my partner. It's semi-detached. We live in the first floor flat of one half of the semi and next door is the whole house. Beneath us is a tenanted property. Three years ago, a gentleman in his late 60's moved in downstairs. He's a retired Squadron Leader, doesn't seem short of money and goes to Spain three times a year for a month at a time (pre-covid). We got on really well to start with. Our back garden is our own private garden but the tenant has access to put his bins out. We invited him to join us for drinks in the garden a few times and we got on well. We agreed that we would take him to the airport for his next holiday and that he would take us to the airport when we would have our holidays. (We have taken him 5 times, so far, and the time we were going on holiday, he told us the evening before that he couldn't take us. No worries, we got a taxi.) Last summer, my partner was in our garden when the tenant came up to him and started shouting, "WHY WERE YOU JUMPING AND BANGING LOUDLY ABOVE MY BEDROOM! IT WILL NOT HAPPEN AGAIN! I WILL REPORT YOU TO THE AUTHORITIES! My partner, (astounded) said that it was not us, but he kept on and on saying that it was us and that we were lying. I rang him to say that it definitely wasn't us and maybe he should ask next door. It transpires that it was, in fact, next door's teenager who got excited over a football match. There have been many other incidents with this tenant and he is making our lives a misery. He snores and grunts so loudly that we have difficulty sleeping. It's horrendous. My partner has to sleep in a tiny room that just fits a single mattress on the floor. The tenant smokes at his back door (that looks onto our garden) and it's not nice when we are out there. He coughs and clears mucus like you have never heard before - great when having our breakfast! He constantly bangs doors, too. We have always got on well with previous occupiers and still friends with some of them. I don't really want to have to sell. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks.

EllanVannin Sat 06-Mar-21 21:50:46

It's him who should be going !. Have you laid down any written rules/ clauses about letting off the property ? See a solicitor for some advice asap.

Hetty58 Sat 06-Mar-21 21:56:15

Would it be possible to rearrange your living space by swapping your bedroom and living room? That would solve the snoring sounds.

Perhaps you could erect a screen in your garden to separate his back door and bins from your sitting area? I'd contact his landlord, too, to explain the situation. It may be that he'll make it difficult to renew the lease.

nanna8 Sat 06-Mar-21 22:23:01

What an absolute nightmare! In the long run, bad though it is, you might have to look at moving because the tenants reign supreme as we all know! He sounds like a total nut job. I don’t know what the housing market is there but I would start looking around for something that is more private and not so close to someone else ! At least you would feel you were doing something about it. Our last house had issues with noise ( not as bad as yours) and that was a big factor in our moving. We never looked back, such a relief.

GrandmaKT Sat 06-Mar-21 22:55:40

Hang on, it's your house! What kind of tenancy agreement does this guy have? Surely you can give him notice to leave? (Or am I being incredibly naïve here?)

Callistemon Sat 06-Mar-21 23:40:50

Do you really need the rent as income in retirement or could you take back the whole house pippin

It doesn't seem worth the hassle renting it out unless you have no other income.

I was going to say that a Squadron Leader shouldn't be short of money, but you have said that yourself, so I am mystified why he is renting a small flat.

Commiserations, it must make you constantly on edge in your own home.

nanna8 Sun 07-Mar-21 00:52:36

But is he really a squadron leader ? Just wondering. Sounds a tad batty to me.

Buffybee Sun 07-Mar-21 03:00:52

Why would you leave your property because of a tenant?
The tenancy is obviously not working out for you, so give the tenant notice to leave.
This used to be one month, if the rent was paid monthly but unfortunately, due to Covid, the government have ruled that the notice must be six months.
So, tell him you need him to leave by ‘such a date’, six months hence and put in writing as well.
You don’t need to give any reason, just say you want the property back, or tell him it’s not working out for you, for the reasons you stated above.

FarNorth Sun 07-Mar-21 03:11:48

Your OP isn't clear.
Do you own the tenanted flat, as well as your own, or is it owned and let by someone else?

BlueBelle Sun 07-Mar-21 06:35:07

I must be a bit slow but I don’t understand your set up or what part of the house you own
You re semi detached so the house next door doesn’t really come into it, do you own the whole house and rent out the bottom half or do you only own half the house and someone else rents out the bottom half
If it’s the former I agree with Buffybee give him notice if it’s the latter then surely you need to complain to the owner before thinking of moving
He sounds very unpleasant but he seems to have been fine for two years and this only started last summer, could lockdown have sent him ‘do dah’ with his lack of ability to get away to Spain or anywhere else
Did he not snore or grunt or bang doors or clear his throat at breakfast time before this last year?

I don’t understand why you would have to sell if you own the house ??

Pippins6133 Sun 07-Mar-21 07:19:15

Just to add, it’s a private landlord that owns the ground floor so l have no say in who lives there. Thanks for comments so far

Pippins6133 Sun 07-Mar-21 07:37:05

Bluebelle, he was not very nice from the start, but we gave him the benefit of the doubt. He was no different before Covid. I mentioned the house next door because of the incident of noise due to the neighbour. Hetty58, we have changed to other rooms over the 3 years but it’s hopeless. Sorry, all, should have said in my original post that his flat is privately owned.

Lucca Sun 07-Mar-21 07:43:55

I thought you said you got on very well at first ? Now you say he wasn’t very nice from the start. I’m not having a go, just confused.

Calendargirl Sun 07-Mar-21 07:47:14

The original post said ‘We got on really well to start with’.
Now it’s ‘he was not very nice from the start, but we gave him the benefit of the doubt’.

I agree with others, he may or may not have been a squadron leader. Perhaps his shortcomings were more bearable when he went away more often. Maybe he has the onset of dementia?

I have no real advice for you, it must be awful. The trouble is, if you move, you don’t always know what you might encounter at a new property, or who might replace nice neighbours in the future.

I hope you find a solution.

wildswan16 Sun 07-Mar-21 07:53:31

You are able to look online to find out who his landlord is. Perhaps a word with them about the problem might help - if he is being difficult with you he may be causing his landlord problems as well. If next door are bothered by him they could also contact the landlord.

Do you think his lack of holidays in Spain over the last year have contributed to his behaviour?

MaggieTulliver Sun 07-Mar-21 08:05:58

That’s the problem with living in a flat. You might have someone living below you who played loud music or where there was lots of shouting which could be worse. I used to live in a first floor flat and the woman below me had 30 or so cats who weren’t let out. The smell was horrendous and cat pee used to seep out from under her front door into the shared hallway.

I feel your pain but yes, I’d consider moving. Don’t know your financial situation though and what you could afford. How about a small terraced house?

NotSpaghetti Sun 07-Mar-21 08:19:54

I would look at moving, personally.
You don't have to move, obviously, but if something nice came up then why not at least consider it.
Keeping an eye open at least will make you feel there are options.

Spain is ready to re-open so no doubt he will be off soon, then you will have some respite at the very least.

I am also wondering if this is the start of dementia, as others have said. Does he have family? Not that they could do anything at this point though.

We had truly awful neighbours once, but luckily the father was arrested and the house sold. We found that even just looking at other houses made us feel better.

Good luck. I know how it can invade your life.

NotSpaghetti Sun 07-Mar-21 08:21:29

MaggieTulliver being in a terrace will not necessarily prevent unpleasant neighbours!

Pippins6133 Sun 07-Mar-21 08:25:44

Lucca and Calendargirl, we did get on well at first, although we did have our suspicions, but we always like to try to keep things on good terms. We've become aware that he is quite a scheming individual. The snoring, grunting, mucus clearing, banging doors has always been the same since day one.

Pippins6133 Sun 07-Mar-21 08:31:46

NotSpaghetti, thanks for your reply. Yes, we looked forward to his time away in Spain for some respite. He is divorced and has one daughter (who is estranged from him). We're always looking for property that we could afford but nothing available atm.

EkwaNimitee Sun 07-Mar-21 08:50:59

One word of warning if you do decide to sell up and move, estate agents require a lot of information about your property these days. That includes asking about problems with neighbours. If you make formal complaints about him to his landlord or authorities, you will have to declare them on the form. That won't help your sale. Good luck, you have a horrible problem.

Greyduster Sun 07-Mar-21 09:17:45

I can attest to the fact that a bad neighbour can make life absolutely unbearable. We moved from a house we had lived in for thirty years to get away from one with whom we had had a previous good relationship. It was the best thing we ever did. Chances are he won’t change. Or move out! I hope you get this sorted. It’s horrible.

Buffybee Sun 07-Mar-21 09:32:58

I misunderstood that he was your tenant in my original post.
If you don’t want to move, have you thought of having your bedroom floor soundproofed? One of my friends did this when she moved house and could hear the neighbours tv through the wall.
Also, stop being so nice to him, you can be pleasant but stop the airport lifts at least.

Pippins6133 Sun 07-Mar-21 09:57:04

Hi, EkwaNimitee, yes, I'm aware of that. Sad.
Buffybee, we have looked into soundproofing but it's too expensive for us. Thanks.

JenniferEccles Sun 07-Mar-21 09:57:30

I too was under the impression that you owned the house but now I see it’s just your flat.

I think your best bet is to try to contact the landlord, as the tenant could be in breach of his tenancy agreement.

These state that tenants must not cause a nuisance to neighbours (noise and other things) and if problems persist he would be given notice to vacate the property.

Some years back we had a phone call from a neighbour of a property we were renting out to tell us about noise problems with our tenants.

We got on to the letting agents who fired off a letter to the tenants reminding them of the relevant section on noise nuisance in the agreement they signed and things improved.

We phoned the neighbour and she was so grateful that we had intervened.