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Nightmare neighbours affecting my mental health

(17 Posts)
RosPB Fri 24-Jul-20 12:03:25


My next door neighbours, who have lived there for 48 years and are nearing 70 years old, have been tormenting me and causing criminal damage for nearly 7 years.

It came to a head last year when I’d had enough and made a serious attempt on my own life.

I turned 50 last month and live with my husband and 13 year old daughter. I love our home, the area we live in and all of our other neighbours.

I have years of evidence relating to the nightmare neighbours, which the attending police officers have seen. This includes proof that they damage their own property in order to blame me. I even have footage of the wife shoving something into my garden. She then called the police and said that I’d stolen it. And snapping a big plant and then calling the husband out saying “look what that bitch did”.

I think they are sociopaths after speaking to various psychologists and actually enjoy what they do. They call the police constantly to get, what they hope to be, the required result.

They have done this to a couple who lived in our house previously. They lasted 2 years. The wife became so depressed that the husband sold the house under market value to get her out of there.

The husband next door was forced to sign a good neighbour agreement last year, which has been completely ignored. I don’t understand why the wife wasn’t, not that it would make a difference.

Anyway, there is so much more that I could tell you but this thread would become a novel so I’ll get to the point.

The latest is that they have had bricks put through onto our property, some cemented in place. Those that weren’t I carefully pushed back onto their property. They then called the police claiming that I have cause criminal damage and that they have evidence to prove it.

The local PCSO called my husband and told him that he needed him to sign a form. When asked, the office told him it was a good neighbour agreement. We haven’t done anything wrong so we don’t want to sign it. The police are literally pandering to this couple.

I can feel myself getting lower because I just can’t cope with much more of this. I just want it to stop. But I know it never will. I’m worrying myself sick that I’ll be arrested for something I’ve not done.

I just don’t know what to do. Any advice will be gratefully received. Thank you.

vampirequeen Fri 24-Jul-20 12:12:39

They're playing the 'old people' card. I can guarantee that when they police speak to them they're old and frail and just can't understand why you're so horrible to them. I had a neighbour who played the same game with her upstairs neighbour who was far younger than her.

What did the police say when they saw the recordings of them doing things to your property? Perhaps you need to get legal advice? Have you spoken to the anti-social behaviour team at the council? Would your other neighbours be willing to give statements regarding their behaviour?

You have my sympathy. My next door neighbour is horrible too. I understand how it can pull you down.

RosPB Fri 24-Jul-20 13:07:00

Yes, they play that card all the time. I think the police take that into consideration now that they’ve seen what they’re actually like though.
Other than agreeing that they’ve made false allegations and are wasting their time, the police haven’t done a lot. They seem to pander to them, hence wanting us to sign this agreement. Also, they like to keep reminding me about the use of my cctv and privacy laws. But they’re the only things that are proving my innocence and the neighbours harassment. They really hate them and constantly look at them and do abusive hand gestures at them because they can’t do half of what they used to do. They just pay other people to do some of it for them now.
No, none of the officers have even told me that there is an anti social behaviour team, unless the ones that attend are part of that team.
The nightmare neighbours are very clever. They tend to do most of what they do in the back garden so as not to be seen by anyone else. And anything they do out front is when nobody else is around. Even calling me the C word loudly if they see me come home from work. All the other neighbours don’t see much, other than him brushing wet filth off the public road onto our car and suchlike.
One neighbour though, who invites me over as they know what’s happening were actually friends with the other couple they forced out of this house. That’s how I found out about them. I’ve tried finding this couple but haven’t had any luck.
I’ve been in contact with another couple who lived here who said that they didn’t have anything to do with next door as they knew and could hear how abusive they were.

vampirequeen Fri 24-Jul-20 13:19:11

It sounds like the police are trying not to get involved in what they deem to be a dispute between neighbours. Understandable but not good enough. You have evidence of your neighbour's unacceptable behaviour. The fact that they're old is irrelevant. I only found out about the anti social behaviour team when my neighbour complained about us to the local housing officer (we're council and the neighbour is private). Because we're council tenants the housing manager deals with us but as she's private she would be dealt with by the anti social behaviour team. Can you afford legal advice?

bluebird243 Fri 24-Jul-20 13:22:29

I've had awful neighbours more than once. So I can empathise. However I have just moved as nothing is worth being unhappy or threatening one's good mental health.

Each time the move has been for the best in different ways. I wouldn't let vile people affect my life. Staying put where you are sounds so much hassle.

Personally I would sell up at a loss and put it down to experience. Life doesn't have to be so unhappy and stressful. You are too young to have years and years of this abuse in front of you. Your neighbours sound insane.

I have a very unpleasant neighbour behind me....loud music 3 afternoons/evenings outside every weekend when the weather is good, and a car with an illegal exhaust. The idiot is having a mid life crisis. But I can live with it [I visit a friend or go to the front of my house closing all windows and doors, I'm lucky I can do that]. Your situation? You wouldn't see me for dust.

RosPB Fri 24-Jul-20 13:46:16

Yes, they definitely see it as a neighbour dispute. It’s much more than that though. They seem to be on some sort of power trip and this is being magnified by them getting away with most of it.
We’re both private so I think we’d probably have to go down the legal route seeing as the police are pretty much useless in this scenario. I’m not sure if I could cope with that though.

Freeandeasy Fri 24-Jul-20 13:52:08

I’m so sorry to hear of what you have to put up with. How long have you lived there? When selling a property the Vendor has to sign a form that there are no disputes with neighbours. I know that’s not helping you now but it’s something to consider if you decide to move in future. Not that you should need to move, of course, but you’re obviously at the end of your tether and, as you say, it’s affecting your mental health.

My next door but one neighbour is having similar problems with the house she is attached to. The tenants are young (late 20s) with two young children. They are loud, disrespectful and don’t give a fig about the property; the landlord, surprisingly I thought, doesn’t do anything about it. They have called the police on several occasions (the last one was throwing dog muck on the drive and garden) but the police don’t want to get involved (hardly surprising as they are already over- stretched).

My neighbour has called personally (keeping a distance of course) on me and other close neighbours asking us to keep a look out and make a note if we see evidence of their disgraceful conduct. Perhaps you could do that? I appreciate that some neighbours won’t want to get involved though.

I would probably get a solicitor involved and take out a civil action against them but I appreciate this would be costly and would probably make matters worse. Could you maybe try to “kill them with kindness”? Try to talk to them reasonably? Ask them why they are doing what they do as what they’re getting out of it?

If all else fails, then for your mental health and well-being, you may have to move. I feel for you, it’s despicable that people like this are allowed to get away with such vile and disgusting behaviour.

RosPB Fri 24-Jul-20 13:57:19

I’ve had a few dodgy neighbours in the past but nothing like this. These people are cruel, vindictive and extremely childish (if only I could upload some of the stuff I’ve got on them).
When I came out of hospital, we did consider moving and started the process. But then the stubborn me came out and I just said I don’t want to be forced out of the home and neighbourhood I love by these people. I don’t want them to think they can do it again and again to whoever lives here. Not only that, but we were told that because the police have been involved, we would have to declare everything to anyone considering buying our house, which would put anyone off.
I used to be in the house 24/7, wouldn’t leave or even use my garden because of them. I’ve had some help and I now volunteer at my local city farm 3 days a week which I love. Wish I’d found out about it sooner. It’s my bubble where I can feel safe and happy. But, now they’ve clocked on to when I’m not home, they’ve started to do all sorts. They haven’t socially distanced throughout the pandemic either so have had lots of people over, friends, family, workmen etc, all of which they’ve bad mouthed us to. So we have an awful lot of people who now think really badly of us because of what they’re being told, all of which is completely untrue.

PinkCakes Fri 24-Jul-20 14:02:07

If it were me, I'd get CCTV cameras installed. Then, when your neighbours are up to no good, it will all be caught on film.

Contact the council, see if anything can be done.

Good luck.

RosPB Fri 24-Jul-20 14:10:44

Thank you. It really is horrible.
We’ve been here for 13 years now. There wasn’t really a problem at the beginning other than silly things like they wouldn’t like it if they invited us round and we couldn’t go or they wouldn’t pay my husband when he did work for them on several occasions. They just gave him beer as payment (he doesn’t drink). And they’re hatred of our two cats.
We’ve tried having civil conversations with them but as soon as we start talking, they both get very loud and very verbally abusive. I’ve never heard language like it from people their age. Honestly, you’ve got to hear it to believe it. They won’t listen to anything we have to say, we’re just shouted over and told how awful we are (my words, not theirs obviously)
The husband then paces like an angry lion in the back garden. They both frighten me because I just don’t know where this is heading. But I almost want them to physically hurt me so something it done.
Moving just isn’t an option. Nobody will want to buy or even rent this house when they find out what they will be living next to. And I can’t let them do this to other people.

RosPB Fri 24-Jul-20 14:16:44

I have. At first I think they thought they were dummy cameras and continued doing stuff. Then they realised they were real....and they still continued to do stuff. This is why I have proof of their behaviour.
Then, after the behaviour order was given to them, they hide themselves behind things so they can’t be seen or they pay other people (builders/gardeners etc) to do their dirty work for them. Some know what they are doing, especially if they are related to them but most don’t suspect a thing. Especially as they put on their soft old people voices on and try to look frail, which they are not.

vampirequeen Fri 24-Jul-20 20:41:46

I think you need to have your phones on record every time you go outside. That will catch the throw away comments they make to you that your CCTV cameras are missing. I think your next stop is the council's anti social behaviour unit. These people have no right to abuse you or spoil your enjoyment of your property.

Fuchsiarose Mon 28-Sep-20 15:16:48

Hello I am so sorry to hear of your suffering. I too have had to move due to neighbours from hell. In my last, home, all people who lived in my property before me, lasted less than 6 months before they moved. A one woman pathological liar caused 7 other neighbours to be unable to go into their back gardens. She kept a mirror inside her back door so she could see who had come out into their gardens. I remember one time she went out shopping and 3 of us emerged from our respective back doors. Lol. I was wondering if it was possible you could rent out your home and move to a rented home or similar until they leave. Which they will eventually. It sounds to me like it might wise to get distance for your D s sake as well

M0nica Mon 28-Sep-20 18:10:48

Have you spoken to your MP or complained to your area police commissioner about the lack of action taken by the police. Have you visited your local CAB?

DiscoDancer1975 Mon 28-Sep-20 18:43:16

How horrible for you😟. They do sound unhinged, but that’s not your problem. It seems like the police have been involved enough to see you are not to blame, they don’t like dealing with domestic issues do they. Have you got cameras on your property? Would that help? Some suggestions people have made here sound good, but all take time, like renting yours out and you going somewhere else. The problem would probably just pass to your tenants though, and give you an even bigger headache. If you had cameras, then you would have proof of what they do. Also, this may sound daft, and simply not possible, but could you just ignore them? Then leave it to the cameras to do their work. I really feel for you, it’s horrible. In the long term, you definitely need legal advice. I would start with Citizens Advice. I hope you manage to sort it soon.

sparklingsilver28 Mon 28-Sep-20 19:16:33

Your local council is required to have an Anti-social Behaviour Team to which you should and can appeal for help. In addition, the police should have asked you to keep a diary record of every incident, and since you have security cameras any supporting evidence.

It took almost five years in my case. During that time the Community Police Officer came to see me from time to time. And finally issuing the offending household a warning that any more interference they would be prosecuted along with any of their offending children. They had already made the life of an elderly widow such a misery she sold up and moved.

I have to tell you however the Anti-social Behaviour Team in my case backed down. It was made apparent, the offending household had threatened to sue the Council for harassment should they continue to require them to address their anti-social behaviour. Their mistake because the police then stepped in hard, one of them married to a member of the ASBT, and warned them of possible prosecution. You would not believe it, but the mother, daughter of a retired police officer.

crazyH Mon 28-Sep-20 19:34:37

I had awful trouble with my neighbour. When I returned from holiday, I found he had taken down the beautiful hedge between us, encroached about 8 feet in, and built an ugly breeze-block wall. Bearing in mind I was divorced, on my own, he probably thought, I would let it go. No way .... I took legal action. Needless to say, I won the case and was awarded costs. My legal Bill was nearly £5000, including Surveyors fees etc. Heaven knows how much his Bill was. He was ordered to demolish the wall, and take it back to the original boundary.
So RossPB, do take legal advice. I don't know whether Solicitors offer a free half-hour. Police rarely intervene in neighbour disputes.....