Drunken neighbour harassing threatening and frightening off my tenants!

by Readers Question

10:39 AM, 1st June 2016
About 3 years ago

Drunken neighbour harassing threatening and frightening off my tenants!

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Drunken neighbour harassing threatening and frightening off my tenants!

Nuisance drunken neighbour is harassing, threatening and frightening off my tenants which is costing me a lot of money.rab c

Can you please help?

I have two flats in a block of 8 flats. Directly above one of my flats is a person that owns his own flat. He doesn’t work and sits at home getting drunk. Over the years he has been responsible for losing me a number of very good tenants because of his behavior. When he is drunk, which is most of the time he is abusive and is threatening and intimidates my tenants.

My letting agent has also witnessed this and has reported it to the police. I have also reported this to the police. However I am told that unless it is reported by the ‘victims’ i.e. the tenants themselves then there is very little action the police can take.

The problem is that the tenants just don’t want to go down this route as they feel it can make it worse. They feel it is easier for them to give notice and to move on.

This nuisance has fallen out with everyone in the block, but specifically seems to target my tenants as he lives directly above mine.

My present tenant loves the flat, but feels that he is being victimised and is nervous. He suffers with anxiety issues and this is not helping him. He has already suggested to the letting agent that if this continues he will have to give notice.

As the nuisance neighbour owns his property I feel I am limited to what action I can take.

Can anyone please advise?

Thanks in advance.

Tony



Comments

Neil Patterson

10:41 AM, 1st June 2016
About 3 years ago

Hi Tony,

Have you spoken to the council about this yet?

Tony the hairdresser

11:05 AM, 1st June 2016
About 3 years ago

Hi Neil
My local landlords association has given me a contact at the council however we are very doubtful this will help as they will only act if the 'victim' contacts them directly.

Lewis Hardwick

11:49 AM, 1st June 2016
About 3 years ago

Is there not anything in the lease that could see him kicked out?

Rob Crawford

12:21 PM, 1st June 2016
About 3 years ago

Hi Tony, your tenant must contact the police on every occasion that he/she is threatened. Also contact environmental health who will advise the tenant on how to record all events as they arise. You are correct in that the police and council may not engage with you on specifics, however, they should recognise and appreciate that you are trying to help resolve the situation. At the end of the day if your tenant will not make a formal complaint there is little the authorities will do. Have you been threatened? If so you would be able to report this yourself. A video recorder covering the front door (mounted inside and pointing towards the door entrance, not outside as this can be vandalised) would be a useful means of recording threats etc. you will need the tenants permission to do this though.

Tony the hairdresser

12:35 PM, 1st June 2016
About 3 years ago

Hi and thank you for your comments
Lewis: Frustratingly he owns his own flat so there is no landlord that can be contacted. The freeholder is a London based PLC so they will not be interested.
Rob: The letting agent has advised him to contact the police but most tenants feel this can make things worse so although my tenants love the accommodation they just seem to bail out of the tenancy.

Mrs Loon

12:45 PM, 1st June 2016
About 3 years ago

We have a similar problem with an owner occupier upstairs from our tenants. He has OCD, plays his tv very loud, swears at people in the hallway and bangs the door from inside his flat very loudly such that the vibrations have knocked the plaster from the communal wall on the other side. His behaviour( whilst unfortunate for him as I am sure his behavioural problems are not his fault) are intimidating to the others in the block as he will not communicate with others so no-one knows what he might do. He will not answer the door to the police or anyone else so what can we do?
Alcoholism/mental health/OCD/autism and any other behavioural issues all need help. We can't just get rid of people with problems but we need advice from authorities/charities/police anyone!! Police telling us to gather evidence is just the authorities way of delaying doing something as they don't know what to do...

Graham Bowcock

12:50 PM, 1st June 2016
About 3 years ago

Hi Tony

Sadly this is the part of the joy of flats. As said above by others, if the harassment and nuisance is against the tenants then there is little you can do as regards complaints police and environmental health, although you an report so they do at least have a record.

Your main recourse is against the freeholder as you are entitled to quiet enjoyment. You do say they will not be interested, but perhaps you should engage a good property solicitor to change their mind. Effectively you are not getting what you have paid for - a lease is a legal contract. If the freeholder starts incurring costs to deal with complaints, other leaseholders may well rally round in support of you as they will no doubt be sharing the cost.

Regards

Graham

Mandy Thomson

14:17 PM, 1st June 2016
About 3 years ago

I once had issues with owner occupier fellow leaseholders (who were also co-freeholders) in a block of flats. When speaking to them and writing to them formerly (several times) failed to resolve the issue, I took legal advice and was advised to begin legal proceedings against them as they were in violation of the lease, and were violating my right to quiet enjoyment. However, they moved out soon afterwards.

Nearly all leases contain a clause which prohibits the leaseholder from "doing or suffering others to do anything that is likely to cause nuisance or annoyance to the other leaseholders, residents or occupiers..." (or very similar wording).

With leasehold property, the ultimate sanction is forfeiture, which would mean the neighbour was evicted, so you do have a powerful legal weapon to fight this person, assuming you can't go down the environmental health and police route (as your tenant is reluctant) provided you're prepared to take legal action.

Gary Dully

18:51 PM, 1st June 2016
About 3 years ago

Plan A
Go down to the nearest gym and put your property up.for rent on their notice board.

Make sure that the tenant has at least a black belt in kick boxing or actual karate.
And offer a discount if he or she can cope with the Neighbour, if not tell them it's a condition of the lease that the new tenant and Neighbour have one sparring lesson with each other in the ring and supply the Neighbour with boxing gloves.

That will work, I promise you.

Plan B
Give the Neighbour a pair of boxing gloves and offer to train for 4 weeks, after which you both will beat the living sh*t out of each other in the ring

In the army, grudges are settled in the ring and not the barracks, both parties learn to respect each other.

Plan C.
If you are too old or a lover and not a fighter, tell your Neighbour a fight in the ring,,with a local boxing amateur has been organised and he has 2 weeks to train up.

See how he reacts, when he sobers up.

Tony the hairdresser

2:20 AM, 2nd June 2016
About 3 years ago

Thank you all for your advice and time. I will digest and take all your comments on board. Sadly there doesn't seem to be a 'silver bullet' to solve this problem which I suspected.

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