To not want our car park to be a children's playground...??

(43 Posts)
LadyShirazz Sun 27-Sep-15 17:53:22

Will try to make a long story short, but will also try not to drip feed. This is a long-standing issue that seems to be escalating lately...

I am genuinely interested to hear if IABU or not, so please don't hold back (not that you lot need telling!).

Anyhoo, for the last three years, we have lived in an apartment complex on a residential, semi-rural estate. In our section, there are two blocks of flats facing each other with a private, walled, gated car park in between.

There is a bit of a "problem family" in the opposite block, who have five children, two of whom are boys around 10 and 11. Over the last three years, there have been issues with them and their friends (not from our block) using the car park as a playground: climbing over the walls; hanging off (and repeatedly breaking) the electric gates; blocking the road to the gates with their skateboard ramps; and giving neighbours a lot of gobby abuse when ever asked to stop it (they are all up on their "peedo" accusations if ever spoken to - no matter how politely!).

Aside from the gobbiness, I know this is just kids being kids. But it is now getting to near constant levels over the weekend and summer holidays, and gone from just a few kids to about 20 at a time (aged around 9 - 14, and not from our block), who all join in the jeering if anyone ever challenges them (I never have - cause I am scared of them, which I hate feeling just in itself!).

I say "problem family", as the father is a bit of a thug and will get aggressive with anyone even speaking to his kids. There is bad blood between him and the directors of the building - and (afaik) issues with the boys' truancy, SS and a police track record (one of the director's sons goes to the same school, and is bullied by them as his mum has gone up against them in the past).

I know this as my husband is also now a director of the building (and therefore on the neighbours' "shit list") - but collectively they seem pretty powerless to do anything about this.

I'm aware I sound a grumpy old fart (I'm just 32!) and possible snob - I do think it's a good thing for kids to "play out" generally speaking, and know they are only following their dad's confrontational example.

That said, we work hard in the week and would like to relax over the weekends when we have the chance without the constant screaming from a load of kids, all but two of whom don't even live here...

I can also imagine that none of the parents of the non-resident kids would be particularly happy about twenty kids rampaging across their own properties - so why ours...??

And if IANBU, what can we do about it....??

Absolutely dreading them getting older... sad sad sad

LadyShirazz Sun 27-Sep-15 17:55:04

Aware here that I only know one side of the story in terms of the family's background. It's what I see for myself - the constant screaming and running riot - that I object to.

sproketmx Sun 27-Sep-15 17:56:35

What else is there for the kids to do? Is there a proper area they can use?

Backforthis Sun 27-Sep-15 17:59:26

Does the family own their flat?

LadyShirazz Sun 27-Sep-15 18:00:21

We live right opposite a lovely park, so they could scream and cycle and skateboard there to their hearts' content! It is always in the car park that they play though - and the rest of the kids from the estate too...

But even without that, I don't see how their kids being unoccupied means that the rest of the neighbours have to put up with their constant yelling, screaming and abuse (seven hours yesterday!).

Their entertainment is the responsibility of their parents, surely? Who seems happy to let them run riot as long as they are out of the house...

Pico2 Sun 27-Sep-15 18:01:31

YANBU, but need a solution.

LadyShirazz Sun 27-Sep-15 18:03:07

No, the family are tenants.

I didn't mean to drip feed but forgot to say that his landlord has been contacted multiple times (lives abroad) and doesn't seem willing to do anything about it.

Apart from a couple of police calls where the father threatened or assaulted one of the previous directors (all documented at the time - she moved out cause of them in the end, being their direct NDN), their behaviour always falls short of criminal and comes more under "nuisance".

I have a feeling that they may be connected by family or something, but that's a bit of a Chinese whispers thing and I don't know that for sure.

Sorry that's a lot of drip feed there!

Wishful80smontage Sun 27-Sep-15 18:03:33

If its private property then can't you get police involved?
If they don't own their property have you approached their landlord?

LadyShirazz Sun 27-Sep-15 18:03:54

* They being connected by family meaning landlord and tenant.

goawayalready Sun 27-Sep-15 18:04:28

over ten? call the police and get a cso out they could have a word with them and explain about being a good neighbour and the consequences of not being a good neighbour make sure they don't disclose who sent them

three years of screaming kids is far too long

LadyShirazz Sun 27-Sep-15 18:05:39

The police have been called several times, and cause their behaviour is not criminal (by and large) won't do anything.

I should add that I have never spoken to the neighbours in question myself - they are an intimidating lot and would be scared to. I don't even want to make myself a target among the kids, which is ridiculous in itself!

My husband is an army man and not scared of them. I am.

RandomMess Sun 27-Sep-15 18:07:04

Presumably they are in breach of the Leasehold agreement whether tenants or owners?

LadyShirazz Sun 27-Sep-15 18:07:21

It wasn't screaming constantly for three years. When we moved in the kids would have been about eight and their play was more "kids being kids", but now they are approaching teenage years and seem to have formed a pretty sizeable "gang" (including older kids). The dad doesn't give a shit, and previous police chats seem to have totally fallen on deaf ears...

TeaStory Sun 27-Sep-15 18:11:26

Anti-social behaviour is covered by the counci (according to the PCSO I spoke to recently about a similar issue)l - keep a diary of times/dates/descriptions of what is happening for at least two weeks before making a complaint to them.

TeaStory Sun 27-Sep-15 18:11:53

*council

Backforthis Sun 27-Sep-15 18:13:23

I don't know what you can do if the landlord won't listen.

LadyShirazz Sun 27-Sep-15 18:17:32

This is just it.

The landlord won't do anything, and the police / council don't seem to care as long as it's "nuisance" activity and not criminal...

A lot of residents are complaining to the directors, not realising that they are pretty impotent too.

Onedirectionarestillloved Sun 27-Sep-15 18:21:38

Yanbu.
The only advice I can give is to constantly nag the landlord.

Isn't he legally obliged to give contact details to his neighbours?

I had a friend who lived next door to nightmare neighbours.

They complained to the council and police. The neighbours were tenants and I think the landlord lived abroad.

They rang/ emailed the landlord constantly until in the end the landlord evicted the tenants.

In other words make it very unpleasant for the landlord.
Email him and if he doesn't respond email again and again.
Email every single day until he does something.

Also call his phone.
Call repeatedly asking him what he is going to do to stop the kids hanging around your car.

pinkje Sun 27-Sep-15 18:23:44

How many cars are parked in the car park? Has there ever been any damage? TBH that would annoy me as much as the noise, the thought that they might damage my car.

Blu Sun 27-Sep-15 18:28:53

Talk to other neighbours and in solidarity all water the plants on your balcony, the same time and together, as the hi jinks gets going? All those hoses and watering cans, bound to spread out over the yard.

A delegation of residents all going to see the Dad at the same time? Mob handed? Making it clear that you all stand together and are asking for peace and quiet?

All residents writing one shared letter to the owners / landlords saying that the behaviour is making the flats an undesirable place to live and therefore lowering the value? And demanding that they ask the family in question to behave in a civilised fashion?

TheSkiingGardener Sun 27-Sep-15 18:31:15

Is it a leasehold property and are there covenants saying that residents are entitled to quiet enjoyment of the property. If so the directors can take legal action to enforce the covenant I believe

Are the nuisance neighbours also living in an apartment rather than a house? If so, (and assuming you are in England or Wales as my legal knowledge stops at Hadrian's wall grin) the Landlord's ownership will probably be leasehold. The Lease is likely to contain a 'no nuisance to neighbours' clause. I imagine he'd suddenly become interested in dealing with them when faced with potentially losing the property as a result of his tenants breaching the Lease.

You need to involve the freeholder.

LadyShirazz Sun 27-Sep-15 18:34:25

Funnily enough, pinkje, OH's just had a call to say that the gang has been reported by the owner of a motorbike within the building - apparently he came out to find them hanging off it and they've nabbed bits and pieces of it.

Motorbike owner reckons if his stolen bits are not back within the hour he'll call the police - but apparently the boys resident here are blaming the "outside" boys and have conveniently forgotten where they live...

I think it will take a murder for the landlord to budge - and even then would probably take the tenant's side... sad

He doesn't even have direct contact details - it's all handled via his "agent" (a past colleague).

I have done a lot of background checking (my day job is Fraud and Financial Crime) on the landlord, agent and tenant.

They all hold multiple Companies House records for at least twenty defunct companies, which is an unusual pattern for anyone - let alone three "connected" persons (the tenant currently doesn't work and certainly doesn't strike me as an entrepreneur!). None of the CH records though can be directly associated to each other - but certainly odd and indicative of a connection, that I am just not able to prove.

LadyShirazz Sun 27-Sep-15 18:38:59

YY to getting neighbours involved - even if they can't contact the LL directly.

I know a lot of them are equally as PO'd, but - like me - scared of direct confrontation.

I just don't get it - we are acting landlords on behalf of my (ill and elderly) MIL (she gets the rent, we get the legwork!), and I'd be getting any tenant I'd heard even a fraction as much about out at the first opportunity!

formerbabe Sun 27-Sep-15 18:40:37

What else is there for the kids to do? Is there a proper area they can use?

What a ridiculous question. There are parks surely? Or stay at home or play outside in a quiet and respectful manner.

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