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Am i a bad neighbour or...

(90 Posts)
Nataleejah Fri 11-Dec-15 08:57:34

We live in a semi. Ours is council, other is privately owned. Privately owned is charging extortionate rent, something that a working class family cannot afford. So usually yuppies move in and don't last much longer than a couple of years. Now there are a nice couple -- we are friends. Invite each other for dinner, parties etc.
Their landlord is an issue. He is a serial complainer. Complains about us all the time -- the noise, the dog, the rubbish, the unkempt hedges, you name it.
Ok, i'll be honest -- we're not ideal. We're just regular -- dc run around and play not in silence, dog barks sometimes, we have an occasional party, wind sometimes blows over the rubbish, and we cut our hedges when we want.
He grumbles that we're bringing his property value down. But... Is his extortionate rent our problem? As i said already, the people who live there are our friends. I asked them -- tell honestly, are we that bad for noise and shit? They said no, the guy is a dick.
So, who's wrong here?

Daisysbear Fri 11-Dec-15 09:04:05

Hard to say really. Have previous neighbours complained about you?

KaluzaKlein1 Fri 11-Dec-15 09:04:25

Is it noisy though? And why is rubbish blowing around? We had a storm recently and we were out right away picking up anything that had come out of the bin (bags, nothing is loose.)
How occasional are your parties? How noisy is your dog?

Having lived next to neighbours who thought they were 'normal' but were in fact a nightmare, barking dogs and parties every week plus crap left everywhere can get very depressing.

Of course I'm not saying this is you, but perhaps worth having a chat with them to see if there's anything specific you can do to cut down the complaints?
Are you worried they are trying to get you evicted?

catfordbetty Fri 11-Dec-15 09:06:23

The occasional party, dog barking and children playing will make some noise - it's up to your neighbours rather than their landlord to decide if it's unreasonable and it seems they aren't complaining. Not sure what is meant by the rubbish blowing over - is your garden scattered with litter? However, there is no justification for having an unkempt hedge.

Daisysbear Fri 11-Dec-15 09:13:16

If the landlord is losing tenants or having to reduce rent because of ops behaviour then it would be his business.

grundrisse Fri 11-Dec-15 09:28:19

It's a balance, isn't it?

A dog that is left alone too much and that barks constantly is not on. A dog that gives the occasional excited WOOF is just normal.

Kids that are screaming at the top of their lungs for hours on end are a bit much. The odd joyful shout as part of a game isn't an issue.

Hedges that are huge, bushy, overgrown things that have feet and feet of shagginess look awful and cause issues with light and access. But a decision not to keep privet utterly clipped back with nail scissors in a Mr Fussy kind of way is perfectly legit.

Rubbish should not be blowing anywhere, though. Get a bin with a lid!!

goodnightdarthvader1 Fri 11-Dec-15 09:29:36

You say his tenants leave after a couple of years. If they're telling him that they're leaving because of you, then yes, you may be a bad neighbour.

Nataleejah Fri 11-Dec-15 09:32:22

Well, the council checks everytime he complains -- they find no infractions and they themselves called him a "serial complainer". Its not just us, but other neighbours as well he complains about.
We do call in a gardener to do hedges when neccessery -- maybe they're not immaculate, but certainly not a jungle.
As for rubbish, i don't know. I try to keep the bin area tidy as possible, something blows over. We get our share of blown over shit from hell knows where as well.
Kids -- they have bedtimes, so certainly no noise at nights.
Parties -- mainly bbq's in summer. Certainly not enough space to host raves inside.

caitlinohara Fri 11-Dec-15 09:33:33

I think it's courteous to your neighbours to keep your house relatively tidy to look at. You don't have to have hanging baskets and window boxes but cutting the grass and the hedges is pretty basic. I would never complain about the noise of kids playing either but it would annoy me if rubbish was blowing around.

BeanGirls Fri 11-Dec-15 09:38:16

To be fair they're not going to turn around and tell you to your face they think ye are loud and all over the above. That would be quite awkward for them. Maybe he has a point if past tenants have complained about you.

Nataleejah Fri 11-Dec-15 09:51:08

Well, i've lived there for nearly 13 years, so i saw quite a few tenants come and go -- so short time, because they are there for a limited time -- work contract, looking for a better place, etc. Some we got on well, others didn't.
Its an inner city area. But his rent a working class family cannot afford, and those who can -- they rather live elsewhere.

manana21 Fri 11-Dec-15 09:52:30

how long do private tenants typically stay anyway? a couple of years seems like a reasonable tenancy to me for most people as they move on, buy, change jobs etc. You don't sound that bad to me.

WorraLiberty Fri 11-Dec-15 09:57:32

How does the landlord know all this, without sitting outside your home for hours on end?

It sounds to me as though another neighbour might be complaining.

Then again, why wouldn't they complain to the council instead?

Weird confused

Nataleejah Fri 11-Dec-15 10:03:42

How does the landlord know all this, without sitting outside your home for hours on end?
Thats the funny part. He comes in every now and then to do repairs or gardening. Goodness forbid any noise -- he'll make a formal complain, that "dog barks ALL day long, there are loud parties ALL the time, hedges are NEVER clipped."
So... Now when we see his car coming in, we go "shhhh! You-know-who is here."

StrawberryTeaLeaf Fri 11-Dec-15 10:04:22

What manana said.

He's in an awkward position of charging MC rents in WC neighbourhood and is fretting over justifying that. He needs to calm down before he has a stroke.

If you living like a heathen, or causing a nuisance or an eyesore, you'd have heard about it from elsewhere by now. Another neighbour or the council would have brought something up at least once at some point in the last 13 years.

Arfarfanarf Fri 11-Dec-15 10:06:35

Does he live near you?

How does he know you have a dog that barks, how does he know about the hedges, how does he know about any noise, etc

If these things were not happening, then I'd say yeah, he's just trying to cause trouble. But if what he is complaining about is actually true, just not at what the council consider an actionable level, then where is he getting his information from?

I mean, if I am reading right that the 'bones' of his complaints are real but he really pads it out, exaggerating it to make it seem awful, then where is he getting the 'bones', iyswim.

If I'm reading wrong and what he's complaining about actually does not happen, then sorry and ignore the above grin

Arfarfanarf Fri 11-Dec-15 10:06:57

oh, never mind, x post grin

StrawberryTeaLeaf Fri 11-Dec-15 10:08:07

he'll make a formal complain, that "dog barks ALL day long, there are loud parties ALL the time, hedges are NEVER clipped."

X post. So he's a liar then?

Fuck that. Put it on record, in writing with your landlord that none of those things are true, that you believe you live perfectly normally and you think his perception is skewed. I'd have a standard letter saved on the PC that I edited slightly and sent in response every time, using basically the same form of words and rfering to his long history of groundless whinging.

Their assessment that he is a 'serial complainer' sounds as though they already have him pegged as a PITA, doesn't it?

TheXxed Fri 11-Dec-15 10:10:55

What strawberry said.

manana21 Fri 11-Dec-15 10:14:48

yes, agree with strawberry standard letter, sent relentlessly, that's the only way to deal with these sort of busy-bodies smile I agree, if the council say he's a serial complainer, he's probably a right nuisance and you don't have a lot to worry about. We had neighbours that complained (& wanted us to join in) about the people above us playing loud music - we both live underneath the upstairs neighbour and I'd honestly never heard it and I'm in the flat all the time and have 2 small DC. Those neighbours moved out to a small cottage in the country, which is good because they hopefully didn't then complain about anyone else.

Nataleejah Fri 11-Dec-15 10:16:24

He lives rather locally, not next door. He's not exactly a liar, but blows things out of proportion completely.
Daytimes kids are at school anyway, nights we all sleep, its maybe just weekends/holidays when we get more 'loud and messy'

manana21 Fri 11-Dec-15 10:18:24

i'd say that distorting from normal noise levels, normal nuisances to the extreme was a lie really. Some people have no tolerance for people having lives. He probably retired early and spends all his days worrying about his investments as he has little else to do.

StrawberryTeaLeaf Fri 11-Dec-15 10:20:50

i'd say that distorting from normal noise levels, normal nuisances to the extreme was a lie really.

Yes, he knows the difference between a dog 'barking all day long' and barking now and then and the difference between hedges that are NEVER cut and hedges that aren't cut often enough for his liking, but he's decided to lie about it. Not a reasonable person.

specialsubject Fri 11-Dec-15 10:26:28

the only one that seems abnormal is 'wind blows over the rubbish'. It is very rarely windy enough to blow a wheely bin over. Is there rubbish scattered about??

barking dogs are a serious nuisance, we've got one up the road that barks for an hour each evening because people don't realise that long working hours and keeping a dog don't go together. But the odd bark...no problem.

otherwise...if you were neighbours so bad that he couldn't get tenants, that's how it is and he needs to sell up. But it really doesn't sound like it.

Russellgroupserf Fri 11-Dec-15 10:29:33

Are you all out at work and school all day because sometimes people's dogs do bark when left alone and the owners don't have a clue.

How many outside parties in the summer? Every Friday and Saturday or maybe once a month?

Most tenants will complain to a LL first . I really have no idea who is being unreasonable.

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