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Feel like I am being singled out via mediation with neighbour

(38 Posts)
MrsJohannaburges Fri 10-Jun-16 18:21:13

I have had an issue with my neighbour for the last 6 months which is when I moved in. His issue is me walking, my 12 year old walking, my cat walking and us living here.
I did first refuse mediation with him based on - I thought he was being unreasonable however I did agree to it a month ago and I just came back from the meeting (he wasn't present it was separate mediation)
He has said:
- we walk to loud can we stop walking around so much
- we slam the front door
- can we stop letting our cat play or get rid of it
- can we turn down the volume on the tv
- can you not play music
- can you not listen to the radio in the bathroom

- We walk around in slippers and have carpet and underlay which is not required by the way.
- I have a yale lock and no handle on my door, when i leave all i can do is pull the door via the yale lock, it will always make a sound its impossible not to.
- I had permission I could have a cat, my cat is 6 she does play sometimes but in my living room on carpet
- we listen to the TV at 10 volume
- my daughter plays music sometimes on her phone only we don't own a sound system
- again i play the radio in the bathroom which is on my phone, i actually don't like not listening to something when in the bath.

The mediation lady said as the gentleman is elderly then he will be more annoyed by noise so I should comply to the terms as to not stress him out.

How exactly is this fair? So i must literally tip toe around and pretend like I don't live here just to please him?

This man makes grunting noises constantly throughout the night and hums he also slams his back door or cupboard doors every time me or my daughter are in the kitchen. He is not innocent, I am not purposely trying to annoy him, he purposely tries to annoy me.

Is this how mediation should be? I have never done it before but I had a feeling he would make up or suggest unreasonable things which is why I refused to do it in the first place.

AugustaFinkNottle Fri 10-Jun-16 18:22:49

A mediator isn't supposed to take sides: she's supposed to help the parties to reach agreement, if that's possible. Is she an accredited mediator?

MrsJohannaburges Fri 10-Jun-16 18:23:36

And all this noise like the music playing/tv/radio is during the afternoon or evening around 6-7 pm never after.

LuluJakey1 Fri 10-Jun-16 18:25:29

It is just awful. Your noise is not terrible noise- less than most people make- I expect.

It would be reasonable to point out the noise he makes and perhaps agree to stop slamming the front door. As to the rest, ignore it.

MrsJohannaburges Fri 10-Jun-16 18:26:03

She was arranged via the Housing Association. She made it out like she was helping me almost, like she said "you should just comply as you will come across as unreasonable to the Housing Association and it won't look good on you"
"Sometimes when somebody is elderly their tolerance level is low and they get stressed very easy"
She said it like that.

QuiteLikely5 Fri 10-Jun-16 18:27:07

What does your housing officer say?

Noise in a flat is to be expected, what is not acceptable is when it is beyond consideration for others.

This would be the washing machine on very late or early, playing excessively loud music or hoovering very late/early.

Ask the council for sound insulation?

lalalalyra Fri 10-Jun-16 18:28:07

Where did you find the mediator? It's not the role of the mediator to agree with one side or the other. She's supposed to facilitate and encourage conversation so that you can find a compromise between you (if there's one to be had). If she's openly taking sides after one meeting then she's not a mediator.

Ineedmorelemonpledge Fri 10-Jun-16 18:43:50

I'm sure you are entitled to the right to a normal family life. It sounds like you are doing just that.

The feedback from the mediator sounds ridiculous.

Surely then can put some kind of monitor in his house to track if the levels are offensive or just normal, and then manage his expectations if they are. Or feedback to you if not.

The stress of this - having to tip toe around the house - would make me feel a bit ill if I'm honest.

MrsJohannaburges Fri 10-Jun-16 19:17:19

He has had noise monitors twice and they have come up with nothing. I know as he is always slagging me off to the postman and I hear him outside .

Clutterbugsmum Fri 10-Jun-16 19:23:12

So according to the mediator unless you and your DD don't use your front door, walk on the floor or use either the tv or your phones you are being unreasonable.

What does she suggest you levitate around your flat and somehow learn to walk through solid doors.

I would be asking both the mediator and your housing association how are you supposed to live in your flat and have the quiet enjoyment of your home.

KleineDracheKokosnuss Fri 10-Jun-16 19:33:04

Write to both housing association and mediator,setting out what the mediator has said. Then ask them to explaon precisely how you are to do basic tasks like close the door.

Then a say that it was inappropriate of the mediator to suggest that unless you agree to forgo being able to actually use your home you will be treated as unreasonable. Then note that your letter is in dact a complaint and you do not expect to be troubled by them further. And also set out that your neighbour is harassing and bad mouthing you, and yhat you expect them to take appropriate action against him.

You have to fight fire with fire against that sort.

runningincircles12 Fri 10-Jun-16 19:44:19

You don't have to do what the mediator says. Did you point out to her that that's ridiculous to expect you to get rid of your pet and not to walk around in your home? Is this housing association property that you both rent? Is there any way the HA can pay for your flat to be carpeted? Wooden floors carry a lot of noise and sometimes people who live on the ground floor don't realise that people above are just walking normally rather than bouncing and crashing around.

MustStopAndThinkBeforePosting Fri 10-Jun-16 19:48:29

You have the right to normal enjoyment of your home and while obviously you will as a nice person have reasonable consideration of your neighbours this shouldn't prevent you from normal activities that anyone would expect to be able to do in their home. This includes walking around your home, and having music and TV on if not at excessive volume or excessively late. You don't sound like you are being unreasonable and this so-called mediator is nothing of the sort, she is a messenger from your neighbour and should not be called a mediator.

ApostrophesMatter Fri 10-Jun-16 19:49:57

Say you will happily agree to him having noise monitors and if it's deemed to be unreasonable you will comply. But for now you cannot see that you are making excess noise.

starry0ne Fri 10-Jun-16 19:57:16

Sounds like a crap mediator...

How is that mediation is she on a bonus for "resolving issues"

What are they going to do evict you for walking?

AugustaFinkNottle Fri 10-Jun-16 20:09:04

Tell the Housing Association that the mediator was not following accepted mediation practice and, if they intend to try mediation for any purpose in the future, you strongly suggest they opt for a properly trained and accredited mediator. Suggest they contact CEDR (Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution).

clarrrp Fri 10-Jun-16 20:11:02

*- we walk to loud can we stop walking around so much
- we slam the front door
- can we stop letting our cat play or get rid of it
- can we turn down the volume on the tv
- can you not play music
- can you not listen to the radio in the bathroom *

Tell him to fuck off.

Unless you are being unreasonably loud then he has no grounds to stand on.

*She was arranged via the Housing Association. She made it out like she was helping me almost, like she said "you should just comply as you will come across as unreasonable to the Housing Association and it won't look good on you"
"Sometimes when somebody is elderly their tolerance level is low and they get stressed very easy"
She said it like that*

Has anyone from the HA been out to see you? Have they fitted any sort of noise monitoring device? We had one for our crazy ass noisy neighbours from hell.

Your mediator is useless. Speak to your housing officer and DEMAND that they COME OUT to your house to see for themselves how loud you have tv and radio etc.

Has your neighbour complained to you personally or does he just write to the association?

Ineedmorelemonpledge Fri 10-Jun-16 20:16:18

So he had a noise monitor, and it came up with nothing...and he's still complaining?

It's harassment. I'm sorry, but being old doesn't excuse you from being a git. Especially after your post of him slagging you off to the postie.

How much noise does a cat make? Seriously?  I mean they don't call them elephant burglars do they?!!!

Ineedmorelemonpledge Fri 10-Jun-16 20:19:06

Op's neighbour...

TrollTrekkingAcrossTheUniverse Fri 10-Jun-16 20:30:51

It doesn't sound as though you are doing anything unreasonable / antisocial to me. I'm a lifetime flat-dweller who is highly sensitive to noise and wouldn't be complaining, put it that way.

However... your neighbour also shouldn't be able to hear the types of noise you described if the properties were adequately sound-proofed. As you say the properties are HA I assume one or both of you rent? If so, may be worth asking the HA what they intend to do as the properties don't seem to be fit for purpose...

The only thing I think your neighbour may have a point with is the door closing. There's a similar arrangement where I live and it can take people a while to figure out how to close the door with just the Yale lock almost silently. So if you haven't already, may be worth trying out a couple of different techniques?

Joystir58 Fri 10-Jun-16 21:18:41

I am a qualified mediator for neighbourhood disputes. Mediators should never takes sides or even suggest solutions, just listen separately and in confidence to both parties, feedback what they have said and ask open questions to help each party work out how the situation arose and what they have done/could do to resolve things.

Then sometimes if both parties agree there can be a structured mutual mediation session in which each party gets to speak while the other listens, with the mediator reflecting back what they have said and pointing out positive common points of view or suggestions made to resolve things.

The point is that the mediator's role is to encourage the two parties separately and /or together to find solutions that work for them.
In my experience the biggest issue is a break down in communications, causing a barrier to grow and causing each side to make assumptions about the other side and to imagine all kinds of things that may not be true.

So- with my neighbourhood mediator hat on- have you tried to communicate with your neighbour? How? When? In what tone? (you will not mend things by being accusatory). What else do you think you could do yourself to resolve things? Are there any things you can do from the list you have been presented with that might be reasonable?

Joystir58 Fri 10-Jun-16 21:24:31

Are their ways in which you can improve the relationship you have with your neighbour?

Joystir58 Fri 10-Jun-16 21:26:24

The mediator you met with mentioned that elderly people can become easily stressed. So- what can you do to reduce stress in this situation?

suchafuss Sat 11-Jun-16 10:24:41

I agree totally with Joy and also deal with these type of disputes. When it was suggested that you comply was she possibly talking about engaging with the process rather than doing what your neighbour wants?

maddening Sat 11-Jun-16 10:53:36

The only thing you can do is to use your key to close the front door, put the key in and turn it back and shut the door then release the latch, double check it has engaged after you remove your key, other than that you are making normal household noise and should keep a diary of his harassment.

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