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Please tell me i did the right thing because i am panicking.

(39 Posts)
letthirstydogslie Tue 07-Feb-17 15:51:38

Sorry this is long sad

I live in a set of flats with a communal door. One neighbour starting stopping at his mates eighteen months ago and stopped coming back about twelve months ago however he is clearly still claiming housing benefit, benefits, car insurance etc from this address as the letters with those addresses and multiple letters from places he is clearly writing to on the outside of the envelope are in the hall and landlord definitely thinks he is here.

Anyway while he has been gone I have had a lot of hassle, police banging on door at all hours, tv license (he's never had one despite having a tv), council people , what i think are probation officers the lot. Even his sister came who said they had had a row and she had been told he had moved out but wanted to check.

I largely ignored until the Gas company started coming demanding access to the meter. At first I ignored this then one day a letter had been banded with mine and as I am with the same people I opened it without thinking and they had left correspondence threatening a warrant to break entry. This letter was not in the tenants name but none of them are.
I offered to wait in and let them in and waited four hours, they didn't show I contacted them and explained. They said they would TRY not to change the locks on the communal door when forcing entry when they got a warrant. I got in touch again and explained that wasn't good as I am in and out of hospital and one of my kids is a teen and is often home alone after school and I was frightened of me getting locked out or her getting locked in as she won't answer the door. My kids would have freaked out if someone had forced their way in. They were already shaking after the police really banged the door.

They eventually listened and marked the other flat as long term vacant and I made it clear he might come back so they said if he does come back I have to tell him that I contacted them. He has a criminal record and has been threatening before so now I'm worrying more!

I have awful anxiety and serious health issues and it is making me ill. He has already kicked off at me because junk mail from cancer research came to his with my teens name and they had missed some of the details meaning it showed my name but his number. I.e house 13 flat 1 instead of house 13 flat 1c so now my anxiety is awful incase he does come back.

Would you have done the same?

LIZS Tue 07-Feb-17 15:57:40

I'm not sure what you have actually done? There will be alternative channels for authorities to track him down. Does he own or rent the property?

DesignedForLife Tue 07-Feb-17 15:58:48

Do you rent or own? If you rent I'd complain to the landlord and tell them everything

harderandharder2breathe Tue 07-Feb-17 16:00:37

You've done nothing wrong. You're trying to protect yourself and your children. I wouldn't be telling him anything.

FlyingElbows Tue 07-Feb-17 16:04:13

Why have you taken it upon yourself to try and sort the gas issue. It's not your problem. None of the people door knocking are looking for you. This is not your problem to solve. If you rent contact your landlord. If anyone intimidates you or tries to manipulate you into accepting responsibility or makes you feel unsafe in your home then phone the police. Step back and let the utility companies sort their own problem.

letthirstydogslie Tue 07-Feb-17 16:05:52

Basically I opened a letter in error declaring the energy company were going to get a warrant to force entry and contacted them to stop it making clear I was the neighbour to let them know he is currently away but may come back. They have marked the property now as vacant and told me I have to tell him if he comes back as his top up card won't work.

He will go bonkers at this. That I accidently opened a letter with his address and that I've told someone he isn't there. He is a paranoid drug taker and not stable.

Private rent. I was lied to that hallway was not shared. Trying desperately to move while dealing with masses of health shit.

Batteriesallgone Tue 07-Feb-17 16:07:11

If they force a communal door they can't just fuck off again. They would have to contact the freeholder / management company who would then distribute you all with new keys.

If you ever did find yourself locked out with a vulnerable person locked inside you could just phone the police.

This guy is not your problem. Don't interfere and don't give him headspace.

letthirstydogslie Tue 07-Feb-17 16:08:42

Flying the gas company were applying for a warrant to break in the house which would have included my front door.

tattychicken Tue 07-Feb-17 16:11:13

You don't have to tell him anything. It's nothing to do with you. If and when he comes back and realises his has doesn't work, he can contact the provider. Step away.

tattychicken Tue 07-Feb-17 16:11:43

*gas not has

letthirstydogslie Tue 07-Feb-17 16:14:40

Batteries it just looks like normal house from outside. We are registered as the bill payers, there is no mention of the landlord so they wouldn't have contacted them.

Gas company said they would TRY and not change the locks on the communal door..

So I was worried about getting back late at night with no car and having to start getting hold of locksmiths for new keys. When I asked on here about it everyone told me to ring them and explain.

I was also worried if they changed the main door locks I would have had to tell the landlord and then he is in massive shit for housing benefit fraud and I was scared of retaliation.

I wish I had just let them break the door down now. sad

Bumbumtaloo Tue 07-Feb-17 16:14:51

We had a similar situation a few years ago with a neighbouring flat.

Her and her child literally disappeared in the middle of the night, left everything in the flat washing up in the sink etc - they were on the ground floor and had no blinds and/or curtains up.

Both myself and the lady in the flat directly under me reported it to the management company and I spoke to my landlord, it was more out of concern for the lady than anything else.

Her electricity company forced entry into her flat but didn't touch the communal doors.

Her landlord didn't give a shit he was getting his rent every month. Eventually my landlord and my downstairs neighbor (she owned her flat) kicked up enough fuss with the management company who intern told her landlord he had to sort it - we had countless people banging on her door and would hassle us and everyone just got fed up of it.He went through the eviction process even though she wasn't there and eventually cleared her flat out, it took approx a year if I remember correctly before he had new tenants in.

Hopefully it will be sorted soon.

EmeraldScorn Tue 07-Feb-17 16:15:17

This is a lesson in why you shouldn't interfere in business that is none of yours!

Don't be telling him anything, don't be getting involved, it's a problem that isn't yours, so forget about it.

If you realise that the neighbour has returned home don't approach him but if he asks you about whatever tell him you don't know and leave it at that.

Lazyafternoon Tue 07-Feb-17 16:17:52

Id get onto the landlord. I can understand why you're worried. But you've done nothing wrong. It's the landlords issue.

I did something similar when we moved into our house and mistakenly opened a letter addressed to previous occupant to find it was from a bailiff!

Personally I'd probably report to council (anonymously at www.gov.uk/national-benefit-fraud-hotline) if you suspect he's claiming what he shouldn't. If he's making your life a misery and not picking up mail then god knows what he's up to, driving about without valid insurance etc.

Make sure Landlord is aware of whole situation - that you're trying to move out because of it, feel scared of his reaction. Push back to them to sort it out rather than shouldering the burden yourself

LIZS Tue 07-Feb-17 16:18:41

Just deny any knowledge. Yes gas came looking but you told them it wasn't you, end of.

Presumably you have a door to your flat as well as front door. Complain to ll that you are being bothered due to neighbour's absence and simply don't engage. Is he also your neighbour's ll or the freeholder? He should be worried in case insurance won't pay out if it is left unoccupied for lengthy periods, what if a pipe burst ?

MrsBobDylan Tue 07-Feb-17 16:19:46

If he comes back you are under no obligation to tell this guy that his gas card won't work. He does not know you opened his letter.He's been cut off because he's racked up lots of fuel debts. None of this is your fault.

Stop worrying.

letthirstydogslie Tue 07-Feb-17 16:23:10

Same landlord.

'This is a lesson in why you shouldn't interfere in business that is none of yours!'

I only interfered because they were threatening to force entry which would have been my business if I had got locked out and my kids is already terrified after the police absolutely hammered the doors on more than one occasion.

letthirstydogslie Tue 07-Feb-17 16:24:05

I presume the gas company won't give this information?

user1486483624 Tue 07-Feb-17 16:34:16

I'd consider just moving away TBH if that's an option? Just because if he does come back then there will be people at the door again stressing you out or more in the meantime if there's bills outstanding.

diddl Tue 07-Feb-17 16:40:51

I wouldn't tell him anything!

The letter wasn't even addressed to him!

I think that you need to speak to the landlord though-afterall, he'd be paying if the communal door was broken-and he'll want to re let, won't he?

Sounds awful.

letthirstydogslie Tue 07-Feb-17 16:46:17

We are trying to user, he was only ever meant to be temporary but the place we were going to fell through.

I'm not bothered about other bills, I can ignore the door and ignore letters. There's a years worth at the back of the door. I'm only bothered about police/gas/bailiffs breaking the door down and terrifying the kids more than they already are.

It is made more difficult by the fact it looks like a normal house from the outside, only my gas meter is on show, his are hidden and there is no sign on the actual flat doors stating which flat is which and we aren't allowed to put it up. Hence worrying.

honeyroar Tue 07-Feb-17 16:50:33

Of course it was her business! They were going to break her door down..

I don't understand why he'd be cross. You prevented them from breaking into his flat and told them he wasn't around. So they went away. You didn't tell them where he was or anything. And the gas company, or whoever it was, can't make you become involved. Forget about it all (and look for somewhere else, it sounds awful, both regarding him and the landlord).

user1486483624 Tue 07-Feb-17 17:00:53

Aw that's a shame, hope it gets settled soon. Doesn't sound like the nicest environment for you or your family. Hopefully him and his problems are gone for good and all this worrying is for nothing.🙂

Batteriesallgone Tue 07-Feb-17 17:04:11

So you've got a dodgy landlord?

Why are you children terrified from the police knocking? The police aren't scary. I remember the police breaking down my neighbours door as a child - it wouldn't have occurred to me to be scared, my parents were always very clear the police were good guys. Surely it's a good thing this guy is known to the police if you are scared of him.

I realise you are very anxious but I don't really understand why. Are you involved in the housing benefit fraud you mentioned?

TheOnlyColditz Tue 07-Feb-17 17:07:58

Batteries, the police can be EXTREMELY scary if they have woken you up late at night hammering on the doors with their nightsticks and screaming for you to open the door! You must live in a bubble if you think they are like like jolly old PC Plum

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