AIBU to be at my complete and utter wits end with this situation?(80 Posts)
Hi, I hope this isn’t too long but I want to give as much detail as not to drip feed.
I live in a new build block of apartments on the 2nd floor (top) with my 2 young children. It is a rented property from a private landlord who owns my flat and the two beneath me. There are also 3 other flats in this block that are home owners. I have lived here for 2 and a half years and was the first person to reside in this flat from being built.
From what I can gather the two flats beneath me are part of an agreement with my landlord and social services with residents that are vulnerable adults. On the ground floor is a man who had a serious head injury and is very quiet and pleasant - keeps himself to himself. On the 1st floor beneath me is an 18 year old male with learning disabilities. My landlord explained to me that he has the mental age of a 12 year old. He moved in around Sept/Oct 2018.
The block of flats is directly opposite a large park with an area that caters to keeping youth off the streets and in a safe environment. Admittedly where I live is a rough area, on the outskirts of a large city. It is not unheard of for there to be regular assaults, knife crime etc. Many incidents of this nature have taken place at the park.
Ok to the problem - The lad below me (lets call him Sean) has ties with many of the teenagers that frequent this park. They are basically using him and his flat as a doss house. Every single day there is drama. There are groups of 8+ hanging around on the communal stairs, swinging off the bannisters, shouting, screaming, arguing, slamming doors so much that the block shakes, loud music until gone 3am, foul language, damage to the block, throwing stones at windows, the list is endless. Myself and my neighbour opposite (homeowner) have kept in touch with the issues and she contacted social services. I have spoken to my landlord numerous times who repeatedly just tells me to call the police and never turns up when this commotion is happening. Sean has a care worker that comes every day for a few hours, but as soon as she is gone the commotion begins. Its literally every day. It came to a head a fortnight ago when one bang too many sent me flying into a rage down the stairs to ask what the fuck was going on. I have never confronted any of them before this. I was laughed at and mocked by the 10+ group of teenagers, I managed to get them out of the block and went to talk to Sean by himself in his flat. Everything I said to him regarding the behaviours and issues went over his head, he just doesn’t understand. Everybody - the landlord, the carers even the police seem to be pacifying him. Nobody is taking into account the effect its having on everbody else that lives here.
I can’t live like this anymore, it’s making my life a misery. Unbeknownst to them, I am also classified as a vulnerable adult. I have a number of mental health disorders and this situation is excerberating them to a point where I have had the crisis team visiting me for the last 2 weeks. I can’t live like this anymore, I don’t have the funds to move house and the council knocked me off the housing register as I already have a roof over my head. I just dont know what to do, it’s making me more ill than I already am. My situation is very complex and too much to post on this one thread, but this home felt like an eventual place of safety after many very difficult years. I have C-PTSD and the bangs and shouting are triggering me on a daily basis - I feel like my safety and privacy has been taken away from me and I am constantly scared, angered and frustrated in my own home. My children get upset and nervous about coming home, it’s hell.
also, if you can bring yourself to; contact your local media (if you can stand to be in your local rag with a "sad" face)
Our elected representatives usually love a photo op,and nothing brings out the cameras like a local story!
Try Shelter.They have been marvellous for a case I directed to them
This is so awful. The difficulty will be if he is deemed to have capacity to choose his own friends, then nothing will be done. I know services do respond when drug dealers take over vulnerable peoples flats, but it does not sound as if that is happening here.
You need someone on your side with power to change this. If your MP or local councillor is particularly good they may be able to sort it. So I would try them. Agree with trying Shelter. Might also be worth trying youth services. Youth services may not see it as their problem, but you might be lucky and there might be someone who will take on sorting this out.
Do you phone the police when it happens? If not start to do so, every single time. Even if they never come out. Reports are often used in multi agency meetings to agree problem hotspots they are going to tackle. Even better if other people will report it to the police as well.
Ultimately though, you may have to move home.
And contact your local anti social behaviour team and tell them what is happening and tell them you are a vulnerable adult with young children. It is their job to sort out situations like this.
This sounds horrendous. Nobody should have to live like this and Sean's 'entitlement' to live independently should not be to the detriment of many other people living in close proximity.
Personally, I would get in contact with your MP. They generally listen to their constituents and do take action (well, our local MP is very proactive).
I really hope this gets sorted.
Ok to the problem - The lad below me (lets call him Sean) has ties with many of the teenagers that frequent this park
Social services every time. He is a vulnerable young person and he is being taken advantage of.
101. SS. LA Safeguarding - every single day.
@redhats also, if you can bring yourself to; contact your local media (if you can stand to be in your local rag with a "sad" face) because shaming a person with LD and vulnerabilities such a humane thing to do … not to mention all his mates in the park with know who you are ….
Balloons, sounds hideous. In my experience, institutions will pass a problem around, nobody takes any action until something goes wrong, then its someone else's fault etc. I suggest you get some individual legal advice and remind your landlord in the strongest terms that they need to take action or you will sue them for x, y and z. This is usually effective in helping them concentrate on finding a solution. Best wishes.
Everything everyone else has said! Oh OP, I really feel for you.
Has the safeguarding team been involved? You can report the situation directly to them, and they then decide whether to take it further. Multi-agency working is absolutely key here. And definitely contact your MP. I work in a related field, and it can be quite amazing how suddenly previously unresolvable issues are dealt with once an MP has shown some interest.
I feel for you, and also for Sean. This is in now say victim blaming. It's trying to keep him safe too
"No way" victim blaming that should say.
because shaming a person with LD and vulnerabilities such a humane thing to do … not to mention all his mates in the park with know who you are
OK, just leave it until there is a murder (of *Sean) or a serious fire in his flat or the stairwell etc.
It sounds like *Sean is or could be being exploited somehow. Getting involved is not shaming the person. This word, 'shaming' can drop out of fashion as soon as it likes. It just takes the place of, 'intervention' from a few years ago.
This sort of situation is exactly the type of thing that should be referred to ASBRAC (although I'm not sure this exists nationwide).
In your shoes I would find out who your police community liaison officer is (you can usually find this out online by visiting your police force's website and contact them directly rather than using 101. They have a remit to have their nose to the ground regarding local crime and antisocial behaviour issues and are more likely to take an interest than a randomly assigned PC. Once you have made contact with them make it clear you want it dealing with as a persistent ASB issue against vulnerable adults (you and Sean).
Secondly, Sean must have either been assessed as having the mental capacity to understand and agree to a tenancy agreement, or if he hasn't then it should have gone through the court of protection to agree for it to be signed by someone else on his behalf. Even the most basic easy read tenancy agreements for people with LD always include a section about anti social behaviour (your situation is an extremely common problem sadly) and as people have identified if this is happening to Sean he either needs more support to protect himself or if he is a willing participant then he is subject to the same rules as everyone else regarding antisocial behaviour and tenancy agreements.
For what it's worth your landlord is probably receiving a higher rate of housing benefit for providing accommodation specifically for someone requiring 'care and support' (supported living) which may explain why he isn't in a hurry to give notice.
Equally the Sean's of this world do have to live somewhere, and thankfully there are some very understanding landlords out there. It doesn't change the fact though that you shouldn't have to live like this.
Sorry i havent read the thread. Isnt this called cuckooing? The police and ss need to be involved
Yes it’s cuckooing, my police force take it really seriously. Your being let down op (as is Sean).
I don’t know what the answer is (well I do, they move Sean away to slightly more supported living so he’s not so convenient for his ‘friends’).
Every hint of them call the police, but I know this isn’t solving your mental health. you need to protect yourself, the logical thing seems to be your case worker pressures Sean to do something. But I know it’s really not that simple.
^ Victim-blamey comment alert. Also smacks of "why aren't they all in institutions away from 'normal folk'? ' crap that people are so fond of spouting whenever anyone with LD lives near them.^
Wow, your comment to my post suggesting 'Sean' needs more supervision and support is really rude and incorrect. I didn't mention anything about putting people with LD in institutions or anything remotely similar. You've completely made that up.
I work with vulnerable adults exactly like this.
He is being exploited and potentially putting himself at risk. Report to SS via the MASH team (google contact details) every single day if you need to.
That sounds awful. It sounds like this vulnerable adult shouldn't be living independently. He needs to be in some kind of sheltered accommodation. I think you need professional advice - have you contacted shelter? Do the police attend when you'll them? Can you make the focus the fact that a vulnerable adult is having his house occupied by teenagers instead of the noise issues? God I'm not surprised your mental health is suffering.
Sympathies here - carry on reporting it - Sean is a vulnerable adult and Social Services are not effectively safeguarding him. Definitely write to your MP too. No-one is a winner here - sounds like the various agencies need a serious nudge to get it sorted.
This poor lad is being taken advantage of, pure and simple. They're not his friends, they're using his flat. And that can't go on.
Next time it happens, video what's going on with your phone. Record the time and date on it. And then send to SS and Environmental Health. And repeat as necessary. And get as many as the other NDN's on board as possible, tell them it's making you very unwell and you aren't being listened to. The more voices, the better.
It's not remotely comparable but we had a NDN who was making our lives an utter misery by lighting bonfires most days. In the end I stood in our bedroom videoing it with my phone and proving that my garden was absolutely covered with smoke and I couldn't use my garden or have any doors/windows open. The council were a lot more helpful when I sent them an array of videos.
Whilst I agree it's potentially a safeguarding issue in reality there isn't a huge amount social services can do without the support of other agencies such as community police, housing support workers, NHS positive behaviour support etc. That's why ASBRAC if it exists in the OPs area is far more likely to have a positive impact as it pulls all the different agencies together.
As the OP says, he does have support for parts of the day but the kids just wait until they leave. You could argue that his support could be increased but what if 'Sean' doesn't want what is effectively a bodyguard in his flat all day? Its highly likely social services are already aware of the situation but short of suggesting to Sean that he doesn't let them in or he's putting his tenancy at risk, or increasing his support (unlikely due to extremely tight budgets) they can't essentially make Sean not associate with people he sees as friends.
The landlord also isn't an LD specialist and his 'assessment' that Sean has the mental age of 12 may be far off the mark - Sean may actually be reasonably capable if he is living in a flat on his own with minimal support.
Ot sounds as though Sean should be in shared, supported accommodation. He is being targeted and exploited in his current situation.
I agree that asking other residents to get together and contact all the appropriate people.
Does your landlord own the freehold? If not find out who the freeholder is and encourage the homeowners to report it to them as the landlords leasehold may well have conditions that are being breached
Having read the OPs posts again it appears that there has already been a meeting recently with police/social services etc.
Sounds like things are already moving in the right direction then OP. It's unlikely that the outcome of this meeting will be shared with you in detail, and you may not see an immediate change but hopefully there are now plans in place that will start to alleviate some of the difficulties you are having.
Horrible situation. Why the hell its deemed to be okay to let someone with a mental age of 12 live independently is mind boggling. Would society allow a 12 year old to live on their own?? He’s obviously going to be a target for teens to take advantage, and it is putting him at danger of physical/financial abuse. At the very least he should be in a warden controlled environment where he would be far safer. OP you need to document every single incident in a diary and present to your local council for relevant social services team to investigate. I had a friend many years ago who had to resort to this when a vulnerable adult lived next door to her who would knock on her door at all hours and scare her half to death. Horrible situation for you to be in, even if you didn’t have MH problems yourself.
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