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To think my neighbour shouldn't be so friendly now?

(48 Posts)
abstractzebra Wed 12-Aug-20 16:13:19

My next door neighbour has had issues with noise in the flat above.
It was bad when it was just the tenant and two small children but now there's 2 other adults living there and there's no carpets.
My neighbour wanted to sort it out amicably and even though she has told the housing association that it's extremely noisy, she has also spoken politely to the tenant.
We can also hear some of the noise but obviously being directly below, she bears the brunt of it.
I admired her ability to keep amicably speaking to the tenant.
However, the other two recent tenants, a brother and her new boyfriend have been verbally abusing the small children. It's been awful.
I obviously can't say if it's gone further than this as we can't see, only hear.
My neighbour texts me and talks to me about it a lot.
Last night she started to text me, saying she'd absolutely had enough and everything that had happened that day etc.
I said I was disappointed that after all that was reported 10 days ago, it seems nothing has changed.
She has been told that the children were already considered at risk but I don't know any more than that.
After listening to all her woes last night, I walked out of the door this morning and she was having a friendly chat with the tenant and the abusive boyfriend. She tried to include me in the conversation but I just walked away as I don't want to make pleasantries with a shit like him.
AIBU to think that she should not be making friendly conversation with him particularly and it totally gives the wrong message?
To be clear, everything has been reported in a timely manner to the appropriate people.

OP’s posts: |
BrightYellowDaffodil Wed 12-Aug-20 16:19:19

Perhaps she hopes that by keeping things friendly that the neighbours will be a bit more onside? There's no benefit in antagonising people.

She may also not want her neighbours to think that she's reported them?

CSIblonde Wed 12-Aug-20 16:22:27

Keep your enemies close. You gather info & ammunition that way. And it's useful tactic to avoid any revenge if they're volatile.

Mintjulia Wed 12-Aug-20 16:25:08

Good for her for trying. Working with people rather than judging them is often more effective.

It’s stewing hot, people are coping with lockdown, furlough, wfh and redundancy, it’s the long school holiday and it sounds like 2 adults and two children are stuck in a flat for at least part of the day.

That would be enough to make plenty of people lose their cool. Trying to defuse the situation is a good idea. I hope it works.

abstractzebra Wed 12-Aug-20 16:26:54

He already knows that she heard everything and has already tried to intimidate her by saying she needs to keep quiet and mind her own business as to what is going on upstairs.
This came about because during a particularly bad day, the tenant's mother turned up and my neighbour thought she looked like she was rushing in and commented that she was glad she was here.
It was an accident.
I'm not expecting her to antagonise the situation in anyway but I feel it's gone past pleasantries.

OP’s posts: |
BrightYellowDaffodil Wed 12-Aug-20 16:33:34

He already knows that she heard everything and has already tried to intimidate her by saying she needs to keep quiet and mind her own business as to what is going on upstairs.

She's probably trying to keep him onside so that he doesn't threaten her again. Can't blame her for that - I have some very dodgy neighbours a few doors along, but I still say hello and pass the time of day. I don't want them to see me as a problem or someone who's 'against' them and is therefore causing them a problem.

MumsyMumIAmNot Wed 12-Aug-20 22:52:22

I wouldn't be speaking to him it's like you are ok'ing his behaviour.

Reluctantcavedweller Wed 12-Aug-20 23:25:38

She's probably scared of them.

backseatcookers Wed 12-Aug-20 23:28:21

She's probably scared of him and so doesnt want things to escalate tension between him and her, cut her some slack!

abstractzebra Thu 13-Aug-20 07:35:48

When the boyfriend started to verbally abuse the children, he'd only been there for less than a week.
It wasn't just a bit of shouting. It was horrible abuse with threats of violence and one of the children was locked out of the flat into the communal hallway.
They are very young. One a toddler, the other around 4 or 5.
It's going the way I expected really.
Despite my neighbour not being the only person to report the abuse and being the most reasonable and amicable, the tenant and her boyfriend have made it clear that they 100% blame her for everything that has happened.
They've accused her of reporting drug dealing as well. She hasn't and as far as I know, no one else has or seen any sign of it. We've all smelled a lot of weed since he's moved in. As with a lot of people, I don't like the smell and I don't want it in my flat but don't feel particularly strongly about this issue compared to the treatment of the children.
Abusers always look to blame others for their behaviour.

OP’s posts: |
Sargass0 Thu 13-Aug-20 07:40:40

AIBU to think that she should not be making friendly conversation with him particularly and it totally gives the wrong message?

Doesn't matter what you think, your ndn is dealing with it in the way she wants to.

Neron Thu 13-Aug-20 07:44:39

You're not the one being threatened and having to put up with all the noise that she is.
What are you doing to help, or are you just complaining about how she's trying to handle things?

CrotchetyQuaver Thu 13-Aug-20 07:45:53

YANBU your neighbour is doing the right thing

LakieLady Thu 13-Aug-20 08:09:29

The abuse should be reported to children's social services imo. Locking a young child out of the house is appalling behaviour.

And I don't blame the neighbour for acting friendly towards them. Better that than to be off with them and risk them retaliating.

MistyGreenAndBlue Thu 13-Aug-20 08:16:04

Female socialisation 101. Appease the abuser.
She's likely terrified of this cock and was looking to you for some solidarity. I doubt she wanted to be alone with him.
Don't be too hard on her.

abstractzebra Thu 13-Aug-20 08:18:24

I reported it originally after receiving texts from both my neighbour and another tenant on a particularly bad day. I wasn't at home so hadn't heard it first hand at the time. Nobody knew what to do, so I took over all of the reporting.
I was assured that safeguarding is in place for the children and I would be updated. I haven't been updated so have been chasing it up and have made a formal complaint to the housing association.
The verbal abuse is continuing to be reported by everyone who hears it including me.
For the noise issue, I offered to approach it with my neighbour but we then decided to make sure that the HA or mediator was present to ensure it was done appropriately with an independent witness.
This offer is still on the table and we are waiting for a reply.
I've also contacted our Mayor as previously they had intervened with the HA as tenants/leaseholders have had a lot of issues with them.
The only agency I haven't spoken to is the police as the HA has said all the appropriate safeguards are in place.
I don't really understand how because the boyfriend is still there and continuing his behaviour, hence why I'm following up on it.
I'm not saying my neighbour should be rude or aggressive. I'm just saying for her to step back and not try and engage as it leaves her open to abuse and blame.
They are blaming her regardless.
They've not said a single word to anyone else and I think it's because they see her as being the easiest target to blame.
I'm not going to let anything happen to her and will step in to defend her at every opportunity.

OP’s posts: |
crowsfeet57 Thu 13-Aug-20 08:24:47

The HA are not the people to be talking to about this and I should know as I work for one. By all means talk to the HA about the noise and the number of people living there as they may be breaching their tenancy agreement you can mention your concerns for the children. But you need to talk to social services about the children The HA cannot do anything. Also the intimidation will get worse. Your neighbour needs to report it to the police and get a crime number, then update the HA with the details.

imnotimportant Thu 13-Aug-20 08:27:07

Police and social services are the people you need to contact to report this , the HA are not involved in children's welfare

MistyGreenAndBlue Thu 13-Aug-20 08:27:28

They are blaming her regardless.
They've not said a single word to anyone else and I think it's because they see her as being the easiest target to blame.

Then yes, she's afraid. She's defaulted to appeasement. It's not ideal I agree but she's being bullied and not handling it well.
Hope she knows you have her back.

Liverbird77 Thu 13-Aug-20 08:38:19

To anyone who tries to excuse this abuse because of the hot weather: it is absolutely deplorable to do so. There is no excuse to abuse children like this.
By all means remove yourself from the situation and have a good swear but not in front of them.
I say this as the mum of a newborn and a 19 month old. Yes, it can be bloody difficult but children are innocents and do not deserve abuse.
I hope action is taken.
As for the neighbour, at least she's done the right thing by reporting it.

abstractzebra Thu 13-Aug-20 08:40:29

Of course she knows I have her back. We talk about it every day, multiple times and I give her advice about her safety such as call 999 if you are in immediate danger, check before you answer the door etc.
The HA have stated that they have a safeguarding team and all appropriate agencies have been contacted.
I really think if that isn't the case, they would be in all sorts of trouble.
It's very hard to have quick and effective communication with a HA. There's no direct numbers. You phone customer services, then they have 2 working days to reply, then often they don't so you go through the process again, hence my complaint.

OP’s posts: |
Gogogadgetarms Thu 13-Aug-20 08:56:21

She tried to include me in the conversation but I just walked away as I don't want to make pleasantries with a shit like him
I think that is quite rude to your neighbour. It wouldn’t have killed you to acknowledge her and if you weren’t comfortable to participate in the chat you could easily have made an excuse ‘running late’ etc.
I think your neighbour is doing the right thing trying to keep it amicable, especially given this isn’t going to be resolved overnight.

Bellringer Thu 13-Aug-20 09:02:27

Report to social services or nspcc, every time.

MistyGreenAndBlue Thu 13-Aug-20 09:03:45

Sorry. Didn't mean to imply you didn't have her back. Just trying to see where she's coming from. I don't think you're unreasonable for blanking him at all btw. He sounds awful.
I hope all this gets resolved soon mainly for the kids' sake.

BrightYellowDaffodil Thu 13-Aug-20 09:05:00

How on earth would engaging with them expose your neighbour to accusations of blame? Chatting to someone in passing is not the same as endorsing their behaviour unless said chatting is along the lines of “No, of course you’re not doing anything wrong. Carry on abusing those children!” hmm

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