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Neighbour damaging house?

(19 Posts)
NeighbourDamage Fri 21-Feb-14 09:22:32

We bought a dilapidated three-bed semi just over a year ago, and are having a loft extension and side return built before we move in.

Before we bought the house, the attached neighbour told me he was happy for us to extend. However, after we bought it, he became verbally unpleasant eg shouting, swearing etc. I then discovered he had a reputation for being difficult and odd. He lives alone (never married), and has fallen out with everyone.

There followed some months of him being fine. I've since discovered that coincided with him starting a dispute with another neighbour, whom he alleged damaged his car!

Our extension is almost complete, and we have just had a new front door fitted. Last week, our builder noticed the door had marks on it. We put this down to accidental damage. However, more marks are now appearing. These appear after the builders have left and are there when the builders arrive in the morning. They look like someone is taking a hammer to the door.

Obviously, I can't accuse the neighbour, as it may not be him (although it does apparently fit in with his previous behaviour over the years). I'm not sure what to do next. I just want to get on with him, so don't want to cause trouble, but I'm not sure that will be possible. I don't want more things to happen after we move in.

Can anyone recommend a camera I can get to find out what’s happening to the door?

littlecrystal Fri 21-Feb-14 09:42:27

Can you at least put a light on the door which lights from movement? I hope this can put him off!

PurplePidjin Fri 21-Feb-14 09:54:37

surely it's up to the police to investigate?

peggyundercrackers Fri 21-Feb-14 10:01:13

you can get PIR lookalikes with cameras in them which write the images to an SD card (the same kind of card your digital camera takes) why not just get a PIR and stick it above the front door pointing at the pathway then you will see who is coming and going. these PR cameras are usually motion activated so only take picstures when someone is there, either that or sit in the house in the dark over a few nights to see who comes to the door...

NeighbourDamage Fri 21-Feb-14 11:20:56

Thank you for your replies.

littlecrystal - yes, good idea long term. We're having it re-wired, but there's no electrics at the mo.

PurplePidjin - I left a message a few days ago, but they've not got back to me yet. Not sure what they'd do, as there's no evidence about who's done the damage.

peggyundercrackers - my DS is now (wistfully!) investigating some expensive Bushnell cameras, used in some tiger programme. Will try and point him towards cheaper alternatives... Any suggestions welcome. Maybe we could spend Fri night sitting in the cold and darkness... smile

I just feel this is going to end badly, and wish I'd never bought the house. sad We've always got on really well with our neighbours.

NorbertDentressangle Fri 21-Feb-14 11:30:02

How soon will you get electrics?

We have this camera and monitor following attempted break-ins of our garage/workshop (semi-remote area which means it's not overlooked by neighbours and we reckon thieves knew what was in there hence it being targeted more than once).

It has infrared night-vision and just records when movement triggers it. However you will need electrics.

PigletJohn Fri 21-Feb-14 13:27:46

Maplin have a good range of security cameras. They also have a help line and might be able to suggest something battery operated.

If he's eccentric, you might do better with a concealed camera, or he might attack it. Otherwise, two cameras, filming each other, or a concealed real one watching a visible dummy.

miffyt Fri 21-Feb-14 13:54:23

We have cameras by a company called Qvis fitted by the people who did our alarm. They also have infrared for night vision and record continually on to a hard disk drive box which is linked up to the TV. We can also access it via iphone/ipad but as Norbet said, it needs electric.
The fitter put ours quite high but he said if someonr=e tries to damage them they are already caught in the act by camera.

miffyt Fri 21-Feb-14 14:04:42

If this chap is a bit of an odd ball he may not easily be put off by a dummy cam. If he does something but there is no knock on the door he will soon work out it's not real.
I hope things settle down for you soon.

PigletJohn Fri 21-Feb-14 14:08:37

a visible camera may also send him to work out of sight away from the camera.

BerylStreep Fri 21-Feb-14 14:14:36

So, no recommendations for cameras, but I agree you should install something battery operated and discreet asap.

Can you speak to your local crime prevention officer in the police?

BerylStreep Fri 21-Feb-14 14:15:10

oh, and get a good alarm system with cameras for longer term.

WTFlike Fri 21-Feb-14 14:17:52

Shouldn't the previous owners have told you about him?

NeighbourDamage Fri 21-Feb-14 14:47:28

Thank you so much for all your replies and suggestions. They are really useful.

Have just popped round to the house and spoken to the builder. In fact, several bricks have also been chipped over the last few weeks, and he has replaced some of them, assuming it was the scaffolding man who had been unusually careless. Looking more closely, it looks like someone has been going round chipping our bricks with a hammer.

I think the points about a concealed camera are right. If there are cameras on view, he will just go round the back. Maybe he has been already. I didn't check. sad Have spent some hours looking at cameras.

I also spoke to another neighbour, who said that most nights he sees him checking our house after the builders have left.

The previous owner had died, and I guess their children will just say they didn't know. Although they must have, as I think all have lived there since the houses were built in the 1950s.

We chose the house because it was in a safe neighbourhood at the end of a cul-de-sac. I didn't want an alarm and cameras - although strangely someone down the road does have them, which is unusual where we are. Am cursing my choice now!!!

miffyt Fri 21-Feb-14 16:59:44

I can only talk from our experience with our cameras, we've got four so there aren't any blind spots. Are you going to have an alarm fitted? It might be a good idea to get a couple of companies round to give you some advice about both. They would tell you the best place for them if that's the way you go. A few of our neighbours have alarms but no one else has cameras, same as you, good neighbourhood. Though a few weeks ago we had a visit from the police as someone nearby had a car taken and they wanted to know if our cameras caught it. As safe as your neighbourhood is though, the bad guys always travel :-(

WTFlike Fri 21-Feb-14 18:00:52

I would try to re-coup the costs of cameras etc from the sellers. It's obvious they knew about this bloke.

WTFlike Fri 21-Feb-14 18:01:57

And your builders aren't going to keep replacing things now they know it's this man doing it. [Sorry you're having this hassle. sad

NeighbourDamage Fri 21-Feb-14 21:52:29

Yes, guess we'll have to think about alarms etc. Our builder was so nice about it today, but you are right about the fact that he won't keep replacing things. He said he'd not met anyone like this neighbour in 30 yrs in the trade!

I've got the camera now, and am just debating whether I've got enough energy to go round tonight.

SquinkiesRule Fri 21-Feb-14 22:26:18

What a nutter.
Have you been by the house that has cameras, maybe they have trouble with the same man.
I'd go by and check the place out at odd hours, park a few houses away and see for yourself. Then call the cops.

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