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Brother received threatening letter from neighbour - what to do?

9 replies

Mrsfromwales · 13/02/2012 11:35

bit of a background - my brother and his girlfriend recently bought a mid terraced house in the rougher end of a nice town.
They need to completely renovate it - no heating/kitchen/bathroom etc. all walls need plastering and floorboards/joists need replacing.
So alot of work involving noise and workmen, etc.

My brother works full time and has to commute quite far (so does not get chance to do work on house in evenings) so the only work that gets done on the house is at the weekend.

A few weeks after they started doing work, one of the next door neighbours angrily knocked on the door and moaned about the noise, give it a rest its the weekend etc.
My brother and GF apologised, but said please bear in mind this house is almost derelict, the work needs to be done and offered to either complete the noisy work now and get it done, or come back and do it on the sunday as either way it had to be completed by the monday.

Nothing more was said after that but obviously they have been working on the house most weekends. I shall point out that while they are sometimes doing noisy work (eg this weekend putting up new ceiling boards = hammering) they are not doing this at unreasonable times - no earlier than 10am and no later than 5pm.
They were in the front room yesterday (which looks out onto the road) and saw the neighbour walk past, put something through their letterbox and paused to give them an evil look through the front window.
He had put a sheet of paper through their letterbox that said 'next week we are coming to fuck your day off' in big capital letters.

now, I'm not even sure what that is supposed to mean? is it a threat?
but I think this is really out of order. He has not made any communication since the first time he asked them to keep it down.

I can understand how awful it must be from his point of view if he is in all weekend with the noise, etc. but they have been reasonable and offered two different time slots to complete the work last time, whichever suited him better - but obviously they cant do this long term.

I have suggested they call the local police just to have a record made of it so there is a paper trail in case anything else happens.

My brother would not be the best in a confrontational situation and i'm a bit concerned if this guy does anything else.
Not sure what to suggest they should do?
If it was my DH, he would have been straight round there in the guys face asking what his problem is, but my brother just ignores things like this hoping they will go away.

not sure what else they can do, any suggestions?


OP posts:
Thistledew · 13/02/2012 13:13

I think your brother's option are:

  1. Go to the police and ask them to have a word with the neighbour; or

  2. Take his neighbour a huge crate of beer, a schedule of the works that need doing and when they will be done, and an apology.
fergoose · 13/02/2012 13:22

as far as I know he should only work from 8am to 1pm on a Saturday - the neighbour may go to Environmental Health and complain.

Mrsfromwales · 13/02/2012 16:38

thanks for the replies.
Fergoose I have looked online but cant find anything to support that - do you know where I might be able to find that sort of info?
Thistledew option 2 might be a good idea - I will suggest it to my brother, thanks

OP posts:
fergoose · 13/02/2012 16:41

the local council environmental health department will be able to tell you the hours for noise/nuisance.

MessNessPess · 13/02/2012 16:44

Employed workers can only do limited hours on a Saturday but diyers can do stuff that is of moderate noise during social hours so 10-5 is acceptable by the majority of building depts.

Gigondas · 13/02/2012 16:47

I think the 8- 1 on Saturday is for builders (and even then is only optional as was ignored by some of our neighbours). DIY type stuff is what is reasonable and doesn't sound like your bro was.

Personally I would go to police- the note makes me think beyond the beer/apology stage.

Gigondas · 13/02/2012 16:48

Sorry meant to say your bro was reasonable not unreasonable Smile

GladysLeap · 13/02/2012 17:28

Must say I do feel for the neighbours. Every weekend for weeks? We've had a spate of driveway installation all round us, which always seems to happen at weekends. I've been really tired just lately & I work FT. To have constant racket all day Saturday and Sunday every week would tip me over the edge. Coming through a party wall must be unbearable.

Really your DB should have spoken to the neighbours in advance, giving them warning what was going to happen. Unfortunately we've also had neighbours who think that they can do what they like without considering the impact on other people :(

Is he DIY all of it? Not had actual builders in during normal working hours? If that is the case then I would say HIBVVU and altho the neighbours reaction has been extreme it isn't really surprising. You don't know what else is going on in his life. He might be unwell. He might have a really stressful job. If your DB reports him to the police as well I wouldn't want to be in DB's shoes when the police call round.

I would say an apology/ discussion was in order.

dandelionss · 13/02/2012 17:39

Your brother is not BU in the slightest.He has a perfe c t right to work on his property outside the antisocial hours .Nobody has a right to silence, the world has to turn! As long as he is knocking off before bedtime say by 9pm I think he should ignore the miserable bugger

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