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Advice sought re problems resulting from a neighbour's property

The next door neighbour to my property is a recluse and hoarder. Her property is in a very sorry state and the front and back gardens are very overgrown. There has been no maintenance on it for over 20 years. As well as the overgrown garden spilling over she hoards rubbish and there is a significant mouse problem. The council got involved and visited twice last year and she did make some progress so they left her alone. But it has happened again and is worse than ever. My tenants have given notice as they say they can't live there with the problem. Anyone got any professional advice or had similar issues?

Comments

  • edited September 2
    Sure 

    Professionally - u have two options. Private action or routed through the council.

    Privately, sounds like you have an action for nuisance. Your neighbour is fettering your "quiet enjoyment" of your land which is your right of action in tort.

    However, its blooming expensive and u might spend a lot for very little recovery, even if u win

    My advice would be to route everything through the council. Badger them and.make a nuisance of yourself until you get what you need



  • edited September 2
    Sure 

    Professionally - u have two options. Private action or routed through the council.

    Privately, sounds like you have an action for nuisance. Your neighbour is fettering your "quiet enjoyment" of your land which is your right of action in tort.

    However, its blooming expensive and u might spend a lot for very little recovery, even if u win

    My advice would be to route everything through the council. Badger them and.make a nuisance of yourself until you get what you need

    Thanks. I'll chase them again. Would I be able to claim any costs/lost of earnings through the small claims court? My tenants have only recently renewed as wanted to stay so I have to get new tenants with all the associated costs and possible loss on income if there is a gap between tenants.
  • Sure 

    Professionally - u have two options. Private action or routed through the council.

    Privately, sounds like you have an action for nuisance. Your neighbour is fettering your "quiet enjoyment" of your land which is your right of action in tort.

    However, its blooming expensive and u might spend a lot for very little recovery, even if u win

    My advice would be to route everything through the council. Badger them and.make a nuisance of yourself until you get what you need

    Thanks. I'll chase them again. Would I be able to claim any costs/lost of earnings through the small claims court? My tenants have only recently renewed as wanted to stay so I have to get new tenants with all the associated costs and possible loss on income if there is a gap between tenants.
    Good thinking and you are on the right lines but please consider this.

    If i sue you for breach of contract, quite easy to ascertain what the damages should likely be.

    Tort damages are much harder to quantify, especially land based torts such as nusiance and harrassment.

    You may well win and get awarded 200 quid in damages and the same in costs. Ive seen that happen where the claimant spent 10k on legals. Definition of a pyhrric victory!
  • I would clear it myself and then keep on top of the garden. Probably not what most people would do or probably not be able to do. I lived in a road where a neighbour did exactly that, it was hard work but certainly better than living with vermin.
  • Hoardinguk.org might be able to help and advise you.
  • If you live in Kent the fire service could get involved as it is a safeguarding and fire issue.
  • Sure 

    Professionally - u have two options. Private action or routed through the council.

    Privately, sounds like you have an action for nuisance. Your neighbour is fettering your "quiet enjoyment" of your land which is your right of action in tort.

    However, its blooming expensive and u might spend a lot for very little recovery, even if u win

    My advice would be to route everything through the council. Badger them and.make a nuisance of yourself until you get what you need

    Thanks. I'll chase them again. Would I be able to claim any costs/lost of earnings through the small claims court? My tenants have only recently renewed as wanted to stay so I have to get new tenants with all the associated costs and possible loss on income if there is a gap between tenants.
    Good thinking and you are on the right lines but please consider this.

    If i sue you for breach of contract, quite easy to ascertain what the damages should likely be.

    Tort damages are much harder to quantify, especially land based torts such as nusiance and harrassment.

    You may well win and get awarded 200 quid in damages and the same in costs. Ive seen that happen where the claimant spent 10k on legals. Definition of a pyhrric victory!
    Even if the court makes a reasonable award you may find yourself having to pursue payment and then trying to recover those costs through going back to court.
  • edited September 2
    Sure 

    Professionally - u have two options. Private action or routed through the council.

    Privately, sounds like you have an action for nuisance. Your neighbour is fettering your "quiet enjoyment" of your land which is your right of action in tort.

    However, its blooming expensive and u might spend a lot for very little recovery, even if u win

    My advice would be to route everything through the council. Badger them and.make a nuisance of yourself until you get what you need

    Thanks. I'll chase them again. Would I be able to claim any costs/lost of earnings through the small claims court? My tenants have only recently renewed as wanted to stay so I have to get new tenants with all the associated costs and possible loss on income if there is a gap between tenants.
    Good thinking and you are on the right lines but please consider this.

    If i sue you for breach of contract, quite easy to ascertain what the damages should likely be.

    Tort damages are much harder to quantify, especially land based torts such as nusiance and harrassment.

    You may well win and get awarded 200 quid in damages and the same in costs. Ive seen that happen where the claimant spent 10k on legals. Definition of a pyhrric victory!
    Thanks but I was only thinking of the small claims court (if there are losses) if at all, nothing that costs
  • I would clear it myself and then keep on top of the garden. Probably not what most people would do or probably not be able to do. I lived in a road where a neighbour did exactly that, it was hard work but certainly better than living with vermin
    The garden is bad enough but the main problem casuing the vermin is inside her property and then getting through to mine
  • Get the local Fire Brigade round there pronto. Hoarding is a massive fire hazard and they can force action on the LA.
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  • If the council have already got involved a couple of times and it hasn't solved the issue, don't they have an escalation procedure?
  • The council were involved last year and seemed satisfied she was dealing with it. But obviously not! The house is such a state it is sad how she lives
  • cfgs said:
    If you live in Kent the fire service could get involved as it is a safeguarding and fire issue.
    Not just Kent, all Fire services take hoarding very seriously and can/will take action where needed.
  • The council were involved last year and seemed satisfied she was dealing with it. But obviously not! The house is such a state it is sad how she lives
    Sad it is to your detriment.
  • cafckev said:
    cfgs said:
    If you live in Kent the fire service could get involved as it is a safeguarding and fire issue.
    Not just Kent, all Fire services take hoarding very seriously and can/will take action where needed.
    Thought so but only know about Kent and their "vulnerable persons" protocol. 
  • I can give minor advice on this , take it loosely. I work in Home insurance and Landlord insurance, so from dealing with this I have some form of experience.

    It sounds like a council issue to be fair, with regards to loss of earnings it might be worth speaking to legal advice. Hopefully you have this within your home insurance?

    Although this isn't much, I personally think if you can either sort through the council or direct by speaking to them, have you ever tried this? Without trying to create a turf war, some people might instantly deal with it. The less people involved the better, these things will be very messy if the neighbour is difficult.

  • Bournemouth is right, it's a mental health issue and in an ideal world your local council would put a program in place to assist with the underlying causes and gently help reduce the problem. In the real world, they will have made the occupant throw a bit of stuff away and that will be that. It's really hard - the person there will be unable to tell the difference in value between a diamond ring and a 20 year old copy of Hello magazine. Going via the Fire brigade is a decnt shout and where I would probably start.
  • I can give minor advice on this , take it loosely. I work in Home insurance and Landlord insurance, so from dealing with this I have some form of experience.

    It sounds like a council issue to be fair, with regards to loss of earnings it might be worth speaking to legal advice. Hopefully you have this within your home insurance?

    Although this isn't much, I personally think if you can either sort through the council or direct by speaking to them, have you ever tried this? Without trying to create a turf war, some people might instantly deal with it. The less people involved the better, these things will be very messy if the neighbour is difficult.

    Thanks all for advice. I can't speak to her as she doesn't answer the door. The 2 guys at Lewisham Council were very helpful last year, but the problem is, as a lot of you have said is not unexpected, is that she has relapsed. And I suspect will do again. I do appreciate the mental health issues and really hope someone is able to help her and her quality of life. It is a shame she doesn't sell up (to a developer) and move to a nice, clean, one bed flat. But from my and other people's point of view, it is a health and safety issue impacting on othrs' lives and even if she does make some progress, we are likely to have to go through this process over and over again
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