Tag Archives: neighbours

Nasty Christmas presents from our ex-neighbours

I had a great Christmas present this year.  My neighbours from hell left on the 19th of December. They were going to be evicted on the 24th but incredibly they found another place (which shows how easy is for people to rent a property) and decided to leave a week before.

However they left us with nasty consequences which I will outline later. But first a bit of background. Despite being reasonable with them and ask them repeatedly to refrain from their behaviour (burning off in the backyard – often with plastics and toxic material, playing loud music between 2 am and 7 am, revving their cars parked in the backyard so that toxic fumes came across etc.) they continued. Adding to this the fact that they were unable to communicate with each other quietly and without uttering ‘fuck’ or ‘c*nt’ every second word (which is not exactly the best example for out 11 year old).

So we complained to the Real Estate Agent (which did bugger all initially, washing his hands of the whole thing – and only acted when the landlord started to ask him to act), the Police and the Council.

One thing you learn about when you are in this predicament, you do get a ringourund. You call the police and while they have been considerate, they come to the place to ask the noise to be turned down but it really stops there. A couple of times police attended and the music was loud again after ten minutes. You ring the Council. But if they burn off during the weekend there isn’t anyone that can go and check. Officers did go and see during the week but of course this was when the neighbours were at work, so there was nothing to do. When we rang the emergency after hours number for the council they told us to call the EPA, the EPA told us that because it wasn’t a factory it was a council matter. One time when we hoped the could do something was when at 12.23 am on Saturday 21 November 2009, the neighbours lit a fire in their back yard and then proceeded to apply a gas or other highly flammable substance to the naked flames which created a series of loud explosions (3-4) that shook our house, and sent huge bright orange fire-balls into the sky. Other neighbours were so alarmed that they called the fire brigade, and two trucks with sirens blaring came to our street. The Fire Brigade served the neighbours with a warning, but had no power to do anything else.

But it was when we started to complain and ensure that all their nuisance activities were noted and reported that things started to get nasty. After we came back on a day out to celebrate our son’s birthday we saw that our letterbox was smashed out. The next night they shouted in front of our door ‘fuck the whole neighbourhood, they have no party …” (could not hear the next word/s) and then later we heard them say” … burn our house down, burn the next door neighbour’s house down, and the car that would be outside their house”

Then a couple of weeks later at 3:40 am they started to hit violently the party wall which separate our bedroom with one of theirs. The impact of the frenzied blows was so extreme that objects (lamps) in our bedroom which were in direct contact with the wall and nearby shelving vibrated with the blows. The noise sounded like a pile-driver, and was so loud and violent that it woke our son and Pene’s 82 year-old mother who were asleep in the room across the corridor. Later in the week they started to play music early in the morning and shortly thereafter we heard one of the tenants shout “good morning neighbours”, and then just after the music had started playing, we heard one of the tenants shout (play it) “louder, louder”. After the fire brigade left due to the fire incident above at 1.47 am, one of the neighbours came out of the house yelling ‘fuck each and every one of you’, and at 1.55 am was heard ranting ‘c*nts’ many times in our direction.

We had enough. And despite the information that their lease was going to finish in mid-January 2010, we wanted them out immediately. They were dangerous.

So we hassled the Real Estate Agent, we wrote again to the landlord and we wrote to the CEO and councillors of the City of Darebin that they were contravining the nuisance provisions of the Health Act. Then the Real Estate Agent pulled his finger out and initiated a VCAT hearing for eviction. I don’t know what happened but we were informed by the Real Estate Agent that even before this hearing the neighbours lease would terminate on the 24th of December. So they left, but without leaving their legacy of nastiness behind.

On the first night when they left we were mightily relieved and they left their front window open for everyone to see. We noticed that all they left an amplifier, an iPod and two bug speakers. The speakers drivers (where the sound comes out) were not facing the room but they were against the wall, so when they played loud music the sound would blast straight into our bedroom. Then we saw a coke bottle thrown into our front yard. but closer inspection showed that it was a home made bong (with water in it).

But worse was to come. When we came home on the 24th of December we noticed that the hedge in front of our house on their side had this white foam on it and many the leaves were brown. This is a hedge that has probably been part of the front yard of the house for decades and took years to grow to its current state.

We suspect that the neighbours sprayed what must have been fire retardant on it. My partner’s brother, who is an horticulturist told us that this substance has a very strong detergent that defoliates plants. The poor hedge is becoming sicker and let’s hope that it will survive the ordeal. This is the pictures I took today.

Fortunately they didn’t do anything to the other side of the hedge, but this can show how the hedge should look like

One of the hellebores we planted under the hedge must have got a full blast and is now dead.

Our car also got damaged.

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We have shown this to the Northcote Police that has confirmed that the evidence showed that a levering implement like a screwdriver or something like that was used.

Of course we can’t prove anything. However the coincidence of pissed off tenants that were evicted before their lease expired, their previous behaviour and attitude towards us and the fact that these events occurred on the last day of them being allowed on the property is not insignificant.

So while we had a lovely Christmas in our backyard without smoke, obsenities and revving of cars and associated fumes, this has left a bitter taste in our mouth.

All I can say is while the car can be fixed, and hopefully the hedge will recover those tenants are going to remain fuckwits forever.

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Neighbours from ‘slice of heaven’ creating hell.

Unless you live in a farm sorrounded by cattle, sheep or rolling meadows, having neighbours close by is a part of urban life.

This is even more if you live in an inner suburb where houses are very close to each other, and in my case even share a wall.

I actually liked this aspect of living. As someone that has grown up in apartments, I felt strange when we lived in a quarter acre block house in Sydney, being disconnected. When we went to live in Carlton in a terrace I felt confortable. I liked going to bed knowing that on the other side of the wall there was another person or family. It gave me a sense of connectedness. However this work if people know the consequences of how behaviour would impact on your neighbours.

After 32 years of living in the inner suburbs I must say that I have been pretty lucky. Of course there have been occasions where someone next door had a party which went on late, but that is to be expected you are not living in a monastery after all.

But my luck has run out. I finally have the neighbours from hell.

Firstly a bit of background. The house next door is owned by someone who lives overseas and I think is on a short term contract. She has plans to renovate the place (which is a bit run down) and we saw the plans and we were OK with it. There was a long term tenant which we hardly saw, which is fine. But the lease was terminated because the owner wanted to start the renovations.

These should have been started almost two years ago. But because either the owner of the house is having her work contract extended, or she hasn’t made her mind up there have been a succession of tenants who are on short six months leases.

As a house owner I am not going to be disparaging on renters (heaven forbid!) But I have come to realise that people who have been given six months to rent a place may have a different approach on the place where they live. Can I venture that their sense of commitment is not as great?

Before the current crop we had a bunch of French backpackers which had their moments. Being fancy free, uncommitted and with lots of dope being smoked they tended to have a very fluid concept of days and nights. Sometimes they would talk loudly in the middle of the night, or play music. It was not that often. But overall it was OK.

Then they fixed up their kombi and at the start of winter they went. Probably to warmer climes in the north. For a few weeks the place was empty, we saw the real estate agent outside the house showing potential renters and we got a feeling that it wasn’t easy to find someone for just six months.

Anyway one day we saw these guys move in. As I was locking up my bike they started they introduced themselves. They were these four guys in their 20’s, all kiwis and very friendly. After being ingnored by the stoned French backpackers was nice to have neighbours that actually acknowledge you. They were mechanics/tradesmen, which was good according to my partner as they would have to leave early for work, so no more ‘fluid’ times as the previous occupants had.

The next weekend they had a house warming party, which is fair enough. We were actually amused at the fact that we saw a van which had ‘kegs on wheels’ written on it. They invited us, but we declined as we knew that it wasn’t our kind of party, especially when we went around to give them a couple of packets of chips as a goodwill gesture and we saw this contraption.

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We have never seen such a thing before, all we were told was that it was used for drinking beer. We knew then that the party would be loud. Well, that’s to be expected in the inner suburbs on occasions.

The sound of the ‘party’ was loud but it wasn’t happy it was more aggro. What I could hear next door in the backyard was males, only males, swearing and shouting. Not at each other but at things and in general. They were burning staff in a drum and I could hear the frenzy of burining anything they could lay their hand on. It defenetely smelled like they were buring stuff that shouldn’t be burned, so I quickly closed all the doors and windows and cowered in my house.

As part of the burning frenzy they took one of the palings of the fence, so the sticky nosed neighbour I am I took a picture.

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They came afterwards to apologize, which was nice. They stated that some people from the nearby pub ‘crashed’ their party. Well, we didn’t have any reason not to believe them.

But their contrition didn’t stop some of them to arrive late at night and turn the music on. So out we went and ask nicely if the music could be turned down after 11 pm, especially on weekdays (the law states that no music disturbance should occur after 10). But then it happened again and I had to go to knock on their door, but the music was so loud they didn’t hear me so I shouted to turn it down from the backyard. Which they did. But really how hard it is to understand that music at that volume can be a nuisance at 2 am. This time one of the guys had a girl. When we went again to discuss issues nicely with them the guy in question wasn’t there, but another blanched ‘that was my ex-girlfriend!’ Charming.

Then a week or so later it happened again. I was in bed awoken with my partner being pissed off again and my anger rising. So I jumped out of bed knocked on their dor and in my daggy windcheater and pijiama pants I shouted “Four fucken times I’ve asked you to turn the fucken music down, so turn the fucking thing down!’ Funnily enough the thing worked as the loud music only happened once more but only for a minute or so. Being in a rage and swearing is very unusual for me. But when we hear them talking (and they always talk LOUD) they drop the four letter word as a normal interjection. So maybe it wasn’t unusual for them.

The other problem is the cars. They have turned their backyard into a garage.

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That wouldn’t be a problem really. Except when they rev their engines and produce toxic exhaust fumes.

Look at these pictures. This is my backyard on a nice sunny day.

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Now this is a sunny day as well. That is not fog. What you see is exhaust after the neighbours have revved their cars to the max. When that happened was when we were having a BBQ with friends in the backyard and we had to run inside. Any food we couldn’t take with us was contaminated and had to be thrown out.

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And they continue to burn stuff. Which means that we cannot put our washing out unless we are at home, and we have to be on the lookout in case they start a fire again and retreive our clothes, which haven’t dried as yet.

What to do? The only choice is to contact the landlord and the real estate. Of course we can call the police but personally I don’t want to reach that stage.

One day we will have our peace again.

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