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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Just, precisely, what can be done about about an abusive, unsiociable

Customer Question

Just, precisely, what can be done about about an abusive, unsiociable neighbour and her unruly son (circa 14 y.o.); They are, I am assured by the local Police (Ref. Sgt. Convery, Wellingborough Police Station in particular refers) '...neighbours from Hell!'. But, more particularly and immediate: Some years ago she planted a Russian Vine (I am no garden(ing) expert, but I believe it is also called something along the lines of 'A mile a minute' plant?) Both she (aged about 50) and I (and my wife - both in our mid 70s) own our respective ex Council Houses (mid terrace). To the rear are small gardens, fenced off at the bottom, and beyond which is a public footpath. Between our respective properties she has erected a solid, 6ft high wooden fence (no objection there!). However, against the fencing bordering upon the public footpath is planted said Russian Vine: Which, 1. has grown completely out of control and 2. is persistently encroaching over said high wooden fence into our rather small but neat and well tended garden, and 3. has now encroached over said public footpath.
For advice on how to deal with this problem I have, over several months, contacted 1. Wellingborough Council: "Private Property - nothing to do with us."! 2. Wellingborough Homes: This Company took over all (or ? most of) Wellingborough Council Housing some years ago, together with maintenance of garaging areas, other 'public' areas within the old Council Housing Estate, inc. public footpaths - or so I am led to believe! - "Private Property - nothing to do with us."! 3. Wellingborough Police. "What do you want us to do about it?"!
However, one thing I was told was that I was entitled to trim back the offending encroaching foliage and return same to her property. This I did - and the whole lot was thrown back at us, either directly back over the dividing fencing into our garden, and/or onto the public pathway as described above.
And (I do hope I am not boring you with this whole sorry and sad saga?): And what finally made me as mad as hell happened one day as I was trimming said offendig foliage whilst standing on said public footpath. I 'heard' a car pull into one of the parking spaces immediately adjacent to the public footpath. Out from the car (all I remember about the car was that it was bright red and 'sporty') leapt a woman who, having slammed the car door in somewhat temperamental fashion, yelled (screamed!) at me ... "About time too! You are a f****** disgrace letting that thing grow out over the path like that. You ought to be prosecuted! What about kids and other users of the path?" And with that she waltzed off to where ever she was visiting. I went indoors and told my good lady about the incident and we had a good laugh about it. (NB The Police also thought this was hilarious ..! Not very professional, but there you are ...) A few minutes later we both went out into the garden, but the woman and her car had driven away - and I have never seen her or her car since!)
This whole situation has now become completely out of control, and NOBODY (Police, Council, Wellingborough Homes) has done, or is willing to do, anything about it.
I know I have gone on a bit about this situation (!), but, highly amusing as it may at first appear, there is a very serious and rather menacing aura building - and I am more than just a little concerned that something dreadful - don't ask me what - is about to happen.

Please, PLEASE, give me some solid, sensible advice about just how I may go about resolving this matter ... and getting somebody, anybody to take responsibility for defusing this potentially dangerous situation.
To that end I have sought you (via 'the web'), as an independent source of advice, so that, should this situation escalate, NOBODY will be able to say that they were not aware of the situation ... and simply buried their heads in the sand.
Thank you for at least listening to this saga (horror story?). I look forward, hopefully, to receiving some sensible advice ... For which, by the way, I am perfectly willing to pay.
Please reply to [email protected]', together with your invoice for said advice and where to send cheque (or whatever way you would prefer payment) to.
PLEASE HELP.
Kind regards,
Mr David M. Tipton
Before you ask, "Yes" I have approached the woman herself directly: For my trouble, just before having her front door slammed in my face, I was told to "f**k off."! The Police thought that was highly amusing ... I am no prude, but 'highly amusing' it was not!
As a 'by the by': All of the above was initiated after rather an odd incident
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.

Alex Watts : Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : Have you reported this to the council please?
JACUSTOMER-retkbugq- :

Yes - and the Wellingborough Police (Sergeant Convery refers). Also Wellingborough Homes. They took over all Council Housing in Wellingborough and surrounding villages some 8/9 years ago. Whilst both my own and the 'baddy' neighbour next door own our own houses, W/Homes are still responsible fot such as footpaths, garage, and other 'public' areas, etc..This prolonged problem/dispute concerns not only the offending foliage 'trespassing' over my property, but also the public footpath immediately outside our resoective properties; this now being (as I understand) the concern of Wellingborough Homes ... amongst others?

JACUSTOMER-retkbugq- :

Rating: OK, so far ...

JACUSTOMER-retkbugq- :

Hi, Miss Watts. Thanks for first reply. I keep trying to give the necessary 'Rate' By clicking on the (very faint) levels shown, but seem unable to peoceed further.

JACUSTOMER-retkbugq- :

PS Sorry, must close for the moment. A poorly wife to look after. Will catch up later. By the way, My telephone number is: 01933-226206, if you want a 1 to 1 conversation. I am in my mid 70s, and these modern, new-fangled machines more often than not confuse and overwhelm me.- which is precisely why I am having difficulty 'rating' you!

Alex Watts : Does the neighbour own their own property or do they rent please?
Alex Watts : sadly all communication must be online.
JACUSTOMER-retkbugq- :

They (she) owns own property

Alex Watts :

Ok - The Police can get what is called a premises closure order

Alex Watts :

This is where anti social behaviour comes from a property. The Police, with support of the Council apply to the Court proposing to close the property for up to 6 months

Alex Watts :

If granted, the owner can contest this but any hearing must be within 14 days

Alex Watts :

At the hearing a Court decides whether to grant the order

Alex Watts :

If the Police refuse then you can seek an injunction to stop or limit the behaviour

Alex Watts :

You would likely need a Solicitor to draft an application for an injunction or you could do this by completing form N1 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf

Alex Watts :

And N16a http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n016a-eng.pdf

Alex Watts :

The Court would then list the matter for a hearing and decide whether to make an interim order

Alex Watts :

If the Court does then all well and good.

Alex Watts :

If the matter is contested the Court will set it down for directions and timetable the case to a full hearing, where the court will decide whether to make a final order

Alex Watts :

If an interim or final order is made and breached then they can be in contempt of Court.

Alex Watts :

A Judge can warn, fine or send to prison

Alex Watts :

But I would suggest you use a Solicitor to draft proceedings and attend a hearing for you

Alex Watts :

If you win you can ask the Court for costs

Alex Watts :

But ideally you want the Police to issue a premises closure order

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

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