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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 13857
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I am having some ongoing issues with my neighbour who is

Customer Question

hello, i am having some ongoing issues with my neighbour who is owner occupier of her flat, and i am a council tenant below. In the recent months she has threatened my car and my dog harm. My car is a motobility car and is relied on heavily, i have a camera overlooking my car and the council are now telling me i need to remove my camera despite the fact it has been threatened by the same neighbour who now has complained about my camera. The issue with my neighbours have been bad for about 4 years. I have made complaints regarding dog mess and noise. They have a tumble drier over our kitchen which i believe is faulty, we have been complaining to our council about this since febuary, the council advice is wait for my neighbour to move but she still hasn’t moved. The constant impact noise has started cause me tinnitus which i do not know if it is permenant now as a result. the noise goes on from 9am-9pm some days. We are being told to log everything and make recordings but it seems the council cannot intervene for fear of pausing her move.
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: I have been logging the issues
JA: Where is the flat located?
Customer: there flat is above mine i am council she owns hers
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: that i am dealing with ongoing health issues and the car i want to protect is a motobility car
Submitted: 7 days ago.
Category: Property Law
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Hello?
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 7 days ago.

Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer. I will be the lawyer working with you today.
Sorry to hear of the issue. I will set out my written answer shortly.

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 7 days ago.

You can consider a complaint to your local magistrates court under S.82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. You would need evidence of the noise (preferably in a diary to prove the extent of the noise). If approved then the court will issue a noise abatement order. Before applying to the court you would need to send a warning letter to the neighbour (see attached template) to give them 3 clear days to stop.

If they persist, you can apply to the local magistrates court – if you contact the clerk at the court and say that you want to make a noise complaint.

There is a further option (a last resort) and that would be to apply to the local county court for a civil injunction.

However, before you do this, send the neighbour a cease and desist letter to warn them of your intentions unless they stop (and give them 7 days to stop their conduct). A template “cease and desist” letter is available at https://www.lawdepot.co.uk/

If you go to the search box in the top right corner of the site, it will bring up a list - you want the "general" letter.

You can use your own letter if you wish - it just has to make it clear this is a cease and desist letter, that you demand they stop their conduct, and that if they do not within 7 days you will apply to the court for the injunction and seek your costs.

That letter may well be enough to stop the conduct - as an injunction is a serious legal remedy.

Assuming they continue, you will need to complete the application for the injunction and send to your county court with a fee of £308 payable to HMCTS (unless you have a low income/low savings and/or you are in receipt of benefits in which case you can get a fee exemption so you do not have to pay).

For a fee exemption you need to check your eligibility here: http://www.gov.uk/get-help-with-court-fees

If you do not qualify for the fee exemption, you can pay either by cheque or attend the court and pay at the counter. You will need to prepare a witness statement to accompany the form.

You will need to detail the history of the issues with the neighbour to paint a picture for the Judge as they will not know what this neighbour is like and what they have done to you unless you describe it.

If the injunction application is successful you can ask the court for a costs order to be paid by the neighbour.

The court will list a hearing where you attend and ask the District Judge for an order and the injunction. The application would be made under the tort of nuisance due to excessive noise and Section 1 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. Harassment is defined as “unwanted conduct designed to cause the victim alarm or distress”. There needs to be more than one incidence of the harassing behaviour but based on your question it seems that to be the case so you would be fine with applying in my view.

If granted, the Order is then served on the individual concerned and they are bound by the court order - if they breach the order, they are in contempt of court and could well face a fine and a prison term. The order will say they cannot contact you / cannot make excessive noise and not to come near you within a certain distance. They are very effective given the consequences of breaching the terms of the injunction.

The cease and desist letter will hopefully work so you may not need to apply but if you then I recommend you go to the court in person with the forms to ensure they are correct - they are fairly complex so it would save time by you doing this - the court staff should check them before they issue the papers.

If you do need to take that step and apply for the injunction, please come back here as I have the forms required. If you prefer a law firm to do the letter (and apply for the injunction if the letter has no effect) then try any of these firms they should be able to claim their costs from the neighbour so would be worth asking them to help you with this:

  1. https://www.kingsleynapley.co.uk/services/department/dispute-resolution/injunctions

  2. https://www.gannons.co.uk/commercial-litigation/injunctions/

  3. https://www.ibblaw.co.uk/service/commercial-dispute-resolution/applying-injunction
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 7 days ago.

I hope this helps and answers the question - my goal is to ensure you are happy with the answer and have the information you need. If you have any follow up questions then please let me know. I will reply as soon as I can to help with any further queries.

Many thanks,
Jim

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 7 days ago.

Please let me know if the answer helped or if you need me to cover anything else?. I am happy to clarify the answer or if you have any follow up questions. If so, I’d be grateful if you would let me know. I am free most days, including weekends, so feel free to ask me anything you are unsure of.

Best wishes,

Jim

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Hi Jim, thank you for your response. Do you know where I stand with keeping my camera on my car? The police are saying they have to do what the council are saying then the council are saying they have to do what the police say. A few weeks ago I was told harm would happen to my car, now they want me to remove my camera when they know about the problems I have been facing at my address. My neighbours all agreed a camera was a good idea at this address 3 years ago and now suddenly it is a problem.
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 7 days ago.

The camera on your car should not be an issue. The only time it would cause an issue if you have the camera trained so it captures other people's property and then data protection comes in to play. You can have a camera to deter crime, that happens a lot - I don't see how they can insist you remove the camera if it's only capturing your car though.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
It oversees the street literally around my car but doesn’t notify me unless someone’s by my car for 15 seconds or more. I will show you, it does not record unless I ask it too also.
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
File attached (4LP4VM6)
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 7 days ago.

That looks fine to me, I am not sure what the issue is with the camera. I would say you can keep it as it is. If there is a problem, you can run it past the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) who deals with all things "data protection" - the ICO can be reached on 0303(###) ###-####

They also have a "live chat" facility on their site - you can visit it here: https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/