Un-Neighbourly or NFH?

TV Programmes on Neighbour Problems
I've dipped into True Crime TV on neighbour problems, such as Neighbours from Hell, The Nightmare Neighbour Next Door, and A Stranger in My Home. Several people targeted were aged 50 plus or pensioners, home most days on limited means, or in poor health and often alone. Many had virtually allowed themselves to get painted up a corner. They did not want trouble and adapted their own habits, including when they flushed the toilet so as not to disturb anyone. But when some tried to take a stand, they tended to be the ones ending up in court with perhaps a suspended sentence. One can suddenly be in a situation with no clue as to why, with people making things up and molehills becoming mountains. Things you'd think would settle down over time, just do not. See more on Standoffs here.

Books on Neighbour Disputes

Amazon is usually a good source of books, or being able to see something about the nature of a subject without having to buy, but there is not a lot available about neighbour problems. One that I seriously recommend is not my usual kind of reading, and dealing with past eras and peoples. It is rivetting stuff:
'Cheek by Jowl: a History of Neighbours' by Emily Cockayne, who traces the story of the British neighbour through nine centuries spanning Medieval, Tudor and Victorian periods, two world wars and up to today's modern, virtual world.
Also see:

'Neighbour Disputes' by Paul Benedek: A complete Guide on How to deal with them, How to prevent them, How to survive them

Advice on neighbour problems

You can contact Citizens Advice Bureau. There is a branch in most towns, and I believe you can arrange to get advice from an office which is not in your own immediate area. They have prepared a section on their website dealing with neighbour disputes www.citizensadvice.org.uk/housing/problems-where-you-live/neighbour-disputes/

Search on the Internet for Neighbour Disputes. Some links may be sponsored or advertisements, so choose where to get information or advice suitable for you without risking your safety, privacy, or cash!

A Man's Home is his Castle - or an Extra Membrane?

As more homes are built as far as the eye can see, with small gardens at angles and little privacy, more people living longer and being at home, I think neighbourhood disputes are likely to increase. People tend to want to be master of all they survey, and control their environment with colour schemes, extensions, DIY. Each time the neighbour's house changes hands it gets hacked about, decorated top to bottom and the little yard, no speck of dirt or leaves, high fences too. When problems arise literally close to home, it feels like psychic vandalism - an attack on the soul from within one's own 4 walls, a battering of fences or defences, by someone who is likely some form of psychological predator.

If you read 'Cheek by Jowl' by Emily Cockayne mentioned above, you see how these problems have indeed gone on through the ages, often associated with close homes, thin walls, shared facilities, and most importantly privacy. The refreshing aspect of the book is that, although it is based on scholarly research, it raises good laughs along the way.

Good laughs get scarce when the chips are down, and you feel under virtual house arrest as you think twice about a potter in the garden, or which way to walk to the shops to avoid awkward greetings and pretend smiles. To my mind, it has all been about pretence, acting roles, posing, switching, trying to upset, confuse, triumph, control. If someone does not like me, that is fine - they can avoid me or ignore me. Can't they? Why not just do that, I wonder?

Sitting on a rattling bus as it whizzed through pretty villages in the sunshine, looking at Spring flowers and bushes, I wondered how many inhabitants were happy with their neighbourly 'lot'. People tend to buy a house that they think they can commute from, and are away for a long day, or find it unfeasible so the house changes hands again. If you're lucky it works. If not, you could always move - and hope to hell you don't end up with a Neighbour from Hell...

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