Since moving to our semi-detached home in August 2016 with our now 8 year old autistic son, our next door neighbour has continually made our lives difficult. It started soon after we moved in with letters put through our letterbox early in the evening, telling us our son was making too much noise (he was dancing on a rug to Strictly Come Dancing so not late at night) They then started banging on the walls whenever our son was having a meltdown - these normally happen when he is anxious about school the following day and is unable to settle to go to sleep. We fully admit that for around 30 minutes most evenings during term time (between 9-10pm but never later than 10.30pm) he does shout out and makes noise jumping off the bed or trying to run from room to room. Once asleep he is quiet until 7am.When he is having a meltdown/is anxious we do all we can to limit the noise, i.e containing it in the bedroom furthest away from the party wall, applying deep pressure to his limbs if we can and at present my husband is sleeping on a mattress in our son's bedroom as he is very anxious about an ongoing issue with his best friend at school. Initially we tried to talk to our neighbours and explaining his diagnosis of higher functioning autism but were told that we were "fabricating an illness to cover up child abuse"
In February last year this neighbour but in complaints to Environmental Health about "constant shouting" and to Social Services alleging that a child was being mistreated at our home. Thankfully, due to us asking Social Services for advice on our son's meltdowns and a previous request for a referral to CAHMS for his anxiety( which has been turned down) Social Services did not pursue the accusation as they could see we were doing the best we could in challenging circumstances. The neighbour sent noise diaries to the council with times on them that did not correlate wit the times of his meltdowns, e.g. "loud banging at 5am, making our clock come off the kitchen wall" so completely fabricated. I asked the council to put noise monitoring equipment into the neighbours property to prove what was happening and our neighbours refused. She has since done a V sign at our son from the pavement and when I asked to speak to her to let her know of some strategies we were trying on the advice of our health visitor she called the police and I was warned not to harrass her. I instructed a solicitor to send them a letter confirming our son's diagnosis with copies of his DLA award and diagnosis letter and the local PCSO and police officer have tried speaking to them and warned them that their banging ont he wall was only making our son's anxiety worse. Since then we have had no face to face contact.
Today I have received yet another letter from Environmental Health saying that the noise complaint has been raised again by our neighbour and a new investigation opened this time referring to "constant banging" I phoned the department straight away to explain our circumstances and cross referenced to the previous allegation and was told to "ignore it as you are doing nothing wrong" . My question is, does this constitute harrassment (or even a hate crime) or does our neighbour have the right to try to control us and tell lies about us in this way? As a family we can no longer enjoy being at home together and I feel our son is being unfairly treated - he does not make continous noise 24/7 and spends most of his time on his laptop, at school or on days out with us. What, if anything, can we do now to shut this down once and for all? Any advice is gratefully recieved as this ongoing problem is affecting everyone's mental health.
I'm sorry that you're in such an awful situation, your neighbour does sound like a right so and so.
It does sound like harassment to me but it could be a good idea to speak to your solicitor again to find out if this neighbour is breaking any laws and to find out what you can do about it.
Are you keeping a diary of everything that is happening in case this does turn into a legal matter?
I'd also recommend you speak to Citizens Advice, they are usually really helpful, and free, which is cheaper than a solicitor.