A Woman’s Elderly Neighbor Kept Harassing Her and Other Neighbors so She Complained to The Council, Now the Neighbor Could Be Evicted, Is She in The Wrong?

In a small UK village, a woman lived in a privately rented terraced house. Her house was the only privately owned one on the street, with all others being council-owned properties. She was happy until her nuisance neighbor kept causing problems.

Helen’s Persistent Nuisance

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The woman had been living happily in the house for two years. The only problem was her sixty-three-year-old neighbor Helen, who had a history of being a nuisance.

Harassment Over Minor Issues

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The woman explained some of the pedantic ‘problems’ that Helen constantly bothered people with: “She harasses all of our neighbors about little things like what time they take their bins out, how empty or full their recycling bins are etc.”

Unfounded Assumptions

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Helen could also be very presumptuous at times. ”She made a few comments about how she hates ‘that young person’ who moved in (me), and how I’m probably going to be a party animal”, the woman wrote. “That’s not true, I have a full-time job and I’m studying for a Ph.D., I don’t have time for parties and I’m rarely home during the week.”

Complaints Getting Worse

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The petty complaints that Helen once made soon gave way to larger problems. “She didn’t like that a tree in my front garden blocked the light coming into her garden, so I cut the branches short so it wouldn’t be an issue”, the woman explained. “Then she complained they were too short. She’s found something to complain about at least once a week”.

Escalation With Girlfriend’s Arrival

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Eventually, the woman’s girlfriend, who is a field archeologist, moved in to the house with her. Since then, Helen’s harassment began to escalate significantly. 

Issues With Muddy Profession

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Due to the nature of her work, the woman’s girlfriend would occasionally get mud on the communal path, and Helen took huge issue with this. However, no other neighbors were bothered by this, as they lived in a very pastoral area. 

Accusation of Cheating

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Helen’s harassment soon became serious. The woman had been interviewing elderly French men for her thesis, and Helen saw this, informing the woman’s girlfriend that she had been cheating on her. 

Girlfriend’s Reaction

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The woman’s girlfriend was shocked and furious to hear that her partner had been cheating. The couple had a heated and confused fight until they eventually realized that Helen had been the source of this rumor. 

Filing a Complaint

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Feeling that Helen had crossed a line, the woman filed a complaint with the council about Helen’s behavior, unaware of the council’s “3 strikes and you’re out” policy.

Unintended Consequences

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The complaint unknowingly became the third strike, potentially putting Helen at risk of eviction at the age of 63. Despite the woman’s disdain for Helen, she felt incredibly guilty at the prospect of causing an elderly lady to be kicked out of her home. 

Sharing Her Guilt 

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The woman decided to share her guilt with an online community, hoping that somebody could offer some advice. Thankfully, everybody was on her side: “You didn’t get her kicked out”, reassured one commenter. “Her behavior got her kicked out. She knew about the previous warnings and continued with harassing behavior. This is 100% on her.”

The Internet United

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This perspective was shared by everyone reading the woman’s story. “It’s not a one-strike policy”, wrote another reader. “That means she’s been warned two times already, and still chose to enact a personal vendetta against you. Being in your 60s doesn’t mean your actions don’t have consequences.”

Well-Deserved Punishment 

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Other community members focussed on the fact that the neighbor’s actions had been awful, and she deserved any punishment that she received. “She’s been a royal pain to the other neighbors, spied on you and harassed you constantly over every little thing, and even tried to ruin your relationship with a mere nosy assumption”. 

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