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Noise problem from mental neighbour?

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Saturday 14 February 2009 8.42am
Hi all,

I've been living at my current address in southwark for over 10 years now & abolutely love it! Unfortunately the guy above my flat seems to suffer from some form of mental illness(I can guess?) and the noise is terrible. It can start at any time in the day & end at any time right through to the next moring; shouting, screaming, playing loud music, late night DIY etc. Recently it's been the shouting/screaming that's really torturing me. I could cope with it before as I used to work nights & when I was home the tv was often on loud enough but I recently moved to working more in the daytime & don't watch much tv anymore. Until pushed, I recently made a complaint to southwark noise who said they couldn't deal with the screaming. I don't know how much longer I can cope. My other neighbours are great. Any advice? It seems the council look to protect these people but at what price?
Saturday 14 February 2009 10.50am
In view of the fact that your neighbour has such loud manifestations, he's probably known to mental health services. If you know your neighbour's name, it would be useful.

You need to contact Southwark mental health social workers and simply say that the your neighbour is probably having a series of bad mental health episodes, and you are concerned (as well as bothered) by the noise. Ask whether your neighbour has a mental health social worker, and whether they can go and see him. It's important that he has a mental health social worker, and not a generic one. He may need to be back in hospital, as it sounds as though he may not be taking medication to control the episodes.

If the neighbour becomes violent to himself (or other people), you should call the police. My friend, who is a mental health worker, gave the above advice, and suggested that he might be making a considerable amount of noise to shut out "internal" voices.
Saturday 14 February 2009 11.57am
Are you sure this is good advice?

If someone rang "Southwark mental health social workers" and suggested to them that I was "probably having a series of bad mental health episodes" I would be a bit upset! Surely your suggested approach is open to abuse as anyone could ring up about anyone else.

A better approach may be to inspect the terms of your lease. Usually there is a covenant stating the times you are expected to be quiet. Also, if he is renting, approach his landlord.
Saturday 14 February 2009 1.19pm
'Possibly having mental health issues' might be a better choice of words, at least then with the address it can be investigated further. Not certain someone who is having screaming fits is going to be too bothered about the terms of lease and the approach of a landlord not likely to be trained in looking for the signs of mental distress doesn't strike me as such a good idea in a potentially violent situation.
Saturday 14 February 2009 1.56pm
Is it local authority/housing association who placed him there, would it be worthwhile if thats the case in informing the relevant department who could approach the team that is supposed to be keeping an eye on him? How long has he lived there for and was he making this noise from the beginning?

It's very sad that vulnerable people like he seems to be are placed in accommodation where he can't be monitored and helped.
Saturday 14 February 2009 5.35pm

I'm confident that the advice is good. I did use the words "probably having" and not "definitely has".

It's most likely if the noice is consistent and loud that the Mental Health Social Work team will know about the neighbour already (although they wouldn't tell you). If they don't know about the individual, and you're informing them, then they can decide what to do, but they probably would not act. They would only act if he were known to the services.
Saturday 14 February 2009 7.17pm
Hi Slushy,
I'm not entirely happy with your use of the word 'mental' I'm rushing out now, but I'd like to open up discussion, so that I can pick this up when I get in later.
Would anyone else like to comment?
Saturday 14 February 2009 7.41pm
Yes, I too was a little uncomfortable with the word in this context. The individual may well have mental issues but as used in the question it is a derogatory term, labeling someone as 'other' and in effect demeaning their status as a fellow human being. I doubt this was the intention, but we have to be careful how we use language in situations like this.
Saturday 14 February 2009 7.57pm
I've got the same problem with my neighbour. Had it for about 6 years now. I've had to keep a diary of what noise he makes, I've call noise people out at odd hours of the night. I've also had a mediation with him. Then I was told I was being racist. I've learnt to live with now as my landlord refused to help me any more. :o(
Saturday 14 February 2009 10.33pm
I do not understand why we even HAVE a "Noise Team" in Southwark as they completely ignore their responsibilities and the legislation and routinely refuse to do anything no matter what the circumstances.

Has anyone, ever, in the history of Southwark actually found the "Noise Team" helpful?

Perhaps we could just request they are all fired as they don't do anything useful so what's the point of paying them?

The only time I had any help with a chronic noise situation like yours was through the Housing Association who owned the property. If you can track them down, ask them for help.

You could try making a complaint of antisocial behaviour I guess but avoid getting diverted to the noise team.
Waste of space.
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