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Being Bullied by a Neighbour? What You Can Do

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 17 Aug 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Bully Bullies Neighbour Harassment

If you, or anyone in your household, feel as though you’re being bullied in your neighbourhood or even your own home, it can potentially make your life unbearable. You have the right to feel safe in your own neighbourhood and protected from harassment, so don’t let a bully take that away from you or your loved ones.

Children Being Bullied

Bullying is a common problem, especially with children. In some cases, a bullying incident may be a one-off, a trivial falling out between children, and isn’t necessarily anything to worry about.

Listen to what your child is saying about the bullies and keep an eye on the situation. It may all blow over.In the meantime, arm your children with strategies to deal with the actions the bullies are taking, such as trying to ignore minor things, asking the bully to stop, and telling an adult.

If a child is being picked on frequently, you could try walking with them to school, supervising play areas or speaking to the parents of the bully or bullies and trying to resolve the issues amicably.

In very serious cases, or examples where there have been actual physical violence, it might be possible as a last resort to take out a restraining order, making the parents and the bullies stay away from your child. If the situation has become that serious or dangerous, it’s advisable to involve the police, get some information on your legal options, and consult a lawyer. Thankfully, it’s rare for childhood bullying to need that sort of intervention.

What’s Considered Bullying?

Bullying and harassment, especially when adults are involved, can be subtle, hard to pinpoint and consist of many separate incidents which can turn into persistent bullying when they are carried out repeatedly or over a long period of time. It is important to know how you are protected under the Protection From Harassment Act.

If you’re being subjected to any form of unwanted behaviour from a neighbour, it can be described as bullying. It could take the form of constant harassment, physical or verbal abuse. Name calling or teasing constantly can be bullying if they upset you or cause you any distress. Some bullies may choose to simply 'blank' you or spread rumours about you. Serious cases may even involve threatening or anti-social behaviour.

In some cases, neighbourhood bullies can be so subtle and their actions can become so regular that their behaviour can be overlooked. That doesn’t make it right. Long term, bullying can cause mental and physical health problems, and affect your well-being.

What to Do if You’re Being Bullied

The very nature of adult bullies make them hard to reason with. You can try avoiding the culprit and hoping they get bored with annoying you, if the bullying is mild.

Kill them with kindness. If the bully sees you as a threat, try befriending them, even if you don’t want to. If you turn the tables and act as if you’re willing to be friendly, you could get a positive response. Try a friendly 'hello' or offer to help them with something. This might not work, but is worth trying as a first course of action.

Try being assertive, too. Use assertive body language, stand straight, don’t avoid eye contact, and confront them with statements like, "I've noticed that you seem to be trying to bully me and I would like you to stop."

If all else fails, or the bullying becomes serious or physical, involve the authorities.

If there’s a discrimination element (you’re being bullied because of your race, gender, disability, sexuality or religion), contact your local authority who may be able to take action. Some local authorities have Safer Neighbourhood Teams who work with communities to identify and address local concerns.

In some cases, a local authority can apply for a court order against the perpetrator, banning them from carrying out anti-social behaviour, nuisance or threats against you or your household, and even evict them if they carry on.

You may be able to take out a civil injunction against the bully. Take advice from a solicitor about your options and what you need to do if that’s the case. Find out more about the Proection from Harassment Act here.

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Hi everyone I recently moved home in may this y at since moving in my neighbours constantly harass and bully my self and my kids call my 8 year old son a weirdo and a brat I’m an unfit mother I have community safety on the case police Scotland and victim support my kids can’t play in there rooms after school because they bang up slam doors come to my front door shouting in my fav now effecting my mental health to the stage o struggle to keep food down have picnic attacks high blood pressure and can’t sleep much due to the stress does anyone know anything else I can do to resolve this
Miss x - 17-Aug-18 @ 2:26 AM
It’s so sad that we all have to put up with this behaviour from inconsiderate neighbours.Some people thrive on trouble and take great enjoyment from it . I am in a horrible situation myself.My neighbour intimidated me and my child and nothing is ever done about him . I love my home but sadly scared to go out to garden and stuff . Hate coming home from work ! Got nobody to help
Kitty - 13-Aug-18 @ 10:19 PM
My neighbor has been giving my wife and I a very hard time.She called the animal control office where we live saying are husky is being a nuisance she doesn't speak at all to us just eyes you with hatred. I don't understand she invites my dogs over to her and pets them feeds them etc. Told the animal control officer this and he stills takes her side.
Al - 11-Aug-18 @ 1:05 AM
For the past few months me and a male friend of mine have been being bullied by a woman who lives next door in the ground floor flat in the block next to mine. I am disabled, My friend has a dog that he brings in to me sometimes when he has to go out. He brings the dog to me so we both have company. This woman though has been bullying both of us. She gets home from work, gets out her car then instead of just walking to the block she lives in, she stops and looks all over the grass in front of the flats and when she sees any poo, she blames it on my friends dog even if the dog hasnt been out there. As soon as she spots it, she calls to me to tell my friend to pick it up. And when I tell him she's been moaning again at me he goes out there, she goes out after him pointing out where all the poo is and makes him pick it all up while standing over him. He has told her many times it's not his dog's but she don't believe him or me.
Debs - 5-Aug-18 @ 10:59 AM
I had a disagrement with a neighbour just over a year ago. He reported me to th police and I was given a warning for something I didn't do. I decided it was better to take the warning and stay out of his road. He then reported me fro vandalism to his car about a month later. I was found not guilty. He has now reported my 21 year autistic son to the police saying that he slashed his tyres.aa well a shouting comments about my kids being spacies. We as a family are getting put through hell and I really don't know what if anything I can do about it. Please help
Dm - 2-Aug-18 @ 10:20 PM
I really feel for everyone sharing their stories about neighboursbullying. We are not alone in our suffering tonight, though we live far apart. It is so difficult not to think and dwell about the bully all the time. I spend hours imaging different scenarios and how I can respond, it's my coping strategy to try and survive the next incident, however I'm not living in the moment enjoying life when I'm consumed with stressful thoughts.My heart goes out to all of you. I wish we could rescue ourselves and fly away to a new neighbourhood together. I hope you're given the opportunity to change your circumstances. I hope I can train my mind to think about better things. The human mind is terrible for anticipating that the way we feel now is the way we will feel forever, hence why it's hard to shop well for food when you're not hungry. But trust me you won't feel like this forever, there will be betterdays. Be strong, I know you can find a solution to your problems.
Gari - 2-Aug-18 @ 9:46 PM
I had trouble with my neighbor they threatened me and my partner and called me some unpleasant things, they are known druggies. Went to my housing association as me and my partner was the first neighbor it had happened to. The housing association refused to help. So I went to the police as the person concerned threatened me more than once. The police turned up wanting to speak to them. They wouldn't let them in at first. The police also told them that the social services was involved as well because of the issue's that we raised. The police phoned me on the evening to say they didn't think she would continue what's been going on and that it was idol threats and not to worry. Since then I have now had an exchange and moved home due to this person who now comes to my place of work and continues to threaten and accuse me of stuff. Now thisperson has taken it up on there selves to cause more trouble for me. I now get threating messages on Facebook off different people. I am considering leaving my job because of all the trouble. I don't need it. I don't know what to do anymore had enough if anyone has any advice would be very welcome.
Harleypop - 21-Jul-18 @ 7:16 PM
I have a problem with my neighbour he's so sly apparently works in security but when I'm outside an he's out I get verbally abused by him an his mum is just as bad I have started using my phone to record them so I can show to the police. How long should I wait till I need to report them again? I'm sick to death of feeling harassedand intimidated at times. I don't feel safe as he's had other people vandalise my car. Is it worth getting a solicitor or no?
Jaime - 12-Jul-18 @ 8:27 PM
I am living in hell actually it's not living it's just about existing,, I permanently cry,but apparently everything I do is a put on,it has got worse n worse, the 5 other people/family's who live in this block,sit under my balcony n slag me off,it also turns out the reason they know so much is because they have for the last god knows how long been going into the lady's who lives below message flat n listening to everything thing,, they now know I know so have changed tactics,I have to have my windows shut curtains drawn,I'm too frightened to take my dog out,,I have suffered with mental health issues most of my life,off n on,but because I don't go round telling my buisness they are all saying I'm putting it all in to get moved,this is so very wrong,in fact all of what they think is all based on things being misheard or missing construed to suit what makes them right n me wrong,I feel so vunerable n intimidated. I got my daughter to come but they put on this amazing front,n my daughter said maybe Ur being a bit paranoid they did the same went my support helper came, that's how I found out they were listening in neighbours flat,they knew everything that had been said,but was taken n twisted to sound so derogatory. I don't stand a chance. The thing is at least 3 of them are so well liked no one would believe me,they have had people from houses across road to inform them what time me lights go out if I'm still up,,everything,it feels like I am being permanently watched. I don't think I'm strong enough to take any more of this it has been getting more n more intense day n night,just constant. I feel so guilty for my dog ,today has been one of the worse,, I'm actually too frightened to open my front door go down there stairs and out of that looby door because even if I managed to get out like that someone would phone,txt to let them know I'm out n they've seen me,it's got to point I don't trust to leave my flat empty in case they climb up,I know it sounds crazy n paranoid but believe me I am the sanest I have been in a very long time. I don't know wot to do,,they'll all stick together n IL just be made out to be a wrong en who has had alcohol probs in past, n is fruit bat crazy & people will believe them, none of the people who used to talk when walking dog will even acknowledge me now,I'm a nervous wreck,I'm struggling to see what's the point anymore,it's only my daughter n grandson that is stopping me from doing anything stupid.someone please help me
Mandy. - 11-Jul-18 @ 6:10 PM
I have neighbours that gossip and accuse us of reporting them to the housing association, all we want to go is to be left alone, there were issues that I believed were sorted, but today we were accused of reporting someone and that it's our fault if we get evicted as they have a child, we don't care what other people do and have always stated that. Just want to be left alone and in peace, it get a upsetting for my partner who suffers from severe mental health and other issues such as agoraphobia so this has made it much more difficult to get him.to.go out. Don't know what else to do
Gamekeeper - 11-Jul-18 @ 5:56 PM
My neighbours yell shut up at my dog every time I come home. My 3 dogs are always excited to see me but only one barks a welcome. It takes me 15 seconds to get from car to door. I am never late out. She has already reported me maliciously to SPCA’s and made up rubbish about the dogs being maltreated when she was told that dogs are allowed to bark to protect their property.
Jc - 8-Jul-18 @ 7:41 PM
I was sitting in my back garden yesterday and some stones got thrown at me. I am a disabled woman & this is not the 1st time this has happened. I have not seen who did it..any advice anyone, please?
Howdy - 5-Jul-18 @ 8:47 AM
Im constantlybeing bullied by neighbour have involved authorities housing associationsays i go out drinking everyday verbally abuses me and has physically assault me but nothings been done by police or housing
Jj - 3-Jul-18 @ 5:05 AM
Kiki - Your Question:
Our neighbor has broken the boundary fence three times the 2nd time we tried to repair it but before we had fenced it all the way he bulldozed through and piled the earth over so we could not continue.We kept the peace and said nothing. We are pensioners,Then their septic tank was overflowing and I mentioned it in a friendly manner as it was coming into our garden.(I thought it was the right thing to do instead of getting environment involved) Then he seen to it but bulldozed through the boundary and the clay is on our side and we cannot restore the fence! What can we do?

Our Response:
Who is responsible for the fence/to whom does it belong? Is it shared? Sorry it's not clear from your post.
ProblemNeighbours - 2-Jul-18 @ 10:30 AM
Hello I've had a neighbour move in 6 months ago from day one he's hated me.with no reason and decided to try and make. My life a misery.I did a bit of DIY he banged viciously.banged for anything I do or even walk around flat.he lives below.he's even knocking on other neighbours doors to see if they'd help him to do me over.he's a bit job and a druggie.he has no empathy wa t so ever.he watches my every move has a go at ppl who come round .has smashed my bathroom window .the sad thing is ppl are right .basically the housing and police keep the problem going.instead of a big big warning of eviction.daily i have to fill in a repetitive anti social behaviour does logging in...my poor Kat won't go out ..seems the nicer person you are.you're targeted .I've wanted to retaliate ( human nature)but I know it will be me evicted or arrested..not him....it's never the person bullying etc they get away with it....the police and housing are useless bring back vigilantes ?at the moment the problem worsens....I'm determined to stay and won't let this mindless Idiots ruin my life...as I still believe karma or justice prevails i hope ...thanks
Sid - 1-Jul-18 @ 11:43 PM
Hi I have 3 neighbours that are starting to get to me. A couple of months ago I had a really heated argument with my husband and cos we n the neighbours had there windows open cos it was a warm night they good hear us n 1 of them posted our private life onto fb so the whole village new I've said sorry to them all about are argument but now I feel like the 3 neighbours who hang out together are nip picking everything I do now ... one night I had a bit of music on low on tge garden n had my friend round n i was singing with my daughter only quietly or i thought it was wasnt that loud one of the 3 neighbours came n said can you tone it down that I had was being loud I toned it down the singing stopped this was 9.30-10 ish at night my friend was being a bit loud n shouting so I asked her to leave . N we went inside. The next day another of the 3 neighbours had posted again on fb so I messaged her privately n said sorry but the 3rd neighbour had a go at me in work n then the one that came round had a go at me the day after while I was on my own saying I had threatened her when I hadn't. None of the other neighbours heard anything as I asked them n they didn't hear the arguing a couple of months before n I find out that the said 3 neighbours are all friends n related n therefore I feel like for some reason they have a grudge or a dislike to me as I've never done anything to them before I don't even speak to them. Now I feel trapped in my own home that I can't do anything without them starting I can't even walk down street without snide comments n them watching my every move it's awful I can't even sit on my garden during a lovely evening that's how bad it's getting n it's just the 3 no one else
Twink - 29-Jun-18 @ 10:08 AM
Our neighbor has broken the boundary fence three times the 2nd time we tried to repair it but before we had fenced it all the way he bulldozed through and piled the earth over so we could not continue.We kept the peace and said nothing. We are pensioners,Then their septic tank was overflowing and I mentioned it in a friendly manner as it was coming into our garden.(I thought it was the right thing to do instead of getting environment involved) Then he seen to it but bulldozed through the boundary and the clay is on our side and we cannot restore the fence! What can we do?
Kiki - 28-Jun-18 @ 4:24 AM
I'm being bullied spoken about and allegations made against me by 3 neighbour's.I ljve in a council house with my young child. I work and study. They've reported me to social services and fabricated stories and even one reported me to the police and i had to go to a voluntary interview about threats of violence which are untrue. I have msgs luckily to show this is untrue and contact was made by her. And that its nothing but tit for tat and definitely no threats made. Its depressing me i just want to move but even that is stressing me out just the thought.They're trying to get me kicked out of my home. Even moaning that i learned to cook indian food through my bf msging me saying noone wants to live to the smell of curries. My bf is indian. Its all realky pathetic.I just want to live in my home in harmony i dont even want to talk to any of them.
Sylv - 17-Jun-18 @ 11:39 PM
I just want to comment , I have been bullied and gossiped about for 3 years now. Constant complaints over opening a window or supposedly slamming a toilet seat. they put my garden fence in the bucket on one side, and the man underneath killed my tree, by chopping it down. I have had amonia allnover my door and mat.These are pensioners. They bully me because I was nice to them, and live on my own with a child. They began intimidating me,getting family members banging on walls and going to batter me because I sat in my kitchen all day (I work from home btw) they are so nosey. I am moving now thank God , I am now off sick from work, as I had a breakdown putting up with it for all those years and was in hospital. The whole street has ignored me. I called the police many a time, but because they are all best mates, the neighbours deny it all and I'm left. Even though I have evidence and audios. I just hope the next flat is ok.
rattylove - 7-Jun-18 @ 3:23 PM
Suzy - Your Question:
I am disabled pensioner and being bullied by neighbour because I had approved work by Council to keep me safe and assist me living in home. Frightened to go out as get verbal abuse from this woman. Yesterday looked in kitchen window 6.45am and frightened me, I have heard problems anyway. Afternoon left all my gates open and screamed at me.Asked police to come and see me. Waiting for further action.

Our Response:
Are there any support groups in your area that might help?The AGE UK advice line for example, may be able to provide advice.
ProblemNeighbours - 6-Jun-18 @ 10:21 AM
Been there.Lived here for almost 20 years without any problems of any kind Can confirm NO ONE helps Police council landlord belive their lies. Is this what my high council tax pays for? They were younger and more charismatic than us.Me and my husband are getting on a bit in years.I am disabled and he is small in stature.Ripe for being bullied by all! Some other neighbours even stirred up the trouble and added to the situation. Troublesome family have moved and now the neighbours that stirred and added to the trouble want to know us! Can you believe that? What a complete and utter eye opener! Those involved ought to be ashamed of themselves.
Annie - 5-Jun-18 @ 11:14 AM
I am disabled pensioner and being bullied by neighbour because I had approved work by Council to keep me safe and assist me living in home. Frightened to go out as get verbal abuse from this woman. Yesterdaylooked in kitchen window 6.45am and frightened me, I have heard problems anyway. Afternoon left all my gates open and screamed at me. Asked police to come and see me. Waiting for further action.
Suzy - 5-Jun-18 @ 7:38 AM
Hi I have a new neighbor who has only been in the flat below over a month and all he has done since he has moved in is make my life a misery. I don’t feel safe in my flat anymore I have to stay in my bedroom all the time because he constantly plays loud banging music in the living room so can’t sit in there. My housing association just told me to phone the police but I’m actually too scared to phone them incase he hears me phoning them. Also I think he does drugs too as my flat reeks of the smell of them and have to constantly leave all my windows open in my flat to get rid of the smell of them. I don’t know what to do. I’m at my wits end now and feel as if no one is helping me.
Kimmy1984 - 2-Jun-18 @ 10:37 PM
I left my story which I'm going thru and it posted but only stayed up few minutes I really don't want to have to write it all again. Any reason why this happened.
Ka - 2-Jun-18 @ 8:44 PM
I have suffered for almost 3 years with the neighbor above me she gets away with everything claiming shes being tested for bipolar so the mental health card gets played. Shes tried feeding my dog painkillers through the letterbox but because i.didnt have her on recording they wouldnt do anything. She decorates everyday constantly rewallpapering because she apparently has ocd all i hear is wallpaper being scraped off. Shes lied to the council about me saying im a bully and she doesnt want to live here anymore. Now theyve moved a woman in next door on the same floor whos only supposed to be living there with her son but now she has 3 sons a daughter herself and her dog in a 2 bed flat im constantly slagged off and i havent done anything. Im currently pregnant and need to sleep in the day i have anaemia and am constantly tired they boot footballs off my windows they are in the communal garden til late at night smoking drugs and shouting another neighbpur told them that they need to stop as when my babies here i wont need the stress to which one of the sone replied "well it will have to get used to it or it can move out" it being my unborn daughter. Im scared to go to the housing as the anti social behaviour officer believes anything anybody tells her and i always get warnings when ive done nothing. Im genuinely fed up and have been staying out of my home because i cant sleep and the anxiety is keeping me up at night.
feduptenant - 31-May-18 @ 12:10 PM
I am disappointed in my landlord as anti social behaviour and bullying is meant to be taken seriously and I have done everything by the book..since I have been reporting this,and my my neighbours were spoken to,things have escalated..my housing officer misinformed me,saying they have a plan of action,then wot she says does not happen.I have lost a stone in weight and am i anxious about going out the door..i am a target because i live on my own.i have gone out my way to help them on numerous occasions and because I have said..I am not willing to help you anymore because they continuously switch if I say I haven't got sumthing and get nasty.my neighbour is nearly 50yrs of age,and still continues to TRY to bully me on a daily basis watched by his 76yr old mother.if he ain't at the door.she is,so I've been told not to answer the door.well common sense told me that anyway.that's why it's escalated.cuzim ignoring them.i live on my own in a block of flats so im really finding it difficult to understand why this is occuring and ongoing as i have no faith in my housing or support from them.this plan of action they keep saying they are putting into action isnt happening..my father brought me up on his own and sadly he has passed away now but he taught me right from wrong .i always took on board what he said and his words to me once when growing up was always be kind,true and honest.never bully anyone or let anyone do the same to you..I am trying to stand up to these people and I'm getting absoloutley nowhere..my dad will be turning in his grave knowing this is happening to me.my 2 neighbours lack of empathy is alarming to be honest..michelle coventry
hilly - 17-May-18 @ 11:55 AM
Bingoin on for 12 months now ivy jumped could get um done in now bullienus all over fb putting kids pics on mi adress frets to mi kids I ignored but still saying things I no nt mi loads of thngs mi daughter I’ll she gt cystic fibrosis thy say she dyin accusing mi breaking window thy did thm selfs say I fretan um wit knifes I nt like tht thy say I on drugs ad test negootive dnt go out suffered depression n thy harassing mi in no son on fb
Shaz - 16-May-18 @ 4:19 AM
NO ONE wants to know or help if you have a bullying intimidating neighbour!Ive done everything by the book re keeping diarys for the council, enviromental dept, local councillor, police ( all they say is report it to your council) Mediation didnt work. The alchoholic neighbour upstairs has broken most of the rules in his tenacy agreement and the council do nothing! He even broke them during his probationary period of his tenancy and the council did nothing!!!!! Ive been trying to move but cant find anywhere suitable! Even the council wont help me move they told me that my accomodation meets my needs, so I Im a prisoner in my own home!!! Im too frightened to go outside my front door!!! Im a frail pensioner my health has deteriorated, I have M.E. which has got worse over the past year, I literally want to crawl in a hole and die!!! Why Why Why wont councils abide by their own rules and deal with tenants that break their tenancy agreements!!!
Sue - 6-May-18 @ 7:47 AM
I have bought a house and applied for planning permission all four neighbourscomplained, this was fine. But now that I have started building work my next door neighbour, first sent a letter asking to be notified when the scaffolding goes up, which I did. Then she complained that our roof was high and had blocked her tv signal. Which I gave 60 pounds to sort out, as she said that’s how much it costs. She then complained to the council that the roof of my house was big, they came and inspected, it was ok. She then asked the builders if Indians were moving in. And know the builder dropped a hammer on her garage roof, which has caused no damage but she refused to let him pick his hammer up and has now complained that her roof has been damaged and all of it needs replacing. I feel scared to move there and feel that this neighbour has a problem with anything I do.
Fuspot - 3-May-18 @ 8:38 PM
I have a Neighbour. Who acts if he owns the Neighbourhood. He doesn't like me walking down a certain path, that leads directly in the block of flats. Where I live. He stands there, just stares at me, very oddly. Like a thousand yard stare. Outside in the front. I have been avoiding that route, for a few months now.
Alice - 2-May-18 @ 8:54 PM
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