Disputes between neighbours can often be fraught at the best of times but when they cross over the boundary into discrimination, that is unacceptable. The implications are far more serious and can even result in legal action being taken.
When Can a Dispute be Deemed Discriminatory?
Many people often think of race and ethnic origin when considering discrimination, but actions, language or behaviour which is used in an intimidatory and/or demeaning manner to people because of their race, disability, religious beliefs, gender or sexuality can mean that you are breaking the law on discrimination. This can leave you open to criminal charges being made against you.
What Might Constitute Discrimination?
Racially motivated attacks are probably the most common form of discrimination but other things such as inflammatory graffiti, taunts or threats (whether verbal or written) and the denial of services to one particular individual might also constitute illegal behaviour which is against the law. An example might be where a local pub at the end of the street might refuse to let a group of homosexuals or lesbians into their establishment.
What if I Think I’m a Victim of Discrimination by my Neighbours?
First, it’s important to point out that even if you might feel socially isolated within your neighbourhood because of one of the reasons given above, that on its own is not sufficient to bring about any kind of legal action. Everybody has the freedom and right to choose who they speak to and become friends with, and it’s only if you are the Victim Of Harassment that you can consider further action.
What Action Might I be Able to Take?
Ultimately, you might have a case to proceed with which might include reporting the matter to the police and even taking a person to court. It is your local authority’s legal obligation to ensure that discrimination within any community is eradicated when it comes to citizen protection, and this is true whether you rent a council property or simply own a property within the district. In some instances, you might decide that Getting The Police And Courts Involved is not merited for a particular issue.
However, other action you can take in terms of approaching your local authority might be to seek compensation, receive an apology, or gain access to a service to which you might have initially been denied. You may also try to influence the local authority so that they might be able to change certain policies to ensure that the same issue does not arise in the future.
Proving that the Dispute was Due to Discrimination
It’s often quite difficult to prove cases of discrimination but things that may help you include:
Keeping Notes on places, dates and times and the nature of the perceived discriminatory action.
Keep hold of any letters, emails and any other forms of written correspondence and communication that might back up your case.
Try to enlist the help of other people who might be prepared to act as a witness for you if the issue ultimately went to court.
Where Can I Seek Advice?
In October 2007, the Commission for Racial Equality, the Disability Rights Commission and the Equal Opportunities Commission all merged into what’s become the new Equality and Human Rights Commission and you should contact this organisation if appropriate. Alternatively, speak to your local authority and, in serious instances, do not hesitate in calling the police.
I moved in a 1st floor flat (converted Victorian terrace houses)in July last year .from the word go I had noise problems it even worse now.hadverbal abuse calling me slag n saying seen things online about me etc..came to a head on Sat wen a male friend had a polite word .we went out for 2 n half hours .Wen got back my electric was off and the metre outside is the bit that was switched off and the door wide open .I knew it was closed earlier that day .n it was so obvious that he switched it off .
Well he actually came out and gave me lots of verbal abuse effing thisn effing that n shouting it all .Well as him n his mates were standing in front of my door I got in his face n did exactly what he did to me .he ran behind his mate .police were called n I felt rubbish .all he is getting is a letter .whilst I have had a year of hell and I have severe depression which I'm unable to work with and was abused last may by a bully. I'm feel like I'm living that relationship again with the neighbou
Caz - 12-Apr-22 @ 9:12 PM
Irina, if you feel that you are being victimised because of your national origins, this could potentially be a criminal offence and your Local Authority has legal responsibility to protect you if you are experiencing harassment due to your national origins. I would try getting Mediation Services involved first and potentially Anti Social Behavior Team at your Local Authority.
Ula - 9-Sep-21 @ 3:34 PM
I was arrested 5 years ago when my computer got a virus and i reported it to the police they then arrested me and took all my devices they found nothing and there was no further action taken by the police and all my property was returned now one of my neighbours is telling everyone im some kind of pervert my new nieghbour was told not to talk to me by them what can i do
Blue - 15-Apr-21 @ 8:05 PM
Hello, I I live on my own with my 9byear old daughter, my neighbours own there home. We used to be friends when I 1st moved in 4 years ago. She is aware of my mental health issues and my daughters. Things were great until I had to speak to them about the cannibis smone/smell drifting up in to my daughters bedroom, asked if they could smoke away from where her window is. She replied with abuse and slammed door on me. Ever since then, we have been getting random complaints from my housing association from her. We've had a dog for 3 years now, but since that day, all of a sudde" my dog barks all day all night " (she doesn't!) she only barks if someone knocks the door?! Shouting and screaming coming from house during day(my daughter has adhd and possible autism, awaiting of camhs! And she has melt downs! But neighbour knows all this! We all know if a private house complains abkut a council house, they win! But there's nothing we can do about them, when there smoking weed, arguing late at night smashing plates and waking my daughter up. I'm a sitting duck for eviction, and I have no where els to go. My housing ain't no help either. What my neighbour says.... Goes!
Kez - 5-Jan-21 @ 11:25 AM
All the people in my flats are discriminating against me because I came back from the armed forces and I hear them whispering to each other that I am a murderer. I fought hard for Queen and Country and they have all these peace flags and hippy incense and some of them are even tree huggers. I used like to go to my local British Legion but it closed down due to coronavirus and I have no escape from the constant snide comments about my military background. I'm thinking of just getting drunk to block out the noises in my head from the memories of having to kill people. It doesn't help being called a murderer in the place where I should feel safe.
Dean Spriggings - 26-Nov-20 @ 8:46 AM
We need your urgent advice please: since I moved into the flat of my now husband David 4,5 years ago we have been systematically bullied by the neighbors from the flat below. My other half had been renting this flat through Dorset Lettings Weymouth for over 9 years before! The landlord is fully unformiliar to me, I never met him. Shortly after we started sharing the flat WE received letters from Dorset Lettings, containing complaints as regards noise, stomping on the floor etc. audible outside and flat. My husband is a baker and he works nights 6 nights a week, physically most demanding job I know. I am a civil servant and have a uniformed job. The last couple of years I have considerably progressed in terms of my career. We don't have children or pets! David leaves for work at 9.00 pm 6 times a week, I am at home alone till 7.00 the next day, watching TV, reading, going to the gym. That's it. Whenever we receive letters, dealing with NOISE, coming from our flat, they are specifically covering the times when my husband is at work. In the past they contained the details that are truly scaring us, like detailed/precise times when he leaves the flat & returns home in the morning. Are they STOCKING US?! On numerous occasions we spoke to the Dorset Lettings, feeling HUMILIATED, INTIMIDATED, JUSTIFYING OUR "ACTIONS", feeling harassed. The explanation/excuse given by Dorset Lettings is always same: they have to follow the lead and warn/DISCIPLINE us when letters from the tennants have been sent to them. THIS TIME today this new letter from Dorset Lettings speaks a different language and has a different tone: it is only your wife's voice, her shouting (!!!) and stomping around occur when YOU=DAVID, MY HUSBAND ARE NOT THERE. In this letter they say that we are jeopardising our tenancy and my DAVID HAS TO SPEAK WITH HIS WIFE,ME (Irina). IT GIVES ME ANXIETY, I AM SCARED. PLEASE, HELP US ASAP
Arisha - 21-Feb-20 @ 7:07 PM
I have had ongoing issues with 2 neighbours since Feb, I have the anti social behaviour team involved (1 neighbour had signed an ABA) our housing association(I was told in june by my housing officer that the ring leader was getting evicted in the next couple of weeks, this STILL hasn't happened)and the police(seem non intressted).things were quite for a couple weeks but have kicked off again with the neighbours (grown women) referring to my four year old disabled son as a M***O! They have broken my boundary fence and now making what I can only describe as their attempt to impersonate a disabled person! I literally had to force the police call handler to take my call seriously, am still wayon them coming out.i feel that they are not doing anything to help my family live in a save environment and are happy for us to be sitting ducks, living in fear of what is next. I've had to put cctv up around my properly as they have caused damage multiple times, I dont want to move but I can no longer have my kids in this environment, will o be able to compensation as they aren't actually following their policys and procedures?
Vlbyrne86 - 24-Sep-19 @ 9:31 AM
My son is being discriminated against by my upstairs neighbor. When he goes into his bedroom at night the stomp throw heavy objects to the floor running ing place loudly they do this for hrs.I written several letters to the management and they still continue my 18yr. old son has autism and is.medically fragile. What can I do the other day I heard them making fun at him he is non-verbal.
Shecaniah - 20-Jun-19 @ 12:27 AM
Millie71 - Your Question:
My next door neighbours own their own property and they say we are council scum. They are constantly reporting us and for stupid things like my bin is empty, grass is 1 inch too long, he is spying on myself and my children and makes comments about us all the time. I feel like he is becoming obsessive and has taken photographs of my children playing at the back of the house. One early evening my partner was building a shed and it wasnt particularly late and he stood outside giving us grief. We never got round to finishing the said she'd felting and now it's come off and is ruined. I hear him making sly comments all the time and it's becoming hurtful and scary. My children can't even play outside anymore and don't want too. They drag their kids in and say the scruffs are out. We have never done anything towards these people but we are being punished because we live in a council house. The housing are constantly coming round due to the constant complaints. Myself and my partner are both disabled and feel intimidated by him. And we now sadly spend more time indoors than what we do out. My life is a living hell and I don't know what to do about anything anymore. These people are just spending their lives obsessed with myself and my partner. I've had the police out once for intimidation and him causing bother be cause our vehicle isn't a rolls Royce. He even parks in our parking spot at the back because he can. We aren't allowed to park our small van at the rear of the property be cause it's considered a commercial vehicle. But yet he parks his actual commercial vehicle in our spot just to rub our faces in it. Is there anything I can do to stop these people or so I have to spend the rest of my life being tormented be cause I'm apparently council scum??
Talk to your housing officer to see if there's anything they can advice. There isn't much the police can do about this unfortunately. You could consider a third party mediator/dispute resolution service.
ProblemNeighbours - 4-May-18 @ 2:03 PM
My next door neighbours own their own property and they say we are council scum.They are constantly reporting us and for stupid things like my bin is empty, grass is 1 inch too long, he is spying on myself and my children and makes comments about us all the time.I feel like he is becoming obsessive and has taken photographs of my children playing at the back of the house.One early evening my partner was building a shed and it wasnt particularly late and he stood outside giving us grief.We never got round to finishing the said she'd felting and now it's come off and is ruined.I hear him making sly comments all the time and it's becoming hurtful and scary.My children can't even play outside anymore and don't want too. They drag their kids in and say the scruffs are out.We have never done anything towards these people but we are being punished because we live in a council house.The housing are constantly coming round due to the constant complaints.Myself and my partner are both disabled and feel intimidated by him.And we now sadly spend more time indoors than what we do out.My life is a living hell and I don't know what to do about anything anymore.These people are just spending their lives obsessed with myself and my partner.I've had the police out once for intimidation and him causing bother be cause our vehicle isn't a rolls Royce.He even parks in our parking spot at the back because he can.We aren't allowed to park our small van at the rear of the property be cause it's considered a commercial vehicle.But yet he parks his actual commercial vehicle in our spot just to rub our faces in it.Is there anything I can do to stop these people or so I have to spend the rest of my life being tormented be cause I'm apparently council scum??
Millie71 - 2-May-18 @ 9:36 PM
I need some serious help. I'm the only hispanic in my neighborhood, people are starting to lie on me. The landlord is a sweet man who's just caught in the middle. Help.
Irritated af - 22-Dec-16 @ 12:05 AM
Ever since i moved house last year we have had nothing but complaints to the council it started with the next door neighbour making up an outright lie about my partner saying that he swore at her in the street and blocked her drive with the removal van and apparently refuse to move it ,it was a damn lie my partner had never even seen the woman at that point we were devastated how someone would make up such nasty lies ,but what really gets to me is she has spread horrible things about us to other nieghbours so another nieghbour is constantly phoning the council saying we are an abusive family and its worse when my kids are playing outside ive had to keep the kids in as much as possible because they even shout things to the kids they stand at the bottom of the garden watching as soon as they hear someone open our back door they are theyre there whether we are putting rubbish out or if the kids are outside they are watching i hate living here ive never had this sort of thing anywhere else ive lived we are a big family but my kids are not bad mouthed or horrible its wrong that we are getting complained about when its these 2 sets of nieghbòurs who have taken a disliking to us they just want us evicted and them standing in the garden watching everything we do is to provoke an arguement so they can go to the council.
Kelly - 21-Oct-16 @ 1:29 PM
every since I stopped taking my neighbor kid to SCHOOL.I have been harassed please help me I have two minors
Big Mama - 9-Mar-16 @ 7:52 PM
frustrated- Your Question:
I have people who live down my street who just dump old furniture not just in the very small front garden but also out on the pavement. God only knows where they get said furniture as it it far more than one person can own and I do ring the council regularly to have these removed. I would like to know what the law actually is regarding this as to my mind it is actually a type of fly tipping and is not only bringing the area down but is a hazard to elderly. blind or mums with small children and prams. I would be grateful for any advice as this is a continuing problem in my street.I take pride in where I live and the council do not seem to deal with this.thanks
Your council refuse department should deal with these fly tipping issues. If you have not been getting a satisfactory response from the council, it might be worth contacting your local councillor or MP for additional support.
ProblemNeighbours - 18-Nov-15 @ 12:02 PM
I have people who live down my street who just dump old furniture not just in the very small front garden but also out on the pavement. God only knows where they get said furniture as it it far more than one person can own and I do ring the council regularly to have these removed.I would like to know what the law actually is regarding this as to my mind it is actually a type of fly tipping and is not only bringing the area down but is a hazard to elderly. blind or mums with small children and prams. I would be grateful for any advice as this is a continuing problem in my street.
I take pride in where I live and the council do not seem to deal with this.
frustrated - 15-Nov-15 @ 5:03 PM
My neighbor is discriminating for being disabled as she isa nhs nurse she should know better as she is making me more and more depressed
Dave - 28-May-15 @ 4:24 PM
My husband had a previous marriage and his wife left him because they had a fight and he hit her. We started going out together and he asked me to marry him when he was free.During the wait I had a child and he was delighted.I became pregnant again and had another child within a year. We married in 1967.On our first holiday together with the children at ButlinsI accidentally touched him while he was sleeping and he hit me.He drank too much beer every evening and this made him difficult.We moved to Rome in 1973.His drinking started when he left work up until midnight.Every morning he took aspirin or alkaseltzer to make him feel better.If I said anything he tried to hit me.To keep him at bayi would yell in the hope that my American neighbour would call the carabinieri.I explained the situation to her and she said if a man hit his wife, the wife deserved it.I managed to get a job in the United Nations and went to work every morning and slept in the Hobby Room to keep my marriage together.My neighbour asked me for gifts and lifts for her and her husband and children. I became her driver. One evening she told me I had to take her home before I stopped at the grocery store so I did but I stopped giving her lifts and changed my hours and routes.My husband had a stroke in 1998 but said it was influenza and refused to see a doctor.He fell and broke his hip and in October 2008 he fell and broke his leg.He was also suffering from Parkinson's but we didn't know.After 8 months in hospital I had to bring him home but it was impossible and expensive to look after him at home so my sister, who directs a Care Home said bring him here in the UK.I chartered a plane from SwissAir to fly us from Ciampino to Cardiff.When we reached Cardiff he was admitted to hospital for 24 hours to check his health and medicines he was taking.The doctors were appalled and said he was being kept alive when he was suffering so much and gave him morphine later in the evening.Sometime during the early morning he died.When I returned to Italy my American neighbour wrote me a letter asking me to forgive her for having left me to go through all that on my own. I couldn't forgive her. She never stopped complaining about me. She pretended she was going away for two weeks when she was actually staying with a friend a mile away.She told everyone I never stopped complaining.My husband never told anyone he was sick, he always said he was well.Now five years on, this woman is doing everything she can to make me leave Italy.She's is setting up people against me.She tells everyone that I scream and shout.My daughter had called the carabinieri in 1986 after which my husband had toldme that he would never try to hit me again, he didn't want to lose me.So we did have some goodyears from 1986 together when we travelled.My big problem now, after all that when I had actually done a good thing keeping my family together and was happy for th
Snip - 7-Mar-15 @ 9:48 AM
When I moved to my new council flat I was transgendered and struggling with isolation and harassment from strangers pretty much everywhere.I had been made homeless because of my gender identity.As a result of death threats, personal attacks and all kinds of other behaviour I decided not to transition and returned to my birth gender. My neighbour is older than I am and she took an instant dislike to me on multiple levels: firstly that I was trans, secondly that I was young, thirdly that I didn't have employment at that time and probably many other reasons.I'm as quiet as they come and keep myself to myself; but this lady clearly wants me out.She ignores my friendly advances and slams the door if I say hello to her.I got a letter this morning from the council to say I've been making excessive noises.It hurts to think that someone I barely know, will make stuff up about me just to get me out of her neighbourhood.There have been times when I've tried to make contact with her, to say hi or the weather's nice or things like that, but she never responds to me.Instead she goes to the other elderly neighbours to talk about me (this has been reported to me).Why are some people just so cold towards others?If she doesn't want to talk to me, how can I hope to resolve the bad feelings she has towards me.For the record I do not hate her, she's not a friend, but I don't want a bad neighbour relationship so I do want to help.She's now regularly making accusations about my excessive noise (which is a complete fabrication), so it's clear she doesn't approve of my staying here.
Fluffy Dice - 27-Feb-14 @ 1:33 PM
i feel very stress i swore at a neighbour she got the police and i was charged with arrassment i am a pensoerand i want to no will they throw me out i have never done enything like this
doe - 8-Jul-13 @ 5:52 PM
The local Authority forced me to remove a bolt lock on my back garden gate which they said caused problems for the cleansing department to empty my bins. Which was not the case. Now my neighbour has erected a gate with a chain and padlock preventing the council from emptying my bins. I am totally blind with mobility problems. Theyare clearly discriminating against me.