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Shippy's avatar

How can I get my neighbors off my back help!

Asked by Shippy (9870points) July 24th, 2012

I do wish I could ask my rights but I understand we are in different countries. I guess then the main focus is how to get my “neighbors” to stop harassing me.

Brief history. Lived in this building (sectional title) for 15 years, during which time, I was a great tenant. Even donated plants the semi garden down stairs. And also paid my levy regularly. I am not sure what that is called anywhere else, but it goes toward the buildings bank account for repairs and so on. Because we are such a tiny building the levy is comparatively high.

For a year, I went into the deepest depression I have ever known. I could not even get outside to get food. My office called me to come in and see them, after a period of two months absent and told me that they had given my major accounts away. I sank lower into this depression. I cut off contact with everyone I knew except one neighbor, who kind of forced herself upon me, and would come up to see how I am.

Ok so now, it is around a year and a half later. The last six months I have perked up a bit, and started doing websites, with a friend of mine, we are very cheap, and we split the money, so money is not great. I rely on that, and basically hand outs from friends. (We have no social support here) just the equivalent of $70.00 per month if you get it. I also wrote to my company as I had disability, did not get it, and cannot also get my unemployment card, since the franchise I was at closed down. My levy is in arrears in a huge way. I own the property.

I get letters now everyday from various neighbors asking me to pay, when will I pay and if I don’t they will hand me over. In all fairness the income I earn from websites barely buys food never mind anything else. A friend approached them this week to ask them to stop writing daily to me as I had received a mail from them each plus Saturday, and was called “selfish” and they were suffering because of the way I am behaving.

My friend explained it was not on purpose (I had kept the body corporate up to date) but he replied he knew nothing of this factor that I had been so ill.

The neighbor that used to pop upstairs asks me daily, have you sold sites today? How much have you made? So on. It is doing my head in. the other people or companies I owed money to, I wrote many letter, and even they do not harass me so. How can I deal with this I feel myself once again sinking into that black hole?

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21 Answers

andreaxjean's avatar

Have you been able to leave your house at all or are you still keeping yourself isolated?

When I look on Career Builder, there are always advertisements for jobs where you can work from home. Some jobs require you to pay a fee to take some kind of exam but in the end it may be worth it?

I’m not really sure what you’re asking us. I understand that you owe money and your website business isn’t helping with that problem. Your neighbors are on your back because you owe money. Are they paying for you? How are they suffering?

Shippy's avatar

Well they are all owners in the building. No they are not paying me anything but there is a shortfall in the buildings “kitty”. That we use to do repairs and so on. All owners need to contribute. I have paid some but I am in arrears. It is law that all buildings have a body corporate fund, so that any repairs can be seen to if need be. There are three tenants in arrears mine is the highest. The levy was always placed too high that is why we battle.

Shippy's avatar

The building needs painting for e.g. so they cannot paint right now. That is a good example, due to fund shortage.

mowens's avatar

Do they stop by to ask you this stuff, or ask you in passing as you are coming and going?

Coloma's avatar

I think all you can do is set boundaries with the neighbors, tell them firmly when they inquire as to your financial state that it is none of their business, but…you do owe these monies, your past tenancy and contributions don’t count, you owe the arrears now.
I would make an arrangement asap to begin a modest payment plan, even if it is only a few dollars a week.
In my area we all pay for our private road maintenance and anyone that cannot pay their share is at the mercy of the other neighbors to pick up the slack or we all have a crappy road to navigate. This is not fair to the paying tenants if they feel needed repairs are being neglected because of anothers failure to pay.

It’s not your fault that you have fallen on hard times emotionally and financially but, this doesn’t change the fact that you owe these monies to your building maintenance and you do need to find a way to start making restitution for the monies owed.
Don’t use this as an excuse to fall back into your depression, this situation may be a byproduct of your unwell year and a half, but it still needs attention.
You can’t expect a free ride because you have mental/emotional health problems, and now that your health has improved some it is time to pick up the pieces of the fallout.

Best wishes.

Shippy's avatar

@mowens No they send text messages or emails.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I second @Coloma‘s comment and emphasize, START A PAYMENT PLAN. In the USA a Home Owners Association, like you explain, has recourse.
They can put a lien against your property and in worse case force a sale of your property.

Judi's avatar

Can you get some medical help?
I understand why your neighbors are upset. Put yourself in their shoes.
The only way to get them off your back is to offer a plan to get caught up.
I think your first priority is to get your depression medically stable and get a job that will pay your share of the bills.

Shippy's avatar

Yes, I agree with @Coloma and indeed have already starting paying. So to me, the barrage of mails an so on was not warranted. (Those from my neighbors). I feel great I have just written them, telling them to check in with the building administrators regards any queries they have. Thanks Coloma for that sound advice.I feel ten pounds lighter and ten pounds stronger.

Shippy's avatar

@judi Yes I agree, but it was becoming too personal. Asking me how much I earn and have I sold a site so on. Plus calling me names no, so not how I would go about things, but that is just me. That is why we have salaried building administrators it is their job. Not the job of neighbors to harass people .

YARNLADY's avatar

I think you should provide a written payment agreement to the building manager, and also a request in writing to have the neighbors stop harassing you.

gondwanalon's avatar

If your state has a Homeowner and Renter Assistance program like California then you may be able to get some help there. Also explore ways that will increase your income. Perhaps a reverse mortgage? Food stamps may also help you.

6rant6's avatar

As I understand it, you owe your neighbors money. In many neighborhoods, sending letters would be considered very mild collections indeed.

I don’t think you should confuse your condition – which is real and sad – with whether they are behaving appropriately toward you.

I hope things work out better for you. In the meantime, you might want to consider how you would have felt when you were paying your share if someone had stopped paying theirs – forcing you to live in a deteriorating building. You undertook a contract when you moved in; do you agree they have a right to expect you to fulfill it or to sell to someone who will?

WestRiverrat's avatar

Can you work out an in kind payment of some kind? If you can do some of the painting or minor repairs until you can get back on your feet, it may make your neighbors less anxious about the arrears.

Shippy's avatar

@6rant6 I have lived here 15 years and we have had MANY people not pay and yes, I have had to suffer. I did not behave like that. Like I said, it is the job of the administrators to send letter that I can understand. It is the basic nosiness that is pissing me off. So , as I said earlier and will say again, I do understand. I have dealt with it and thanks to @Coloma for helping me to place boundaries.

Shippy's avatar

@6rant6 and no I don’t owe my neighbors money.

Shippy's avatar

@WestRiverrat Yes, I have already contacted the admin for the building and have asked to work a deal. I have also asked that they deal with me directly , as is correct in sorting out a plan. Neighbors asking me how much I earn is not correct. So I have also sent a mail to all concerned if they need updates, they can contact the administrators. I consider this question answered thanks for your help and assistance.

chewhorse's avatar

Sounds like our Country (USA) where people are openly griping about others whom they no longer want to participate (through taxes) nor be responsible for their welfare. It’s a moral issue that when you value money over life, well most times you choose the wrong option. It seems that’s what’s happening with you.. Either convinced by others or simply cold hearted, they see your dilemma as your business, not theirs and if you can’t carry your load then find somewhere else to exist. Sad that we think that way but on their end it seems justifiable. I’m afraid the longer it goes on, the more aggressive they will become. I do wish you luck.

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6rant6's avatar

@Shippy “My levy is in arrears in a huge way.” Doesn’t that mean you owe money to the project—which is owned by your neighbors and you?

Pandora's avatar

Are there repairs you can help with in the mean time that can be washed off your payments. Lets take painting. How much for hiring a painter for a few hours? If they are going to pay someone 50 dollars to paint or maybe even your business partner can help you with some of the handy work if you are not so handy.

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