Peaceful Sanity: Live above and below a bowling alley?

We live in a block of flats. We are the top most flat, in a 2 storey block.

We have the full top floor, below us, are 2 flats, one on the left, one on the right, split near the middle.

We moved into this flat some time ago, around May last year.

The previous flat had some issues, for example, walls patched repeatedly, that placing your hand on them produces a hole in the wall, and a very bad pest control problem. It was a 2 bedroom, next to a neighbour that seemed to like to trash his place a lot (broken windows, gone through a wall or two (hence the patching). He was mostly quiet though, you wouldn’t know he was home most days. He’d work, come home, piss it up, go out, work again. All peaceful though. Not someone we’d associate with, but a peaceful neighbour none the less. The flat itself, a 2 bedroom. ‘Cosy’ bathroom, ‘Snug’ Kitchen. You know, Real Estate words that mean “small”.

That property was renting for $160 p/week. We stayed for around 4 months of a 6 month lease, because the owners wouldn’t maintain it.

We looked at this property, after living in that property. We saw.. A lounge room (no kidding, it has ROOM), 3 bedrooms (no kidding, it has ROOM), A combined laundry and bathroom, a back sleepout style room, a roomy, modern like Kitchen.

We didn’t see many flaws with it at all, in fact, the flaws I noticed before moving in:

1. Crack in front glass door, but secure screen blocking that.
2. Small hole in roof, with white patching on concrete wall, from rain water over time.
3. Smashed back window.
4. Open Fireplace (bad, if you have a baby – like we do).

It was a nice 3 bedroom flat / house, for $150 p/week. So, it was better then the last house, yet cost less. We weren’t sure why it was so cheap, we did a pretty thorough inspection (as best we could), but sure enough, it was a great place to move into.

So, we took the property, and moved. It was great.

We then found who one of our neighbours was. As we were moving in, he approached us at his concern that we “young people”, got the property, despite him applying for the same property. He wanted the property as it was cheap, and had plenty of room, etc.
He didn’t get it. Real Estates can be pretty invasive on the checks they run prior to letting someone move in, and obviously he didn’t pass the invasive check like we did.

We moved in the weekend after we got approved, and had the place setup and ready to go. As we were moving in, we had a few misc. items stolen from outside the place. It wasn’t anything major, but it did raise our eyes a little to be more cautious about what we leave outside our property.

We used to also get our shopping home delivered when we moved in here, mainly because the idiots on the road in the 16 – 25 age bracket lack any sense of self control, and that pushes the prices of greenslips outside the acceptable and feasible bracket for those of us who would likely be very responsible on the road given the oppourtunity. Anyway, as a result home delivery of groceries was the best option.

We got home one day after arranging delivery, and we noticed the same neighbour from downstairs near our groceries. My only thought at that time is that idiot is trying to steal our groceries.

I approached him and told him to get away from our property. He stated he was only “covering them up”- I don’t really care, he shouldn’t be touching our property anyway. He then threatened me for telling him to leave our property alone.

For the next weeks, and months later, Russell (I mean, our neighbour), turned from tolerable, to (and quoting NSW Police): “a lunatic”.

He continually threatened us on several occasions, standing outside the block, yelling obscenities, threats, and abuse.
We didn’t bite back, we had no intention of escalating the situation, but rather, to simply wait til one day he woke up to himself, and realised what a complete fool he has been. The situation didn’t calm down, he continually whinged, bitched, and moaned about the fact we got this property, and how poorly treated he is. I’ll write some choice lines below that I recall (and have recorded), from him yelling outside the flats.

The situation didn’t calm down at all. I wrote him a letter, which was neutrel in nature, and basically explained where we stood, and the problems he was causing to himself, and how he could best solve them. This caused a “thank you, sorry” response from him, and it calmed down. For a few days.

The situation quickly sparked back up, no kidding, unprovoked, and he seemingly forgot about his “sorry” note. He was back to threatening, and swearing, and acting like a complete fool in the front of the property.

All the times referred to above we made constant complaints to our Real Estate in an effort to sort him out, however, they seem to have gotten no where useful.

Only on a few odd occasions we escalated the matter to the police, but we didn’t do that often, as it provoked the situation more. He simply was off his rocker. And for a 51 yo, one would instantly assume some basic understanding of the law.

He blasted music, screamed, bitched, abused, and threatened for many, many months. We got the police on to him a few times, and on two occasions he was issued $400.00 fines (he informed us by a new communication method, “yelling at the roof”. The line exactly: “You f&@king c&nt, I got a $400 fine because of you. F*@k you.” … etc. etc.).

We thought, sweet, that got a reaction and a half, and surely, someone who spends there time unemployed, pissing away his dole check every week was a sure target not to be able to afford too many fines.

Each time he stirred, we called the police, and just by chance, he received two fines from the same police officer. Obviously a bad move to start up again, immediately after being issued a fine.

The situation didn’t calm down. We took the matter to the courts, police advising us to get an AVO about his constant threats, and got an AVO issued against Russell, that stated he couldn’t contact us at all, directly, or indirectly, and the standard conditions that come with an AVO.

The AVO was issued to him, and shortly after police serving the AVO, he was off his rocker again, swearing, threatening, etc. The AVO would hold no affect at all until the courts had settled it though, so we continued and waited for the court date.

When the matter was taken to court, Russell arrived, drunk. Our matter was called, and the magistrate asked him for consent for the AVO, and he was so drunk he couldn’t answer straight. Someone he came with yelled out “Yes” from behind the court, to provide him an answer. Personally, I would have argued that he was too f&$ked to actually provide an understandable answer, but he did actually provide a “Yes”, and that was enough.

When leaving the court, he made an attempt to take a pass at me, but the person he was travelling with (when you get to his age, you need to travel with someone, it seems), held him back. Thinking back, I would have enjoyed the ability to legally smash his face in, but we won’t go there. Violence isn’t the answer to this problem.

Around the time the AVO was issued, Russell did actually quiet down. Fear of being thrown in jail and fined again no doubt ensured some degree of silence.

Since that time however, things have been on an upward scale, of him continually throwing abuse out, making vexatious complaints to the real estate, and breaching the AVO on several counts, at several times.

One day, he went to the real estate and made a complaint to the real estate, apparently claiming we were deliberately causing a disturbance to him (same complaint we issued repeatedly against him). Sure enough, the real estate called, and told us they received a complaint, and they simply told us to be mindful that it is a block of flats, and try not to make too much noise. I told them we weren’t, the complaint was vexatious and she left it at that.

We then went out. We had plans that day. Walking down the street from us, we see none other then Russell approach from the top of a hill, walking down towards us.

One of the conditions on the AVO:

1. You must not approach or contact the complainant or his family.

As he walked past. He had a cocky smirk on his face:

“You were warned”, he said.
I then told him:

“You just breached your AVO”. Slam. Got ya. Idiot.

He proceeded back to his place.

We then made a complaint to the police about the breach, and they issued charges against Russell, shortly later, which we can’t help (i mean, you cant help but hear the screaming) but overhearing: “I didn’t breach it”, “Did you walk past them in the street?”, “Yes”, “That’s a breach. A breach is a breach” The police lady had said.

Since that time, he had breached the AVO several times, by screaming obscenities at us. The police aren’t powerless, but unwilling to prosecute where there is not a very clear breach, as he shares the same block of flats with us.

The Real Estate aren’t willing to participate in the issue any more, stating that the police are the ones to be involved now, they don’t want to take sides (no one asked them to!).

Anyway, Russell is a lunatic. For some reason, he hasn’t been admitted to his rightful home, a mental hospital, and as such, this place will remain very expensive (see, it’s 150, but you have to put up with the lunatic downstairs). Personally, I’d have given him an eviction notice months ago (we’ve been hear 9 months so far). And then gave every place he applied to a bad reference to place him in a deeper stress stance.

In the mean time, we have the same issue. A flat with minorly loose timber floorboards that makes a great thud sound as you walk across them, that is really peaceful for us, but a bowling alley to him and his lounge room.

In the words of the police, when they came to visit us over a complaint he had made about alleged “stomping”: “We can’t stop you from walking around in your own house”. Great. It’s legal. It pisses him right off, and it works.

The police know him. He is an alcoholic. Bashes his girlfriend. A menace to society. Deserves the electric chair..? Maybe.

Some choice lines Russell has used in his .. conversations? .. with us:

1. “Your ass is grass”. – Wow. Mulchers aren’t that good are they? How does it make it green?
2. “They’d love you in jail” – why thank you! 🙂
3. “I’ll k%ll you c*nt”.
4. “Come down here c*&t”. – He seems to not know what one is?
5. “Go to Coles again and I’ll k&ll you c&@t”. – He is obviously deprived.
6. “You were warned” – Bahhahaa.. You were arrested.

.. There are others. I can’t remember them off the top of my head. But you get the idea. Russell is a complete fool. At 51, still unacceptable for general society.

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