Doncaster Council forced to apologise and pay £150 compensation for failing to properly deal with nuisance neighbour

Doncaster Council has been forced to apologise and pay £150 in compensation after they failed to take complaints about a nuisance neighbour seriously.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Tuesday, 29th March 2022, 12:44 pm

Doncaster Council has been criticised by the Local Government Ombudsman for failing to take proper action against the nuisance neighbour who smoked cannabis in his flat, damaged communal doors and played music at high volumes in the middle of the night.

The complainant said he had to sell his flat after the council moved the man in due the impact on his mental health.

The complainant, referred to as Mr C in the report, even gave the nuisance neighbour a pair of headphones and some door stops in order to prevent the constant noise but the anti-social behaviour continued for six months.

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George Torr/LDRS

The nuisance neighbour – referred to as Mr D – moved into the flat in December 2020 and damaged a communal door on his first night in the block.

Mr C said he reported the smell of cannabis coming from Mr D’s flat on numerous occasions and was eventually told to contact the police but the indoor smoking continued throughout.

The council visited Mr D again and asked him not to smoke in his flat and to keep his music turned down.

Mr C was then given a device to upload noise complaints but the council said they never received them and later realised there had been an ‘error with the system’.

The complainant said he had to sell his property because of the mental and physical toll it was taking on him and was receiving treatment from his GP because of the headaches and nausea caused by the smell of cannabis.

The council did follow proper procedures in placing Mr D in the flat and the LGO were satisfied with the impact assessment the local authority carried out.

But they said that the council did not fully inform or respond appropriately to complaints lodged by Mr C throughout the time period.

A LGO spokesman said: “While I note Mr D was due to leave the property, the council should have still made a reasonable effort to address Mr C’s concerns. Its failure to do so is a fault which caused Mr C further frustration and upset.

“There was fault by the council, which caused Mr C an injustice.”