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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Anti social behaviour in Harringay (was Young people living on the ladder in HMOs)

I will go out on a limb here and say that most of the people on this site are owner occupiers concerned with (in no particular order):
- "crime" e.g. having your cellphone stolen off of you, maybe your wallet too
- poor enforcement of planning laws by the council
- fly-tipping/messy front yards
- dogshit in the passage/on your shoes/in your house
- local "quality of life" i.e. making the high street beautiful and giving it a nice mix of shops
- the quality of education at the local schools
- our property values (go on admit it, we do think about this)

Here is a potential list of a young person's concerns (living in an HMO)
- "crime" e.g.
having a housemate steal from you/beat you up
being mugged for your cellphone which you have no insurance for and has all your important numbers in.
if you're a girl being raped would probably rate pretty highly as a concern.
- cleaning up after your dog which you paid a king's ransom for but cannot afford to feed anything other than leftovers from the kebab shop or junk dog food and hence cleaning up is pretty bad and you're hungover, you'll do it next time... oh you regret buying that dog but you do feel a bit safer...
- getting a "job"/some money
- getting a boyfriend/girlfriend
- getting high
- doing something with your life
- being shifted out of your flat (you don't think about this when you're high).

I know some of us have truly awful issues that involve young people but we should really be moaning about the council and the landlords. I feel that we (myself included) can demonise them unfairly on here. What do we think about making them off limits?

Tags for Forum Posts: antisocial, hmos, housing, youngpeople

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We have a hmo with students next door. Admittedly, the property looks like its in a bad state even from the outside and i do worry that it could bring down the value of my house. The kids dont take care of it either - mainly because its a sh*thole anyway, so why should they bother! I blame the landlord. I have approached him a few times to ask him to fix the guttering, clean up the back yard, fix the windowsills etc but he pretends he is a workman and ignores me (apart from once when I told him, as the 'workman', to pass on a message to the landlord that unless the backyard was cleaned up, i would call the council!)

The students are a nice bunch of kids who have the odd party now and then, but nothing too drastic. I can hear them up late at night laughing, playing music etc, but we have paper thin walls on the ladder, so Im not about to complain. But then again, I am one of those who was born in the 80s and I dont mind their get togethers so much as its something i do from time to time too!
Some HMOs are complete nightmares, agreed. I'm wondering though if there is something that can be done regarding communication between the decent occupiers of HMOs and their owner-occupier neighbours. Are there any HMO residents on this site? If not, why not? I've spent a good deal of my life living in HMOs (by choice rather than necessity, in later years), and I hope I was a decent neighbour during that time.
Maybe start an 'HMO Residents Association' on this site (?) But you're right, there are plenty of people who choose to continue living in HMOs well beyond their 20s, for all sorts of reasons.
HMOs in general are not the devil, it's just the badly run ones with undesirable people (ok, I sound like a snob now, but you know what I mean!) living in them that are the problem, and this is what we need to focus on. Just wondering how we can do it. At the moment we seem to be fighting a battle each, and it's not effective. One tactic that seems to work, but it very time consuming and loooong is to complain so much and cause so much hassle that the landlord gives up and sells the property. That works on private landlords. Where the owner is a company is where we have a problem, they have thicker skin and are used to complaints.
What was the name of the company running the one opposite you?
Limelight Properties
I've been following this thread and other discussions on similar topics w a bit of dismay (as it's progressed I'm feeling a bit better) but as someone born well into the 1980s who lived in what I guess would be called an HMO until last week, when my partner and I decided it was time to be grown ups and get our own place (two blocks away from the last one :) ) The very experience of living in that house, with people who are still my friends, has taught me a lot about the different ways people relate to the environment they live in. My partner and I care an awful lot about the state of the house, garden, neighbourhood, etc, which is why I'm on this site, while one of our housemates, who is an incredibly intelligent and very nice guy (also born in the 80s), simply does not. This does not make him a bad person, or a 'problem person', though I think it's very possible he might litter from time to time and I don't think he would really notice if there were trash in the front garden or on the street or whatever. Yet we still had a great relationship with our neighbours and our landlord, who all expressed that they were very sorry we were moving out.

I think the best way forward is for those of us who care (owner, renter, whatever) to keep caring, and contributing to the community via this site or other means (I work in a not-for-profit art gallery in the area), and for us to be as tolerant as we reasonably can be of those who don't. I really think demonising people is counterproductive. And honestly, I think that those who can't muster this should really have thought about living in another neighbourhood.

Also just a sort of general point, I think that people on this site need to be aware of the potential diversity of perspectives occupied by others on here. I'm not sure whether the site has yet achieved what could really be called representativeness of the whole population of Harringay, and that might be impossible, but if we can't be respectful of everyone who could be on here within this forum, then certainly we can't expect reciprocal respect out there on the streets.
Hi Lauren, it sounds like you have been a good and considerate neighbour, and the fact that you wree in a HMO has nothing to do with who you are - I think we've established that. There are great people living in HMO's. We have all agreed that the term HMO is not really describing what we're talking about.
I have to disagree with you though, I don't think being tolerant of individuals who are being a nuisance to others is the way to go at all. If we were tolerant of people making our lives a misery, where would we be? Bullied, fearful and downtrodden, that's where.
Educating them, yes. Tolerating their behaviour? No. The aim here is to co-exist in a way that works for everyone, not to demonise as you put it. I agree with you there, that would be
And for us who unfortunately have to deal with ASBOs and noise nuisance on a pretty much daily basis, where do you suggest we move to? "Another neighbourhood" you say. Where? Is there a place where everyone's the same and there's no antisocial elements? If that's the case, I would love to know where it is! And for the record, if I could afford a house in NW3, I'd be there now. It's just a matter of making the best you can out of what you've got.
I think people are pretty respectful on this forum, what I guess most people are not, is tolerant of people who basically make other people's lives a misery. And I think that's pretty fair.
You think about how you would feel about someone who kept you awake night after night after night. And then threw litter in your front garden, broke your car window and left a dogs**t on your doorstep. I think you would be pretty peeved.
I agree with you, some discussions were looking like a bit of a youth thumping exercise. Hence this post. My own house (much to my wife's dismay) has often been an HMO as we come from the other side of the world and we get long term visitors. It's not HMOs that are the problem - we all agreed on that. Some people even prefer to live that way. And we agreed (well, there was no dissent) that "young people" would be left completely out of any anti-social behaviour discussions. I'm really pleased that young people choose to live here, it's a sign of the area's "health" as a place to live - you do have choice and you chose here.

Having said that, I don't think your request that we think about living in another neighbourhood if we can't be "reasonably tolerant" is fair. Moving house because of a bad neighbour is completely unacceptable. It would cost me about 25000 pounds to sell my house and buy another one somewhere else.

Look, I'm not having a go, I just think you underestimate how difficult it can be to leave a problem neighbour.
I think you're all misunderstanding me. I'm not at all suggesting that anyone should leave the neighbourhood, just that like me, you had a choice when you bought your homes. You could have chosen to live in any number of other neighbourhoods in London where "people like us" live in nice old houses on quiet streets, while "people like them" live in estates. Then maybe you wouldn't have had as many day-to-day problems with neighbours. But I think you'll agree with me that one of the great things about this neighbourhood is its relative social integration. So while that seems to be bringing you some problems, it also has lots of benefits, like the chance (should you choose to take advantage of it) to come into very positive contact with people from loads of different backgrounds, as I have.

As for being respectful on here, Anette, I appreciate your frustration, and I feel fortunate not to have had such negative experiences living here as you seem to have done, but I don't really think the tone you take here is respectful. It's quite unecessary for you to take your frusterations out by directing such strong language at me, or anyone on here. As I was trying to suggest before, this site is public space and the public here is vastly diverse. If you want to see more respectful behaviour from your neighbours, I think you'd be better off using different language, as to be honest, yours is just that which would encourage anyone who might be causing you irritation to do so with even more enthusiasm.
I'm sorry Lauren, I never meant to have a go at you, and I don't think I was being disrespectful. That said, it really, really annoys me when people assume things about other people and make statements like "you had a choice when you bought your homes". For reasons I don't want to get into, no, I for one didn't. Money being one big part of it. I also think you have totally misunderstood the discussion - we are not having a pop at people from different social or cultural backgrounds, but definitely at people with no regard for others. And selfish people can be found in all countries and from every social background. Unfortunately.
Right now, you seem to assume that I have brought on the trouble with the house acoss the road myself? So my neighbours and myself being woken up on a regular basis is brought on by me? I don't think that is a particularly fair assumption. If anything, I think it's pretty disrespectful! Yes, this site is a public space, and it's also a forum for discussion. My post was purely to let you know that I did not agree with you. I am sorry if you find that fact disrespectful.
most streets have 'problem neighbours' in an area like ours. we can aspire to have streets consisting of bishop's avenue type neighbours, but we have to be realistic. i agree that it would be ideal if we could just get them evicted, but they have to live somewhere, and the Council has very few places to put people!

(I know I sound very negative, but I work in the housing field, and unless someone is running a crack den, solutions to these problems are fairly thin on the ground).



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