I have never lived beside "neighbours from hell". Thankfully.
I also can't recall ever giving my neighbours cause to get upset and angry with me either.
I don't play loud music late into the night or have wild parties. I like my home and surroundings peaceful.
If occasionally a neighbour does have a loud party, I know it's a rare happening so I can live with a little inconvenience.
I wave to my neighbours when I see them, would offer help if they needed it but other than that I prefer to keep to myself.
I do get really angry though when I read cases of "neighbours from hell" making people's lives miserable.
And nothing much seems to happen when they complain. Noisy, unruly neighbours, who are invariably tenants, not homeowners, seem to get away with it.
If the neighbours are Kainga Ora tenants, they certainly know there won't be repercussions as Kainga Ora has a daft policy of not terminating tenancies.
No matter how disruptive and disgusting the tenants' behaviour is, they can remain in their houses and it seems, to hell with the neighbours.
Many neighbours say that is now their everyday experience. If you can't act decently towards your neighbours then I do think your tenancy should be terminated.
Go find somewhere else to live where that crappy conduct will be condoned. Good luck on that score.
No right-thinking landlord will want you as a tenant.
Kainga Ora, following publicity on this, is now saying it is reviewing this policy. But why has it been allowing revolting tenants to make their neighbours physically sick and frightened?
People cowering in their homes, waking up never knowing what might unfold during the day. And now with proposed RMA amendments that will enable housing intensification in many cities, I think the problem will get worse.
Developers, including Kainga Ora, will buy older homes with their big sections and erect three homes up to three storeys high. New Zealanders will have to get used to living in closer proximity to their neighbours than we have had to in the past.
High-density apartment living is common overseas. During my years of living in Switzerland, I lived in two apartments.
They were well built centrally heated two-bedroom apartments.
The apartment in Zurich was one of 20 in the three-storey block. I think there were eight apartment blocks in the quarter. They all looked the same but certainly weren't ugly.
Every apartment had its own balcony and car park out front. Between each block, there was a lovely playground and recreation area.
A manager who lived on the ground floor in each block was responsible for keeping all common areas clean.
Ours, a very dour hausfrau also undertook the apartment and grounds orientation when I moved in.
It was a comprehensive "Do Not Do" list. At the time I thought this very intrusive.
Visitors after 10pm must leave quietly. No cars washed on Sundays. Common areas to be kept tidy at all times. No running up and down the stairwells. Be considerate and do not stomp around in the apartment. Coming from our carefree, laid-back habits in New Zealand I couldn't believe anyone would actually follow these instructions.
I soon understood that having so many people living closely together you do need to be considerate of one another.
You were not expected to just "do your own thing". You needed to be considerate and respectful to your neighbours, as they were towards you.
It didn't seem to bother anyone else so why should it bother me? Not only did I get used to it but I came to really enjoy apartment living.
There was an annual clipboard inspection by the hausfrau, who wasn't that dour after all.
In the German part of Switzerland, it may be different in the French and Italian part, you know when you move into an apartment you won't have to clean it. Everything is spotless.
Another clipboard inspection before leaving.
The problem as I see it is that New Zealanders who are tenants, will not tolerate being told what they cannot do in their home.
That something like, shall we call it "Code of Tenant Behaviour" is a requirement for apartment living, and especially if you are a Kainga Ora tenant.
Intensification in our towns and cities will change our residential settings in the future.
No one should have to live beside tenants with their drug issues, foul language, visiting gang mates, and abusive behaviour.
And Kainga Ora should wake up and acknowledge that, by refusing to act when it receives repeated requests for help from distraught neighbours of Kainga Ora tenants, it is, in my view, an enabler emotional and psychological abuse.
For that there is no excuse. It must reverse this policy.