A middle-class vibe – neighbours

2012-04-22 11:24

The neighbours from hell

At River View in Weltevreden Park, Nicolene Husselmann had the neighbours from hell.

Husselman said they were “high most of the time and partying throughout the whole weekend” until they left and the Mokautus moved in.

The occupants of the overcrowded three-bedroom flat also didn’t pay their rent, water or electricity bills.

“Their electricity was cut, and then they would just braai on the stoep.

“I promise you, the stinky smell coming from the refrigerator that you smelled when you passed their door – I was pregnant at the time. Eeeuw!”

But not paying bills and a rotting fridge were not the only things that put these neighbours in bad odour. Says Husselmann’s upstairs neighbour, Sanri van Wyk, a former crime reporter: “They had brand-new cars there all the time, without number plates.

I knew it was a vehicle syndicate.

“I think one of us even SMSed Crime Line. But it was because they were so dirty and such bad payers that they got evicted.”

Across the way, at the next block in her complex, Van Wyk spied more dodgy behaviour.

“There was this man who lived there who used to get all these visitors. And I could see him from my balcony. People would knock there and not go in, but wait a bit while he went in, and then they would leave with a package,” she said.

“Now, I mean, honestly! But the bizarre thing is that I never felt threatened. He was definitely a drug dealer. He didn’t last long either.”

There are understandably tensions between owners who live in their town houses and investors who bought them to rent out.

“They don’t care who lives there,” says Van Wyk. “Some of the units are a bit overcrowded, and I honestly think there are illegal immigrants there.”

Neighbours from heaven

In Fir Tree Grove, Lauren Johnson is a magnet.

She’s the go-to person for neighbours who need emergency child care, as well as for those who just feel like a chat and a glass of wine after a hard day.

She’s describes her neighbours as people who would do the same for her.

Recently, two young women who moved into the complex set their house on fire with their hairdryer.

After a power outage, a regular occurrence, one of the young women had left her hairdryer still switched on and gone out for breakfast.

Fir Tree Grove body corporate chairperson Barbara Atkinson chuckles when she recounts how one neighbour stuck a hose pipe through the window to try to put out the fire.

And Johnson says other neighbours offered the two luckless women everything they needed – beds, linen – to get back on their feet.

“They’ve moved out now, shame,” she says.

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