Hello brains trust,
Thank you all for sharing your insights with me. I really appreciate how this community has provided me with feedback that I can make use of. To be honest I kind of already knew where I stood - but it's good to have the validation.
Looks like the best we can hope for is he sells his house. Otherwise we would be moving out for sure..
After reading and sifting through all the great responses from the community I have come to the following conclusions:
1. He can access our real names by getting a certificate from landrata.vic.gov.au.
2. He may be mentally ill.
3. I may be up against an uphill battle here.
4. My sanity is also important.
I do appreciate each and every one of you adding valuable input into this discussion. Even the ones who think I smoke like a chimney because they didn't read the rest of the thread (couple of you - not even worth pointing out but just to set record straight).
I will be signing off this thread now however feel free to direct message me with ideas on how to deal with him - even if it just for amusement! Our brains are tired from trying to think of the next move when all we want to do is think about living our life and planning our future. I think we will be moving out when our 12 month tenure is up (first home buyers). Hopefully we can go back to where we were renting!
Thank you all again!
Hoping to get some help from the community as I get a bit emotional and irrational at times when I think about my situation. I have seen discussion topics on this forum offer the full spectrum of feedback and even the cynicism is welcome if it sheds some new light! Like I said - I am at a bit of a loss on what my options are..
My wife and I moved into our first home about 4 months ago. What was meant to be a new chapter for us has very well delivered on that front but not what we were expecting. We recently bought a duplex townhouse in the Brunswick Area. There are 8 units on the block - broken into 2 rows of 5 units and then 3. The units share walls on the same row (expect for the ones on the end). Our unit is at the end of the first row.
When we first moved in our neighbour introduced himself to us as a VCAT member - all very cordial and stuff - but I realised that he had gone through our bins as he was using some cardboard boxes that seemed familiar. I asked him if he fished them out of our bin - and he said yes and that it's a good thing I forgot to put our bins out (perhaps a passive transgression - but I didn't think too much of it).
The week after he saw me and my wife having a cigarette on our balcony. He poked his head around the shared wall and exclaimed "I didn't know you smoked!". Before I had an opportunity to say anything he had turned around and walked back into his unit slamming the door behind him. The next day I said hi to him and he just gave me the death stare saying he doesn't speak to smokers. I said I didn't mean to upset him - if my smoking is an issue (maybe it's getting into his house through windows or whatever) that I would adjust my habits as I want to get along with my neighbours. He scoffs - and then slams the door in my face again.
At this point I was a little worked up - but didn't act on it as I have a wife and a dog and don't want any unnecessary trouble. I was also confused that my smoking a cigarette got such a reaction out of someone. A few days later as I walked past the front of his house (we share a walkway at the front of our units) I brushed one of his plants (it was sticking out) as I was walking my dog in the morning. There was no damage to his plants. He catches up to me - looks dead straight ahead and says "the next time you touch my plants I'm gonna chop your fingers off". I pick up my dog and ask him "are you alright in the head mate? What if I threatened you with loss of your digits?" He said "I'm standing right here come say it to my face." At this point I said "not worth it - come back when you understand what civil discourse is" and walked off. I called the police and went to the local station to do a report. The police officer whom I spoke to said he can definitely attend but at this stage, without evidence, it is my word against his. And - erring on the side of caution - I decided not to proceed but made a statutory declaration of the event and this was certified by the officer. I also thought to myself that if this person is even a little bit unhinged - I wonder what his next step would be if I triggered him more? I didn't want to find out. From this point onwards the harassment/intimidation/stalking/berating took on new heights.
A few examples:
1. Banging on my door at 6pm on a Friday night whilst my wife is watching TV - multiple times
2. Banging through the shared wall on weekdays - again when my wife is watching TV - multiple times
3. Calling us "typical smelly Indian c$%ts" - we are brown skinned but not Indian (fair mistake but not the point) - at least a handful of times
4. Making noises as he walks past the front of our house to trigger our dog - ALL THE TIME
5. Going through our bins (which we don't have evidence of - but we have evidence of him going through at least 2 other residents' bins - both female - at least twice
6. Spending inordinate amounts of time doing gardening to the common areas - which he is unauthorised to do as he is not licensed/insured/contracted - ALL THE TIME in defiance of explicit instruction from the BodyCorporate (of which I am a committee member)
7. Spraying the front of our unit as well as another unit w/ a pet cat with chemicals and white powders excessively - evidence will show he purposefully goes back to these units to spray additional quantities - singling us out - at least WEEKLY but on occasion 2-3 days in a row.
8. Testing the infrared sensors on our cameras by testing how long it takes for the motion sensor to switch off - SUPER CREEPY
9. Stalking my friends and, more importantly, my wife's friends a whole lot more - videoing their cars as they drive off
10. Doing works to common property at odd hours - e.g. spraying chemicals in front of our unit at 10pm (amongst other incidents)
Now he has made false allegations about our Body Corporate Manager which prompted an investigation but ultimately resulted in no action as the basis of the complaints were of a vexatious nature and lacked substance. Clutching at straws as it was put to us. We have come to learn that out of the 8 units in the block - the neighbour has ongoing disputes/issues with residents from 4 units. And that is not counting the people who have moved out because of his antics. Once he finds out the name of whoever he has an issue with - he takes it further by making complaints of a vexatious nature that ultimately don't go anywhere but obviously take up time and resources.
We have been advised to take out a Personal Safety Intervention Order a few times now. I have found that this means releasing our real names to the respondent which we are not very keen on. We have very unique names and as such - wouldn't take too much snooping around online to find out where we work and what else we get up to including social media.
There is definitely more to this - but again I am not being very objective here because of my proximity to the situation. I would love to hear from people who have anything to add to this.