Seniors living at Communicare’s Reyger Court say they are being harassed and threatened by noisy neighbours and people visiting the complex.
A group of six women, between the ages of 74 and 83, sat crammed in a one-bedroom unit as they complained about neighbours whom they say host house parties that carry on till late in the evening during the week, and the early hours of the morning on weekends.
The women feared being named, claiming that they are already having to deal with death threats from those visiting the noisy neighbours and vulgar altercations with the neighbours after approaching them about smoking on the staircases, public drinking, loud music and the use of drugs, they said.
An 80-year-old woman said she moved to the flat 32 years ago and had never had a “neighbour-from-hell” and cannot take it anymore.
“Partying and new faces visiting the complex only started eight months ago, but nothing is being done by police and Communicare,” she said.
She added that when she knocked on the door of the noisy neighbours she was chased away and accused of being racist.
She then contacted Communicare and was told to move out if she didn’t like living at the complex anymore, she said.
“I am paying R600 for rent here. I have nowhere else to go because I am a pensioner. Communicare is telling me that I have to move out because of one neighbour that they cannot control. This is not fair.”
She said in the past if residents were noisy, they would have to pay penalties to Communicare as per the lease, but lately everyone can do as they please.
Another resident, 76, said she suffers from bad headaches because of the medication she is on and cannot handle the noise any longer but she has nowhere else to go.
“I don’t have children to go live with, and I cannot afford to live at another flat, this has been my home for 24 years,” she said.
She claimed young girls, in their school uniform, were being lured to the unit and were partying and drinking during the week.
She said she had approached the neighbours twice, the latest being on Sunday October 30, and was told she would be shot and killed if she did not leave them alone.
“I have also been threatened,” shouted another lady, claiming that she stays indoors and does not make eye-contact with the neighbours at that unit.
The women say they had made numerous attempts to get Maitland police involved but their calls and requests go unanswered and Communicare does not get back to them about the noise complaints.
Tabletalk attempted to visit the neighbours but no one opened their doors.
Tabletalk approached the security guards standing at the small gate at the complex and they said they were allowed to let anyone in during the day but not at night unless they are residents at the complex.
Asked about the bunking pupils, loud parties and use of drugs, the security guard said, “That does not happen on my shift.”
Brooklyn, Ysterplaat and Rugby Residents’ Association (BYRRA) chairperson and Maitland Community Police Forum chairperson Justin Kumlehn said he was aware of complaints of loud music and harassment from residents living at the complex.
A resident had raised the complaints at a recent CPF meeting but had declined to give details, he said.
.“We have not received any formal complaints of no action from police, ” he said.
Communicare’s chief operating officer Makhosi Kubheka said: “We are aware of issues raised by tenants at Reyger Court through our formal complaints process, which forms part of our property management. As a landlord, we take all complaints seriously and follow due process with all tenants when such complaints are received. Formal complaints against tenants are investigated and the necessary action taken.”
Tenants signed house rules, including the “no loud noise” rule, that accompanied all leases, she said.
However, all residents were allowed to have visitors, who had to sign in at security.
“On-site security manage all on-site issues. If they cannot address the issue, then law enforcement will be alerted,” she said.
She denied that residents were told to move out if they did not enjoy living at the complex any longer.
She said Communicare could not provide further information because it was investigating the complaints.
Transgressions can be reported to Communicare on its free, anonymous tip-off line at 0800 204 969.
Maitland police did not respond to emails sent to them on Friday November 4. Tabletalk called the police station and its spokesperson on Monday and Tuesday but all calls went unanswered.