A FAULTY fire alarm going on and off for eight days was the final straw for public housing residents living beside a “nightmare” tenant in North Fremantle.
The Thompson Road unit houses a sprawling family who have been allegedly causing problems for neighbours since moving in earlier this year.
After three days of the nerve-jangling alarm, a neighbour rang the fire brigade in desperation.
“They told me that they shouldn’t have to attend ongoing false alarms, and that when false alarms happen regularly no-one will phone,” said the neighbour, who didn’t want to be named.
But despite the fireys calling Homeswest and giving them a serve, the noise continued for another five excruciating days.
Housing authority manager Greg Cash says the department doesn’t hold keys to its 36,000 properties and getting access was a problem.
“A major difficulty for housing was finding the tenant, who was not at the house for some days, was outside of the metropolitan area and was only located Tuesday,” he says.
“As a result, housing officers have had to obtain access — with the tenant’s permission — to deactivate the alarm. The unit has subsequently been made secure again.”
The neighbour said the experience showed a flaw in the department’s policies, and says there needs to be someone allocated who has the authority to deal with such intrusions on neighbours when the tenant can’t be found.
The neighbour says there’s sometimes more than 20 people living at the property, and other residents are subjected to intimidating behaviour.
“Children, several at a time, stick to me like velcro when I venture outside my driveway/back gate,” she says, adding they were starved of attention.
Stan Lacheta (61) has lived in the estate by himself for 10 years and is a volunteer driver for Fremantle Hospital.
“I came back from holiday recently and my fence was badly damaged,” he says.
“There’s always lots of noise next door and I get hassled when I leave my house for money or lifts and various other things.
“It needs to be sorted out.”
by STEPHEN POLLOCK