A vegan woman in Australia has taken her neighbours to court claiming they deliberately waft the smell of meat from their barbecue into her yard.
According to Cilla Carden, a massage therapist from Girrawheen, just outside Perth, her neighbours are intentionally cooking meat on their barbecue, blowing cigarette smoke and bouncing basketballs just to disturb her.
Carden has reportedly been in a battle with her neighbours since last year and recently took the matter to the Supreme Court, demanding her neighbours also control the weeds in their garden, repaint the fences they share between the properties and repay the cost of damaged plants.
Speaking to 9 News, Carden said:
They’ve put it there so I smell fish, all I can smell is fish. I can’t enjoy my backyard, I can’t go out there.
It’s been devastating, it’s been turmoil, it’s been unrest, I haven’t been able to sleep.
Carden told the courts she believed the disturbance was deliberate, however her case was dismissed by a Supreme Court Judge, with the State Administrative Tribunal siding with her neighbours.
The tribunal ultimately ruled: ‘What [Carden’s nieghbours] are doing is living in their backyard and their home as a family’.
The neighbours, Toan Vu and his family, have since moved their barbecue and discouraged their children from playing basketball. Despite this, and despite her request to appeal the decision being denied, Carden is not satisfied with her neighbours’ actions and has vowed to go back to the courts.
Carden didn’t just have a problem with one of her neighbours though, as she also filed complaints about the neighbours on the other side of her house too.
Carden had insisted her other neighbour stop floodlights shining onto the common areas outside their houses, repair and paint a fence, repay the cost of damaged plants, and keeps her dogs on leads when in the common areas of the property.
The house is owned by landlord Carmel Vallelonga, who said in a statement:
Ms Carden’s demands were proven to be not reasonable and indeed were to the detriment of the other owners’ ability to enjoy their lots in a reasonable and acceptable manner.
Lawyer John Hammond advised:
If you’re having a dispute, the first step is you should go next door and try and sort it out face to face, because if you don’t do it that way you’re going to be up for a world of misery.
Cilla Carden said she just wants to live her life in peace, and ‘get on with my life’.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.