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Started by phantlers on Sep 15, 2021 10:49:02 AM
Over the garden fence

My next door neighbour of some 15 years or so has paid for the erection of a concrete post and timber panel fence between our rented properties.

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phantlers - 15 Sep 2021 11:01:04 (#1 of 14)

Priir to the fence there was a line of overgrown conifers that were the subject of much acrimony down the years. I have been mithered to death by her even though I have consistently maintained that the trees were in her garden.

The work this week shows the boundary, marked by old concrete fence posts, to be on my side of the tree line. She has paid various people to cut back and eventually cut down the trees, initially £350 and then this week a further sum plus £300 for the fence.

When she notified me that she had undertaken to have the trees cut back, some months ago I asked her how much she paid and volunteered half, giving her £175. This would have been unexpected by her. On Monday evening, she knocked on my door to ask for money.

All of the detritus from the most recent work is strewn about my admittedly untidy back garden.

I am of a mind to offer her a modest amount, up to a total that would cover the cost of the fence - a further £125 but I did not enter into any negotiation with her or any contractors and whilst I feel my standing more than the cost of the fence is more than generous I fully anticipate she will ask for more, even though the trees she paid to remove are proveably nothing to do with me.

What would you do?

Agaliarept - 15 Sep 2021 12:03:13 (#2 of 14)

What would you do?

Giver her my landlord's number and tell her to ask them for money.

It's not your property.

elderberry - 15 Sep 2021 12:03:30 (#3 of 14)

There is a word that begins with F and another that begins with O.

Tadagee - 15 Sep 2021 12:08:47 (#4 of 14)

I don't think it's appropriate to call in the Foreign Office!

NightInTGeorgia - 15 Sep 2021 12:09:48 (#5 of 14)

I’d have thought border disputes would be their kind of thing

Ginmonkey - 15 Sep 2021 12:12:48 (#6 of 14)

If you rent then it's not your problem - tell her to talk to your landlord.

phantlers - 15 Sep 2021 11:28:21 (#7 of 14)

We are council tenants and the county council will not pay for garden fencing.

slicey - 15 Sep 2021 11:37:03 (#8 of 14)

I don't think it's appropriate to call in the Foreign Office!

Although it's more in Dominic's comfort zone than great matters of state.

Agaliarept - 15 Sep 2021 13:37:53 (#9 of 14)

We are council tenants and the county council will not pay for garden fencing.

It's tricky because no doubt you want good relations with your neighbour.

Personally I'd be wary of trying to hit the magic amount that will satisfy your neighbour by guessing but if you didn't both agree to do the work I'm not sure she can demand anything.

phantlers - 15 Sep 2021 12:44:34 (#10 of 14)

That is pretty nuch my take too. I plan to make her an offer, explain how I arrived at that figure and then round it up "for goodwill - and for complete closure". But of course I have already given her more than half of the cost of the fence itself (175/300). So maybe 75 plus 25, not another 300 as she seemed to be angling towards.

This will be after I have cleared the rubbish left, which will involve several trips to the skip site, hard work and some garden fires.

Agaliarept - 15 Sep 2021 13:47:27 (#11 of 14)

I think you're being more than fair.

Hope your neighbour is able to see this too.

nemo75 - 15 Sep 2021 13:49:56 (#12 of 14)

Meh. Chuck it back over her side.

phantlers - 25 Sep 2021 14:01:45 (#13 of 14)

The council's housing officer visited last week and saw the mess. This meant I spent most of last weekend making repeat trips to the amenity site with rubbish in my crv, hard and dirty work.

I then strimmed the grass down and there is another couple of hours work left to finish off.

The housing officer has yet to return but the woman next door has been around four times, never to actually ask for an amount but in pitiful anticipation of charity, more than once with a child in tow like a beggar. I hate that.

Fact is she runs a child minding racket business from home and the work enhances her childminding environnent. During her most recent visit, just now and right in the middle of the footie I was watching on my day off, this came up when she again asserted that I would "get the benefit" of the fence. I again pointed out that the arbiter of what benefits me is actually me and not her, and garnished this with the observation that the real beneficiary would be her business.

I insisted that we would settle once I have heard the council officer inform her that the trees at the rear have always been in her garden and not mine. I told her again that the trees have never been a problem for me and that had she been more open about her wishes and shared some of the quotes she said she obtained then we could have agreed everything beforehand and probably got the job done cheaper because I know people in the trade.

At this she insisted that she had hired the best and most reputable tradesmen around. She knows this because she knows the men responsible personally.

Alan Partridge moment there.

At this point I mentioned that the birch tree in my front garden would be next (on her agenda) and that I had been quoted £180 to prune it, when the tree is leafless and dormant and that she would be unlikely to offer me half of that.

"But that's your tree" she said.

"Thanks for saying that" I replied, "see you next week." ( Or whenever the housing officer shows up.)

phantlers - 25 Sep 2021 14:06:02 (#14 of 14)

Tl;dr but I had to let that out.

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