to think my neighbour should not be able to attach a structure to our house without asking...or actually at all?

(178 Posts)

But he has.

It is a wooden structure very basic clearly for storage but he has drilled into and attached it to our wall which is the boundary between our house and his property. So he has joined our formally detatched houses.

Shurely shome mishtake!? He is a nice young man with a nice young family so I am surprised, and not v happy. Willing to be reasonable but we do not want anything attached to our house so there will need to be action on his part.

Anyone got a similar issue/ wisdom/ experience to share?

benandhollyandgaston Sun 30-Oct-11 19:24:25

Hmmm. No experience, no. We used to live in a detached house and the wall of the detached house next door was also our boundary. I can understand them being pissed off if I'd have attached anything to it too..

Teaandcakeplease Sun 30-Oct-11 19:24:50

YANBU. I'd have a friendly chat with him.

Should make clear it is the wall of our house he has drilled into not a garden wall.

EllaDee Sun 30-Oct-11 19:26:17

Um, yes, that sounds very dodgy!

Have you asked him about it?

I wonder if he's just assuming you won't say anything now it's there - but presumably it'd be a right pain if his drilling damaged your wall, or the structure pulled at it, so I would be pretty stroppy in your position.

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 30-Oct-11 19:26:34

No experience of this but lordy - what a cheek!

I'd pop round and ask what he's done and say you're not happy with it - can't he attach it to his own property?

harrietlichman Sun 30-Oct-11 19:26:34

no formal experience of this but it just doesn't sound right - am certain he can't do this! Hopefully someone with more practical advice will be along soon...good luck!

YANBU. I think I'd have to have a polite, smiley-but-only-with-the-mouth chat. My eyes would be saying 'You cheeky bastard'.

You're not going to get anything solved until you knock on his door and ask him what on earth he is doing and to remove the structure.
If he does not comply to this, remove it yourselves and pile the wood in his front garden, knock the door and walk back into your home.

I hate self entitled neighbours who think they have the right to do whatever they want.

DodieSmith Sun 30-Oct-11 19:26:49


RandomMess Sun 30-Oct-11 19:27:20

errrr I don't think that sounds ok, have you checked yr local planning dept on line?

HattiFattner Sun 30-Oct-11 19:27:44

absolutely not on, go speak to him and tell him to remove structure and repair holes in your wall.

EllaDee Sun 30-Oct-11 19:28:06

I am hunkering down to hear what he says back, btw. I love a good cheeky-neighbour righteous-indignation thread. grin

activate Sun 30-Oct-11 19:28:23

if the wall is the boundary doesn't the side facing him belong to him?

MangoMonster Sun 30-Oct-11 19:28:24

This exact thing has happened to my Sil this week, she's fuming. Think she's going to ask ten to remove it as she needs to render her wall soon anyway, otherwise she will tell them she will call the council. YANBU, very irritating.

Secrecy Sun 30-Oct-11 19:28:27

Surely he can't do that?! Since they have always been friendly in the past, I would just have a polite chat.


Maisiethemorningsidecat Sun 30-Oct-11 19:28:44

Have I got this right? He's drilled a wooden structure onto the external wall of your house?

ivykaty44 Sun 30-Oct-11 19:29:11

wtf? I'd going round there and ask him to take it down!

dearprudence Sun 30-Oct-11 19:30:00

Who would attach a structure to the wall of their neighbour's house without asking them? Bizarre.

SilentSinger Sun 30-Oct-11 19:30:43

YANBU The party wall act exists for a reason and if this is a party wall then various steps should have been gone through by him, including notifying you some time in advance of carrying out the work. Google "Party Wall Act" for info.

BTW someone else further up mentioned looking at the your local planning depts website. Unless whatever he has attached required planning permission itself (regardless of whether it was attached to your wall) they will not be able to help you, this is a civil matter.

SacreLao Sun 30-Oct-11 19:30:50

YANBU I would demand it was removed and the holes repaired, what a cheek!

IndieSkies Sun 30-Oct-11 19:31:22

It isn't allowed.
Whatever he has put up must be completely self-supporting and not supported by your wall.
The chances arer he just didn't think.
I would politely point it out to him and ask him to make good the holes and re-build it as a self-supporting structure.

ThePathanKhansWitch Sun 30-Oct-11 19:31:31

I'd repost this in legal and get professional advice. What will you do if the structure causes big damage to your house??

Sweet janey bigmouth i can't believe your neighbour would just go this. Find out where you stand re planning, the law etc, try the nice approach and if they don't comply come down like a ton of bricks (no pun intended). Good luck.

Do come back and let us know.

squeakyfreakytoy Sun 30-Oct-11 19:31:40

Of course he cant just do it! If he had asked and you had said it was ok, then fine, (as we did when we wanted to put hanging basket brackets up in our garden, which is bordered by our neighbours extension, so we asked if we could drill, they said yes...)..

bibbitybobbitybloodyaxe Sun 30-Oct-11 19:36:10

I absolutely cannot picture this!

You live in a detatched house, right? Is there no strip of land or fence between you and the neighbour? What "gap" separates your houses?

Dh has been round and said very politely and charmingly (he is good at that) that if the structure is as it seems linking our houses and attached to our house that we need to discuss what to do about that. The neighbour who did it was not in only his partner and baby so dh did not want to be ott with her so we await an explanation. She said he would pop round.

FlyingPirates Sun 30-Oct-11 19:39:15

O.M.G! I would be seriously worried about structural damage if he has put the pin/nails/join thingyies in the wrong place. How fucking RUDE! Who would EVER think that was ok?? Odd odd odd!!

Bibbibity ummm well there is our house which has 4 walls then fences attached to the front and back forming the boundary between our plot and the neighbours our house is built flush to the boundary between the plots while the neighbour has (or had) a strip of land between our house and his. A drawing is not possible I am afraid.

beachholiday Sun 30-Oct-11 19:46:49

This is reminiscent of the legendary thread where a woman was planning to do the same with her sixteenth century listed house, and cut off her neighbour's right of way in the process. She did not agree with the very many posters who thought that would be unreasonable.

Bibbity, I'm picturing that there was a gap between the side wall of the OP's house and her neighbours but he "filled in" the gap with his structure, so joining their houses together. Thats just my guess though.

Sorry that was uneccesarily grumpy bibbity I am going to have some wine and chill - I am all menstrual angst so the neighbour best not pop round now! grin

That is it exactly beacholiday - we moved away from london so we could have a detatched bloody house and now we appear to be living in a semi! I know it is not the end of the world but sigh...

GalloweesG Sun 30-Oct-11 19:59:19

I'd very bloody menstrual if a neighbour connected anything to my property, having had to jump through hoops to achieve planning permission and having paid a building regs company a small fortune for very little.

Ask him if the building regs are being approved "on notice" and ask whether he's using the council or a private firm.

Cheeky fucker.

bibbitybobbitybloodyaxe Sun 30-Oct-11 20:01:39

Sorry you are feeling grumpy, I honestly could not picture what you were talking about (and still can't tbh). But, anyway, if he has attached his structure to the wall of your house then obviously you are quite within your rights to ask him to remove it. How could he possibly object?

BobLoblaw Sun 30-Oct-11 20:01:39

We are building an extension which connects our house to our garage which is attached to our next door neighbours garage (I hope that makes sense). We had to apply for planning permission and spoke to the neighbour who was fine with it but when we met with the planning officer she said we didn't actually have to ask him, as it's on our land, he could object to planning but not wanting to be attached wasn't usually enough of a reason for it to be turned down! I was very surprised.

ShellyBoobs Sun 30-Oct-11 20:07:56


That's outrageous!

Your house wall is yours, it's not theirs, it's not shared. It's yours!

I'd be really angry about it.

OurPlanetNeptune Sun 30-Oct-11 20:09:22

He cannot attach anything to your wall without your prior consent. I would have words with him asap. He either thinks you are a walk over and wont complain or is a complete idiot (but surely no one is this stupid?). Either way, I would insist he takes it down immediately.

If he refuses then seek professional advice as soon as you can, your local council may help if he is breaking building/planning regs or they may advise you seek legal advice as this is a civil matter. From your op and subsequent posts, it looks like he has done a very daft thing.

I have done a very rough sketch on my phone and will put on profile please excuse poor execution. blush

LoopyLoopsPussInBoots Sun 30-Oct-11 20:13:07

Keep us updated!

Ach sketch won't loaf but I will update you - my first unanimous Sony!

Off to drink wine and watch s film now. Thank you all.

I have absolutely no advice to offer, sorry, but I'd be mightily pissed off if someone attached something to my house, even if they look at my side wall more than I did!

Same as someone playing footie against your wall, just because your house happens to run along their back garden. It sounds like your neighbour is being a bit naive, rather than being malicious, but you never know.

I'm installing myself here with popcorn and wine to see how it pans out. I love these sorts of threads blush

TheBeast Sun 30-Oct-11 20:21:49

In one of our previous houses there were two long and pretty useless pathway leading to our respective back gardens. My neighbour and I thought that if we roofed over the alleyway we would each have a very useful, if narrow, shed.

However before we did anything we entered int a licence agreement allowing the other access to their back garden using this structure and agreeing that either party could at any time demolish the structure and restore the original configuration. We sold the house many years ago and the purchaser entered into a similar arrangement with the neighbour and everything is, as far as I know, still operating smoothly.

This week I obtained my neighbour's permission to attach my rather rickety 70-year-old fence to their nice stable fence post.

The point being that you need to get permission before attaching stuff to your neighbour's buildings...

SoupDragon Sun 30-Oct-11 20:25:25

I'm guessing it looks like this

That is v close soup grin except the structure is also attached to neighbours house and thus two becomes one as it were.

My pic was scrappier and less colourful due to my Lisa Simpson stubby fingers.

Now I shall return to my HP film. Thank you again.

SoupDragon Sun 30-Oct-11 20:45:28

So, like this then?

I love my iPad. Although, quite frankly, I need to get a life!

Ah yes now that is it and if I had an iPad stubby fingers wouldn't't be a problem. Now I know what I want for Xmas.

Bugger it I have to stop coming back here and watch the film ...

lifechanger Sun 30-Oct-11 20:51:07

Oh gosh, I am MEGA impressed that you can use technology to do that SoupDragon. (However, I am a bit old and therefore easy to impress where technology is concerned!!)

Just wowser!!!!

Fuzzywuzzywozabear Sun 30-Oct-11 20:54:49

Great pix soup dragon

On the basis of soup dragon's explanatory pix - OP YANBU

GalloweesG Sun 30-Oct-11 20:54:54

Did you use an app to draw, save and upload that? Which one, I am also tres impressed.

LiegeAndLief Sun 30-Oct-11 20:56:08

We attached something to our neighbour's wall - it was a conservatory (we are in a semi and the back of their house sticks out further than ours). We went round and asked very nicely first and then we both signed a party wall agreement. Cannot imagine drilling into someone else's house without asking them shock! Hope you get it resolved quickly and easily.

Yama Sun 30-Oct-11 21:01:30

Kudos to Soupdragon.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 30-Oct-11 21:01:59

I also want to know what app soup dragon did that on. I have an iPad but would have no idea how to upload a sketch like that.

Bogeymanface Sun 30-Oct-11 21:04:05

Being nice here, but it probably didnt occur to him. From what I have read they sound like a young couple so probably arent experienced in the angst that an un-discussed lean-to can cause!

I am sure that once you have a chat with them, it will be fine smile

I have to say that it wouldnt bother me in the slightest, but I realise I am going against the grain here! I would probably let them know that if I wanted to sell that it would have to come down though.

Whatmeworry Sun 30-Oct-11 21:05:08

They should have asked you at the least.

colken Sun 30-Oct-11 21:07:15

Your circumstances might be a bit different but our neighbour's wall is the boundary of our back garden so it's a 'party wall'. That means that his side is his and our side is ours so we can do what we like with it. All we've done is put up a bit of trellis. I think an extension or something as big as that might be different.

SoupDragon Sun 30-Oct-11 21:07:38

<<strokes iPad possessively>>

Um... I used Adobe Ideas to draw it, Filterstorm (a photo editing app I use to mess with photos) to rotate it and then Web albums to upload it to my google images album.

I think only Filterstorm was expensive and I'm sure other apps would do the rotating.

YANBU Holy mo, that is an odd thing for them to think is OK. They drilled into your house?!

Some people are just weird.

GalloweesG Sun 30-Oct-11 21:09:01

Thanks SoupDragon - you are my new MN hero grin

SoupDragon Sun 30-Oct-11 21:09:08

Oh, and I just took a screenshot of the Adobe drawing.

CaptainNancy Sun 30-Oct-11 21:10:50

soupy- you are a goddess of tech! grin

bigmouth- we have a similar structure between us and the neighbours, but as it has been there for many many years before we arrived, we assumed the previous owners had agreed it. The neighbour also offered to remove it if we deemed it necessary (we haven't so far).

LauraIngallsWilder Sun 30-Oct-11 21:11:18

I agree YANBU op

I have doodle buddy as an app on my iPod - free and fab.
Similar to what Soup used I'd imagine

CaptainNancy Sun 30-Oct-11 21:12:17

Oh- and I cannot believe anyone would think it's okay to drill into someone else's house! [shocked] and not even ask!

We weren't allowed to attah our sky dish to neighbours wall....and had to pay a fortune to have our lifted above our gutter line instead so I would be surprised if you could build a structure which forms part of the accomodation to your house.

Hassled Sun 30-Oct-11 21:15:09

God I want an iPad.

Anyway - I would be absolutely spitting with rage and fury, and I'm not even pre-menstrual (unusually). The nice young chap next door is a complete loon.

BarnMummy Sun 30-Oct-11 21:30:19

I'm not a lawyer (am Chartered Surveyor by training), but I would say the act of drilling into your wall would constitute trespass on your neighbour's part - my "Law for Estate Management Students" text book says "A common form of trespass consists of directly causing objects to enter the plaintiff's land...the most trivial invasion will suffice, such as leaning a ladder against a plaintiff's wall".
I don't suppose that your neighbour intended this at all, but just so you know where you'd need to check with a lawyer though if you want / need to take it further.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 30-Oct-11 21:36:31

What's google images album? Is it the same as picassa?

Bogeymanface Sun 30-Oct-11 21:44:32

I would be absolutely spitting with rage and fury

Really? About a shed?

I am not taking the pee, I just wonder why it would annoy you that much! We are not talking about a full brick built extension here, but a wooden structure attached by a few screws.

It wouldnt bother me aslong as it didnt impede my access or my view and from what the OP said (and from SDs drawing!), that isnt the case. Annoyed, ok I suppose but rage and fury?!

I am not saying the OP shouldnt sort it out, not at all, but I genuinely dont understand how angry this would make you. And yes I am a home owner with external wall boundaries.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 30-Oct-11 21:47:03

I'd be really annoyed, it could damage the brickwork couldn't it?

MrsRetchingBloodAndGuts Sun 30-Oct-11 21:54:35


<starts to download adobe ideas>

spiderpig8 Sun 30-Oct-11 21:55:26

It depends on whether your wall straddles the boundary (in which case it is a party wall) or butts up to the boundary but is entirely on your property in which case it isn't.
It makes a big big difference!!

ChippingInAutumnLover Sun 30-Oct-11 21:56:23

I'd be really really annoyed and it would be coming down - as you said, you bought a detached house, not a house for the neighbours to attach their lean to, to!!

Has he not come around yet??

FGS - does the man not know that MN is waiting??

spiderpig8 Sun 30-Oct-11 21:58:08

soory pressed go too quick. If it's a party wall then they are probably within their rights. but if it's entirely on your property tell him to take it down!!

CaptainNancy Sun 30-Oct-11 22:21:06

bogeymanface- it could lead to water ingress, or he could have hit internal wiring depending on the depth of the screws, who knows- it is surely a matter of courtesy to speak to the homeowner first before doing something like this?

We usually inform our immediate neighbours if we're going to do some work, simply because the noise, dust or workmen parking might annoy them (one side have a small child who naps for example).

spider the neighbours have attached it to her house

I'd make them take it down

I haven't wanted an ipad until now. I want to do that draw-y upload-y thing!

OP can't you go and knock on their door again wink

<realises time>

SoupDragon Sun 30-Oct-11 22:29:28

Yes, it is picasa. web albums app which I have on phone and iPad.

Sorry for hijacking your building thread!

VivaLeBeaver Sun 30-Oct-11 22:31:15

Ok, have got the web albums app. Downloaded a screenshot of a doodle onto picassa. How do I then get it as a link n MN.?

Really sorry about hijack!

VivaLeBeaver Sun 30-Oct-11 22:32:47

My dh made me go and ask next door for permission before painting our side of the garden wall which is their boundary. They can't even see it but it was polite to ask as technically it's their wall.

startail Sun 30-Oct-11 22:48:29

A previous resident of our house has extended our house right up to the boundary. It is not an ideal situation for exterior painting etc, but it does give us some very useful space.
I would hope that if next door wanted to attach something to our wall they would ask because I'd like to paint first and be sure it wouldn't make the house any damper than it already is.
For all I know they may have already done so, I can't see up the side of our house without standing in their garden.
Most likely we would know because one of the lads would have to come and borrow a drill, they have DHs saw at the moment.

Bogeymanface Sun 30-Oct-11 22:49:15

Courtesy, yes. I do think that they should have said something if only because of noise etc. But the actual structure itself wouldnt send me into a state of "spitting with rage and fury"

SoupDragon Sun 30-Oct-11 22:55:01

Viva, when you are looking at the photo you want in Web Albums, in the top right corner is a square with an arrow in it. Click this and choose the option to Copt photo link. You can then paste this intoMN.

Provided you have permission from your neighbour, obviously smile

VivaLeBeaver Sun 30-Oct-11 23:09:30
Bogeymanface Sun 30-Oct-11 23:54:24

Forget the house/shed thing.

I soooo want an iPad. I was never "Appled" before this thread, but now....

I would not be at all happy with this - the risk of damage to my walls and the possibility that the holes he's made could let in damp would be enough to make me cross and to make me tell him to take it down pronto.

Bogeymanface - if you have been very, very good, maybe Father Christmas will bring you an iPad for christmas (I've asked him for a tiger, because dh won't get me one).

Bogeymanface Mon 31-Oct-11 00:59:45

Promise SDT?

Pinky swear?!

And I done it with my HTC phone and stubby fingers.

Did you wake up a child to get them to do it?

God no it would have been much much better!

hester Mon 31-Oct-11 07:54:01

The previous owner of my house did this - built a garage that adjoined the neighbour's, actually fed some piping through the wall, all without asking permission.

Neighbour (understandably) went apopleptic, row was had, previous owner stormed into his new garage and smashed the roof down.

There is now a front double gate - so it looks like we have a garage from the front, but inside is just an empty hole full of debris. Oh, and he left internal wiring dangling down the external wall. And an internal door leading out from the utility room, which had rotted and warped by the time we arrived.

On the plus side, our neighbours welcomed us with open arms grin

spiderpig8 Mon 31-Oct-11 08:35:10

Bigmouth-please could you clarify whether the wall straddles the boundary or abuts it, being entirely on your land?

SoupDragon Mon 31-Oct-11 09:04:05

Spider pig, she said "our house is built flush to the boundary between the plots"

eggandcress Mon 31-Oct-11 09:19:27

WE had EXACTLY this same thing last year with our neighbour. Like bigmouth our lounge wall is our boundary wall and forms our boundary, it is not a party wall. The neighbour's house is 90cms away and the space in between is his land. He wanted to put a "lean-to" in between the house bolted to our wall. I went round there and said he must not attach anything to our wall, the lady at the council planners office said to say this and so I managed to stop him. He has built his structure but he has put it 10cms from our wall, so it is 80cms wide!

You must get them to take this down or you are changing the status of the wall and it will become a party wall whereas at present it is a boundary wall and all yours.

IndieSkies Mon 31-Oct-11 10:24:24

EggAndCress is right about the legal aspect.
Post in Legal or Property / DIY and get some expert advice on what to do if a polite request doesn't work, and also to get clarification on what the law is.

KatAndKit Mon 31-Oct-11 10:34:40

If it is the wall of your house you should make an official complaint if he won't take it down. He can't possibly have any sort of permission for it. He has illegally tampered with your property. A phone call to your council will inform you about your rights and how to proceed about getting it removed.

eggandcress Mon 31-Oct-11 10:35:11

Also you may have a right of access to your wall for maintenance etc. It would be a good idea to get a solicitor to check your deeds to sees if this is the case. If it is the case the neighbour really should rethink the position of his structure as it will block your access.

Lots of legal aspects are relevant here, you can phone the local council planners office too. I found them very helpful.

LizzieMo Mon 31-Oct-11 12:50:06

A party wall does not mean it is owned by both parties. Sometimes it is, but just because your house wall forms the boundary, it doesnot mean he 'owns' the side which runs alongside his land. It is your house wall FFS. I think you need to ask him to take it down. Not only because it may cause structural damage to your wall- like damp for example, but because of future maintenance- what would happen if you needed to paint or re-render the outside of your wall? I would be wary of letting him keep it there. Once it has been 'accepted, by you it is harder to get it removed later on- and what if in a few years time he decides to replace his wooden lean-too with a proper brick structure? He could then argue that as you accepted the first structure you have no real grounds to object to the second one. This sort of situation can be a minefield. I would nip it in the bud now!!!

PelvicFlAAAARGHOfSteel Mon 31-Oct-11 20:47:20

Has the neighbour been in touch today? It always surprises me what people think they can get away with.

SkinnyWhiteBoy Mon 31-Oct-11 20:55:17

He has no right and should have asked.
Have a word, maybe he's clueless...

Update - still waiting for neighbour to 'pop round' will call Building Control @ council tomorrow so I know what is what re. permissions, it is not a planning issue but a civil one - I will also check boundary wall status.

Thank you.

smartyparts Mon 31-Oct-11 21:20:08

No - your neighbour had no right and should remove it and repair your wall.

This happened to my parents and (as they fell out with neighbours over it) they took their neighbours to court, and won compensation.

I have talked to dh about this, and his view is that it is criminal damage - your neighbour has no right to damage your property. I would be insisting that the structure comes down, and any damage is made good, to your standards, not his.

You also have a right of access to maintain your wall, dh says, and this structure he's built disrupts this access for maintenance, so is not allowed.

ChippingInAutumnLover Tue 01-Nov-11 02:51:29

Nice of them to 'pop around' so quickly hmm not really helping his cause is he??

Pendeen Tue 01-Nov-11 09:52:39

Architect here not a lawyer but I believe the Party Wall Act applies to this situation.
Essentially it is only a guide to what any polite and reasonable person should do anyway

PWA Guide

It never fails to surprise me what neighbours will do. I have had to advise bully many clients to follow the procedures in the PWA for extensions.

Bramshott Tue 01-Nov-11 10:06:34

It can be complicated though can't it. We are a semi and next door have extended at the back so that their kitchen wall is the boundary, followed by a bit garden wall. I have drilled into the garden part of the wall to attach some planters without asking, but went round and asked them before we attached our oil pipe into their kitchen wall (not sure what I would have done if they'd said no though!). The log store we have there is freestanding.

Countingwiththecount Tue 01-Nov-11 13:21:55

Grrr. I want to smash the effing thing down for you.

Currently battling the neighbour on their gigantic hedge which is growing up over my plants and killing them. (It's allelopathic- murderous thing)

Thank you for all your messages - I am still waiting for the 'pop round'

I am verrrrrry patient though [taps foot] [adjusts curtain]

so in the meantime if anyone wants to help me find an evening dress.... then by all means do

Katisha Tue 01-Nov-11 17:02:03

Time to send DH round again?

chachy Tue 01-Nov-11 17:32:11

send dh round - cheeky fecker!

ChaoticAngel Tue 01-Nov-11 17:56:51

I suggest you, or your DH, go back around again or you may be waiting forever.

OP, do you think they might just 'forget' to pop round?

jumpingjackhash Wed 02-Nov-11 09:31:39

I also think you need to go around again, they may well be hoping you'll forget and it will 'go away'!

Indaba Wed 02-Nov-11 19:53:48

I'd talk to local council and get their advice.

My experience of town planning offices are that have been fab.

think you should find out what law is and then it'll make discussions a lot easier.

Where do you live?

ScarlettIsWalking Wed 02-Nov-11 20:43:52

Bloody cheek! And how rude not to come around. Believe me this guy is not so " nice"...

AurraSing Wed 02-Nov-11 20:47:59

Give me the address and I'll go round. He can't be the busy that he hasn't has the time.

iloverainbows Wed 02-Nov-11 20:53:59

This, as a previous poster has stated, is actually criminal damage. However you need to be aware (I believe) that if you take structure down you need to be very careful not to damage it as you would be damaging their property. That said I would not say this to them just yet, I would, in no uncertain terms, tell them that it is not acceptable and it needs to be taken down and your wall put back right i.e any holes filled etc. The problem you may have is that the walls will not support this structure and may therefore cause damage over time that you cannot see.

dearprudence Wed 02-Nov-11 22:34:00

Still not been round? Cheeky beggars.

PenguinsAreThePoint Wed 02-Nov-11 22:36:44

Any update?

Hello - no update I am afraid - we will probably tackle them again soon but are keen to take a 'softly softly catchee monkey' approach to maintain good relations as much as possible (within reason).

But we have had an anonymous note from a '[my road name] resident' requesting we cut back our hedge which is very interesting timing as we have never had anything like that before. But it could be a coincidence, our hedge is due a trim (but it isn't a hazard).

oksonowwhat Thu 03-Nov-11 09:59:30

Just caught up with this thread. Oh i would be WELL fed up! What a cheek!!!

Can't believe he hasn't popped back yet!!!! Is your hedge likely to be annoying them in some way or is it another neighbour?? I would trim the hedge asap to show that i'm doing everything to keep happy relations then go round again to ask about the monstrosity.

mateysmum Thu 03-Nov-11 10:27:37

Bigmouth you are obviously far too nice and patient. He is just hoping you will forget about it, but we MNs won't let you.
The sooner you tackle this the better. Be polite, but be very clear that this structure has got to go by - say 2weeks hence.That's more than fair. Give him the legal reasons why. You don't need to threaten, but the mention of you protecting your legal rights might make the penny drop.
In the meantime, give your hedge a haircut, meanwhile glaring at the neighbours' house to draw them out by the sheer force of your willpower.

ShroudOfHamsters Thu 03-Nov-11 12:11:43

The trouble with taking a softly softly approach with a situation like this - where the other party has shown that they are prepared to be breathtakingly cheeky - is that you will come across to them as the weaker party, and they will just keep on being cheeky.

You're thinking of this like a non-cheeky person, and that's a mistake. As in, you'd never do something like this without permission, and if you did have a situation where you'd inadvertently pissed off a neighbour, you'd be eager to get it sorted asap. You're applying that thinking to them, and reckoning that as they'll soon come around and be full of apologies, it's better not to be heavy handed now.

WRONG. They aren't thinking like that. They're the kind of people who think 'oh, I'll fix it to their wall, bet they won't say anything.' They sound pushy, potentially troublesome. Do they seem sorry/worried that they've caused an issue? No! They're either sitting it out and waiting to see what you actually DO, to see if they can get away with it, or they really actually don't care at all, and when you do go to speak to them, they'll probably get arsey.

The best approach with this kind of person, and oddly enough the one most likely to nip trouble in the bud, is to be FIRM. Polite, smiley, friendly, but with a completely non-negotiable rottweiler core.

You need to go around there. Big smiles. Please can I come in to discuss the issue with the building damage to our wall? No? You're busy? I'd like to fix a time now to discuss it. We do need to get it sorted, we're very unhappy with the damage and need to get the structure removed urgently and the damage repaired before winter hits. Can you confirm that you can get the structure removed in the next two weeks, please. We've looked at the extent of damage that there's likely to be once the items hammered into our wall are removed, and our solicitor has advised that it should be a simple case of us approving your suggestion on how you make the damage good, and you obviously funding the repair. Hopefully it won't take too long or be expensive. Unfortunately you need to get it done quickly, as this is trespass.' No discussion,very polite, very very firm.

You waiting for them to take the initiative is putting YOU on the back foot.

What this will achieve is to let them know that you are lovely people but you won't stand for them taking the piss. So in future, they won't try and take the piss, because it's not worth their while. And you might well get on famously. Because they'll respect you. Unlike right now!

Shroud and others giving me a well timed kick wink thank you.

If it was just me then you are entirely right I would be too nice and non-pushy.

However I married a much 'pushier' person and so I will not be allowed to let it lie - I am cooling my heels over the week the neighbour may not be around or he may be waiting for the weekend. But we will push our agenda forwards if they do not make any effort - as we are not about to put the house on the market, we may just check what has been actually done, as we have not seen the fixings from their side yet, then make it clear we want it gone by the Summer. Of course if there is any chance there could be damage or damp caused by leaving it then we will expect more immediate action.

YaMaYaMa Thu 03-Nov-11 13:03:23

By summer?? Nooo! It needs to go quicker than that!

I love a good 'cheeky bastard' thread. That one with the woman who was going to block her neighbour's right of way was pretty good. The OP was a law student and started off being arsey with the neighbour, who turned out to be a litigator grin Was most amusing, particularly as the OP at no point could see that she was being entirely awful.

Also, one in which the OP's new neighbour informed her she would be closing off the shared passageway way between their 2 terraces and then sent her the legal docs for her to sign, which noted that it had already been agreed verbally shock

The arse on some people shock

ShroudOfHamsters Thu 03-Nov-11 13:13:29

No no no no no!!!

The summer? As in, it might stay for nine months or so?

No way- that would be MADNESS. You're basically condoning it if you let it stay for anything like that timeframe. If you want to have any luck with getting them to remove it AND make good the damage, you NEED to kick off - to let them know you WON'T stand for it.

If you want a good 'excuse' - the winter coming is your best one.

'We need it removed within two weeks, because we want any damage caused repaired properly before winter. If you don't remove it by then, we'll have to get someone to demolish it, and you will be billed, just as you will be billed for any issues with damp/water ingress/damage to rendering on our wall.'

Thing is, this is the test for your relations for the future. This will set the tone. They're cheeky beggars - that much has been established. If you DON'T go ballistic (in a controlled, nice way, obviously smile ) at this, then chances are this will only be the first of many things... fence repairs... noisy parties... you name it, if you don't want to stamp MUG on your forehead at this first interaction with them, you need to play (nice) hardball RIGHT NOW.

anonacfr Thu 03-Nov-11 13:23:29

If you say summer they'll see it as a permanent thing. Come summer they will have no time to take it down due to summer holidays, then it will be start of school, half term, Xmas etc.

Just put a note through their letterbox asking if neighbour missed you when he came round grin. Say you're anxious to discuss the situation as you're worried their illegal shed thing might have damaged your wall. Mention you're amazed they even put it up without asking and that legally it has to go.

For all you know it might actually invalidate your house insurance.

It needs to go now!

mrslevy Thu 03-Nov-11 13:26:00

OP don't wait. Act now. I suspect that he might drop the 'nice young man' act when you do, but that's that.

Also, one in which the OP's new neighbour informed her she would be closing off the shared passageway way between their 2 terraces and then sent her the legal docs for her to sign, which noted that it had already been agreed verbally

I keep checking Property/DIY for this one YaMaYaMa.

The OP has dealt with it well after realising her neighbour was an over-entitled cow. But I fear her neighbour will be back with some other crackpot scheme.

mrslevy Thu 03-Nov-11 13:30:34

Obviously when I say 'fear' I also mean I love good cheeky bastard thread like you grin

Doesn't mean I don't feel sorry for the innocent people living next door to these cheeky bastards.

thestringcheesemassacre Thu 03-Nov-11 13:34:53

I'd be asking it was down by the weekend. Summer is ridiculous. I think the longer you leave it up, the more protracted this will become. They are taking the piss.

CointreauVersial Thu 03-Nov-11 13:38:07

Ooh, marking my spot.

I don't think it will cause the imminent collapse of your house tbh, but I would regard it as somewhat cheeky, and think you should tell them so.

But be nice; neighbourhood disputes can be horrible and stressful, and can escalate from the mildest of transgressions.

It needs checking to see how it's attached - there are all sorts of issues with weatherproofing so if the wall is damaged or it could cause water damage anywhere, then it needs to be gone before the proper winter weather settles in.

anonacfr Thu 03-Nov-11 13:55:56

I still think it could affect your house insurance. You really need to be firm about this.

By the time summer comes they'll be very comfortable using the shed, it'll be full of stuff and it'll be much harder to get them to remove it. If you let it lie for months you won't be able to be insistent later (why does it matter if it's there another week if it's already been there months...and another week...and another week). What Hamster said sounds perfect, if they don't answer the door to have it said to them, put it in a letter.

If they were really lovely people who just hadn't considered the impact on you they'd have been round with a grovelling apology by now. The fact that they're just ignoring you (and possibly writing anonymous hedge-trimming letters) shows they are cheeky sods, definitely not lovely neighbours!

And yy to everyone who has mentioned house insurance - not only possible damage to your walls but if they're storing paint or gas for a bbq in there, there could be all sorts of fire risks for you.

clam Thu 03-Nov-11 21:43:43

mrslevy that thread was months ago.

QuintessentialShadow Thu 03-Nov-11 21:50:10

I am just wondering something. If you have a detached house, and your wall is on the boundary, how do you get into your garden?

Has the house been extended right up to the border?

I have nothing sensible to contribute, I am just shamelessly marking my place because i'm a nosy cow and love a good neighbour problems thread...

To answer your q Q - Our house is on a corner plot the boundary between us and the neighbour is marked partly by house wall and continued with fence and hedge to the pavement then t'other side of our house we have gate to our back garden etc.

Maryz Thu 03-Nov-11 23:55:29

You do realise that the fixings will have put lovely holes in your wall.

So all the water draining off your new roof can drain straight into the holes and down the inside of your walls?

KatieMiddIeton Fri 04-Nov-11 00:01:01

It's still there?! I thought you'd have been round and ripped it down with your bare hands by now.

Maybe I am a tad intolerant... possibly.

mrslevy Fri 04-Nov-11 12:51:33

I know clam. But I had a nuisance neighbour too and it took five years of harassment, tons of threatening legal letters from her and 3 failed court summons also from her before she realised she wasn't going to win and sold up out of pique.

She caused so much anxiety that for at least a year after she sold up I expected that she'd rise again like Michael Myers.

Even today when a large blonde with a certain accent goes past my door I twitch the curtains.

shinyblackgrape Fri 04-Nov-11 13:11:22

<barges in. Mark spot>

Completely agree that this needs to be dealt with and be removed now as in this weekend.

I'm honestly outraged on your behalf.

If your dear neighbour refuses to engage then a polite but firm hand delivered letter next door must be sent clearly setting out the position and giving him 7 days from the date of the letter to remove the structure. This prevents any "confusion".

I must say though, I had forgotton about this thread so fair cheered up my Friday lunchtime to see it's resurrection!

Don't give them until summer, as summer will come and go and it just won't happen. It needs to go and you wall needs to be repaired by professionals (paid for by them preferably!) as they've been so bloody stupid in the first place.

What idiots.

I'm with Shroudofhamsters, especially on the start thinking like a cheeky person bit of advice.

Polite but firm. Come on, unless you want this still to be there indefinately toughen up and tell them so.

I don't particularly like confrontation but we had a not dissimilar situation with our neighbours who put a gate in that gave them access over our drive. We went round and politely explained why it must go, they apologised and took it down. This is how reasonable people who have genuinely done something and not thought about the consequences behave.

Someone who has had it spelt out that you are not happy but is ignoring you and possibly sending you anonymous notes about your hedge is NOT a good neighbour. The is absolutely no reason why it needs to be left until the summer - ask them to take it down this weekend, or if you want to give a little more time give them a fortnight, but do NOT give them until the summer when damage could have been done - like someone has already said water may well get in through the holes they have drilled into the wall. More than that, when water freezes it EXPANDS - this could therefore also cause cracks in your wall over the winter.

Sort it out now - as long as you are polite then if neighbourly relations suffer it will be because they are unreasonable a*holes not because you have, quite reasonably, asked them to remove this from your house

uniCorny Fri 04-Nov-11 14:14:55

Go round tonight OP. Go on, go on, go on, go on, go on. <channels Mrs Doyle>

It has to go before the end of the month, never mind next summer. As Maryz says, the holes they have made will channel water into your wall, and if we have another really cold winter, that water will freeze, expand and fracture your bricks, doing far more damage than they have done already.

Bigmouth - you need to take heart from the fact that the Mumsnet Massive are right behind you, and insist that the shed comes down now and the wall is returned to its previous condition.

heleninahandcart Fri 04-Nov-11 17:39:40

Agree with those in the get it down now camp. Can I also start muttering about dry rot and insurance claims? No idea of that's true but they probably won't know either hmm

clam Fri 04-Nov-11 18:33:28

What on earth is the point of waiting until summer? That just gives them reason to believe it can't be that much of a problem to you and gives potential damp problems in your wall time to develop. If there has been damage done, it needs fixing NOW.

Ok MN - thank you grin there will be a visit next door this weekend and we will ask to see what actually has been done to attach this storage shed and then take it from there.


The man came over about an hour ago - talked to DH (I was doing bedtime) anyway the neighbour was all apologies - he hadn't thought through his actions just put up the storage as it was needed and it will down within the month. The holes filled in and put right. I am content with that as prior to this all our interactions have been very positive and if it doesn't hapen then we will send the boys round obv.wink

I am now enjoying a glass of Malbec and hoping the episode can be put behind us and all be harmonious in neighbourhood relations once more (once we cut back our hedge - but I am no longer planning to cut it into the shape of a massive cock).

Now that is sorted anyone want to check out my sartorial issues thread as I think I have the dress sorted now but your honest opinions are valuable and I am putting pics on my profile for your amusement.

Ponks Fri 04-Nov-11 20:54:07

Great result!

Be prepared with your 'think like a cheeky person' attitude though. If they say it's attached with teensie weensie leetle screws which won't damage your brickwork or let a drop of water in you still need it to go NOW.

I think your neighbours are going to continue seeing how much they can get away with, particularly as they still haven't been round yet.

Pelvic they have been round see update post.

Sorry, slow typing due to baby on lap x-post. Brilliant result grin

Enjoy the Malbec!

oh well that's a bit boring!
i was hoping for something a bit more exciting.

uniCorny Fri 04-Nov-11 21:50:50

please cut your hedge into a massive cock anyway


I would like to apologise to all the MN'ers who have been disappointed by the lack of drama in this thread - but until the erection has been diserected (????) there is still the chance of further disharmony.

Also we found out they will be moving out for a while and so the house next door will be rented out so maybe some ruffians or oiks will move in and create some new drama.confused

Anyway [flowers] and wine to you all.

hmm well i suppose so... perhaps you could embellish the story a little too?

Hey- never mind 'sending the boys round' - send in the Mumsnet Massive - we are waaaayyy more scary! grin

Thisis - you are trying to to entrap me in to stealth trolling! I am shocked wink

mrsmaltesers Fri 04-Nov-11 22:37:07

To cut a long story short, as garaham norton is about to start ..... If you sold your house and new owners wanted to pull their wall down then his wooden effort would come down too and quite rightly so, so yes you are not unreasonable and two fairly reputable buiders told me that is illegal. I would be supremely pissed off.

Maryz Fri 04-Nov-11 22:37:23

I would still inspect the actual holes to ensure they are re-filled correctly.

And I too am a bit disappointed by lack of fuckwittery on the part of the neighbours. I thought this thread would run and run sad.

Though obviously I am pleased for you hides bitterness

brabbinsandfyffe Fri 04-Nov-11 22:47:28

There was a house on the high street in our village with two huge hedges at the front, both expertly cut into the shape of cocks. Nobody believed me about it until I stood them in front of the house smile

I think we should all diarise the end of the month to chase the OP to ensue that the shed has indeed been taken down "within the month".
<stern look at too-nice OP>

mousysantamouse Sat 03-Dec-11 19:18:47

has the erection gone?

Nermalkins Sat 03-Dec-11 19:35:36

brabbinsandfyffe, do you live a village on the outskirts of an army town? If you do then I know the house you mean. The owners of the house are a lovely couple smile

Can't believe I missed this last month, but at least now the month is up and I don't need to wait for the next instalment. Is is gone? Is it? Is it?

brabbinsandfyffe Tue 06-Dec-11 17:19:31

Nermalkins it's got to be the same one (grew up near there but moved, so 'our' is a bit tenuous)- I bet the owners are lovely grin and they have fine decorative skills! Are the hedgecocks still there then?

mousymouseprice Wed 01-Feb-12 08:59:29

<patiently waiting for an update>

I have totally failed in my duty to update the one person people who wanted to know what happened here. blush Sorry.

Neighbour has moved out and is renting to an invisible person who occasionally leaves a car outside his/her house but apart from that is no where to be seen, which is fine. The structure was finally removed in the new year all that remains is a fence panel acros the gap between our houses preventing access to the side of next door adjacent to our house. No problem with that so we are content.

We cut back our bush and have received no further anonymous mailings on the subject. So all good - sorry no big finale just a <toot>

Hi bigmouth. I didn't comment before because I didn't have anything even vaguely knowledgable or more useful to say than the advice you were getting. But I followed the thread and am very glad everything seems to have turned out well. smile

Thank you such - it is always nice to know you have been heard on MN now it is so big an' that. cheers. smile

DowagersHump Tue 20-Mar-12 21:13:33

I have just lost ten minutes of my life reading this thread angry

That'll teach me. And you sound like a lovely person - hope you got your formal outfit dilemma sorted grin

digerd Sat 01-Sep-12 14:37:34

I am in a similiar situation, but neighbour got her gardener to drill into my extension wall and put a hook in it to hang her fallen down fence panel and wooden post onto without my knowledge or consent. The reason for the fence decay was her PEACH TREE she planted right by her fence just a few inches away from my south facing wall, which enabled her to get lovely big peaches from. My wall needs some maintenance work done to it, but she is refusing to take the offending tree away or the fence, so obstucting my right to access the wall. The LEGAL ADVICE I have with my house insurers told me that as far as the hook in the wall is concerned, I should write her a letter and give her 2 weeks to take the hook out and make the wall good, or i shall take it out myself., and send her the bill. I was informed to mention that her fence will be in the same condition as it was the day before I took it off - i.e. decayed with no means of supporting itself. As far as the " Access to maintaining my wall from her land" is concerned, I also have to write to her and state when my builders are to start and finish the work and demand that all vegetation, fence and other objects obstructing access be cut down/taken away. Hmmmm - she will refuse to do any of that as she already has done in a very nasty manner.

Tee2072 Sat 01-Sep-12 14:45:28

What is with zombie threads today?!??

Flossiechops Sat 01-Sep-12 15:49:17

I quite like reading them though, it's like a story and you don't have to wait ages to read the ending smile

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