To complain about their garden?

(26 Posts)
opalescent Wed 03-Jul-13 09:12:14

I have recently bought a new build house on a lovely estate. Next door are housing association maisonettes. I know this because it was on the plans that we were shown prior to purchasing.
The maisonettes are occupied, but the front garden is already ridiculously overgrown with 3ft high weeds. It looks really awful.
Am I being precious to consider contacting the HA to complain? Or should I knock on the door and mention it to the people who live there (scary, amd unlikely that I would be brave enough to do this!).
Or should I just get over it and accept there there are worse things in life than this dilemma?
Would the housing association actually care?
Note: I am not a hyacinth bucket type, who is pretentious and curtain-twitching.
It's just that its my first real home, I'm paying a lot to live here, and I want it to look half decent sad

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Wed 03-Jul-13 09:16:31

Yes, the housing association would care. It tends to be in your agreement that you have to keep the place looking reasonable.

Is it a shared garden? If so, it may actually be the HA that is responsible for cutting the grass. You should check.

And finally, it's only grass. If the people are nice and the area is nice and you can have a happy life there, you have to decide how much a bit of long grass really affects your life. If you can stop caring because the other stuff matters more, you'll solve your problem grin

The people next to us have what is basically a lovely summer meadow grin instead of a front garden. The grass is thigh high. They say they love how it looks. It looks a bugger grin but they're lovely people, the street is great and it's only grass.

Fairylea Wed 03-Jul-13 09:24:11

Hmm you could contact the ha and ask but I think it very much depends on the area as to whether they care or not... we live on a road with a neighbour who keeps chickens and a rabbit in their front garden with 3ft high weeds (despite having a large back garden) and all their household rubbish / old appliances dumped on their front lawn. We have all complained to the ha several times and even the rspca about the conditions the animals are kept in... the rspca has been out, several times, council has been out, several times... nothing done.

Twitterqueen Wed 03-Jul-13 09:27:22

Definitely ask the HA to maintain the garden. With new estates there are usually clauses written in to all agreements that the front gardens need to be maintained nicely so it is their responsibility. I don't think - but I don't know - that the tenants have to do it.

If all else fails - could you mow it when you're doing yours?

opalescent Wed 03-Jul-13 09:27:57

How annoying fairy, and depressing for the animals. In those circs I would definitely have made a call, as you did.
Wise words hecsygrin
It's good to know that the ha would listen, but perhaps I'll give it a while longer, to see if I can come to terms with it! I don't want to cause a fuss over something trivial.

toomanyfionas Wed 03-Jul-13 09:29:17

I thought you might be talking about my garden but not HA. My neighbours got pissed off and came over when I was out and sprayed it all. I only found out when everything died.

WestieMamma Wed 03-Jul-13 09:29:19

I don't think complaining to the HA about your neighbours, having only recently moved in is going to improve your enjoyment of your new home at all. The garden may improve in appearance but neighbourly relations will be down the pan.

pizzaqueen Wed 03-Jul-13 09:35:11

I used to live in a housing association property similar to what you describe, it was the HA responsibility to maintain the gardens and we paid them a monthly fee to do this. Perhaps call them and ask who's responsibility it is? Maybe the new properties are not in the maintainence rota yet or have been forgotten?

My MIL has also just moved to HA new built because FIL needed an adapted property, maybe the residents aren't physically able to do the garden?

You could have a polite word, but would BU to go straight in and complain.

Xiaoxiong Wed 03-Jul-13 11:16:34

I think you've outed yourself here - you're the Queen, aren't you. Stay with me here.

Currently the flowerbeds outside Buckingham Palace look like this.

What has her neighbour (Clarence House, which is arguably a housing association maisonette by comparison to the Palace...) got? Ridiculously overgrown 3ft high weeds.

I was walking on the Mall yesterday and I was just imagining the Queen looking over and saying "I'm paying a lot to live here and I want it to look halfway decent, why can't he just cut the grass at least!" And then I saw this post in AIBU!

PS Any details in the OP not consistent with my theory are obviously put in to preserve your anonymity - we see right through you ma'am grin

Yes, the HA will be interested in what you've got to say. I lived in a HA flat ten years ago and they warned us to tidy up our garden or they'd send their gardeners and we'd have to pay. (We only had to mow grass - we're not terrible tenants!)

It's in the HA's interest to show that they're community minded and bothered about how things look, so I'm sure you'll see an improvement once you've spoken to them (the HA, not the tenants!)

Jan49 Wed 03-Jul-13 11:47:43

I wouldn't. It's not worth ending up on bad terms with the neighbours over the garden, especially if you already think they're scary. Or is it just the idea of saying something to them that you find scary? Your home can look lovely regardless of what the neighbour's garden looks like. I'll swap with you if you like - my neighbours have 5ft high weeds! If you haven't met them, it's worth introducing yourself without the first introduction being to complain about them!

I used to have a very big overgrown garden that I couldn't manage as a single parent and I know that neighbours spoke to the council about it and sometimes neighbours moaned at me, which I found upsetting but eventually hardened myself to. I thought they were rather unkind TBH. It was a huge task so it wasn't something I could solve in a few hours. Imagine how you'd feel if someone expected something of you that you couldn't manage and had no understanding that you didn't have the free time or couldn't do it for other reasons. People I've known seem to be divided into 2 types: the ones who think gardening is a man's job and surely I should have someone to do it for me, and the ones who thought I was lazy for not finding many hours to do the garden. hmm

aldiwhore Wed 03-Jul-13 11:53:12

I would contact the HA.

Yes it's only grass and I like a meadow as much as the next person, but depending what else is in the grass it could become a perfect home for rats.

I would possibly offer to cut the lawn when I next did mine... at worst they'll think you're a nutter.

I'll never forget our new neighbours taking our pile of trash to the tip... fair enough, it was in our shared drive but it was waiting for the council pick that I'd arranged!

Our old neighbours (thought utterly lovely) turned their garden into a mini landfill, not just grass, old food stuffs, underwear (they seemed to throw out a lot of bras) and we had a rat problem for a while.

merrymouse Wed 03-Jul-13 11:53:29

ha ha xiaoxiong grin

could you maybe sprinkle some wildflower seeds over the grass under cover of darkness to make it more meadow like?

FrenchJunebug Wed 03-Jul-13 12:03:23

YABU to imply that the garden is overgrown because it is an HA house!

I don't think the Op was implying anything about HA tenants?

She mentioned it to ask whether she could contact the HA, that's all.

claw2 Wed 03-Jul-13 12:14:30

YABU and precious

imnotmymum Wed 03-Jul-13 12:18:40

Maybe just do it for them perhaps they do not have a lawn mower. We have a shared bit down the side of our cottage on one side neighbours would let it grow into the Amazon. I do it they give me a bottle of wine grin

Cravey Wed 03-Jul-13 13:11:41

Call the housing people, however it may be the tenant who has to do the upkeep. If its the ha then ask them to do it ASAP. If not then it may well be tough luck. I would have to go mow it myself even if it did make me look like a loon. It would drive me mental.

whatsonyourplate Wed 03-Jul-13 13:16:26

Sounds like my garden. DH is ill, dd is only 8 months and it rains every time I get enough spare time to get the mower out. YABU.

ilovexmastime Wed 03-Jul-13 13:21:03

Don't cut it yourself without asking first. I planted wild flowers in the border at the front of our house and my bloody neighbour thought she was doing me a favour by pulling out the "weeds"!

Personally, I like a wild garden, better for the wildlife and recommended by the RSPCA.

cuteboots Wed 03-Jul-13 13:31:49

I have a similar thing going on with the lady I live next door to. Im thinking of putting weedkiller on the massive weeds when shes in bed and undercover of darkness. As a HA tenant you are supposed to keep the garden tidy as its even in the tenancy agreement . Id never say anything to her as she looks like she has a few bigger issues going on being honest but its its bloody annoying ; 0 (

opalescent Wed 03-Jul-13 17:20:13

Great replies, thankyou all!

Given what many of you have said, I think I will contact the ha, in the first instance to enquire in general whether it is their responsibility or the tenants. If it is the ha's job to keep it tidy then, perfect. I'll ask them to sort it out!
If it falls to the tenant, then I'll mull it over before making any complaints, I do want to maintain good neighbourly relations if possible grin

opalescent Wed 03-Jul-13 17:21:24

Ps Xiao, fancy outing me like that!!! Poor forum etiquette, a simple pm would have been far more appropriate grin

Jan49 Wed 03-Jul-13 17:39:44

There would have to be a new forum especially for the Queen: IOBU - is one being unreasonable?grin

chocoshopoholic Wed 03-Jul-13 18:06:30

When my DP and I were just starting out we didn't have the money for a lawnmower. Tried to keep it trim by cutting a few bits with scissors (it was very small). Our neighbour noticed from his window and lent us his mower until we bought one in sale in the Autumn.

Eve Wed 03-Jul-13 18:09:43

Contact housing association, I live on a new estate with some ha flats at the entrance that are knee high in weeds.

I sent an email to them saying no wonder ha has such a bad reputation with the garden is allowed to be in that condition.

Had a lovely phone call from them apologising, the grounds maintenance people weren't told the correct address and didn't know about it.

2 days later it was sorted.

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