Neighbour's building work advice

(9 Posts)
sarahd100 Thu 03-Nov-16 10:59:46

I was wondering if anyone had any advice on what to do with a really stressful situation at home.

To give a bit of background, I'm 29 and moved home in April this year to help my mum out with my dad, who was very ill at the time. Unfortunately, he passed away in May, and since then my mum has decided to move out and find somewhere smaller and more manageable.

The house opposite ours was bought in 2010 by a very rich man who wanted to build his 'dream home'. He has been carrying out building work on it on and off since then, and it's still nowhere near being finished. On top of all the dust and muck that is all over our house from their building work, we also have to put up with countless vans and trucks parking across our driveway or on the opposite side of the road, which makes it hard for my mum to leave the house. She has spoken to them on a number of occasions (the builders themselves, the developers and the property owner) but none of them are interested in listening to a single woman in her 60s complain and they do nothing about it.

We live on a private estate, and she has complained to the board of directors numerous times, who have said there isn't anything they can do. Has anyone else had to deal with anything like this before?

As you can imagine, this has been a horrible year for both of us, but my mum especially as she is now having to deal with a lot new responsibilities that my dad used to manage - including trying to sell a house on her own for the first time. The added stress of this has changed her personality completely - she is short tempered and on the brink of tears almost all the time.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm sorry if this isn't in the right sub, please let me know if it needs to be moved elsewhere!

Thank you.

wooooofudge Thu 03-Nov-16 13:16:03

I am sorry for your loss OP. Having to deal with inconsiderate people on top of everything else must be hard.

Are there estate rules or covenants regarding what can and can't be done within the estate? I suggest your mother write to the neighbour with a copy to the estate management company, referring to those rules and the breaches by the neighbour, his contractors, etc. It should be a clear, concise, factual letter pointing out the breaches and requesting, in the interest of good neighbourly relations, that they desist from blocking the entrance to your mother's home. She should list the occasions the drive has been blocked and by which vehicles and the inconvenience it causes. Even if there are no covenants being breached, I would still do this. She should ask the neighbour to ensure neither he nor his contractors block her drive.

I know people will say she should lump it or she'll have to declare a dispute when she comes to sell, but I don't think a dispassionate letter setting out the problems being caused is a dispute. Having a row about it would be. Apart from anything else, if they block the drive when potential buyers come to view that could the buyers off.

kirinm Thu 03-Nov-16 16:38:54

Unless they're doing something wrong, there's not much you can do about it. The law expects you to have to accept some disruption because sometimes work has to be done.

If they cause damage to the property than obviously that isn't okay.

It's crap that they're not being considerate. Maybe think how they could do the work without disrupting your mum so much. Is it noise at a particular time or mess that's not being cleaned up? Perhaps once you know what you'd like to change you / she could contact the neighbour and the building company and let them know? You don't have a right to stop them but they might try and adjust how they're working.

RiverTam Thu 03-Nov-16 16:42:53

I genuinely think that people having work done on their house should be obliged to pay their neighbours compensation should the work continue for longer than, say, a month. Because whilst the person who owns the house ends up with their dream whatever, after months of disruption, the neighbours end up with nothing. And I'd double it if the people causing all the disruption aren't resident.

Not helpful for you, of course, just thought I'd have a bit of a rant there, I feel your mother's pain!

sarahd100 Fri 04-Nov-16 14:11:53

Thanks everyone for your comments!

Good advice wooooofudge - I will ask her to start logging events as they happen. She has been taking photographs when her driveway has been blocked already.

I have told her that there isn't any point in getting into arguments with people, this won't be helpful to anyone, I'm just so annoyed that people think they can walk all over her. She's asked them repeatedly not to block her in or out of her driveway!

She has now asked one of our other neighbours to park at the top of our driveway which should hopefully stop the builders from being able to use the space as their own, and I'll keep my fingers crossed!

Thanks all

manhowdy Fri 04-Nov-16 14:17:37

Can she call 101 when the builders block her drive and ask the police to visit? If access is blocked and she needs to get out, police will attend. Either that or set their van on fire.

FlamingoSnuffle Fri 04-Nov-16 16:58:12

If she is looking to move why would you start a neighbour dispute by calling the police? This would have to be declared.

My PIL lived through something similar, seethed a lot but never confronted the builders/plumbers/owners because they were looking to downsize in the near future.

Don't put anything in writing. If they block the drive just ask them to move. Every time. Yes it's a pain in the arse but be thankful that they will move it. And look into moving.

JT05 Fri 04-Nov-16 17:07:23

We had this from our next door neighbour, just before we marketed our house, so didn't want any bad feelings.
Every morning we put our cars across the drive, so that the builders couldn't block it. Even when they didn't block it they parked right up to the edge, so they blocked the sight line. Annoyingly there's not much you can do.

manhowdy Fri 04-Nov-16 17:16:07

FlamingoSnuffle - keep schtum and leave it for the next poor sucker to deal with? Nice.

In fairness this sounds like a temporary problem, not with the neighbours, but contractors parking on the road. Not a forever issue.

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