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to think this is a health & safety hazard or I don't have a (legal) leg to stand on?

(109 Posts)
RedHeels Sat 20-Nov-10 18:27:05

I rent a first floor flat in a converted house where there is also only a ground floor flat. An elderly lady owns that flat and the landing outside my door belongs to her property too.

The neighbour keeps her walking frame outside my door, on the landing, which she doesn't use (she told me that plus I've never seen the thing moved and I'm in and out a lot as I work from here). 12 months ago we had a conversation about the frame as I thought it was a health and safety hazard as when I open my door and come out, there is a space of about 40 cm and then there is the frame. The landing outside my door is also taken up by the meters cupboard and her flat door is opposite the front door, the distance is maybe a meter. So whenever I come in and out I bump into the frame (not too mention the times when I have my shopping with me). Back then she said she was willing to take it in, but in the end I told her not to worry and that I don't mind, it being there (she's 80-something so I thought if it was more convenient for her, then be it, etc).

Now I knocked on her door, to let her now that I will be having a baby in 2 weeks and whether she could put her frame inside as I simply won't be able to wheel the pram out of my door to come out. I thought, in the light of the previous conversation, that my request was quite sensible. Before I finished speaking, I was told it's not her fault I'm pregnant shock and if I am pregnant I should not be living here. She said she won't move it and how do I dare to tell her what to do with her property. The old bat made my cry and finally I told her the frame just has to go.

When I want to wheel the pram out, I will have to pick her frame, move it outside the front door, wheel the pram outside and then put the frame back in. I even offered to put it in my loft but now apparently she uses the frame after the exercise (as I said, the frame is always there so that's not true but I guess it is beside the point). I will be calling my estate agent and the council on Monday but would appreciate any advice you might be able to give me in the meantime.

Vallhala Sat 20-Nov-10 18:35:50

Just put it in the garden. If she wants it, she can go and get it!

I would normally have all the sympathy and understanding in the world for an elderly person, but am cross on your behalf about her spiteful remarks.

No doubt you're not bolshy like me and wouldn't want to put the thing in the garden, so how about having a chat to her friends or family and seeing if they can make her see sense? Or, if she has anything of the sort, a home help, nurse or somesuch?

Failing that, make it disappear and deny all knowledge of it!

onimolap Sat 20-Nov-10 18:40:22

Does the lady have any regular visitors?

Two reasons for asking:

a) they may be able to help you persuade her to move it, and

b) they would be keeping an eye on whether she is showing signs of dementia or other senility. Her change in manner is odd and could be cause for concern. I hope she is well supported.

RedHeels Sat 20-Nov-10 18:49:44

I don't have access to the garden. Depending how pissed off I am on the first day I want to venture out with my shiny new babe smile and I bump into her frame I might just leave it outside the front door. Also I'm worried that if it gets scratched when I have to handle it every day, then she will think it was done on purpose. Although the mood I'm in now...

Yes, I used to have embedded into me that you should always respect older people but I have been losing that respect bit by bit since moving here.

She has a cleaner and some people (a nephew, a friend plus someone who might be a friend or a nurse or a SW but that's purely my speculation) who come to visit her but I would have to jump out on them while they're leaving... Not really feasible.

LaWeaselMys Sat 20-Nov-10 18:51:23

I agree that her suddenly seeming angry after being reasonable sounds very odd.

If you know anyone that knows her it would be worth a word.

Don't stick it in the garden. That's a cruel thing to do to an old lady, and hardly likely to make your relationship better!

3beagles Sat 20-Nov-10 18:51:48

Mmm well i think you're not being unreasonable, and I would question what the hell it's doing there if you live on the first floor.

You can't use walking frames on stairs. They're not for use outside either. If she needs it, then it should be with her when she needs it (even if only at night), which is inside her flat.

I've just reread it actually.... You're upsairs, she's downstairs and the frame is upstairs???

I'm an OT so need more info for amunition grin

RedHeels Sat 20-Nov-10 18:57:14

sorry, if I wasn't clear. Her door and my door are next to each other, on the ground floor. When I open my door, there is 50cm of carpet and then the stairs that take me to the rest of the flat.

BangingNoise Sat 20-Nov-10 19:02:20

Just keep putting it right outside her door. And when the baby comes, leave the pram outside yours.

skydance Sat 20-Nov-10 19:04:32

I don't understand, if she has the downstairs and you have the whole of upstairs why is the landing upstairs hers?

And I would say that the landing should be kept clear.

What on earth is the point of the walking frame being upstairs anyway, surely if she needed to use it she wouldn't be able to manage the stairs, but I suppose that's largerly irrelavent, or have I misunderstood the part that says the frame is upstairs?

BabyDubsEverywhere Sat 20-Nov-10 19:05:56

Wouldnt it be a shame if it were to be stolen??? grin

3beagles Sat 20-Nov-10 19:06:01

Well either way, if it's a zimmer frame like [[ hp?prodID=102 this]] then it needs to be in her flat where she can use it.

If however it's like this then it is for outdoor use and that makes the whole issue a bit trickier IMHO.

skydance Sat 20-Nov-10 19:06:50

oh I see both doors are downstairs, that makes more sense.

Would bangnoise's suugestion work? That sounds like a good idea.

3beagles Sat 20-Nov-10 19:07:25


Was the first one for indoor use

BabyDubsEverywhere Sat 20-Nov-10 19:08:35

Id advertise it on freecycle as 'free to good home, just collect no need to knock'

YEs i do feel bitchy tonight grin

3beagles Sat 20-Nov-10 19:08:53

I really need to go and get ready to go out, but am gripped as to the type of walking frame it is...

scoobytoo Sat 20-Nov-10 19:09:32

I would throw it away! Or as someone else said put it in front of her door EVERY time you go out or in.

saorachd Sat 20-Nov-10 19:11:14

YANBU at all and have offered to compromise.

If there was a need to vacate the property in a hurry, it does sound as if the zimmer would be a hazard to both of you plus anyone else further up.

and if all else fails

ib Sat 20-Nov-10 19:14:49

Usually in this kind of situation there will be something about what they can and can't do with the landing on the leasehold/share of freehold agreement.

Talk to your ll, they should sort it out.

RedHeels Sat 20-Nov-10 19:16:27

It's a kind of a rollator apparently (I learned something new today). 43_114.html?p=shop

ib Sat 20-Nov-10 19:16:32

on the upside, you don't need to worry if she gets woken up by your nb's crying at night...

RedHeels Sat 20-Nov-10 19:17:45

saorachd grin have mercy on my pelvic floor! a little bit of wee almost came out.

greatgoose Sat 20-Nov-10 19:19:47

Ask the fire service to come around to do a free safety check. They might give you a written checklist of any advice given which should include keeping all fire exits clear.

Ormirian Sat 20-Nov-10 19:22:00

I think it depends on how you would react if she had told you to move your pram?

MrsChemist Sat 20-Nov-10 19:24:13

I'm naughty but I'd set the fire alarm off, "accidentally" trip up over the frame on the way out, and then play merry hell about how it's a hazard in a fire.

BangingNoise Sat 20-Nov-10 19:24:28

AT least the pram will be used regularly.

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