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Well, well, well

(104 Posts)
redbunnyfruitcake Fri 28-Jun-13 14:25:01

I've just bought a house with shared access. This is not a problem as such as the neighbour and I have equal access through each others gardens and providing the gate is closed it shouldn't affect my children's safety.

However, our utility room opens out into their garden and we will obviously use this door most of the time for convenience when bringing a pram through. The big problem is that to the side of their house they have a well. It is surrounded by a low wall but I don't yet know if it is covered. For my own sanity I will need to ask them to cover it but I do not know if I have any rights to. And knowing children as I do there will be an inbuilt fascination regarding the well so just telling them not to go near it will not be enough.

This has already given me a few sleepless nights and I have already unwittingly upset the neighbour by accidently blocking her right of way (long story) so I do not want to get into any further strife but for the sake of my children I need to address this well situation. I am a little concerned that the neighbour is a bit difficult and may refuse to cover the well hence my worry.

How do I find out about my rights regarding the well? And AIBU to ask them to cover the well? Any pointers would be helpful.

grumpyinthemorning Sun 30-Jun-13 10:36:05

OP, I completely sympathize. DS managed to open the front door and make a run for the main road. Scared the life out of me. I'd left him playing in the living room for two minutes while I went to the loo, and next thing I know I'm hoiking up my trousers and running to grab him. I now have so many locks and bolts on my front door that it's more secure than bloody Alcatraz.

My point is, it's not possible to watch them every second, and anyone who thinks it is is talking out their arse. It happened to me, and I only have one, any more would give me a heart attack!

Try to prevent your kids going into their garden if you can, but definitely talk to the neighbours about the well. It could already be covered, and if it's not, it's not unreasonable to suggest it. Hope that helps.

wonkylegs Sun 30-Jun-13 11:13:40

I wouldn't expect anybody to have eyes in the back of their heads but you need to do everything in YOUR power to prevent accidents happening.
For the OP it may include talking to their neighbour but they cannot force somebody else to do something or even rely on them to do it. The op can however lock the door and teach their child that they aren't allowed outside by themselves and that wells are dangerous.
It's going to be a combination of prevention and education.
Kids at 4 are wilful and inquisitive but they are also receptive to rules and take and awful lot in especially if repeated over and over consistently and clearly.
You can't rely on this but you can lay the ground rules and foundations for them understanding danger which is the best overall prevention, especially if there are hazards you might not immediately identify but they stumble upon.

lachrymavitis Sun 30-Jun-13 13:48:21

Bunbaker - I don't think any of the posts have said their don't let their children out of their sight. They have said that it is the parent's responsibility to look after the child first and foremost.

The suggestion from a few is that keeping your door locked so your child cannot go outside without you being aware of it is a sensible step. Children can only open locked doors if they have access to the keys.

Pendeen Tue 02-Jul-13 10:24:27


"I live in Italy not the UK, so tahe law might be different. I have two wells. By law I am liable if anybody falls in them, even if they are not supposed to be there"

UK law has similar provisions, as I pointed out to further up the thread - Occupiers Liability Act.

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