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To post their cigarette stubs back through their letterbox?

(33 Posts)
stickystick Mon 27-Jan-14 22:49:16

My baby and I live on the lower ground floor of a mansion block, and our kitchen door opens into a little walled courtyard. I have a bit of garden furniture out there, a barbecue, a sand/water table for the baby to use this summer, and I grow some kitchen herbs in a tub.
I am cross with the new-ish, French female tenants of a second floor flat in the building, whose windows look out onto the courtyard. They sit on their windowsills to smoke and then flick their ash and used cigarette butts into the courtyard. They go into the easigrass, onto our garden furniture, into the herbs, everywhere. It's going to be a nightmare when the baby's wandering around out there in summer.

So in my British way I have been out into the yard and stared very hard at them to let them know that I know it's them doing this, but they seem totally unbothered.
I then decided to be Euro-diplomatic and asked the building manager what he would advise. He said he'd report it to the managing agents who would write to the landlord who would have to tell his/her tenants to stop. That was about six weeks ago and it's still going on. The building manager also claims he's had a word directly with one of the tenants and asked them to use an ashtray but that doesn't seem to be working either.

What I really want to do is collect a pile of these disgusting fag butts up, put them in an envelope, and put it through their letterbox with the message "I believe these are yours. Next time I won't bother with the envelope."

That's what I WANT to do. Is this unreasonable and disproportionate? Am I likely to get them back at me, or worse? Are there any alternatives???

WorraLiberty Mon 27-Jan-14 22:50:49

What a load of old faff

Why not just knock on the door and firmly but politely ask tell them to stop confused

SaucyJack Mon 27-Jan-14 22:50:53

YWBU not to do it IMO.

TessTackle Mon 27-Jan-14 22:52:26

I'd do it, but I'm hot headed and won't shy away from conflict.
What happens when they flick hot ash and your little 'un is out playing?

NigellasDealer Mon 27-Jan-14 22:53:41

just gather up the fag butts, knock on the door and give them back to them, and ask them to use an ashtray. Try and speak face to face it is less passive aggressive.

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 27-Jan-14 22:53:41

Why not just ask them not to do it.

Posting them back through their letterbox would be unreasonable imo.

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 27-Jan-14 22:54:53

All that you KNOW is that they have had a hard stare. You don't know a letter went or that the manager had a word. Just talk to them. After that, it is open season but at least do them the courtesy of asking for what you want.

phoolani Mon 27-Jan-14 22:55:36

how about just talking to them? they're french, the french have an entirely different attitude (changing now but still) to smoking. Just ask politely - 'and my baby will be crawling around and I don't want her eating fag butts, so could you use an ashtray?' If after it's still a problem, then do what you will.
'I stared at them' - seriously, even I probably wouldn't get this and I'm as English as they come.

JockTamsonsBairns Mon 27-Jan-14 22:55:44

Why couldn't you just, y'know, go up and ask them not to do that anymore?

LackingEnergy Mon 27-Jan-14 22:57:57

Wouldn't even bother with an envelope or a note. You're only returning their property to the after all they should be grateful smile

Wuxiapian Mon 27-Jan-14 23:07:11

YWNBU to do exactly that.

"These belong to you" would suffice.

phoolani Mon 27-Jan-14 23:56:41

seriously? without even asking them first? that would just strike me as weird. and passive aggressive.

BlackeyedSusan Tue 28-Jan-14 00:31:36

I fished the students rubbish out of my bin , left the bag as they had left it, untied against their door, then banged very loudly on their door before stomping up the stairs. no more of their rubbish in my bin. I though i as being resonble not to post it bit by bit thought their letter box.

phoolani Tue 28-Jan-14 00:55:14

How very...British of you. I can't be doing with all the PA hint-hint stuff. You may well find them very reasonable if you actually talk to them as if you are a reasonable adult.

MsAspreyDiamonds Tue 28-Jan-14 00:59:33

My neighbours daughter used to throw her used butts over my fence, dh got so fed up he chucked them back over. The stupid bitch then did it again so I threw it over again until her darling mummy realised that it was her pfb who smoked. The stupid cow was also a paediatric nurse who smoked all the way through her pregnancy. confused

AspieLass Tue 28-Jan-14 05:28:48

Children will not eat cigarette butts. Irritating though they are, they will not be consumed

CouthyMow Tue 28-Jan-14 05:34:34

Aspielass, that's not true. 2/4 of my DC's DID try to eat cigarette butts when they were smaller.

HavenBeckons Tue 28-Jan-14 05:44:27

I'd buy them a cheap ashtray, like the little silver ones that cafe tables have and than can get for like one pound or something, and wrap it as a gift and then knock nicely on their door with the smokes butts in a see-thru food bag in one hand to pass back to them and the wrapped gift in the other and then give a really friendly smile and say hi, I thought I'd help y'all out as you obviously don't have onesmile

Catsize Tue 28-Jan-14 05:45:07

It's good to talk...

ZillionChocolate Tue 28-Jan-14 07:00:42

I like HavenBeckons' idea of presenting them with an ashtray as a neighbourly gift and asking them to use it.

Rooners Tue 28-Jan-14 07:25:42

Oh how horrible, I sympathise, we have smokers on the top floor too and they have burned a hole in our parasol, nearly dropped a cigarette on ds's head, and covered the front drive in fag ends.

I have tried putting them in a pot by their door, it doesn't work,

putting them on their car bonnet

asking them to stop

telling the agents (we have a smoking ban here for insurance, but they won't do anything)

Thankfully it is infrequent out the back and I don't mind too much with the front drive as the baby doesn't play there.

You have to go and speak with them. TAKE your little child with you and introduce them. Smile. Say it is ruining his play area.

They HAVE to stop this. Only other thing is, putting up some sort of non flammable awning but that'll be hard to find.

Would a parasol work?

Bendysboxers Tue 28-Jan-14 07:27:48

very tempting but first knock and ask the politely to stop it

stickystick Tue 28-Jan-14 10:04:14

some very good ideas in here thank you. I like the ashtray one very much, but it worries me a bit that they might knock it off the windowsill - an ashtray falling three floors would probably kill one of us!

I HAVE thought about going up there to ask them, but they keep very strange hours - they seem to be either asleep or out all day, and up all night (that's when most of the smoking on windowsills seems to happen). I don't really want to yank the baby out of bed to have the conversation.

WorraLiberty Tue 28-Jan-14 10:13:25

I'm sure if you try you will actually catch them at a convenient time.

SaucyJack Tue 28-Jan-14 10:17:06

Don't give them an ashtray as a present or take your son up there to explain that they are ruining his play area as you are then giving them the impression that they'll be doing you some sort of favour by not throwing fag butts into your garden. And if you do speak to them, whatever else the frick you do say- DON'T say sorry. Or please. And don't ask- tell.

They are behaving unacceptably, and they'll already be fully aware. Even if the are French (!) I do not get this obsession with bending over backwards to suck up to people who are openly treating you like something they've just scraped off the bottom off their shoe.

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