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AIBU to be so annoyed with my friend/neighbour (parking related)

(54 Posts)
Wibblypiglikesbananas Sun 04-May-14 02:21:24

So - next door but one neighbour is having an extension built. We've lived here for 18 months and whilst I wouldn't say we were bosom buddies, we are (were) good neighbours - popped over for a coffee every now and then, I give her my DD's grown out of clothes for her DD who is nine months younger, park playdates and so on.

The problems started when her team of builders started blocking our car into our driveway. At first, it was once in a while and didn't cause too much of an issue. Then it became pretty much a daily occurrence. I told her it was causing us problems and she was very apologetic. All was well for a few weeks but it started up again a couple of weeks back. This time when I complained (and nicely, tried to explain that it's really annoying having to leave the children in the car to clamber through her garden/mud to alert a builder to the fact he needs to move a van) she has pretty much made out like DH and I have a problem and that we're making a big deal out of nothing - despite us being late for a number of appointments etc as we can't get our vehicle out.

I'm so annoyed - firstly, I'd be mortified if a contractor I'd employed was causing so much trouble for a neighbour, particularly one who was a 'friend'. Secondly, all the drives are at the back of the houses and accessed via an alley which is very clearly a no parking zone. She/her builders seem to disregard this on a daily basis. I'm not the first neighbour to complain and this morning was the final straw when I texted her to say we'd had problems again and she just texted back 'Relax' - easy for her to say when we were late again as our car was trapped by her builder's van!

So - I don't think I'm being UR but what to do? It's a pretty small community, I don't want a huge fall out, but I'm insulted to be honest. To add insult to injury, her own car was parked in her driveway this morning and she could have easily moved this so that at least one van could have parked there.

MagicMojito Sun 04-May-14 02:34:30

Well clearly Yanbu but unfortunately I have no advice blush

I'd just keep telling them/her whenever its happening, don't let it drop. Be as big of a nuisense to them as they are being to you

absolutely do not key their van/scratch their paintwork or write the word INCONSIDERATE ARSE across their windscreen in shaving foam

Yambabe Sun 04-May-14 02:39:46

I believe if they are blocking you being able to exit your property/drive it is an offence and if you call the police they will be at the very least ticketed and possibly towed for causing an obstruction.

Oddly there is no law that says they are acting illegally if you can't get back in though!

Wibblypiglikesbananas Sun 04-May-14 02:40:02

I was tempted to reposition a few wheely bins across the end of her drive (obviously wouldn't!). I just can't understand why she's suddenly become so defensive and hostile. We've been nothing but polite, not complained until it got really bad (maybe this was our error) and are not the only people to point out it's causing an issue.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Sun 04-May-14 02:43:06

I did ring a council helpline thingy today but as it's the weekend, I need to ring back on Monday. I don't want to get into a huge neighbour war though - who needs that stress? But we haven't done anything wrong! It's got pretty stupid now actually - sometimes I walk rather than drive (short distances) as I can't be doing with the hassle.

redcaryellowcar Sun 04-May-14 02:58:05

i would speak to the builder, as its him (or her??) blocking the exit not your neighbour, imagine there are limited options hence inconsiderate parking, we have similar problem here but move cars onto the road so tradespeople can park on the drive.

ZacharyQuack Sun 04-May-14 03:59:18

Park over her driveway every night. Then her builders can park where they like, you won't get blocked in and she won't be inconvienced because she can just relax and wait until you feel like moving your car if she needs to get out.

defineme Sun 04-May-14 05:29:44

I would speak to the builder. I would say I'm contacting the council about it.
I'd be really upset that a friend could be so thoughtless. I'd be letting that friendship drop.
However, neither of you are moving so I'd remain civil. Extensions don't take forever to build.
If I couldn't not complain I'd send dh round and make him list all the appointments you've missed/times you've been made late.
Difficult though as you'll be seeing her on the school run etc for years.

OneOfMyTurnsComingOn Sun 04-May-14 06:21:33

I agree. Speak to the builder. How annoying.

DotToDott Sun 04-May-14 06:32:39

can you park over your own driveway?

that way the van wont be able to block you in.

you shouldn't have to but it might be the most straightforward solution since your neighbour is being an arse.

Kytti Sun 04-May-14 07:16:55

Call the police. Take photographs as proof. They're blocking the Queen's Highway and it's an offence. I used to suffer with this at my last property and it drove me nuts. Inconsiderate swines!

Park across her access every night.

ballinacup Sun 04-May-14 07:24:34

Are the builders specifically blocking you in, or are they blocking the lane that provides access to everyone's driveways/garages?

I wouldn't even be asking her. Go straight to the builders and tell them to shift or you'll be calling the police.

PotteringAlong Sun 04-May-14 07:26:29

Just park on the road, not on your drive?

frignorant Sun 04-May-14 07:33:32

If it's at the back of the house, via an alleyway, is that classed as private land and not public highway? If so, I don't yhink police or council can assist.

I would park your car across your own drive or at least put something in the way to stop them parking there.

LumpySpacePrincessOhMyGlob Sun 04-May-14 07:45:39

First I would text her and explain that I would find it much easier to relax if I could leave my property when I wanted. This is incredibly rude of her, not the actions of a friend at all. Speak to the builder directly, if he works for a larger firm contact them directly.

nennypops Sun 04-May-14 07:50:21

I suspect your neighbour is being defensive because you're hassling her rather than the builders. Do you know which firm it is? You could email them and say you're sick of having to ask them and if they don't sort it out you'll have no choice but to call the police and/or council.

KaFayOLay Sun 04-May-14 07:56:10

It's a short(ish) term thing.
Is it worth spoiling a friendship over?

If you know the van is parked there, give yourself more time to go and ask the builder to move it.

It's pretty stressful having a bunch of randoms making a god awful mess in your hour, without the neighbour being shifty about it too!

Kezzybear Sun 04-May-14 08:02:17

I would speak to the builder. We had this problem last week and I just asked him not to block me in. Didn't even mention it to my neighbours and we get on. It is very annoying.

rookiemater Sun 04-May-14 08:18:49

I can only imagine how annoying this must be.

Our neighbours are getting some work done to their entrance steps which is fine, but their builders have seen fit to leave quite a lot of their bricks down the side of the shared drive. Usually I reverse a little bit up the neighbours grounds ( I have permission for this) and drive down, but I can't because of the work, so I have to reverse down and it's quite hard to do this on a narrow driveway with the additional stuff there.

This is a very minor irritation compared to yours. A decent neighbour would sort it out with the builders themselves, not get shirty with you for, quite reasonably, needing to get out of your own house.

I'd do whatever you needed to do to stop the problem. If you can park your car in a way you can access it that would be great. If she texts to complain - well you know what your reply has to be grin.

FrancesNiadova Sun 04-May-14 08:45:42

Well, at least you've got the measure of your neighbour now. When this is all over, you've both got to live there, so be the bigger person & don't retaliate however tempted.
I would take some photos & speak directly with the contractor who is blocking you in. Even put at note up to say something like, "This is my driveway, I have young children, please don't block me in." Make sure that you are always uber-polite.
Could you put wheelie bins across your drive to stop them parking there?
Or you could try penguin bollards.........grin

MimiSunshine Sun 04-May-14 08:51:59

The 'Relax' message would boil my blood.

However try to refrain from a childish responsive action I would totally want to block her in and then go out I suggest giving her the benebmfit of the doubt or at least appearing to for the sake of neighbour peace but still pull her up on it.

Text her back something like: I'm sure it wasn't intentional but the relax text came across as quite rude, however I'll speak to the builders directly from now on if there's a problem, I had assumed you'd want to know your contractors were causing your friends to be late for appointments but no bother. Take care.

Then if you choose to remain friends (doesn't sound like she values yours but was happy to take your baby clothes) or not it was left cordial

ivykaty44 Sun 04-May-14 08:55:45

The builders will not be there forever, it is the builders that are causing the problem, it is actually the builders fault.

Your neighbour is not able to control where and how the builders park, much as she is paying the bill she needs these builders yo work and finish the job and having building work done is also stressful.

I would suggest you need to think about how long you are likely to live next door to each other and whether being on good terms is worth while?

If you have an appointment then block your own drive for the night and that way you will not be blocked in your drive. No its not ideal, no the builders shouldn't be so ignorant.

rookiemater Sun 04-May-14 09:48:57

Ooh I do like mimis response very well put.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Sun 04-May-14 14:34:15

Wow - lots of responses - thanks so much! I do understand that it's not her directly, rather the builders parking illegally, but as they're working for her, I'd have expected her to have some kind of conscience - especially given that I'm not (or was not) 'just' a neighbour.

The problem is two fold as the alley is narrow so the vans generally block the alley full stop, more often than not extending behind her driveway, my driveway and that of the house between hers and ours. The people at the house between don't use their drive (made the garden bigger) so don't complain.

I'll ring the council again tomorrow and report it all. I'm sure she'll know it's me if anything comes of it.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sun 04-May-14 14:40:45

Ohh... difficult. confused

I think if it were me I'd a) speak to the builder and tell him that I'll ring the police the next time he does this and b) speak to my friend/neighbour telling them that you don't want to sour relationships with her but that you're not going to put up with it and asking her whether SHE would actually like this lack of consideration shown to her?

There's no reason for her to be defensive towards you it's the builder that is doing this. Point that out to her.

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