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(103 Posts)
MrsWinnibago Sat 14-Jun-14 11:32:05

I live in a 1st floor flat. There are 4 flats in our building....2 on each level. On the ground floor are two separate and elderly couples...and on my floor there is me and my DH and our 2 DC and a girl who has a little baby.

It's like a large house that's been converted. We all share the front entrance and the back entrance. The back entrance leads to 4 little separate gardens...there's one "yard" which we all use for washing lines and then our gardens lead off this....they're like little allotments almost.

Anyway...the back door is the only access to the garden so my children go down there as does my cat.

My frigging neighbour keeps LOCKING the back door....putting it on the "snicket" as some people say.

This means my short DC can't get out and I constantly have to go down the stairs to unlock it. We're thoughtful and quiet neighbours...they're not in and out all day but like normal kids they do need regular access....WHY DOES HE KEEP FUCKING LOCKING IT???

I sent my smallest out to play...she's 6. I can see her out there from the kitchen window. Next thing I hear her yelling up "I can't get in!"

He'd fucking locked her out! It's one man....he's a bit bossy and a bit grumpy....why does he do this? He's lived her for thirty years so it could be habit I suppose...but this is a safe area and the front door is always locked so nobody could get through off the shall I tackle this?

thedancingbear Sat 14-Jun-14 11:34:38

My initial recourse would be to politely ask him to stop locking the door.

WorraLiberty Sat 14-Jun-14 11:34:53

You mean you haven't spoken to him about it yet?

"Hi, how are you? Would you mind not locking the door please because my kids are only little, so they can't reach it to let themselves in or out. Thanks"

deadduck Sat 14-Jun-14 11:35:01

Have you tried talking to him? Maybe find a compromise that door stays unlocked in the afternoon after school till sundown or something?

MehsMum Sat 14-Jun-14 11:35:28

Give her a key? If she's big enough to reach, that might be the answer. Put it on a huge, lurid keyring so if she drops it, you'll be able to see it in the grass/bushes/stairwell.

AgentZigzag Sat 14-Jun-14 11:36:50

I would ask him first, even though you risk him getting a monk on with you. He might have lived there 30 years but he doesn't own the place or get the last say on what happens.

Could he be locking it because he feels vulnerable with it unlocked?

It's a bit off of him doing it while your DDs out in the bloody garden though! Why didn't he check first?

WorraLiberty Sat 14-Jun-14 11:39:43

It's probably just habit and he hasn't thought about the height of the kids.

MrsWinnibago Sat 14-Jun-14 11:46:16

meh it's not a key lock it's a thing you flick up. ZigZag I do think he might feel might have been that he didn't notice she was there to be fair.

He's such a jobsworth. My other neighbour just told me that when the council came to paint he communal entrance, he sent them away because he'd not had a letter and he owns his flat whereas we all rent off the housing association.

Lucked Sat 14-Jun-14 11:50:04

I would definitely go to him about locking her out. What if you hadn't heard her.

Is there some wear you could leave a foldable stool your kids could use.

MrsWinnibago Sat 14-Jun-14 11:54:34

Lucked no...the whole entrance is taken up with the lower residents shite little ornaments on side tables. hmm

Sallyingforth Sat 14-Jun-14 12:02:10

How secure is the garden area? Your neighbour may be worried about a burglar getting in the back door.

holidaysarenice Sat 14-Jun-14 12:06:04

He is not jobsworth because he sent them away. Unlike you he owns his flat and therefore has to pay a share of the painting of the hallway.

If I rocked up to paint your flat, would you let me without knowing the cost??

Actually I'm with him on locking the door, I wouldn't leave the back entrance to my flat open all day. If your kids can't reach then you need to take down a step for them or go down with them.

You even say that you keep the front door locked so why not the back.

MrsWinnibago Sat 14-Jun-14 12:10:04

The gardens are landlocked...completely secure there is NO access at all. Huge fences at the back which backs onto fields...the other sides are elderly neighbours....lived here for years.

Hiloday yes I see that he has an investment but really? He's happy to let it look like shite because he wasn't informed? He pays a yearly amount for the maintenance so he didn't have to pay extra...he just wanted prior knowledge and now they haven't returned to do it OR written to him!

The front is locked because it leads to the street...the back is secure and nobody except us can get to it!

WallyBantersJunkBox Sat 14-Jun-14 12:12:38

I'd just ask him to check that there is no one in the garden before he puts the lock on.

I'd be more afraid of putting the washing out and getting locked out with the kids in the flat tbh.

I don't think he's wrong to worry about security, if he's lived there for years perhaps he's been subject to a burglary.

2rebecca Sat 14-Jun-14 12:52:11

If he's on the ground floor maybe he's disturbed more by the noise 2 unsupervised tots who aren't old enough to operate a lock make than you are on the first floor. If your kids aren't old enough to work a lock then maybe you should be down there supervising them if they are in a communal garden area near elderly residents.
I don't think he's unreasonable to want all entrances to the property locked.
With the painting it sounds as though the council have been unreasonable. If you own or lease a property you expect to be consulted when someone is renovating it, and usually to have some say in the colour scheme. Someone is being high handed. I'd chase up the council and get them to get their finger out.

Cornettoninja Sat 14-Jun-14 13:02:08

That's a good point wally assuming he's not being malicious and is unaware there's someone outside how does he know he's not locking someone out?

I wonder if using a doorstop would be a clear signal that someone's actively using the garden.

If he's concerned about security he does have my sympathies to a point because it's not always entirely rational when you're anxious, but that's the deal with flats and stuff that there needs to be compromises sometimes.

KillmeNow Sat 14-Jun-14 13:18:12

I know it seems really curmudgeonly of the man to keep locking the door but try to see it from his pint of view.
If the door is constantly being opened and closed it will probably reverberate against the wall of his flat. I know this comes with the territory where young children are involved .But they aren't HIS children.

It seems that up to now the door has been closely monitored by him so there havent yet been incidents of door banging.He is trying to preempt this by making sure the children and you are being inconvenienced when you use the door.

Can you think of a way that the children can access the garden alone and not be a potential annoyance to the other residents? A key is a good start. Maybe offer to put in another lock that the children can reach? Or a self closing mechanism so it soft closes? Or bring down a little stool which can act as a reminder that they are out there.

It does need tackling though. As as PP said you need to be sure he wont lock you outside when the children are in the flat .

matildasquared Sat 14-Jun-14 13:31:10

My other neighbour just told me that when the council came to paint he communal entrance, he sent them away because he'd not had a letter and he owns his flat whereas we all rent off the housing association.

Oh, ignore the gossip.

A ground-floor flat is actually quite insecure. Perhaps he's been burgled. My husband has been burgled (when he used to live in the city) and he gets very anxious if I leave our back door open whilst I'm gardening. It's just one of those things.

Make a plate of cookies and bring them over, then ask him about the door. Would he mind if it were left open whilst your kids played in the garden and you watched from your window?

If he says he'd rather keep it locked, then send your kids down with a step-stool and a key. If they're old enough to play unsupervised, they're old enough to unlock the door themselves.

ArmyDad Sat 14-Jun-14 17:15:09

Security is not a dirty word

SinglePringle Sat 14-Jun-14 18:26:38

I live in a communal building and have been burgled. My neighbour's kid puts the main building door on the latch. I unlatch it if I come home and discover it unlocked as it makes me nervous. Perhaps, as previous posters have said it's the same for your neighbour?

thenightsky Sat 14-Jun-14 18:50:14

Can you get his phone number and ring him to let them in every time?

2rebecca Sat 14-Jun-14 20:05:27

Erm they aren't his kids why is letting them in his problem?

MrsWinnibago Sat 14-Jun-14 20:12:27

2rebecca erm because we share a's called thinking about others. Same way that I don't mind that he's jammed the SHARED area full of pots of flowers leaving no space for anything I might like to put there.

I wouldn't moan because he's a good gardener and they look nice but they take up ALL spare space...I don't moan because it's a case of live and let live...give a little. Where did you learn your manners? The jungle?

MrsWinnibago Sat 14-Jun-14 20:13:49

Oh and 2Rebecca 9 and 6 is hardly a "tot" as you charmingly put it...that's plenty large enough to go to the garden alone!

He's pronably sitting in his flat cursing you for constantly leaving the door unlocked so he has to keep going and doing it, it's probably infuriating for him. Being landlocked doesn't make you burglar-proof, they can jump fences.

Could you put a doorbell on it so you know the DCs can always summon you to let them in?

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