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Neighbour scolded me about washing out in the front

(213 Posts)
OrangeSplot Sat 14-May-16 11:46:20


I'm feeling a bit stung and embarrassed.

We rent in a close. A few retired homeowners take care of the communal area (off their own back - do the gardens etc but I think our LL pays for lawn to be cut etc).

My neighbor just told me that I should dry my washing at the back as its "not nice for the neighbours".

Incidentally, my DH hung washing out front yesterday as the stand was there from kids playing and was sunny.

I was a bit taken aback - although I know/suspect they look down on us for having toys in our front lawn etc and more weedy than theirs. I can imagine it's not ideal but you just accept that you have a neighbour with lower aesthetic standards than you, surely?

If it's relevant I was told off last year because my friend had left her car in the communal grounds (not obstructing etc, just parked) for about 2/3 days because she ended up getting a taxi home. Another neighbor had a real go at me about it disrespecting the neighbours etc. It's just a car in my eyes, it was removed on day 3 or 4 I think.

I said little because I didn't want to say 'yes of course'. And I didn't want to argue so I just said 'I'll think about what you said' and I think I may have uttered 'I think it's an unreasonable request'. She said 'Well, <insert name>, if you don't hang your washing out the back, I think you should know that it will be taken further'.

I just feel upset. It's not nice to have upset from neighbours. I'm polite and friendly and my kids play with their grandkids happily.

Is she being unreasonable or am I?

fluffyjumper123 Sat 14-May-16 11:51:36

Personally I don't think you Abu. Although I know that others will disagree. I regularly dry my washing outside of my property as we don't have a back garden and drying inside causes condensation and a horrible damp smell. If they are particularly front lawn proud then I can see why they would be annoyed but I think it's more of a generation issue than anything else. My partner is a gardener and 90% of his private clients are 70+ and very house proud where as we don't particularly have the time to maintain our home to such a high standard with working 13 hour days.

AdrenalineFudge Sat 14-May-16 11:51:53

I don't think yabu. I really can't stand those sort of people and I think I'd have to get a deckchair, a can of cider and a pack of fags and sit brazenly in the sun.

BrandNewAndImproved Sat 14-May-16 11:54:24

I'd definitely go for the deckchair fags and cider approach now. Set up a bbq and play music out the front as well grin

Ifailed Sat 14-May-16 11:54:38

Sounds like fun - can I join you? I'll bring a really loud radio as well.

GiveMyHeadPeaceffs Sat 14-May-16 11:54:54

Yanbu. That would really annoy me but I'm such a woose I'd probably not hang it there blush

iklboo Sat 14-May-16 11:55:55

Oooh topless, cider & fags sitting on a deckchair in the sun. Listening to some godsawful euro pop or garage grin

soapboxqueen Sat 14-May-16 11:57:14

It's a particularly British thing of not using your front garden though. Even though I know technically it's not an issue, I still think it's weird when people actually use their front gardens. I wouldn't say anything to people though.

If you have no back garden, then I'd see it as a needs must as the devil drives sort of thing but I would find it odd to see washing out the front.

Afreshstartplease Sat 14-May-16 11:57:54

I once had a communal garden where I was told off for putting up a washing line, and asked to keep my wheelie bin in the house!

PotteringAlong Sat 14-May-16 12:00:51

I wouldn't have said anything to you but it would grate on me if your washing was hanging out the front instead of the back although, illogically, I can't really articulate why. Not keeping your garden weeded would also annoy me. You're out there with the children, pull up the weeds!

Re: taking it further. Is is a private close? It might be written into the deeds that you are not allowed to dry washing at the front?

OrangeSplot Sat 14-May-16 12:03:50

smile I did have to slightly hide behind the car* cos I'm still in PJ's (vest - no bra) and erm barefoot..... felt quite exposed being told off head-teacher style in a slovenly state. I'm sure it didn't help. I will be normal and tidy and respectable very soon!
A Eurovision BBQ sounds really fun smile DH is really cross at them. But I'm more sensitive.

My post above was confusing so for clarity, it was a one off, not regular occurrence.

*ran out to shut car door as kids got something and forgot to shut it.

Moreisnnogedag Sat 14-May-16 12:04:14

It'll be taken further?! I would have to have asked what that meant.

BarbarianMum Sat 14-May-16 12:05:14

In Venice, one of the world's most revered cultural capitals, people hang their washing out across the streets and life continues just fine. If it isn't against the terms of your lease tell your neighbour hood gestapo to go boil her head.

MilkRunningOutAgain Sat 14-May-16 12:06:06

Where I used to live in a private close there was a residents association and strict rules. Mind you we were told the rules before we moved in. Had your friend's car been parked in our close it would have been towed away. And washing out front? I would not have dared. No-one did!

ThumbWitchesAbroad Sat 14-May-16 12:06:12

Technically you should be able to do what you want on your own property, but there are areas where there are strong indications that you shouldn't do certain things.
Neighbourhoods in the USA often have behavioural expectations - having your front yard neatly mowed, clearing snow, no washing out visible to neighbours being examples.
I had a friend who lived on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland for a few years - strong Presbyterian community - didn't dare hang washing out on a Sunday or there'd be glares and mutterings.

Things is, if you want to have a happy life within your small enclosed community, it's not a great idea to upset local shibboleths really, however much you feel that your own "rights" have been infringed.

And in all honesty, why would you hang your washing out at the front of the house? do you not have a back garden at all? I wouldn't want passers by being able to ogle my underwear (actually not ogle, more point and laugh but still).

Frimplepants Sat 14-May-16 12:09:37

Are there any conditions in your rental contract? We did have once, renting in a block of flats, where no one was allowed to hang washing out on their balcony to avoid "lowering the tone of the neighbourhood".

OrangeSplot Sat 14-May-16 12:11:43

potteringalong I guess cos we rent and it's a grotty house I don't take pride in my house/garden maintenance. I moved in to a weeded front and I don't want to put time and effort in to maintain a stingy LL's garden. And no, its not private close no.

I CAN understand it being annoying/unsightly - much like my other neighbours overfill their bins and encourage seagulls to strew rubbish everywhere or that they haven't mowed their lawns in yonks. But I won't say anything to them. It's their choice.

Ifailed Sat 14-May-16 12:13:14

I also think you should decorate your front garden with some garden gnomes. like this:

PlayingGrownUp Sat 14-May-16 12:14:56

Our front garden is real sun trap - our back garden is surrounded by 18 ft conifers so I have been know to put washing out the front. Our house is a end house so we also have a bit of garden down the side along the street where we sit in the sun and play fetch with the dog. If they bring it up say you appreciate their advice but the reason the washing is in the front garden is X, Y & Z.

wheresthel1ght Sat 14-May-16 12:16:24

The car thing they have a point over. Fair enough she got a taxi home but she should have come round the next day to collect.

The washing wouldn't bother me tbh. When I lived in a council flat the communal washing line area was full of glass and in constant shade so I used to out the airer up on the grass out the front - no one ever said anything, I. Fact a few followed suit!

Check your tenancy agreement as most will state you have to keep the garden tidy - if yours says this then yabu not to weed it she says looking out at the unkempt front garden outside her house but I loathe gardening so you have my sympathy! We are ripping out the front garden to extend the driveway so am not bothering to tidy it up!

blitheringbuzzards1234 Sat 14-May-16 12:18:37

There's often something in the Deeds of many houses preventing the hanging out of washing in the front garden. I live on a busy road and I wouldn't like a 'knicker nicker' to steal them.

OrangeSplot Sat 14-May-16 12:19:26

I will check with my LL about rules.
And you're right ThumbWitchesAbroad I do want friendly relations. But I don't want to be bossed around and made to feel a lesser resident. From my perspective, maintaining friendly relations would mean grinning and bearing some things that don't matter.

It was just a clothes horse for a few hours....

I'm in two minds. It's natural to rebel when TOLD to do something probably.

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 14-May-16 12:21:17

Blithering is right many houses have restrictions in the deeds about hanging washing out the front of the property.

paxillin Sat 14-May-16 12:21:36

Sit out front in pjs and bathrobe for a morning fag, tousled hair, cup of tea (or can of Stella if possible). If they object, say you can't smoke at the back because that's where the laundry now is. They will beg for your bloomers on the front lawn.

OrangeSplot Sat 14-May-16 12:22:47

Thanks for all your thoughts people.

I like the gnome. Thought it was a child for a minute!

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