Neighbour problems - renovating. AIBU?

(99 Posts)
FunkyChunk Sun 12-Jun-16 21:25:01

I would really like some opinions on whether IABU, after an incident today I'm really shaken up and upset.

We bought our first home in March, a complete doer-upper as its all we could afford. It needed gutting, new electrics, plumbing, boiler, staircase you name it.
Our next door neighbours moved in the day after we got our keys, they are renting the other half of our semi-detached.

In the first couple of days, we were working in the house in the evening (around 7pm) when neighbour (lets call him A) knocked and asked us to not work later than 7 as his son goes to bed at 7.30. Fair enough, and we packed up - haven't worked past 5/6pm again.
Looking back now, its a little strange that he knocked as we were only stripping wallpaper (not noisy at all). He also didn't introduce himself or anything, was right into complaining. I was the one who actually stopped him and said "oh, nice to meet you by the way, what's your name?" Etc.

We have had noisy work done since, as is to be expected. We've told neighbours about what we are doing and are apologising every time we see them! DP and I are mostly doing all the work ourselves which means the weekends. We don't do evenings considering the noise we can make at times.
Our other neighbours are lovely, very much "don't worry, do what you need to do" even going as far as offering their drive for us to put a skip on!

Now, A is starting to come around EVERY time we work. Every time we have accommodated his requests as I think we are considerate and would like to keep things friendly. We've previously packed up at 3.30 (after only starting at 12) because he was having family around for dinner, for example.

A couple of weeks ago he collared me while alone in the garden and made me feel so uncomfortable I went inside and cried. Complaining along the lines of "we only have weekends here too, we've had enough" etc.

Today it came to a head. We started to work around 11.30. We realise its Sunday and people would like a lie-in (including us!) so we start late.
DP was screwing plasterboard to the ceiling in the living room. It wasn't actually that loud at all, as it was cushioned by the existing plasterboard and DP has a specific quieter drill that he can use. Its heavy and uncomfortable to use but he does to try and keep the peace! I wouldn't say it was louder than a TV being on.

We had only been going for 20 minutes when A FLEW to the front door and started shouting and swearing.
"I WAS IN BED AT 11.30 AND I CAN HEAR YOU START AGAIN! MY ONLY DAY OFF AND I DON'T GET A LIE IN! YOU'RE SO INCONSIDERATE, YOU'RE TAKING THE PISS!" etc.

He wouldn't let us speak, just swore and shouted and left. I've been feeling sick to the stomach all day.
We've really tried to bend over backwards to be considerate:
Not starting work until 10.30/11 at the earliest.
Packing up by 5ish and no evenings.
Keeping people informed.
We've even gone to the expense of adding thick, insulated plasterboard on each of the party walls to try and soundproof for them.

We haven't actually worked every single weekend. There have been days or even full weekends when we haven't been there at all.

I honestly don't know what more we can do, I'm absolutely gutted about today and don't want to go back really. sad

Do you think we are BU? What would/have people done in our situation?

Gide Sun 12-Jun-16 21:29:56

YANBU, idiot neighbour is. You're allowed to live your life, he is being very intolerant. Next time he approaches you aggressively, tell him you are logging every incident and what he is doing constitutes harassment. Not starting til 11am is OTT considerate. I would finish by 7, fair enough, but other than that, ignore. It won't go on forever, he's being a twat.

Wishfulmakeupping Sun 12-Jun-16 21:31:19

Yanbu I think you've been quite considerate really he sounds like an aggressive arse- you've bent over backwards now I'd stop being so accommodating op. it's horrible having issues with neighbours but your other neighbours are happy with you and these renters might not be there long- term.

TheGoodEnoughWife Sun 12-Jun-16 21:33:55

Although you have come from a place of being nice unfortunately he now feels he has more say than he does/should have.

It is reasonable for you to work on the house between 10-5 at the weekend and you should do so going forwards.
When he complains repeat 'we appreciate that you dislike the noise however we need to get on, we will stop at 5'

NotYoda Sun 12-Jun-16 21:34:21

Stop accommodating their unreasonable demands. If you give and inch he'll take a mile.

What you are doing is not unreasonable and it's time-limited. The quicker you do it, the sooner it'll be done

Look on your local council website for guidance about noise and building works and act accordingly

NotYoda Sun 12-Jun-16 21:34:32

an inch

mineofuselessinformation Sun 12-Jun-16 21:34:39

Continue to be reasonable - but stop accommodating them. Otherwise you will continually be stopping and starting according to their moods.
If they come and complain any more (during reasonable hours of course) suggest that the shorter the time period you can work, the longer it will actually take in terms of days / weeks.

MakeItRain Sun 12-Jun-16 21:35:20

I suppose lots of noise from next door is probably a bit annoying, however nice someone is about it. However it sounds like you're being entirely reasonable about the whole thing.

Do you know who his landlord is? I'd be tempted to start complaining about him to be honest, especially if he's shouting and swearing. Or write him a letter outlining all the ways you feel you've been thoughtful about the noise and that if he knocks at your door swearing again at the very reasonable time of 11.30 you will complain to his landlord that he is harassing you.

NatashaRomanov Sun 12-Jun-16 21:36:07

You sound like you have been incredibly considerate.
Keep a log of everything. Check you are keeping within any local noise/time limits.
And, if you can, contact the landlord or rental agency for your neighbours and make a complaint.

NotYoda Sun 12-Jun-16 21:36:53

And Harsh as this sounds, he's renting. If he thinks this sort of noise is unreasonable, he can move

laidbackneko Sun 12-Jun-16 21:37:14

Sorry you're upset OP. It can't be pleasant to deal with constant confrontation.

However, it does sound as though you got off in the wrong foot to begin with by not informing them immediately. Plus the law states that you should finish work by 6pm so the 7pm work most likely put their backs up from the off.

Don't ask me how I know this (one of the random pieces of info learned over the years) but the gov advice for diy is as follows:

Before starting work talk to your neighbours. Tell them what work you are carrying out and how long you think it will take. Discuss reasonable working hours that suit you both. Remember you may have to consider your neighbours lifestyle as reasonable times may be different for shift workers, people with young children or people with medical conditions.

Hope you get it sorted out OP. You sound as though you are doing your best to be reasonable so hopefully you'll be able to communicate with your neighbours and reach a compromise.

cathpip Sun 12-Jun-16 21:37:29

Yanbu, your neighbour is a twat. As pp said log every incident, tell him you are doing this and report him for harassment. You are being more than considerate and if he complains to environmental health about you they will tell him to jog on, the fact that you start work late on a weekend and finish work early is testament to how considerate you are. Next weekend start usual time, say 9am smile

SouthWesterlyWinds Sun 12-Jun-16 21:38:25

Start a diary as you've been more than considerate. Record the times you start working and when he knocks around. Make a note of the what times you start and how much notification you give. If he is being aggressive towards you and intimidates you, you can either call 101 and/or write to his letting managers/estate agents. Let them know that whilst you will give notice about any heavy duty drilling building work, from low on, DIY in your home will commence at 0900 on a Saturday and 1000 on a Sunday, and will stop at 1730/1900. Any more aggressive incidents and they will be logged and recorded as harassment.

Seriously, what is going on with the inconsiderate entitled neighbours these days?

teacher54321 Sun 12-Jun-16 21:38:25

Maybe they'll move out if they're only renting wink seriously though who is still asleep at 11.30 when they have children that go to bed at 7.30pm?! My Dh works nights and we've had neighbours completely replace kitchens and bathrooms, have their gardens dug up and God knows what else. We have never complained. DIY is a necessary fact of life.

Autumnchill Sun 12-Jun-16 21:39:13

YANBU. Was in exact situation in 2013 with neighbour. Tried our best to be polite and instruct workmen to make sure they didn't park in front of her house as she would complain but we could never get it right for her so now we just don't talk. We weren't even attached but she complained to anyone who would listen (not many as she is generally disliked). My attitude changed the day she messed with our rendering company and delayed the render going on the extension, which was already delayed due to previous bad weather. I stood in the house and just cried. I don't bother now being polite, I just blank her. Would suggest the same.

However......the house attached to us is going through exactly what we did and they were scraping off wallpaper till 10pm the other weekend and the noise does travel. I really wanted to go round and actually show them a better way of doing it as it sounded like they were dry scraping it off grin

Good luck with the work, it is worth it in the end.

PovertyPain Sun 12-Jun-16 21:40:00

Agree with Thegoodwife. He's starting to think he has the right to tell you what to do. Tell him if you hadn't wasted time trying to work around his preferred hours it would ne nearly finished by now. We made the same mistake as you and as a result we've ended up with neighbours who feel they they gave a right to give their opinion on everything we do. They're arseholes and my builders told me it's because, while we thought we were being considerate, they viewed it as us seeking permission, so we inadvertently gave them a feeling of power over us.

NotYoda Sun 12-Jun-16 21:41:22

Yes, PovertyPain

laidbackneko Sun 12-Jun-16 21:46:43

He's starting to think he has the right to tell you what to do

This. Often this happens as a result of someone acknowledging an innocent mistake which the other person escalates into a self righteous piss take - sort of a give an inch take a mile type of thing.

Hold your ground OP. You've apologised for the initial error, but so long as you stay within reasonable hours you have the law on your side.

woodwaj Sun 12-Jun-16 21:46:54

You sound like you have been very considerate! Next time he comes round remind him that he's renting and can move. Its only temporary! We are having renovations done and our neighbours have been fine with everything. I feel bad for you as it can't be nice to live in as it is!!

BurningBridges Sun 12-Jun-16 21:48:34

When my neighbours renovated their house, one day and one day only I had someone coming round at 4.30pm and they were using a Kangol. I asked how much longer they would be as if it was going to be a while, I could easily cancel the appointment. It was the only time we ever mentioned the work in months.

They never spoke to me again.

I think that illustrates their level of entitlement, and what has happned to you might be reversed but it demonstrates your neighbour's level of entitlement. Which is clearly fucking enormous.

You have been more than reasonable.

FunkyChunk Sun 12-Jun-16 21:53:02

Thanks all, he really makes me feel as if we are BU.

Noted about the wallpaper stripping. I suppose we didn't think to tell them about that as it was quiet (or so we thought!). I didn't think they would be able to hear us.
That was in the very first week when we were super keen, we just want to get the hell out of there these days so wouldn't work til 7 anyway! grin

I'm upset that things may carry on along these lines when we move in. I can imagine that he will knock if we so much as cough! We've worked so hard not just over the past few months, but YEARS of saving for this house. I don't want it to be ruined with bad relations. sad

Funny thing is, they have a big dog that barks at us all the time. He jumps up at the fence and barks if we are in the garden or at the back of the house. He barks at the front window when we arrive! They have also have had a couple of loud parties with people in the garden swearing their heads off.
I wouldn't mind, but when he is complaining EVERY SINGLE TIME he sees us, the little things are grating a bit!

The noisy works are actually coming to an end soon. Kind of feel like chucking a few hammers around the place just to annoy him now though!

pictish Sun 12-Jun-16 21:54:10

Agree with everyone else that your acquiescence has simply fuelled his self importance to the point where he thinks he gets to dictate. It has ended up with him becoming aggressive and swearing at you so he needs to be stopped now.
Stop dancing to his tune. Keep to a reasonable 10 - 6 and call the police if he comes round carrying on like that again.

pictish Sun 12-Jun-16 21:55:51

He has already ruined relations by being an utter knob.

Noodledoodledoo Sun 12-Jun-16 22:00:17

loopy this council fact sheet seems to say different to your version of the law

www.charnwood.gov.uk/files/documents/noise_from_diy_work_fact_sheet/Noise%20from%20DIY%20Work%20-%20Advice%20Factsheet.pdf

BasinHaircut Sun 12-Jun-16 22:01:25

Tell him to fuck right off! <not helpful> grin

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