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Aibu to request neighbour to clean up our garden?

(51 Posts)
IncredibleBulk Sat 11-Nov-17 20:30:33

I can see this disagreement turning nasty after walking past my neighbour today. I really don't want to cause any trouble.

Just moved in a few months ago to our house (detached) and on bonfire night neighbour did a firework display which was an hour long.

It didn't bother us in the slightest. We say hello and are friendly. Happy days.

I woke up the next day to find our whole back garden littered with off cuts from their display. The garden is quite big and the place was littered with disintegrated cardboard.

I thought 'that's annoying' but then didn't get to wound up about it because we had our garderner coming to clear up the mess that autumn brings (leaves and twigs everywhere).

Went out round the front to chuck some rubbish and noticed the front garden littered with the plastic heads from fireworks. Then I went to the back and noticed that the grass was littered with the mounts that the firework are attached to. Long thin wooden sticks, plastic arrow caps just everywhere . There was some in the ground just like you would throw a spear or javelin into grass. Have I explained that properly? Just long sticks about 30 - 40cm penetrated into our grass. By this point I was annoyed.

Went upstairs to get changed and then noticed our balcony on bedroom floor was littered with plastic.

I told my DP about it at breakfast. He jumped up and went outside to check the cars which I thought was OTT and then he came back inside looking really pissed off.

He told me both our cars had been pelted with the offcuts of their fireworks, looked like little stones had hit our cars all over. He went round to the neighbour's to telll them what had happened and I future if they could please let us know when they do displays so we can move our cars.

We were met with a defensive response. Comments such as:
'Well no one has ever complained before'
'So you're saying we can't do a firework display?'
'It's not our fault'

My DP responded kindly enough with 'yes, I get that no one has ever complained before but we are just asking that you tell us in future just so we can take necessary action to cover our cars' and 'we are not dictating what you can and can't do but please take our garden and cars into consideration' etc etc

Still very defensive.

The husband came round to look at the cars and said 'well we didn't throw any rocks into the firework display ' and generally didn't take responsibility for the mess and reluctantly apologised.

We were both a annoyed but reminded ourselves that gerderner was going to clean up.

We took both cars to get cleaned and luckily no scratch marks.

The next day and many days after that I noticed some bits of cardboard offcuts from the display had bits of stone and rocks nestled in them.

We've had half of our garden cleaned and the other half is being done next week. And I keep coming across bits of stones nestled in cardboard rolls. I've just realised that the fireworks do have rocks and stones in them and these are what pelted our cars.

We still have more of the fire work off cuts to clear up - and although the garden is half done the gardener wasn't able to pick all the bits up.

I walked past the neighbour today face on and he just blanked me. I smiled and as I was about to say 'hello' he looked straight ahead and just went.

And now I'm annoyed.

We were being as nice about it as we possibly could, we didn't ask them to clean up the mess they made in our garden nor our cars but they seem to have taken it really badly . We just asked them to tell us so we can move our cars.

I don't know how to handle it when they have another display. Without it getting really sour.

I don't want the argument but I don't want to pay for their mess either.

I don't want to spoil their fun but I don't want to be taken for a mug either.

Aibu here to think that?

Yarboosucks Sat 11-Nov-17 20:36:45

I suggest that what you do is get the rake out, clear up your garden so that the debris is gone and stops winding up.

Then I suggest that you invite your neighbours around for coffee or drinks and that you find a grown-up way to move on

MissConductUS Sat 11-Nov-17 20:40:28

I do not think you are being unreasonable. I am shocked however that they as amateurs are allowed to set off fireworks (I assume you mean the rockets that go up and burst) in a residential neighborhood. It's a considerable fire hazard.

In the US it has to be done by licensed firms and in such a way as to minimize the fire hazard. Where I live they're typically fired over a river.

I think if they've made such a mess of your property that they should bear the cost of cleaning it up.

Escapepeas Sat 11-Nov-17 20:42:23

I think you're onto a loser expecting them to clear up your garden. My neighbours used to have a firework display and our garden and drive was littered with cardboard and spent rockets. Yes. it pissed us off, but we got on well with them and TBH, we couldn't be bothered to make an issue of it.

user1498854363 Sat 11-Nov-17 20:44:44

First year in our house we faced fireworks close by front of house and car pelleted. Was annoyed, didn’t say anything. Always reminded to not park there around fireworks/new year 😀 get on ok with neighbours, knew saying anything would just annoy, cos we all know reasonable behaviour.... give them time, be patient, it doesn’t have to be big.

Mascarawandlady Sat 11-Nov-17 20:45:11

Yanbu. It amazes me that we are still able to walk into a shop and buy explosives to use as we please.

Justbookedasummmerholiday Sat 11-Nov-17 20:48:32

Gather up the remains and throw them back over her fence.

SchadenfreudePersonified Sat 11-Nov-17 21:00:47

What Summerholiday suggested.

Your DH was courteous and reasonable, and they responded like twats.

Dump the crap on their garden and see how they like it!

MinervaSaidThar Sat 11-Nov-17 21:05:06

I always feel bad for the OP when the first reply on a thread is unnecessarily twatty.

HotelEuphoria Sat 11-Nov-17 21:22:45

Our neighbours did this, their very long garden finishes with a fench that is three feet from our house. They had their firework display without warning a week after bonfire night when we thought it was all over and our cats were out. They chose to have it next to our fence and house to minimise any effects to their house.

Next morning they got all their rockets and rubbish back over the fence.

JaneEyre70 Sat 11-Nov-17 21:23:44

Our NDN's are very frugal with their money and rather than paying the £30 a year for a garden waste bin, they got an incinerator bin and started lighting it at 6pm every Sunday evening....covering our patio, garden and windows in crap and stinking the house out. I put up and shut up for a few weeks until cracking, and I went round and demanded he come and stand on our patio. He had the decency to look very embarassed, said he'd had no idea it was covering our house in debris and that he wouldn't light it again. And to be fair, he came round the following evening and cleaned our window sills/patio table. I think making him see what I was upset about had a far better effect than words, so next time this happens, I'd show them exactly what you're annoyed about or bag it all up in a clear bag and dump it on their doorstep.

cathyclown Sat 11-Nov-17 21:29:28


many neighbours would refuse to acknowledge anything. I think you were somewhat lucky there that NDN actually came to your house at all.

BMW6 Sat 11-Nov-17 21:55:50

Gather all the firework crap up and chuck it over their fence - they paid for it after all!

Supermagicsmile Sat 11-Nov-17 22:11:39

Personally I would have gathered them all p and thrown them back over heir fence after dark.

IncredibleBulk Sat 11-Nov-17 22:35:32

Thank you for your responses.

A feeling of relief and a satisfied chuckle was my response to reading your posts.

The general consensus is to throw it back over though I wouldn't have the balls to do that.

Since they've become sour about it; as a way forward though I think taking pictures of the mess made this year (or what's left of it) along with pictures of our garden before bonfire night next year would be good?

Followed by a nicely worded letter to the neighbour's with pictures attached ? Something along the lines of 'this is what happened last year and we paid to clean it up, however the newer pictures reflect the state of our garden prior to yany planned displays you have and should there be any mess in the aftermath we expect you to foot the bill for the clean up. This includes payment for washing both cars, should they be pelted with rocks. We will also hold you liable for any scratches on our cars as a result of rock debris from the fireworks'

And Cc our landlord and local authority with pictures too should there be a dispute?

And if they take it badly and continue to just carry on and not take notice after being asked to take the aftermath of their display into consideration then I would feel not the slightest bit guilty or bad about chucking it back over the hedge into their garden. (Can we get into trouble for that?)

This year I can let it go as we were not expecting it but surely it can't happen twice. That's just cheeky.

SchadenfreudePersonified Sat 11-Nov-17 22:38:27

I don't see why you should get in trouble - you're just returning their property.

PortiaCastis Sat 11-Nov-17 22:41:57

Chuck it all over the fence, after all it's their property

AmazingGrace16 Sat 11-Nov-17 22:49:18

No don't send that makes you sound like a real snob tbh.

Do what the first poster suggested. Tidy it up, invite them over and do the pleasantries and just move on. Life is far too short to be stressing over who should pick up cardboard.

FlouncyDoves Sat 11-Nov-17 22:53:35

I wouldn’t do the whole pre-emptive letter thing. I would just toss their crap back over their fence.

RoseWhiteTips Sat 11-Nov-17 22:58:06

I cannot get worked up about such things.

BluePheasant Sat 11-Nov-17 23:03:41

No that letter sounds awful, sorry!

I think you just have to leave it now but future you know to put cars in garage for New Year’s Eve and Guy Fawkes night. The debris I would chuck over their fence next time though! Petty yes but it’s their rubbish.

inkandstone Sat 11-Nov-17 23:07:49

Definitely scrub the letter. I'd just gather up all the crap into a black bag and leave it outside their house on bin day, then carry on as if nothing had happened. They might turn out to be OK.

cluelessnewmum Sat 11-Nov-17 23:14:12

I can't believe all these people that say they wouldn't get annoyed about this, so you'd be fine with paying someone to dispose of a load of debris in your garden and pay to have your car washed?

I would ask your gardener how much time he spent clearing up the debris and calculate the cost in hours and photocopy receipts of your car wash. Id take photos of the remaining mess and send it all in a letter to them.

You don't need to be unpleasant but say that the inconvenience has been pretty extensive and ask to discuss how this can be avoided in the future.

Tbh I think the relationship has already been soured so I don't think this will make it worse. Your neighbours are obviously pretty inconsiderate, if I'd had fireworks in my garden and caused that much mess in a neighbour's garden and pelted their car I would be mortified and would have gone round to clear it up.

I think home displays should be banned, too much can go wrong.

Ttbb Sat 11-Nov-17 23:14:46

I think that the letter is a great idea for many reasons. Most definitely not snobbish (I mean I get that unprofessional fireworks displays are a bit common but it's not as if you are calling your neighbors chavs or something).

Ttbb Sat 11-Nov-17 23:16:45

Also, don't just lob it over the fence. If you are going to be petty do it in style. Beautifully wrapped box full f debris on their doorstep should suffice.

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