Dispute with Neighbours(345 Posts)
I'm hoping you can you tell me if I'm being unreasonable or not. This is going to be a long thread, so thank you if you manage to read all of this.
Our small garden backs on to the back of other houses and is divided with a 5 foot high wall. Along the top of the wall grows ivy and other plants and gives our gardens more privacy of another 2 feet or so. There is also a tree from another garden which gives a bit more privacy.
However, we can still partially see the bathroom window of the garden behind us and we often see people going to the toilet. Sometimes these people are naked, but as their glass is a bit frosted we can't see everything in detail. We have noticed people staring at us from that window and on two occasions a naked man has waved at my daughter from that window. I didn't complain because If I complained about everything weird or antisocial that happened in our neighbourhood I'd be on the phone every day. I have complained to the police before about drugs, violence and racial hatred, very extreme things. My daughter comes inside the house if she sees anyone at the window.
So, a year after my daughter we saw a naked man at the window she wrote on our shed wall in chalk 'Put Some Clothes on You Weirdo'. We left it there. The tree and plants have now grown more, so the neighbours wouldn't have been able to see it, until last week.
Last week I came home to find all the plants and ivy hacked down and hanging into my garden. My garden was a mess. Yesterday I went to try and put it back up and immediately the neighbour came to his bathroom window (without clothes) and started aggressively telling me I have to remove all the plants because it would make the wall fall down. The wall is at least 120 years old and shows no signs at all of falling down, it's in perfect condition, I told him this and he said I have to get someone to come and cut it down. He also said "You need to scrub the message off your wall, because you can get done for that". He said the message was obviously aimed at them.
My question is, do I have to remove the plants which give us more privacy? And do I have to remove any chalk messages on our shed wall? I don't think I do, but I'm hoping you can give me more advice on this or if I need to do anything.
I doubt very much that the neighbours care about their landlord's wall. Their garden is a tip filled with beer cans and cigarette ends and they spend their summers playing loud aggressive music, fighting and swearing. Just to give you some idea of what they're like.
Thanks for your help.
Who owns the wall? Yes ivy etc can damage a structure however old and if it fell the owner would be liable for any damage. You and they are entitled to cut back overhanging growth on your side. If privacy is such an issue put up a higher fence on your side of the boundary. Passive aggressive behaviour is not an answer.
Ivy can and will bring down a wall. But if this man is essentially flashing at your daughter, I really would tell the cops.
Can you not put a blind up?? You will constantly face battles cover a joint wall so you need to do something on your side that cannot be challenged. So a higher internal fence panel, thicker frosting vinyl on the window, a blind.
Also agree with above; if you are concerned he is doing it to deliberately flash then get the police involved
I'm assuming the wall is owned by me and the neighbour's landlord, it divides both our gardens. The wall isn't going to fall down, it's very solid wall. Ivy and another flowering plant has been growing on it for many, many years and it shows no signs of disrepair. They have cut the ivy back on their side, but I like it on my side because of the privacy issue and because it looks nice. I don't want to chop down lovely plants and replace it with an ugly wall on top of another wall. The neighbours do not care about the wall, they just want to watch us from their house.
I might go and get a high screen and put it behind the ivy. That seems the best solution.
Is the glass frosted or not? Unless the window is low and your property higher up how can you see much?
Take the writing off the shed and plan your own garden, you should not be relying on the neighbors over growth to provide cover.
Why didn't you call the police when hes flashibg your daughter and you?
You need to check deeds , assuming you own the property, as to whose responsibility the wall is. If it is the neighbour's then yes you need to cut back the vegetation. Any boundary within your property could be higher to block it. You can always contact the ll direct and complain about the tenants' behaviour. How long are your gardens that you can see so clearly through frosted windows?
Can you grow some trees on your side (In pots if there is no soil). He can't complain about that. Or put a higher fence / willow screening? But Yes, police if he is deliberately exposing himself!
There's no law against being naked in your own home (even in full view of the public) unless you are performing an 'indecent act'.
Similarly there is no law to prevent your neighbours from looking into your windows unless they are spying on you while you are engaged in "intimate behaviors, such as undressing, sexual activity, or other actions usually considered to be of a private nature."
Not sure if going to the toilet is considered of a private nature or indecent act—you could ask your local PD?
Doesnt matter ivy does damage walls as it opens little tiny holes in the motar that water theb gets into and when frost comes causes damage while its been there a good few years it also hides the damage it does by its very nature (leafy) so if you are unlucky they only sign you would get is when the wall actully falls down and god forbid if anyone is playing or sitting in tge vinicity.
Oh and if you have refused treatments to the wall and it falls down and damages your stuff they will not be liable because YOU stopped them dealing with the issue.
End this ASAP by telling the police.
When we moved in our neighbour at the back came and told us we could be seen using the loo!! Put a blind up the same day!! He is deliberately exposing himself to your dd.
'Put Some Clothes on You Weirdo'.
I’m sorry but this is brilliant, well done to your daughter.
Can you get some trellis fitted at the top of your wall? Not as easy to pull down as Ivy.
You need to find out who the wall belongs to. If it belongs to you (and solely you), you can grow whatever the hell you want up it. That said, many properties have a covenant that requires you to keep your owned boundaries in good repair though so if the plants were causing damage, then you'd have to act. Whatever the circumstances, your neighbour would be entitled to remove any bits of plant that overhang onto their land - but they wouldn't be allowed to cut any plant that is on your land.
Personally, I'd have approached the issue of visible nakedness differently. A sign calling him a weirdo was only ever going to be antagonistic - speaking to him constructively about a sensible solution would be a bare minimum, or letting the police know about the creepy naked waving at a minor.
The wall is more likely owned by you or the neighbours landlrd. check your deeds
Since they don't own the house it isn't their business anyway. The boundary issue etc is between you and their landlord, not them.
Agree with percephone that there are limits to how high a wall can go but not trees. Get yourself a row of trees to block the view as you have identified a potential risk to DD.
Not sure if you’re aware but you can speak to the police about neighbours under Sarah’s Law to establish if the person has history, since they have potential access to your children, and you can cite that they keep trying to communicate with her while they are visibly undressed.
At least then you will have recorded a concern with the police as well
I don't understand why your daughter wrote that message a whole year after the incident?
Also why don't you speak to the person who owns the property regarding this issue? No one on here can advise you properly due to not being able to see the properties and diving wall.
The gardens are short. Their window is up high, but is half obscured by the tree. The ivy is growing onto the tree and I was hoping it would grow up completely so I wouldn't be able to see their window at all.
I will have to check my deeds to see who owns the wall. I don't remember reading anything before it in the deeds before, so it is probably their landlord's wall. I've lived here a long time.
I didn't complain about the naked neighbours because I couldn't prove they weren't just using their bathroom in a normal way (except the naked man waving). We can't see them properly because their window is frosted - we can see hands but not fingers, if that makes sense. Their window is often open and then we can see them fully.
I'm going to put up very bamboo screening and let the ivy grow on that. I'm not removing the writing, its very faint as it was written a year ago. It's my property and I can write anything I want on my own wall surely. The only reason they can see it now is because they destroyed my garden. And the only reason it was written in the first place was because they are naked at the window often.
She wrote the message a year ago, soon after the incident.
How do I find out who their landlord is? I don't even know the number of the house, I would only be able to guess which house it is as its a row of terraces.
I will call the police if I see any more naked weirdness.
if he complains again tell him the police would be far more interested in a naked man waving at a child than some writing on your wall.
I'm going to put up a screen. They'll like that less. If I speak to them again I'll tell them that is what I'm going to do.
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