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NDN wants to use our driveway for building work - AIBU?

(564 Posts)
NigellaAwesome Wed 20-Feb-19 21:12:14

Having quickly checked that the thread titled 'Twat Next Door' wasn't about us, I hoped to get hive mind views on our neighbour.

This might be long, but I don't want to drip-feed. For background, we have lived next to them for about 10 years. She's OK, but he is a complete knob. We call him Gobby Gordon. We've had a few issues over the years. The first was when one of their young relatives threw stones at our car repeatedly and caused substantial damage. When I told the wife what had happened, she was very apologetic and said she would pay. The dealer quoted £800 to repair, but I got a contact to do it at knockdown price for £120 + vat. However when I went round a couple of weeks later to let her know how much it would be, the husband arrived round later ranting and raving and threw a cheque at us for £120 but giving off severely. We were a bit hmm about it, especially since he drove a Maserati and I doubt he would have appreciated the same being done to his car. That somewhat set the tone, but we have pretty much ignored each other over the years, with a couple of exceptions.

Our driveway is between the two houses, and beyond our fence they have about a metre passageway before their gable wall. A number of years ago I arrived home to find a workman on ladders in our driveway doing work on their chimney. They hadn't let us know, and I was shocked to find him there because we have electric gates and he must have climbed over the gates / fence to get in. I almost knocked him off the ladder because I was reversing in and only saw him at the last minute. When I asked what he was doing on my property he was really abusive. He refused to leave, and police were called and I think there was some sort of warning given. Gobby Gordon gave off to my DH about it afterwards, calling us crap neighbours. When we pointed out that he hadn't had the courtesy to ask us beforehand, he said that the workman had rung our doorbell but there had been no answer (no shit Sherlock, we were out).

A few months later I saw the wife and we had a chat. She was ok, and I explained that whilst we were happy in principle with access being given, it needed to be by prior arrangement, and with one of them - not a random builder, talking to us beforehand. This has been the case since for the last few years, and we have provided access on about 3 occasions since then. The wife has always called with us, provided details of the builder, and everything has been fine with minimal disruption.

Last week we were out and we got a call from the gates (gates connect to our phone when they are called). It was a builder asking to get onto our property to look at doing some work. We were out, had no idea what he was talking about, and said it wasn't really convenient. We didn't hear anything more.

This evening we were out again, and got a call from the gates. It was a builder asking if he could speak with us. We were out, but coming back in 15 minutes, so I said if he could hang on we would chat with him. When we got back home, he was waiting for us. He knew our names, and knew a lot about us including what we do for a living (which I'm not very happy about).

The builder said he wanted access to our driveway to build scaffolding on it to rebuild the neighbour's chimney. I was pretty pissed off that I was having this conversation directly with him, and that neither of the neighbours had spoken to us about it. When I told him this, he said that he had never even met the wife, only Gobby Gordon. He told Gordon last week that he needed to speak to us about access, but Gordon hasn't bothered his arse.

When I asked about what needed to be done, he said it would be scaffolded for 7 to 10 days (so realistically likely to be 3 weeks). Our driveway will be out of action for that time, and we have 2 cars that can't be parked outside on the busy road. I'm not thrilled at the prospect of bricks being brought up and down scaffolding which could land on our driveway, our pets, or our children. I'm going through quite a stressful time in work at the moment, and I also have professional exams coming up, so really could do without 3 weeks of building work. There's more, which would be a bit outing, but it was clear from what the builder said that Gobby Gordon had discussed a lot of private information about us - information that we didn't even know that Gordon knew, so that has really, really pissed me off. The builder also laid it on really thick that he had travelled a very long way to discuss this with us. The conversation ended with me telling the builder that I was sorry for his inconvenience, but this was an issue for the neighbours to speak to us directly about, not him, and the neighbours knew the score before they sent him round to discuss it with us. DH feels a bit sorry for the builder, but I just think this is Gobby Gordon being a cheeky fucker and sending the builder round to lay it on thick rather than having the manners to speak to us directly.

This is more a WWYD rather than AIBU. MN WWYD & AIBU re CF NDN? <<MN letter salad

MyNewBearTotoro Wed 20-Feb-19 21:18:45

No way would I be agreeing to having scaffolding on my property putting my driveway out of action for 3+ weeks for neighbours who I wasn’t on good terms with.

To even consider it I’d expect them to have a proper conversation and to be giving me full access to their driveway for my cars for the duration. I wouldn’t be parking on the road.

YANBU if you say no!

thesnapandfartisinfallible Wed 20-Feb-19 21:20:36

I'd tell GG to go fuck himself personally. Can they not gain access to the roof from the other side of the property?

howhasthishappened Wed 20-Feb-19 21:23:15

Nope- what pp said. Would have to seriously like my neighbours to consider putting my driveway out of action for 3 weeks. And considering you have nowhere else to park- it'd probably be a no from me.
But for the fact that he's a twat anyway- I'd tell him to swivel grin

Aprilshowersarecomingsoon Wed 20-Feb-19 21:23:18

Nice neighbours it would be worth discussing it with.
Yours - big fat flat no.
And you need a big guard dog your side of the gates imo.

Floralnomad Wed 20-Feb-19 21:23:22

I agree with pp , the only way I would agree to my drive being unusable for any length of time would be if they are going to provide me with safe off road parking .

TortoiseLettuce Wed 20-Feb-19 21:23:31

If they were good neighbours I wouldn’t hesitate to say yes. But they aren’t, so it depends how nice you feel like being. I think it’s reasonable for you to permit access with prior arrangement, if only to preserve what little good neighbourly relations you have. But the neighbours need to ask your permission and there needs to be a written contract that they will make good any damage including scuffed driveway bricks.

Having said that, it would also be reasonable for you to say no because they’re CFs and it’s inconvenient for you. But it will kick off WW3.

If they have 1m of space on their own property why can’t the scaffolding be built on their side though?

ellendegeneres Wed 20-Feb-19 21:23:38

Nope. Gobby Gordon is a wanker and his wife no better in my opinion. They can swing for it, no way would I be putting myself for any period of time for a couple of whom one I’d had to call the police on because of his aggression and trespassing. Fuck them, they don’t give a shit about you. They wouldn’t do it for you either, think about that

Youandwhosearmy Wed 20-Feb-19 21:23:53

Nah no chance!

Redglitter Wed 20-Feb-19 21:26:48

If your driveway was big enough to accommodate the scaffolding and your cars fair enough but theres no way id have my drive out of action for 3 weeks.

Total CF not speaking to you themselves

Honeyroar Wed 20-Feb-19 21:27:01

At the very least, if there's nowhere else to put the scaffolding, I'd insist that it is put off until you finish your exams and insist that you park your cars on the neighbour's drive (and they park on the road) for as long as the scaffolding is there.

Arnoldthecat Wed 20-Feb-19 21:27:41

No..fuck him off,, GG that is

Scarydinosaurs Wed 20-Feb-19 21:28:19

Firm no. And put it in writing and send it to them recorded delivery.

He should have spoken to you, and he should have already provided solutions for your inconvenience.

Absolutely no way.

NigellaAwesome Wed 20-Feb-19 21:31:13

Can I ask any of you who have experience of getting a chimney rebuilt - what exactly is involved? What mitigation could be put on place to prevent bricks from being thrown down from a height? I've seen those tube things. What risks to our property / selves would be involved?

Holidayshopping Wed 20-Feb-19 21:31:33

Absolutely no way-what a CF your neighbour is!

greendale17 Wed 20-Feb-19 21:32:46

*No way would I be agreeing to having scaffolding on my property putting my driveway out of action for 3+ weeks for neighbours who I wasn’t on good terms with.*


ATBhinchers Wed 20-Feb-19 21:33:24

He made his bed by being a twat. So the answer is no and you can tell him you would have said yes had he been pleasant in the past and had the balls to ask you himself.

onlyk Wed 20-Feb-19 21:34:07

Not surprised you’re not happy.

Gordon would have realised that ideally builders would need access to your driveway to do the work so could have asked weeks ago however you’re under no obligation to give permission.

However if the chimney is needing to be rebuilt it probably is a safety issue so might be in your best interests to allow it. However
1. I’d probably wait to be asked by the NDN for access.
2. Take pictures of your driveway, fence, gate etc as potentially the builders may cause accidental damage.
3. Make it clear the access is just for the build out of the scaffolding so no storage of building supplies on your drive etc.
4. If you can’t park on your driveway whilst it’s being done look for nearby off-road parking and tell Gordon he can foot the bill.

NigellaAwesome Wed 20-Feb-19 21:42:02

Onlyk that's what DH says. He reckons if the chimney is unsafe, it is in our interests to allow the work, otherwise if something happens, not only could there be catastrophic consequences, but there could be recriminations if we hadn't allowed it.

There is no suggestion though that the chimney is unsafe. The builder just said it was letting damp in and that was why it needed to be rebuilt.

DH has suggested that we say yes, but arrange for a time that we are away to minimise disruption. I think that is even worse, as I want to be here to supervise, although I do see his point.

I don't know what realistic alternatives there are to scaffolding on our driveway, and frankly I don't see that it is my problem to try to find out what they are either.

TonTonMacoute Wed 20-Feb-19 21:42:53

Not on your nelly. GG notwithstanding, scaffolders are notorious for not coming to take down scaffolding when a job is finished. It can take them months sometimes!

Happygolucky009 Wed 20-Feb-19 21:43:16

I had a chimney removed in old house approx 10yrs ago, it was done at the request of our new buyer and it was a disused chimney, which served no purpose.

Our builder took the chimney down from the inside and the bricks were carried out via the bathroom and through the front door as external access was difficult.

I wouldn't be giving access to ndn if it inconvenienced me for weeks, nope!

Jaspermcsween Wed 20-Feb-19 21:44:20

I seem to be a lone voice here but I would let them do it.

You should always try to be on best terms with your neighbour s .

Even if GG is a CF , be the better person.

If in doubt, always do the kind thing.

Judashascomeintosomemoney Wed 20-Feb-19 21:46:27

And I’m free for the next week or so. I’ll happily pop round and tell them that f2f on your behalf if you’re any where near me. wink

Jaspermcsween Wed 20-Feb-19 21:47:04

It could also be a good chance to build a better relationship with your neighbours , which is never ever a bad thing.

Falling out with neighbours is ALWAYS a bad thing.

I’d actually go further.
I’d invite them over for drinks to properly discuss and agree to things , and to express any misgivings you might have.

JRMisOdious Wed 20-Feb-19 21:48:18

““Can they not gain access to the roof from the other side of the property?””

This. Of course they can. It will probably cost twice as much which is obviously why they don’t want to.

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