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Neighbour let himself in our garden and started knocking on our patio door

(116 Posts)
Dontcomeinmygarden Wed 17-Apr-19 17:29:41

So. DH is in the shower. I’m upstairs. Ds is up and down. He comes and finds me and says ‘mummy, I think there is a man in our garden!’. I was thinking WTF and followed him downstairs to the garden door where indeed there was a man- my dopey neighbour standing staring in to our living room door. He had let himself in to our garden by putting his hand over the fence to unlock the gate, and decided to knock on our back door instead of going round the front and pressing the doorbell. I was really pissed off that he did that, I was walking round the house in my pjs and ds was panicked when he saw someone out there.

Turned out he just wanted to ask if we minded if he had a look at the guttering in case there was a blockage and needed to come our side a bit.

AIBU to be annoyed? My view of this might be a bit coloured by various other crap including them installing a set of drums in the kids bedroom, nicking a bit of our garden when they put the fence up, being offish and also him winking suggestively at me once just after I met him!

TheGrey1houndSpeaks Wed 17-Apr-19 19:17:57

Presumably the gate is next to the fence (leading to the front of the house) and in op’s own garden, not actually a section of the fence leading to next door?!

Chouetted Wed 17-Apr-19 19:21:20

@goodwinter That's a great example, actually - where I grew up most people had porches with two doors - so if I wanted to speak to a neighbour, I would have to open the front door, which was left unlocked, and knock on the internal, locked, door.

Buombalayo Wed 17-Apr-19 19:24:53

@Monkeyssplit where do you live?

Dontcomeinmygarden Wed 17-Apr-19 19:29:08

No we didn’t get our bit of garden back. They only took a few inches but they don’t give a shit and we didn’t think we’d have a leg to stand on. How do we prove that suddenly the fence is a bit nearer all our plants? We also didn’t get any contribution towards the callout guy I had to call when they flooded our garden. They’re arseholes.

longtimelurkerhelen Wed 17-Apr-19 19:32:43

YNBU This would really annoy me. Get a bolt for the middle of the door or a padlock for the top.

To those saying what is the problem, if you have to reach over and unlock a door, that means you do not want random people entering your private garden.

Keypot Wed 17-Apr-19 19:36:20

It's odd how this varies so much regionally and I wonder where the line is, so I or maybe it's a class thing as well as regional. Where my Gran lived (North/working class) it would have been very odd if anyone, other than the Queen, to go to the front door grin Here no-one uses the back door.

theWarOnPeace Wed 17-Apr-19 19:37:03

I would have lost my shit with him, YANBU.

AppleApplePie Wed 17-Apr-19 19:38:22

That’s appalling. I’d be furious OP! Often various states of undress 😂

Chouetted Wed 17-Apr-19 19:38:52

You have to reach over and unlock the gate leading to my front door, so that's a rubbish analogy. That's how many gate latches work.

If you want to avoid confusion, don't latch it, lock it. if you can operate it by reaching over, you haven't got a lock, you've got a latch or bolt.

riceuten Wed 17-Apr-19 19:39:20

I'd be mildly irritated, but I might want to do the same in the future, so I would keep my counsel !

Chouetted Wed 17-Apr-19 19:48:14

@Keypot My Gran not only never used the front door, the front room was only for visitors and was decorated with knick knacks in glass cabinets, and antimacassars on the armchairs. The back room was the main living area with TV, comfy sofa, etc.

starfishmummy Wed 17-Apr-19 19:48:29

Unless it's a terrace where everyone has right of access through a gate then make sure the locknisnt openable.

TheGrapefulDread Wed 17-Apr-19 19:57:07

Hasp and clasp lock and a padlock. Unless they have a right of way.

CripsSandwiches Wed 17-Apr-19 20:16:52

Why is there a gate in the fence if you don't expect people to come through it?

Presumably so OP and her family can use it! We have a side gate and no one uses it but us or people invited to use it by us (e.g. workman).

Steamedbadger Wed 17-Apr-19 20:18:43

Everybody around here does it. I don't because it seems rude to me to go into somebody's garden and peer into their windows, but they think I'm the weird one because I knock on the front door (which never even has a doorbell because nobody uses it). So I think it's just that some people think it's perfectly normal. Having said that, you obviously don't like the guy (with reason) so in that situation I'd definitely tell him not to come round the back.

Aquilla Wed 17-Apr-19 20:21:52

I take it you're in the South? It would be weird to come in the front imo - esp regarding an outdoor, maintenence type query?
Im always letting myself into my neighbours back gardens - same type of gate as you!

SarahAndQuack Wed 17-Apr-19 20:22:12

Well, he sounds like a dick, and it sounds as if it's not usual where you live.

However, it does very from place to place. When we moved (to rural Yorkshire) we had to get used to people not knocking on the front door but coming straight round the back, because here that is what you do. Anyone delivering something will do it, for example.

Chouetted Wed 17-Apr-19 20:23:49

@CripsSandwiches But that's not the case here - the neighbour put the fence up, it says so clearly in the OP.

It sounds to me like the gate connects the back garden of two neighbouring houses, so I would have assumed it was put in for some reason.

mydogisthebest Wed 17-Apr-19 20:25:58

I hate this. Me and DH lived in the South for over 40 years and never once had anyone walk up the back garden. We moved north last year and it seems just about everyone does this.

It really annoys both of us so we have put a padlock on the back gate. I think it is rude. We have a perfectly good front door.

Another thing is that no one ever uses the doorbell but bangs on the door. Neighbours, postman, delivery drivers (we get lots of deliveries) etc. That drives me mad especially as the dogs go mad

bobstersmum Wed 17-Apr-19 20:30:34

We have a padlock on our back gate.

Mummyoflittledragon Wed 17-Apr-19 20:38:39

He sounds like an idiot. I take it you had another thread about him stealing your land. If you want to prove the land is yours you would be able to employ a surveyor. But it would cost probably 1k for that and a report.

CherylCheshire Wed 17-Apr-19 20:39:37

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Sedona123 Wed 17-Apr-19 21:11:44

CherylCheshire - really??

OP - you don't have to be unpleasant to your neighbour, but stand your ground. When we moved in our new home a few years ago, one of our neighbours was a total CF. DH initially tried to "keep the peace", but after several incidents, we basically let her know (politely) what we didn't find acceptable. Way less problems since.

I think that until you let your neighbour know that you're not a total pushover, he will continue to be a CF.

longtimelurkerhelen Wed 17-Apr-19 21:18:04


You have to reach over and unlock the gate leading to my front door, so that's a rubbish analogy. That's how many gate latches work.

A bolt is a lock, if it is locked, don't take it upon yourself to unlock it. If it is just latched then help yourself. Really not difficult to understand, unless you are an entitled CF.

CherryPavlova Wed 17-Apr-19 21:24:56

It wouldn’t bother me at all. If he was looking at the gutters he may well have been in the back garden already. Our neighbours knock and walk in the house. We do likewise to them. It’s just accepted practice unless you’re a delivery person.

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