AIBU to think our new neighbour is crackers(26 Posts)
We live on a fairly quiet street, no gardens we just sort of step out of our houses on to the public path. Not super matey with our neighbours, more hello in passing with most and then chatty with a few families who have lived here for a good few years like us. Anyway, we had some new neighbours move in next door a couple of months back. They moved in (Mum, Gran and child) and have had various bits and bobs done. Some of the contractors they’ve used have been a little questionable and have done some minor damage to our house. The first couple of things we didn’t mention as they were frustrating but not really massive problems. More a why have they done that. A couple of days ago they had some builders there mixing cement etc to do another job. They set all there tools and what not directly outside our house which would have made accessing our bins a bit tricky but they were only there half a day so again no major issue. My husband has gone to put some things in our bin tonight and noticed loads of remnants of cement/watered down cement in our waste drain and over our bins as if the contractors have poured something down our drain. Husband went to knock and speak to new neighbour about it, more as a were you aware of this and that it’s a bit of a worry to us that they’ve done that. She started shouting at him, saying how stressed she is and she’s had the house up to here and the stress is making her ill. I could hear my husband through our open window and he was in no way confrontational or aggressive but she just flew off the handle. He said he wasn’t wanting to fall out or cause a problem but that the builders shouldn’t be pouring building waste in anyone’s drain. I’m an anxious sort so I’m probably overreacting but now I am worrying that this is just going to escalate in to something bonkers because of her initial reaction. Any ideas on what to do/how the heck to avoid some sort of animosity that I feel is likely brewing.
Crikey that was long too so round of applause if you made it to the end
I'd ask her for their number and call them myself !
Can you phone your local council for advice? Do you know if they rent or own? My betting is that the company didn’t have a license for said work and ndn will be in trouble if they didn’t get planning permission if it was needed. Take a photo of the mess and keep a record just incase. They’re in the wrong not you or your husband.
Bonkers neighbours like that need to be left well alone and ignored. Jump on any work done on your property like those builders setting up shop when it's being done. If anything really bad happens get legal advice xxx
@snackarella thank you! That’s exactly what I just suggested to my husband. Might try that tomorrow if I can catch the daughter. (It was the gran my husband spoke to)
@akmum18 thank you! They own the house, it was up for sale for a little while before they bought. It’s a little outdated so I expect they’ll have more work done over the coming months. I might have a look on the council website and see if I can find some information about building waste. Our council are quite strict about businesses using the recycling centre/tips so might be trying to avoid the fee. I had to pick some pieces of old concrete out of our window boxes and planters that I think must have come from their workmen too. Again not worth complaining about but just inconsiderate. You’re right about keeping track of incidents. I should have gone out and asked the builders to move but I was in my pjs building dens in the living room with my kids.
Take pictures , note down the registration number, tell the council.
You might find that your drains may become blocked and even burst.
Bill them for even the slightest damage.
@NewNewNewNew the drains bursting or blocking is what we’re most worried about. It’s dark here now but I will take photos tomorrow. There cement/water with debris has been splashed up the wall of our house beside the drain so it’s clear something has been poured down there.
We had workman (working for the council) who poured concrete down the drain outside of our flat. It caused flooding in the basement of several properties for years. It needs sorting asap, definitely report to the council.
Additionally she’s new, having building work done, living with mother etc. Sounds understandable (not right at all) under stress that this may have been last straw. She owes your dh an apology but I wouldn’t immediately classify her as crackers - perhaps temporarily only.
Good luck op.
I was going to say what heron said and say that even from your op its clear whats causing the stress she said shes "had it up to here with the house" i'm guessing the house has had more problems than they thought.
What you don't know is how difficult its been to get contractors, wether they've had other problems with tje contractors, wether the contractors have cost loads for shoddy work, and your husband going round, not that he is in the wrong for doing so of course they needed too know the issue, has just tipped her over the edge.
Also i notice you say it was the gran you spoke too it might not be her house as in it might be the daughters and shes frustrated at the work so your husband talking to her is to her why is he complaining to me its nothing to do with me.
Now all that said, i'd have concerns about concreate being poured down drains. Sounds like their not terriably erm responsable contractors. Yes contact the council for help etc.
I’ve used concrete in the house before for some sort of project (can’t remember what, 15 years ago!), it was quite watery anyway so I thought I’d dilute it more and pour it down the sink (yes, I know that was wrong). Ran the tap after for ages to flush it and then forgot all about it. Well, my sink blocked up soon enough and the U-bend was full of rock solid concrete - so my guess, it’ll collect and compact at the lowest point.
Pouring cement down a drain is extremely serious, and no decent tradespeople would ever, ever do that. These people sound unlicensed - as other pp said, this needs reporting asap, photos, etc, and they need to be told they will be billed for the damage caused.
Do you need a license to be a builder? I don’t think so, and I’m not sure apart from telling you where the nearest recycling/tips/correct way of disposal is, what the Council can do. It’s private property unless in a public drain which then it’s the Water Company.
Good luck though OP. I’d try and catch the builders at it next time.
Thanks for all of your comments. I do understand her frustration, ours are old houses and when we have had work done things do tend to knock on as you go. Fixing one thing revealing another that needs work etc but at the same time that is just the reality of owning a house I guess. It does seem a slightly unorthodox set up in terms of the nuclear family there so that is probably causing some stress too. At the same time if whatever their builder has poured in our drain blocks it, it will flood their cellar as well as ours so we are trying to avoid more problems for them as well as ourselves. I’d rather not get the council involved because I think it might cause her to react again if she’s contacted by a third party. Not really sure what to do. Don’t want to try to speak to her or the daughter again and end up with another confrontation but equally need to know who did the work and what they’ve poured down there.
@Littlecaf you’re right I think, you don’t need a license to be a builder here. I am slightly concerned that they won’t have any/the correct kind of insurance to cover any issues/problems from there actions. The van had no markings/name so unless I speak to neighbour again I can’t speak to them directly.
If you are in England or Wales I would definitely contact your water company as most sewers etc are now owned by them, even when they were previously private.
You really do need to report this to the council, waterboard and your insurance company as you now need to get someone out asap to put cameras down your drain ,and digging it up to remove the concrete.
My neighbour's(3doors up) once poured cement down hers it cost over £30000 to sort and all 3 of our gardens had to be dug up (mines has main cistern in it)
This is not a small problem its massive expensive issue
When you say they've poured concrete waste down your drain. Do you mean a drain taking waste sink water from your kitchen? The type which usually has a concrete upstanding around it? If so, I'd also be contacting my home insurance company to let them know (with pics, dates and other details) as well as notifying the water company.
Or gutter drain? If so, I'd definitely be contacting my insurers to notify them because you may find you have to make a claim at some point in the future and thus pay a penalty through no fault of your own. You'd need to notify the relevant agency depending where your gutter water drains to, if into a piped system rather than a soak-away.
I'm affraid you have to get the council involved. You say your trying to prevent further problems. Just saying hay your builders have tipped concrete down our drain isn't going to do that. You actally need to do something about that concreate, you have to tell the council and the water supplier.
I do understand you want to avoid confontation and long term bad feeling but as you've said your trying to prevent further damage to their property too.
And while yes doing work on old houses and it uncovering more work to be done is part of house ownership. What isn't part of owning a house is cowboy builders, who are probably bloody expensive who do more damage than they fix. Which by tue sounds of it is whats happened here.
You say you dont want to speak to the gran or daughter again and you dont want to speak to the council how do you propose getting this resolved then? Sorry to sound harsh, but you actally need to do both. ASAP
Who do you think is paying the builder, the younger adult I bet. Speak to her nicely and proceed from there
There cement/water with debris has been splashed up the wall of our house beside the drain so it’s clear something has been poured down there
I wonder if the concrete in your drain could just be from when they washed out their buckets, and poured the washing water away. Concrete doesn't splash when it's poured, it's thick and heavy. So it is likely to just be the remains of their not very effective cleaning up.
I'm not trying to excuse their behaviour, I'm just concerned that you'll be causing conflict with your neighbour over something that isn't as bad as you think it might be. Choose your battles, and all that.
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