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Parents next door neighbour asking for money towards new fence

(120 Posts)
SunburstsOrMarbleHalls Sun 25-Aug-19 17:21:09

My mum and dad are in their 80's and live in a housing association house, they live on their state pension and don't have have any savings.

Their next door neighbours are a nice couple in their 30's who own their home and have made lots of improvements with a view to selling their property. As part of the improvements they have replaced their back garden fencing, this was more of a cosmetic improvement as previously the old fence was not broken or damaged but was about 10 years old.

Last week after the fence had been replaced the neighbour knocked on my parents door and asked if they would contribute £100 towards the new fence. The neighbour on the other side of their property who is currently in the process of purchasing their home of the local housing association has already agreed to pay £100. The person at the back of their property has not been asked to contribute as the neighbour has said they don't know them. My mum was a bit flustered and said she would have to discuss it with my dad and no further conversation has taken place.

I completely understand that it is common for neighbours to decide to share the cost for things such as this however my mum and dad really don't have the money. Mum feels really embarrassed at having to explain this to their neighbours. I have said she doesn't have to explain her decision and can just say no with no further details needed but she doesn't feel she can do this.

The neighbours will see a return on their investment when they sell their property but my mum and dad won't. The neighbours are aware that my mum and dad don't own their property.

Mum and dad are keen to keep a good neighbourly relationship and don't want their to be any animosity over this issue. At 86 my mum does tend to let things like this worry her and she is fretting that if she does not contribute it will cause some bad feeling.

I'm sure that the neighbours didn't mean to cause any issue but by knocking on my mum and dads door to ask directly for the money after the fence was already fitted it has placed my parents in an awkward situation.

WIBU to go and see the neighbours on my parents behalf and politely explain that my parents will not be contributing £100 or any other amount to their new fence?

AwkwardSquad Sun 25-Aug-19 17:24:02

YANBU at all, they’re being cheeky fuckers asking after the fact like that.

SarahSinclair Sun 25-Aug-19 17:25:01

Nope defo not BU, IMO.

fiorentina Sun 25-Aug-19 17:25:21

They should have approached your parents before replacing the fence. I think you or your parents can politely say you didn’t have any issue with the old fence and although the new fence looks nice you won’t be contributing.

bridgetreilly Sun 25-Aug-19 17:26:00

Fences belong to an individual home. It's on the deeds. It's either the neighbours' fence in which case they pay for all of it, or your parents' fence in which case they can decide whether or not they want a new one. No one has to contribute to someone else's fence.

SleepyKat Sun 25-Aug-19 17:26:14

Your parents have nothing to feel embarrassed about, neighbours are either thoughtless or cheeky.

My neighbour did the same to me. Landscaped their garden, put in a new fence without consulting us which I didn’t have a problem with as it’s their border. They then asked if we’d go halves, they thought it was a shared border. I said no and pointed out it was their border/fence. But even if it had been shared the lack of consultation would have made me likely to say no.

BeanBag7 Sun 25-Aug-19 17:26:17

No they can obviously afford to do it themselves as they must have already paid for it. If they wanted your parents to contribute they should have asked in advance. Even then, your parents would be well with their rights to say no if the old fence was perfectly good.
They're changing their arm, just say No.

Gustavo1 Sun 25-Aug-19 17:26:48

Of course they shouldn’t have to contribute. If a decision to replace a fence was to be made, it should have been discussed beforehand. If I were you, I would knock on myself and explain that the fence didn’t need replacing and your parents are not in a position to contribute.

TeamUnicorn Sun 25-Aug-19 17:27:11

Your parents absolutely should not contribute to this, but I would speak to the HA especially if there is a chance that this boundary belongs to the HA. Either way CF ndn has presumably taken down a fence that isn't theirs.

PhonicTheHedgehog Sun 25-Aug-19 17:27:17

I think you’d be really reasonable to do that. I’d explain that it’s upset and worried your parents. I’d also give them your phone number and ask them to contact you for anything similar in future.

Halo1234 Sun 25-Aug-19 17:27:51

No you are def not being u. They shouldn't be treating elderly neighbours like that. They wanted the fence they should be prepared to pay for it. You should not give it a second thought. You are 100% in the right not to pay.

RevealingIfYouMightBeStalked Sun 25-Aug-19 17:28:02

In your shoes, I'd go and knock on their door and say that, no, £100 is a lot of money to your parents; they really aren't either in a position, or willing to pay for what amounts to a sale enhancer for them.

Are you sure the other neighbours stumped up? But they didn't approach the 3rd party because 'they didn't know them'!

If they really are selling up, your parents need have nothing more to do with them.


checkeredredshorts Sun 25-Aug-19 17:28:23

They are cheeky bastards going ahead and doing it THEN asking for a contribution. Who does that?!

Usually each house has its own 'side' they are responsible for. So one house maintains the left and the other the right. Not sure about back fences if they connect to a house on another street but essentially the house paperwork should explain who has responsibility for what.

As your parents aren't homeowners it really isn't their problem anyway. I would speak to the neighbours on their behalf if they don't feel confident and tell them under no circumstances should they be approached in this way again. It's cheeky and intimidating even if they didn't mean to be.

SunburstsOrMarbleHalls Sun 25-Aug-19 17:29:16

Gosh excuse the awful spelling mistakes I am currently typing while making dinner!

Yes I think they are CF's too if I'm being honest but I think the neighbours probably haven't realised how awkward this has made may mum and dad feel.

Drum2018 Sun 25-Aug-19 17:29:59

CF's for asking without even discussing it first. Please please speak up on behalf of your parents. Don't let them pay a penny towards it. It's nothing to do with your parents if the neighbours on the other side were stupid enough to pay up without prior discussion.

DelphiniumBlue Sun 25-Aug-19 17:30:11

Fine for you to say no, you don't even have to say why. Tell them its a matter for the landlord. Also that your parents are too old to be dealing with this so any issues they should contact you.

highheelsandbobblehats Sun 25-Aug-19 17:30:35

Your parents are under no obligation to pay for any fence as they don't own the property. The neighbours are extremely cheeky to have asked on all sides. The way fence boundaries work is that you go into the garden and look at the house. The fence on your left is your responsibility. So they should pay for their own left hand side and if they want the right replaced that badly, they should cover it themselves too.
They've got a bloody nerve.
We had to replace panels on the side we are liable for because the sodding neighbours planted and then chopped down a tree that destroyed the panels. Personally I think they should have offered to pay as an act of goodwill, but they're happy to leave it looking like shit, so it came down to us.

Can you go round and tell them to politely fuck off?

EL8888 Sun 25-Aug-19 17:32:13

They are the unreasonable ones. For asking after the event, surely that’s a before conversation. It also depends who owns it, why pay for something you don’t own?

LesLavandes Sun 25-Aug-19 17:33:11

I agree with checkedredshorts.

I would be v angry if that had happened my parents.

Coffeeandchocolate9 Sun 25-Aug-19 17:34:00

Your parents don't even own the property. Tell the neighbour to approach the owner, not the tenant - and get it on record at the HA that none of you agreed or promised anything and the work was done without your knowledge.

Beamur Sun 25-Aug-19 17:35:04

Everyone has already said it! Your parents have no responsibility or obligation here.
Any fence is usually owned by one side or the other and as your parents are tenants then it's their landlord who would be responsible for any fence anyway.

StrongTea Sun 25-Aug-19 17:35:19

I would go so far to say it’s bullying. If you don’t want to speak to them post a note through their door.

RelaisBlu Sun 25-Aug-19 17:35:39

If they wanted a contribution they should have discussed it with your parents before going ahead.
In your position I think I would speak to them, especially as your poor mum is so bothered by it

Disfordarkchocolate Sun 25-Aug-19 17:35:57

Very cheeky, if you want a contribution you ask first. I think you need to check with the HA as some of it may have been their fence.

RosaWaiting Sun 25-Aug-19 17:37:32

You’re very kind in saying they probably don’t realise

They’re just CFs. Fine for you to set them straight.

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