Would you mind? (Neighbour’s builders)(40 Posts)
The house next to me is vacant and is being fully renovated including the back garden. Acting as our boundary is my garden wall and my previous neighbours had a big fence on their side that had blown down but they didn’t fix it, that was fine. My wall was around 4/5ft I’m not great with measurements so just going by eye. The builders caught me the other week when I was taking some rubbish out and told me (they didn’t ask) that they were going to skim the wall. I’m not sure what that really means but I couldn’t be bothered to argue so just let them get on with it. Turns out this meant taking 3 layers of brick off my wall and I presume they have sold them on as they’ve now disappeared. There was no reason for this as the wall looked fine and was a reasonable height. Now they’ve made it even smaller which isn’t great for privacy. This is essentially theft but I’ve left it for my landlord to deal with. He’s struggling as he doesn’t know who actually owns the house and we don’t know who the builders work for as they don’t display a company name anywhere.
Now not only have I had to deal with them stealing part of my wall, they think it’s okay to clutter my entire wall with all their tools and spend their days leaning on it facing looking into my kitchen window. There’s even an ashtray on there! I can’t wash clothes or dishes without being stared at through the window. I find it disrespectful that they’re using the top of my wall as a table for their work. Would you this annoy you? I’m 5 months pregnant so probably quite hormonal and sensitive to things like this anyway. Couldn’t they just put them on the floor or get an actual table to put them on? Or at least ask if it’s okay first as it’s technically on my (well landlord’s) property. The wall is inside my boundary so is fully in my garden and not within their boundaries if that makes sense. I think I’m probably just being crazy. Grrr I need some wine but can’t have, what is a good alternative stress reliever😂
If you don't own the property then you had no right to give them permission to do anything. Sounds like you could lose your deposit unless it's 'made good'.
You might have a reasonable landlord who will leave it but you were in the wrong for giving permission for something you have no right to do.
I didn’t give them permission to do anything 3 big burly men told me they were going to do something I had no idea what they were talking about, at 5 months pg in the house alone I’m not really going to argue. My landlord has actually apologised to me on their behalf for the inconvenience and stress. He’s still not managed to get in touch with anyone and is going to have to come down from miles away to confront them whilst they’re working
YANBU, what a load of twats. I'd ask them to stop putting stuff on the wall and ask where the bricks are and when they are going to make it good. I'd also tell them that you don't want them staring in at you. If they carry on, you could complain to the council and that would then have to be declared when they try to sell as a neighbour dispute, which they probably won't want. The threat of that may make them take notice.
What a horrible situation for you to be in.
IME working in Lettings, most landlords would argue that you should have told the builders it wasn't your property & referred them to him I'm afraid. Unless he nips over & asks outright who they work for (as pretense he's got work for them?) or gets you to do it, don't see how he'll get it repaired. Re their view into the kitchen, they won't be there forever, get some cheap voile net for now or Argos blinds are dirt cheap too.
I don't see how being alone at home & pregnant stops you from saying 'you'd have to ask my landlord, I'm not the home owner'.
Renting is so difficult! So will I get it in the neck for what the builders have done when I move out? I didn’t see them doing it as I had left the house and wasn’t sure what skimming the wall actually entailed. I don’t really want to speak to them at all as they could get verbally aggressive and I’m little bit vulnerable being pregnant with a toddler in the house. They are very loud, sweary and have heard them arguing with each other so don’t want to be on the receiving end of that. I can’t get DH to approach them as he’s always at work when they’re here so I’ve got to wait for the landlord to come. If I lose my deposit for it I’ll take the builders to court myself! I need some non-alcoholic wine As for the staring, I’ve got blinds but it’s dark in the kitchen if I have them shut all day and I like a bit of light in the mornings. I’ll just start smiling at them sarcastically if they continue
Apologies if I didn’t make it clear in my OP but they didn’t ask me to do anything. They just told me they were going to ‘skim the wall’ as I was walking back into my house. I didn’t stop and speak to them. I didn’t know exactly what wall they were talking about or what skimming means. I didn’t know if they meant their outer house wall and were telling me incase of the mess or noise. I wrongly presumed that they were aware of who owns my wall and that they had a little bit of respect but fool me!
When they said we are going to skim your wall you should have either asked what that entailed or said there is nothing wrong with the wall don’t touch it , and I assume if you owned instead of renting that that’s probably what you would have done . Being 5 months pregnant is not an excuse . Unfortunately because you neglected to say no when they told you their plans I would assume that means you agreed so if your landlord does take umbrage it could well be you that ends up out of pocket as the builders aren’t to know that you are not the home owner .
you mean you were worried that they might get aggressive or you know they would get aggressive?
If you don't know what people mean, ask them. Yes, it is difficult for some people to talk to builders/other people but the fact that they are loud and sweary with each other means absolutely nothing.
You've learned a valuable lesson.
Skimming the wall doesn't mean removing three courses of bricks, either. It means rendering their side of the wall to give a smooth finish.
Skimming the wall mean plastering it, it shouldn't involve removing bricks at all
I know it might seem ridiculous to some but my issues with talking to them stems from a previous experience in a ground floor maisonette flat where my upstairs neighbours builders were in my back garden. I opened my window and politely told them to ask permission if they need to be in my garden. Both of the men immediately got aggressive and told me to ‘fuck off you bitch’ and other obscenities before storming off. I actually got told to fuck off in my own flat! I laugh at it now but it was quite scary at the time so don’t want a repeat of that. I need a detached house as I clearly don’t have the best of luck with neighbours and their workmen
You could have told them that you are renting and that they needed to contact your landlord and given them his details. Being pregnant is not really an excuse for not speaking to people and if they did behave in a threatening manner you should have called the police. Walking off without speaking is odd and they may have assumed you gave them permission.
Just read your update and I think you are a bit OTT assuming that all builders from now on will shout and swear at you, but if any builders or any other person shouts and swears at you in your property just contact the police.
Skimming a wall means plastering it , not taking bricks off
nice try OP
I’m not an expert on construction or anything but I’d understand skimming the wall to mean applying a thin coating over the brickwork. I definitely wouldn’t expect them to remove any bricks from the top. So even if you had given permission to skim it I don’t think the landlord would be justified in blaming you.
Skimming is a bit like applying a smooth coat of plaster.
I think I made a thread about that incident years ago I’ll have to find it if I can remember the username it was under. I’m comfortable that my landlord doesn’t see it as my responsibility so I’m not worried about that per se. Obviously if the builders refuse to make right then the financials may fall on me but my landlord doesn’t seem like that type of person. I don’t think that it’s fair for the tenant to be blamed in my circumstance as it was merely a sentence muttered to me in passing. I’d understand if they put a note through explaining what they were going to do and I didn’t tell the landlord. As far as I was aware they were working on their own property. I told my landlord and sent photos straight away as soon as I saw what they had done
PTSD from severe domestic violence is an excuse not to speak to them though. I’m not one to drip feed so I’ll leave it at that. Not everyone is capable of just approaching strangers like that unfortunately!
Apologies OP. You are right of course. Maybe ask the landlord to speak to them?
They didn't have your permission to remove bricks, they told you about something else, which they may or may not have done. Try not to worry too much about it, and just let the landlord deal with it.
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