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in wanting to put a fence down the middle of our shared garden?

(76 Posts)
whizzed Wed 08-Jul-09 15:33:19

We live in a row of terraced houses. Each house is divided into two flats, and each house has a garden which is shared between the two flats.

The garden has a path down the middle, which is the boundry line (the left side for the bottom flat, the right side for the top flat), and a washing line over the pathway - one end for the top flat, the other end for the bottom flat.

I really hate the lack of privacy. The upstairs neighbours don't really use the garden, but I hate it if I'm out there playing with DCs or having a picnic or whatever and the neigbour dodders out to hang out his washing and I have to make polite conversation.

Would it be unreasonable of me to errect a fence down the middle of the garden, so that we would have our own (albeit very long and narrow)private garden?

No other garden in the terrace has done this, and I know that it may well be looked upon as rude and antisocial. We've only lived in the flat for a couple of years and the neighbour has lived here for over forty. What do you think?

muddleduck Wed 08-Jul-09 15:36:28

The fence would have to be pretty high to give you privacy so it might feel a bit claustophobic.

annh Wed 08-Jul-09 15:36:43

YABU, you knew what the arrangement was when you moved in. If your neighbour was being agressive or had a huge dog frightening your children or some other similar scenario, erecting a fence might be necessary but not just because you don't like the current arrangement. Unless you erect a very high fence, surely you'll still have to be friendly to your neighbour anyway if he comes into his garden?

puddock Wed 08-Jul-09 15:36:52

Surely, apart from any other considerations, it would be against the terms of your leasehold / share of freehold?

FatFree Wed 08-Jul-09 15:40:57

Hmm toughie. I'd like to say its your place do what you want but if, like you say, your neighbour isnt in the garden often anyway, would it really kill you to say hi for a few mins while he hangs out his smalls? smile

I think if it were me, i'd think it a little rude if you suddenly erected a fence, specially as no one else in the row has one.

Its different if he is the neighbour from hell, but if its just for the sake of a few mins chit chat then i'd say leave it.

VinegarTits Wed 08-Jul-09 15:42:03

YABU if he hardly uses it whats the problem?
Whats wrong with making polite converstion, are you not polite? you sound very unfriendly

whizzed Wed 08-Jul-09 15:42:53

Hmmmm.... Hadn't thought about the legal side of things. Surely if the boundry is already there (in the form of a path) it doesn't matter if we replace it with another type of dividing line?

It wouldn't need to be a massively high fence, more just that...oh, I don't know, having a definite boundry means that I can just say "hi" and carry on with what I'm doing if he's out there when I am. It always seems really rude to that if we are both out in the same space, IYKWIM?

whizzed Wed 08-Jul-09 15:48:00

I know, I do sound unfriendly. I think I am a bit.

But...It's my flat, my free time. I don't want to have to talk to people I don't feel like talking to.

Also, he is very elderly and I think quite lonely, and he always comes out whenever I go out there. Far too frequently for it to be a coincidence. He obviously watches out of the window for me to go out and then comes down.

Ok, so he only wants a chat but I'm not a freaking social worker, and to be honest it creeps me out a bit and makes me feel scrutinised when I'm ambushed everytime I set foot in the garden(not in a sinsiter way, I don't think he's a sex pest or anything). It's like a test I have to go through for five minutes everytime I fancy playing with my DCs in the sandpit.

whizzed Wed 08-Jul-09 15:50:34

Also, if I'm honest (I know, go on, call me a snob). I don't like the washing line arrangement at all.

I can't bear his old man Y-fronts billowing over where I'm sitting in the garden.

If we had clearly defined garden space, then we could each have an umbrella style washing line in our sides, and not have to dodge each others' wet clothes.

VinegarTits Wed 08-Jul-09 15:52:53

Aw poor old man, he probably doesnt speak to another living soul throughout his day sad
you should move and let a nice friendly perosn move in who will be happy to chat to him

whatmaisieknew Wed 08-Jul-09 15:58:23

Well i understand what whizzed means - maybe that makes me unfriendly too...
...it's more about a sense of personal private space rather than being antisocial I think, and therefore it's not unreasonable to want to define that space even with a low level and therefore rather notional boundary.

Similarly, on a half empty beach dh and i get twitchy if another family pitch camp too close to us. Most people have a sense of boundary and space themselves out round an invisible dividing line, but some don't !

whizzed Wed 08-Jul-09 15:59:28

I'd move if I could, but we're in negative equity sad .

He has a wife and a son in his forties who lives with him. But even if he didn't, I don't want to have to be reponsible for providing him with all his social needs. I'm a bit antisocial myself. I like my own company, and find making converstaion with strangers (or near strangers)a strain and quite stressful.

I've got nothing against the odd conversation if we happen to be out there at the same time, but as I Said, it's every time. I feel as though I'm being watched and have no privacy.

VinegarTits Wed 08-Jul-09 16:03:58

So its gone from 'The upstairs neighbours don't really use the garden'
to
'it's every time. I feel as though I'm being watched and have no privacy'

Which one is it OP ?

FatFree Wed 08-Jul-09 16:04:04

Ok you cant have it both ways!

You cant say they dont use the garden much and then when nearly everyone disagrees with you, suddenly its

"Also, he is very elderly and I think quite lonely, and he always comes out whenever I go out there. Far too frequently for it to be a coincidence. He obviously watches out of the window for me to go out and then comes down"

hmm

annh Wed 08-Jul-09 16:06:42

I know, I noticed the move from hardly used to being out there all the time too! If you really don't want to chat, can't you take out a book and become engrossed after you have been sociable for a few mins?

SerendipitousHarlot Wed 08-Jul-09 16:08:11

Oh you miserable woman. That poor lonely old man has nobody to talk to, day in day out, and you're complaining about a bit of small talk once in a blue moon? That's just mean.

whizzed Wed 08-Jul-09 16:08:18

He doesn't use the garden in the sense of spending time out there sitting, or gardening etc. Fwiw, I do all the garden maintence (mowing etc) for the whole garden.

He only uses it to hang out washing, which he does daily. Always at the time when I am out there (which is a different time each day, I don't really have a routine). He takes a good five minutes messing about wiping down the line, shaking out the clothes, making sure the pegs match..

I know it's only five minutes, but I don't like it.

SusieDerkins Wed 08-Jul-09 16:08:34

Imagine how gutted he would feel to see a fence down the middle of the garden. You may as well tell him to piss off and stop bothering you to his face.

VinegarTits Wed 08-Jul-09 16:08:52

And its a Shared garden, its not like he is coming into your garden uninvited

And yes you are a snob about the washing

I know, why not ask him to move out? hmm

whizzed Wed 08-Jul-09 16:09:01

He lives with his wife and his son. He does have people to talk to.

whizzed Wed 08-Jul-09 16:09:54

It's shared, but we each have our own section, vinegartits. I'm only suggesting making that section more clearly defined.

SerendipitousHarlot Wed 08-Jul-09 16:10:06

^I think quite lonely^

Still mean, sorry.

BitOfFun Wed 08-Jul-09 16:10:14

I knew someone who had the same arrangement and was friendly and treated the old lady downstairs as a sort of granny figure, the children certainly did. She died and left her the flat! She has had it reconverted after getting planning permission and has the whole garden to herself and her family. Worth thinking about < mercenary altruistic >

SusieDerkins Wed 08-Jul-09 16:11:20

Honestly, just tell him to piss off and stop bothering you.

Then you wouldn't have to spend money on a fence. hmm

hullygully Wed 08-Jul-09 16:11:27

Sexually harass him. Wear his old knickers on your head.

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