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Upset neighbours

(29 Posts)
heeeeelp Sat 14-Nov-15 20:02:35

I have upset my neighbour by complaining about them putting their bins in my garden. I’d like some wisdom. Apologies for the long post.
I live in part of the way along a terrace. About a third of the way up our back gardens a path runs across and is an easement providing a right of way for the gardens of some of my neighbours.
At the edge of the path nearest my house is a hedge running parallel to the path. On the other side of the path is a low fence. Looking out from my house there is a gate in the hedge and in the fence at one side. The path is about 3 feet wide though gap between the hedge and fence is a bit wider.
The neighbour on the side opposite the side where the gates are (ie of the gates are towards the left hand side of my property, I refer to the neighbour on the right hand side) recently put up a fence and gate across the path [that does not block my use of the path to the public highway].
Recently my next door neighbour started leaving their wheelie bins in the space between the hedge and fence, on the path on my side of the gate that they had constructed. As I understand it that they are leaving their bins in the easement right of way.
I suggested to them recently that they should not be leaving their bins there. I pointed out that it was a right of way and not a storage area. They said something about them being behind the hedge. I suggested that it blocked the right of way and that it blocked the right of way – and that it blocked me should I wish to do work on the hedge. They said something about moving their bins.
A couple of nights later they knocked on my door and asked if they could leave their bins their till some work was done on part of their garden. I wasn’t thinking and said yes. Afterwards I thought that where they are leaving their bins is a right of way, and I do not have the right to say that they can leave their bins their – even if I didn’t object.
The reasons I object is that their bins detract from my garden and where they put the bins is one of the places I like to view my garden from – not including the fact that it is a right of way and not a storage area.
A couple of nights later I knocked on my neighbours door and said that their bins should not be there. They said that they were good neighbours [they were getting some people building decking to take down a useable shed form their garden and take it to a dump – I asked if I could have the shed instead – they agreed] now they point out that they gave me a shed, gave me wine after they had borrowed [with my consent] garden tools (I hadn’t asked for anything in return for the loan or even hinted that I would like something), and that they were kind and helpful, and that they had pointed out that the bins would be removed by Christmas, and I was complaining about something trivial. If they had to move the bins then they would think I was unreasonable and “were being an areshole” and they were somewhat annoyed.
Now I have the situation that my neighbours have fallen out with me cause I asked them to move the bins. I am puzzled as to why they could not leave their bins in another part of their garden while the work was being carried out. And if they were “good kind neighbours” then I would have thought they would move the bins if they were aware of how I felt [though that might be different if they felt that I was being petty]
So some questions – was I unreasonable? What do I do to repair relations (I suspect it is better to have neighbours on speaking terms than not – we have a common front path, so I will bump into them regularly)

Devora Sat 14-Nov-15 20:29:07

I'm slightly struggling to visualise it, so first question: are the bins a real problem, or is it mainly the principle? Any reason to think that they won't stick to their word and have this sorted by Christmas?

Personally I think keeping in with the neighbours is worth some fairly hefty compromise, unless they really make cordiality possible. Could you see your way to knocking on their door - or dropping in a note - to say: "Look, we're just going to have to agree to disagree on the bins. But as you have said this will be resolved by Christmas, it's a short-term problem. Falling out with good neighbours is a long-term problem, and I'd really rather not extend this awkwardness between us. Shall we put it behind us and move on?"

Optimist1 Sat 14-Nov-15 20:33:12

Where did they put their bins before this situation arose? Is it just because of the current work that they've been leaving them where you object to? I'm finding it difficult to visualise the situation, but agree with you that it's much better to be on friendly terms with neighbours, so perhaps an apology is in order, especially given that you know it'll all be done in a few weeks.

LeaLeander Sat 14-Nov-15 20:34:57

I'm puzzling to visualize too but the bottom line is, they should be storing the bins on their property, not in an easement or right of way. Especially if it detracts from your view or access to your property/plantings.

How extensive is the work they are having done that there is no room for a couple of bins?

A photo would be helpful if it wouldn't invade your privacy too much.

heeeeelp Sun 15-Nov-15 16:30:26

Thanks for the replies.

To help clarify, the gardens are of the order of 70 feet long, and the width of the frontage - about 12 feet.

The path in question runs across the garden approximately a quarter to a third of the way up the garden from the houses. The path provides access to the rear gardens for the neighbour with the bins and one neighbour beyond them.

In the diagram below the = represent the path. The houses would be at the bottom of the diagram.
________
! ! ! !
! ! ! !
! ! ! !
! ! ! !
! !========
! ! ! !
! ! ! !
________

The bins have been there for a few weeks before I had talked to them, given that I though they may well be having some work done.

The work they said they are having done is removing a tree stump. In more detail - the size of the stump would be an area about 4 feet in diamater

F for fence
G for gate
B for bin
P for gate post

- edge of path where there is no fence or hedge.

F
stump FFFFFFFFFFFFFGGGGFFFFF
--- PBBBBBB
GBBBBBB
G
FFFFFFFFFFFPHHHHHHHHGGGGFFFFF
F
F
F
meighbour F my garden

The path is an easement through my garden, they did not ask if they could put their bins there.

As I understand the law regarding easements they had no right to use the path for storage. Not only were they putting bins in my garden [though they would argue that they were hidden by the hedge.] they were also blocking the path for the neighbour on the other side of them.

So legally I understand that they were entirely wrong, the wheels of their bins were on a small strip of soil where I had been growing wild strawberries until they strimmed them. Their bins are where I like to stand to enjoy my garden. THere bins blocked access to part of the garden where I need to do some autumn tidying. There is plenty of room in their garden to store their bins.

And yet they suggest that they are good neighbours [would good neighbours not have heeded my concerns when I first mentioned it???], what ever the case, I feel it is probably better to find some way of repairing relationships

heeeeelp Sun 15-Nov-15 16:36:41

oops diagrams didnt work ... try again

____
!...!...!....!
!...!...!...!
!...!...!...!
!...!...!...!
!...!========
!...!...!...!
!...!...!...!
____

! boundary
_ boundary
= path
. garden

F for fence
G for gate
B for bin
P for gate post
- edge of path where there is no fence or hedge.
. none of the above

...............F...............................
.....stump. FFFFFFFFFFFFFGGGGFFFFF
---- PBBBBBB....................
...............GBBBBBB....................
...............G...............................
FFFFFFFFFFFPHHHHHHHHGGGGFFFFF
...............F................................
...............F................................
...............F..................................
meighbour F my garden

LIZS Sun 15-Nov-15 16:38:09

I'm confused ! Which house are you/they ? Are their bins on the section of path dividing their garden or on yours? Is it blocking access for other neighbours.

heeeeelp Sun 15-Nov-15 16:38:45

still didn;t work

F for fence
G for gate
B for bin
P for gate post
- edge of path where there is no fence or hedge.
. none of the above

...............F...............................
.....stump. FFFFFFFFFFFFFGGGGFFFFF
---- PBBBBBB....................
...............GBBBBBB....................
...............G...............................
FFFFFFFFFFFPHHHHHHHHGGGGFFFFF
...............F................................
...............F................................
...............F..................................
neighbour F my garden

houses at this end

heeeeelp Sun 15-Nov-15 16:40:01

apologies ... one last try

still didn;t work

F for fence
G for gate
B for bin
P for gate post
_edge of path where there is no fence or hedge.
. none of the above

...............F...............................
.....stump. FFFFFFFFFFFFFGGGGFFFFF
________PBBBBBB....................
...............GBBBBBB....................
...............G...............................
FFFFFFFFFFFPHHHHHHHHGGGGFFFFF
...............F................................
...............F................................
...............F..................................
neighbour F my garden

houses at this end

heeeeelp Sun 15-Nov-15 16:57:29

LIZS The bins are in the section of path dividing my garden. The vertical line of F is the the boundary between the properties, my one is on the right where the bins are

kerbs Sun 15-Nov-15 17:12:57

I'm putting this thread forward for Classics.

MaudGonneMad Sun 15-Nov-15 17:15:00

grin

FayeTulehrer Sun 15-Nov-15 17:45:17

I can't stop laughing at the diagrams

FayeTulehrer Sun 15-Nov-15 17:51:01

It reads like my four year old practising phonics

NorbertDentressangle Sun 15-Nov-15 17:55:37

Has your cat walked across your keyboard?

heeeeelp Sun 15-Nov-15 18:08:09

Thank you for you replies - they do help me put it in perspective.

PS I ought to point out I've had depression for a number of years ... to a greater or lesser extent .. and my garden is part of my therapy/coping mechanism .. maybe that might give people an idea of why I might appear obsessed.

wowfudge Sun 15-Nov-15 18:16:58

Oh good lord OP, draw a diagram, photograph it and attach it to a post. I understood more from your original description.

To summarise, your bin moving neighbours think you are unreasonable because you have back tracked on what you originally said about them leaving the bins on the path. What you were actually trying to get across was that you don't actually have the right to give them permission to leave the bins where they are (temporarily) because although the path dissects your garden, all the neighbours have a right of access.

But, you don't want their bins there for aesthetic reasons either.

So, your options now are to say you agreed in order to be neighbourly but it's not for you alone to allow them to keep their bins there and,having thought about it, you don't like looking out at their bins part way down your garden and it's not fair on the other neighbour having the access way blocked.

Either tell them they have strimmed some things you had planted or forget it. What has actually happened is a number of small things have built up from what I understand.

But - is it worth it? Take them some flowers and chocolates and apologise for the miscommunication and ask if you can start afresh. Is it a big effort for them to put their bins back in their garden?

heeeeelp Sun 15-Nov-15 18:54:06

Ta wowfudge, will do

And to those that mocked my diagrams - I did laugh at you replies - put my attempts, to try and visualise for those who couldn't, in perspective [PS I didn't know you can attach things]

heeeeelp Sun 15-Nov-15 18:59:11

ps they moved their bins a couple of days back at the expense of neighbourly friendship, maybe I wasn't clear - but now I need to repair relations.

I did take a card and some wine round the night i talked to them, cause afterwords I felt bad about - but they had gone out, so I left them on their doorstep

Someone else said depression would explain how I acted, but not excuse it, so I need to do more to fix things

kerbs Sun 15-Nov-15 19:08:37

OP, I love your diagrams, they're genius. I don't have a clue how to attach stuff either.

My advice would be, never fall out with your neighbours if you can possibly help it. The neighbour's good will is worth a lot more than a temporary bin problem. Good luck.

dynevoran Sun 15-Nov-15 19:21:56

Your explanations were quite clear but the diagrams threw me. But I can visualise it. I often agree to things on the spot and then wonder how to get out of something I wish I hadn't agreed to so you have my sympathies.

I can see why it's irritating. But I think I would go round again to speak to them and try to improve relations. Just apologies for changing your mind and maybe ask them round for a cup of tea or glass of wine.

FayeTulehrer Sun 15-Nov-15 19:41:17

I'm sorry OP, I do hope you get it sorted (and thank you for making me cry with laughter, even though I know that wasn't the intention).

wannabestressfree Sun 15-Nov-15 19:46:16

Its just a bin sorry.

NorbertDentressangle Sun 15-Nov-15 19:49:52

I do hope you didn't take offence at my comment . Your idea was inspired but it really messed with my mind and I could just see random letters and symbols.

Like others said , draw it on a bit of paper , take a photo of it and add it via the "choose file" boxes at the bottom of the page, under the box you type your message in.

Hope you get it sorted.

heeeeelp Sun 15-Nov-15 20:58:27

I show my age ... don't people remember when diagrams were printed like that? OK we are going back at least 30 years ...

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