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The house next door has turned mustard....

(21 Posts)
MSMB Tue 05-Apr-16 11:25:54

Live in a 1930s semi. Lovely road, all very pretty smart houses - one of the reasons we chose to live there. Bloke next door to us is nice but 'odd'. After we moved in he used yellow insulation foam to cover the ENTIRE back of his home. Over the course of a year its dried into a deep dirty mustard colour -it's horrible!!

We let it go, it is shocking to see but still only at the back and it is his house...

Anyway last year he started doing the side - which due to the angle of the house is very visible from the front/road- plus glares into my kitchen window. It looks a mess - like theres horrible lumpy yellow fungus growing up the house!!

We politely asked him last year if he planned to continue with his mustard invasion as (not putting it so harshly) its a bit of an eye sore and he said he wanted to do his entire house. He thinks it will save him a fortune as he doesn't have central heating.

We asked him to not do the front and asked if he must do the side could he at least paint over it a more neutral colour - my husband even offered to help. He mumbled 'maybe' and walks off...a year later the house looks gross and i worry he's going to start on the front.

PS. hes also dug a moat around his entire house - its weird!

Am I being mean by taking it further/contacting the council - will I even get anywhere as it is his home? Everyone knows us as the family that live next to the mustard house, everyone on the road comments on it and visitors ask whats happened! We recently had the house valued and an agent said it would affect our sale.


Imperialleather2 Tue 05-Apr-16 11:52:24

I would contact the planning dept. As he possibly needs planning permission for such a material change.

TremoloGreen Tue 05-Apr-16 11:59:07

If he's done something that's visible from the street, it might be worth contacting your local council's planning team to see if there's anything they can do. They can't take the devaluation of your property into account though, there have to be valid planning reasons (eyesore, not 'in keeping' etc).

I'd make sure I had absolutely exhausted the 'apealling to reason' option before I put anything in writing to the council - even if you succeed in getting him to take it down, I don't know if this is the sort of thing you have to declare when you sell. I understand that you might not get very far with reason thhough, as he does sound a bit perculiar. You have my utmost sympathy, we were trying to sell with problem neighbours a year ago, it's absolutely maddening.

TremoloGreen Tue 05-Apr-16 12:00:19

What's the reason for the moat btw? Is that having any impact on you - drainage etc?

MiniCooperLover Tue 05-Apr-16 12:34:33

I would contact planning or someone in the council, even if he owns. I remember reading a story about a guy who dug all around his foundations and did the same indoors and was close to making the house unstable (sorry, bad example there). But it's worth getting him on their radar in case the moat is doing any damage to drainage or foundations.

Ragusa Tue 05-Apr-16 12:37:11

A moat? confused

Is it possible he is ill rather than simply eccentric??

Wishfulmakeupping Tue 05-Apr-16 12:37:16

Yes to contacting council if its changed the appearance or affected drainage they will get involved.
I'd call speak to someone get their email and follow it up with an email with pictures. Log everything so you can say who and when you spoke to them.

ItsALuigi Tue 05-Apr-16 13:07:47

And I thought my neighbours were odd!

MSMB Tue 05-Apr-16 13:42:46

I don't think he is ill, just very, very odd. He doesn't like to pay out for things - he puts silver foil over his windows in winter, he sprayed the inside of his windows to make them cloudy. Generally his house has many strange things that ruin it but its the mustard issue that needs addressing really for us. It's a shame as other than these strange things he's always pleasant and you could have a much worse neighbour.

The moat (well I suppose its a trench) all around the house is for him to 'air out his bricks'. We had a bit of damp in ours a couple of years back which we got a builder to sort. I get the impression he has no money or is very tight and doesn't want to pay to get it sorted and thinks this is some kind of DIY solution?? It hasn't affected our drainage, again it just looks very messy as hes dug up the gravel drive that we share all around his house and its now very muddy.

I don't know whether to confront him one last time (which I don't think will work but I suppose it's more polite) or whether to go straight to the council? I would rather he didn't know we had made a complaint which he will if I confront him first.

lalalonglegs Tue 05-Apr-16 15:13:57

Oh God, a moat! It sounds as if he has dug up part of a shared drive which is definitely a no-no (I imagine he is in the semi- not connected to yours and there is a narrow drive that leads to garages behind the houses?) and he needs to rectify this. It's unlawful and potentially a safety hazard if someone trips down it.

The insulation sounds a nightmare but, to be honest, I don't know what you can do. It's a real bastard to remove even if he were to agree sad.

Kingfisherfree Tue 05-Apr-16 15:17:30

Is he going to render over the insulation tho? It is quite common to put this on 1930s houses atm and then cover with a thin render.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Tue 05-Apr-16 15:32:27

The reason he's having damp (apart from the lack of hesting) is because he's foamed his house. You need ventilation!

wowfudge Tue 05-Apr-16 15:47:36

He's probably got thousands in cash stashed in the house too.

MSMB Tue 05-Apr-16 15:58:23

No, he has no plans to render over, that's the first question we asked. We had some building work done to our house last year and all of the tradesmen couldn't believe what he was doing and even told him it was a bad idea!

The trench situation - we have spoken to him about this and he said once the bricks are aired he will fill it back in... but I don't know whether to believe this as its been a while....

AgathaF Tue 05-Apr-16 17:57:28

Speak to the planning department. You need proper advice over this, hopefully before he completes the job.

mithy Tue 05-Apr-16 18:48:53

There's a house near me that's painted sky blue with large white polka dots on it. It's been like it for years and has mercifully faded a bit, so I think people can do what they like really unless it's a conservation area.

Qwebec Tue 05-Apr-16 20:14:53

Where I live you have to ask planning permission for alterations that affects the appearence of your home and you cannot downgrade quality. I have a hard time believing that your council does not have any regulation to protect the neighborhood from being defaced. Call and ask. I hope the solution is easy and swift.

MSMB Tue 05-Apr-16 21:38:07

I rang the planing department in our council today and unfortunately because it's a rendered house he is basically allowed to do as he likes. She said I could get my local councillor involved if I felt it was affecting the look of the whole area but I'm not going to hold my breath (cry)

Qwebec Thu 07-Apr-16 16:49:01


Well, then how significantly does it affect the value of your home?

If it is important Maybe when you are about to sell you could offer to pay to get the most offending parts painted. I'd just say don't mention it before in case he thinks of other "improvements". I have no idea about rendering but would it be expensive just doing the front of the house? Maybe the neughbors would be willing to chip in itf it theally affects the value of your houses.

ChishandFips33 Thu 07-Apr-16 22:05:40

Does it not just act like a sponge and absorb the rain???

I bet he's minted and will leave his millions to a cats home. You need to keep in with him

iyamehooru Thu 07-Apr-16 22:12:01

Ring social services, I think he may have mental health problems which may make him act like this.

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