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AIBU in feeling spiteful towards my neighbours over washing lines in communal garden

55 replies

MissTerry2r · 18/07/2017 23:46

I live in a rented flat from social housing. There are 16 flats in my stair and a number of flats from the building next door (not sure how many) who all share the garden. My flat is the only one owned by a social landlord. the rest are owner occupied or privately rented. I have been here for 10 years and throughout the whole time no one has taken interest in the garden leaving it overgrown and untidy. Recently my partner and I got together with some neighbours from the other building and decided to tidy up the garden where we invested a lot of our own time and some small expenses to do so. We tried to encourage other neighbours to get involved but got zero response.
Since putting all this hard work in quite a few of the neighbours have started making use of the nice new garden. My gripe is not that they are using it but the fact regarding how selfishly they are using it at times where they previously had no interest whatsoever causing it to become greatly neglected.
When the garden was completed I started hanging out my washing regularly. The poles were already there but i bought the ropes which go all the way round to make 5 lines in total. I had no problem if others wanted to use it otherwise I wouldn't have put the line all the way round. Just last week I went to bring in my washing and someone had not only moved my things from the line they were on but had taken the pegs off and haphazardly flung it back over another line with no pegs. Some of it lying on the grass. There were other lines they could have used so I have no idea why they felt a need to do this. When I next went to the garden there was washing hanging up with my pegs! the reason I know is because my dog chewed some of them and others had nail varnish on them courtesy of my niece who wanted to paint them a nicer colour. So i now have an idea of who did this. it was very obvious it had been moved on purpose but for what reason I don't know. AIBU to be really pissed off about this? As I mentioned before people using the garden now its all been done isn't the problem but the sheer lack of respect for my property as someone who put the hard work in so everyone could use it is whats really angered me. Today I went out to find that some of the neighbours have taken the liberty of removing the washing ropes with the intent of just putting them up when they need to use them. So far I have managed to refrain from spitefully removing the washing of the person who did it to mine. I am half tempted to put up my own rotary washing line with padlock in the part of the garden that was previously overgrown as it is not currently used for anything in particular. However, if I do this it may upset other neighbours since the garden is communal so i can't really claim a particular space for my own use. I don't want to buy another rope for the poles even if I remove it between uses because I don't doubt my washing would be removed again by my selfish neighbours. I generally keep myself to myself and don't know my neighbours on a personal level and I quite like it that way. But I feel like i can't even use the garden as I wish even though only 4 of us made it a nice place to spend time and no one had any interest before whatsoever. FOR 10 BLOODY YEARS!! My flat does not overlook the garden so I can't even keep an eye on it if I only put it out when Im home. i just can't get over how ridiculously selfish my neighbours are and their lack of respect makes me so fucking pissed. Would it be spiteful to put a rotary line in the unused ground and padlock it when I'm not using in hope that no-one will complain about me putting it there?
I am open to suggestions. Any at all. Although I'd rather avoid confrontation as it could make things worse and ill never be able to hang washing out or just relax with a book for fear of repercussions. Help!!

OP posts:

Tapandgo · 19/07/2017 00:00

Amazing - this is an almost identical scenario my friend went through. After making the communal garden stunning - some morons let their dog crap all over it. Their moron friend actually cut down her washing ropes.
There is likely to be someone who resents you - and thinks your property is communal. Work through your neighbours and do a process of elimination.
There are some real sadoes in the world


MissTerry2r · 19/07/2017 00:37

I think I have managed to work out who it is via the use of my pegs. Grin
The clothes they were hanging looked to be about the size for a male toddler. There is only one child in my stair and they fit him. Plus Ive since seen him wearing one of the t-shirts that were hanging up too.
There are indeed some real saddos in the world and usually id not bother my arse, instead choosing to pick my battles but this imbecile of a girl has the cheek to be all nicey nicely when I pass her in the stair with said child because he likes to say hi to my dog. I may in future make some passive aggressive conversation about minding her washing as some people like to take it upon themselves to move others property. Meanwhile, i'll bide my time until I'm in a little more imaginative mood. Smile Halo

OP posts:

JessieMcJessie · 19/07/2017 00:48

Why don't you just say to her next time you see her "I was wondering why you moved my washing?"


Shedmicehugh · 19/07/2017 00:55

Could landlords not ask for contributions, like amenity rent?

For example my mum used to live in flats, where everyone contributed to the upkeep of the lifts, even if on the ground floor (was not optional)


MissTerry2r · 19/07/2017 01:10

jessiemcjessie Because I have seen her in action when a neighbour politely asked her if she would mind folding up her massive pushchair she parks in the stairwell when she's not using it because it was blocking the stair and a fire hazard. I'd rather not be on the receiving end the ugliness she spat out then.

OP posts:

Cloeycat · 19/07/2017 01:18

Sounds like they just can't be bothered buying pegs. I know you shouldnt have to but maybe if you go to the poundshop and buy some pegs for communal use then they won't take them off your clothes to hang theirs out and will just use them.


MissTerry2r · 19/07/2017 01:36

My property is rented from a housing association/social housing and is the only one in the stair. The rest are owned or privately rented. My rent already covers for things that a factoring company would do as my housing association will pay only their share when things need done.
I should mention I'm in Scotland so as far as communal gardens go it's a bit of a minefield where responsibility is concerned, especially when my landlords only own 1 flat in the block. Unfortunately there is no definitive on how much they'd contribute and whats classed as general maintenance.
Amenities charges have to be agreed with everyone and given how costly they are I definitely can't afford it and wouldn't pay for something I'm already covered for. Landlords wouldn't pay my share for that reason and have no authority to request it of the other residents. One neighbour suggest such an idea but for various reasons people didn't go for it.

OP posts:

FrogFairy · 19/07/2017 01:38

If you buy a lightweight rotary line do you have somewhere you could store it away when you are not using it?


AlmostAJillSandwich · 19/07/2017 02:19

I'm wondering if the reason she moved your washing is because where you had hung yours gets direct sun and the others possibly don't? It's absolutely not on of course.
My sister had an issue in her last assisted living flat that instead of her own washing machine they had a communal washer and dryer. She put a load in, and someone stopped it mid cycle, took her clothes out of the wash before they were done, to wash theirs!
Some people think their time is more important, that they are entitled to do what they wish, and sod anyone else.
I'd bring your pegs in with your washing in future and only take them out to hang out. Assuming you take out a basket carrying your clothes it shouldnt bee too much of an added hassle.


Theycalledmethewildrose · 19/07/2017 02:22

We needed to put our rotary line into the ground using cement. I don't think it will stay upright if you just stick it into soil (unless there are different types of rotary lines).

I don't understand why your neighbours took down the clotheslines? Unless the neighbour who removed your washing also removed theirs and they decided to only put up the rope when they wanted to hang theirs out?

I feel your frustration OP. Would it be possible to have your own rope that you could keep in your home and hang up only when you want to hang out your washing. Then when your washing is dry, take it back inside along with your clothes pegs? If anybody asks you why the line isn't for communal use, you can explain why. If your washing is removed even after doing this, I would put a sign up on the clothes line saying that it is your personal clothes line regardless of how petty it sounds.


KickAssAngel · 19/07/2017 02:28

but whatever you do, it will be impossible to stop her from removing your washing once it's hanging out. I would go for the rotary line, and padlock or remove it. Then, if possible, hang it out to dry and sit out in the sun with a book. If anyone turns up, tell them to leave your things alone.

Otherwise, it's never going to be safe to hang out your washing - it's obviously a crap thing to take down someone else's, but that didn't stop her.


IdaDown · 19/07/2017 07:27

What about one of these in the 'unused' part of the garden. Pop your flat number on the box (like bins)? Don't know if it could be modified to lock?


Nikephorus · 19/07/2017 07:35

We needed to put our rotary line into the ground using cement. I don't think it will stay upright if you just stick it into soil (unless there are different types of rotary lines).
You could cement a tube into the ground that you can then insert your washing line into - that's what my mum has always done. Or even just make a hole the right size in wet concrete, & stick something like a toilet roll tube (if it's the right size) to keep the shape while it dries - the cardboard will disintegrate in time but should work long enough for the concrete to harden.
(Sorry OP, doesn't necessarily help you)


SaucyJack · 19/07/2017 07:44

What's to stop her from taking your clothes off of your rotary line once you put it up for the day?

The issue isnt washing line provision, or the terms of individual leases or tenancy agreements.

The issue is your neighbour is a rude prick. Up to you whether to one to front it head on, or not.


Saladd0dger · 19/07/2017 07:45

Get a camping rotary from Amazon. It folds down and is nice and light so you can take it back in with you.


AntiHop · 19/07/2017 07:52

I can't imagine how a shared washing line in a communal garden could work tbh. Surely it's always going to cause issues?


Trollspoopglitter · 19/07/2017 07:53

When I lived in flats with communal garden, our deeds specifically said No washing lines of any kind in communal garden. People had little balconies, ans everyone hung up their laundry in their own little space.

I would be pissed off to have to stare at your bloody laundry out of my window. I'd rather look at overgrown greenery than you knickers, thanks!

So you're being massively unreasonable to think you get to hang your laundry in a communal space and others just need to suck it up and be stuck with the ugly sight - because you decided to cut some weeds.


lanouvelleheloise · 19/07/2017 08:00

I think you're going to have to speak to the woman who did this. It's very rude and certainly oversteps a boundary. It's hard to see how a lockable washing line would stop her moving you washing when it's hung out again.


Sgtmajormummy · 19/07/2017 08:01

You need to find out how the communal area is managed. Who does it nominally belong to? If it's the council there will be rules set out for use which you all HAVE TO follow.
IMO you should have found that out before you did the original tidying work. It was a kind thing to do but clearly not everyone in the building is as community spirited as you.


MrMessy · 19/07/2017 08:02

You can get ground stakes for rotary lines, you put them into the soil, they don't need to be cemented in. Then you can remove the line when you are not using it. Personally if she is removing your washing and putting hers up, I would do the same. Remove hers and put yours back. Petty I know but sometimes you have to fight fire with fire.


StillDrivingMeBonkers · 19/07/2017 08:07

missing the point entirely - is leaving pegs on a line a thing? why aren't they put back int eh peg bag and taken inside?

And I'm petty enough to remove MY washing line when I've taken my washing in ......


ExcuseMyEyebrows · 19/07/2017 08:08

When I shared a communal drying green each flat had a different drying day (or two).
And after the washing was dry it was removed and so was the line and the pegs, we all used our own, it only took seconds to put the washing line up each time.


JessieMcJessie · 19/07/2017 08:10

What about the other 3 people who helped with the garden and presumably use it for washing too? Is one of them brave enough to speak to this unpleasant woman about ground rules?

I'm bemused about people taking the line in though- what does this achieve? Is the line often so full that they might not be able to hang out the washingwhen they wanted to? Otherwise aren't you just making extra work for yourself by having to tie and untie the line each time?


FrancisCrawford · 19/07/2017 08:12

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Winterview · 19/07/2017 08:13

How long had your clothes been there? We used to share a communal line and it really annoyed me when people left their (dry) clothes on it for days. Sometimes they'd blow down in the wind and once another resident accused me of moving her clothes when all I'd done was peg them haphazardly to stop them blowing around the garden!

Could your clothes have blown down and they put them back up? Or their toddler pulled them down playing in the garden and they put them up on the wrong line with wrong pegs?

It must be frustrating that you did all the hard work with the garden and now they're intruding, but they have every right to use it. Maybe they think the pegs are communal?

I think putting a locked rotary line in would put their backs up. And they could still remove your washing, just not put theirs up when line was folded?

Why not get a big pack of cheap pegs and leave them on the line, with a note telling people not to move your washing?

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