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Neighbour complaining about our garden lights

357 replies

Slave2love · 25/11/2019 11:09

Very petty and silly subject I know but here goes.
We have a small hedge on the edge of our front lawn to separate our garden from the neighbour's driveway. (Only recently planted, very small at this stage) further in on our lawn we have put a few small solar lights. Next doors drive is only just wide enough to squeeze 2 cars side by side and there is very little room to open doors etc. Until we put the hedge and lights in they were opening their car door fully over our garden in order to get out (also stepping on our land at times). Now I appreciate that we have made it awkward for them to open the doors fully now but surely they are not entitled to use our garden in order to get out of their car? They are new to the street but we knew of them previously and children are actually in the same class at school. Neighbour has asked this morning if we can move the solar lights. All has been pleasant with them up until now despite them being quite selfish neighbours. I could understand if the lights were on the boundary line but they are much further in. I feel it is them who have created the problem by parking 2 cars on a drive only really suitable for one. AIBU to not want to move the lights?

OP posts:
Dollymixture22 · 25/11/2019 23:53

I like in an area with very old house and narrow long driveways. No one puts dividers up between adjoined driveways because you need to open your car doors. No one gets upset about neighbours stepping on each other’s driveways.

This slightly different because it’s grass and it’s being damaged.

OP has tolerated a lot of annoying things, I just don’t think this is the worst and it could be resolved with a conversation. She should have tackled them about the other stuff. This one isn’t the hill I would die on,

Fweakout · 26/11/2019 09:16

Why not go and talk to the neighbours in a kind de-escalating way. But with firm boundaries, (pun intended). "I'd really like to make my garden look nice and plant along my boundary. At the moment I know you use my garden to swing open the car door. I've been fine with that up to now- it wasn't a problem - but now I have some planting and lights in my garden so we need to think again about a way you can park that doesn't use that space. What do you suggest?"
Then just be really firm and kind and sympathise with the inconvenience for them but stick to your guns.

HugoSpritz · 26/11/2019 09:21

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Inforthelonghaul · 26/11/2019 09:24

Do they have a front garden? If so they can pave it and park on that if they need more room. Our estate has covenants restricting fences etc round front gardens but they can be up to a metre tall without problem and hedges can be much taller.

They don’t sound particularly considerate and I don’t see why they get to ruin your front lawn and not their own.

bridgetreilly · 26/11/2019 09:26

"I'd really like to make my garden look nice and plant along my boundary. At the moment I know you use my garden to swing open the car door. I've been fine with that up to now- it wasn't a problem - but now I have some planting and lights in my garden so we need to think again about a way you can park that doesn't use that space. What do you suggest?"

OP doesn't need to think about it at all. Neighbour needs to stop being a CF.

MarieG10 · 26/11/2019 10:03

We had this with an old house. Their driveway was built with too narrow a width to preserve their garden width and assumption of stepping onto our lawn which was open plan. Over the years it got totally ridiculous and with kids as well meant they were using our lawn totally to load up the car and frankly wore down the grass and compacted it.

A friend who was a lawyer advised us to do something as they were establishing rights of use over the land and frankly we wanted to dig up the grass there and put in a boarder etc.we decided to put in a 3 ft fence and the impact was that they couldn't park their car when another was on the drive and open their passenger door. They were not happy to say the least but had difficulty in arguing against it as they were basically saying we want to use your land as we had our driveway deliberately narrow to maximise our own garden.

Whilst the agro was annoying it was the best thing ever. They put their house in the market shortly after and meant that people viewed the house knowing full well our garden wasn't an extension of their driveway. First think new neighbours did was extend the driveway and said in innocence to us they couldn't understand why it hadn't been laid to a suitable width

LavaMagma · 26/11/2019 12:00

It's all very well putting in a fence or a wall but then they would be even less able to open the car door and that is bound to pss them off.*

Good. It will send a clear message that it is your garden ,not there for their convenience.

A friend who was a lawyer advised us to do something as they were establishing rights of use over the land

Take note OP.

WhatchaMaCalllit · 26/11/2019 12:05

@Slave2love - so your NDN has a rockery in their front garden which is prohibiting them from parking 2 cars on their drive way so much so that when they park there, they have to open their card door over your garden?
Say to them quite politely "I am not moving my solar lights. They are inside the boundary of my property. If you need to reposition your vehicles on your driveway, may I suggest to you that you consider getting rid of the rockery you have and getting some smaller planter pots so you can more effectively utilise the space that it is currently occupying?".

Their driveway, their parking, their rockery = not your problem.

I'm with everyone else, I think the trellis planters would make an wonderful new addition to your front garden. Placed in the space that the small hedges are currently occupying (thereby being on your land and nothing for neighbour to concern themselves with) and easily removable. I would also fill the bottom of the planters with shale/pebbles to allow drainage and also make it much heavier to move (if the neighbours decided to try anything).

Be polite with them but firm!

MaddieElla · 26/11/2019 14:03


Jesus. This is not your problem.

Singlenotsingle · 26/11/2019 17:26

They are CFs.

user1485851222 · 26/11/2019 17:31

Your garden, your choice. You'll move the items and they will just want more space. And yes it will mean they have some of your land

StoneofDestiny · 26/11/2019 17:39

If your neighbours are problems just buy big planters down the edge of your garden.

Dessicator · 26/11/2019 17:42

Do their car doors open over the new small hedge but not the lights?

alliwantforchristmasis · 26/11/2019 17:42

My old neighbours didn't have to come into my garden to get in or out of their cars but they did when they went for a walk into the town. We built a wall to the maximum allowed for where it is (1m high at the front ) this stopped them from going across my land. I'd make a little wall or fence about 2' high so that they can't open the door or stand on my land plus I'd have the lights against the fence shining into my garden so not to cause them any disturbance from them by them shining into their house. Stand upto them or they will be walking over you and not just your garden op.

exaltedwombat · 26/11/2019 17:42

Why can't you let them step onto your property to get out the car?

SmellMySmellbow · 26/11/2019 17:44

Remove lights.
Replace with bear traps Grin

avocadont · 26/11/2019 17:46

As you say, they are actively shitty neighbours and so on this reason alone I think you are perfectly within your rights to be anal about your property line. Today they’re only opening their car doors onto your garden but it’s only a matter of time before they push their luck further.

LavaMagma · 26/11/2019 17:49

@exaltedwombat I think you should read all of the thread.

GreenShadow · 26/11/2019 17:49

Is it really that much of an issue them opening their car doors (and stepping on to) your drive? (Although I do appreciate that after other selfish behaviour this would be annoying))

I'd move your lights and let them get on with it until the hedge grows (which is really planted far too near to their drive tbh and will soon be growing out on to it. How are you going to keep it regularly cut back without trespassing on their land?)

Dontsweatthelittlestuff · 26/11/2019 17:53

Concrete blocks would make a good border
Remove the hedging and buy half a dozen r so of these blocks
. You can get them in wickes for a couple of quid each.
Then add some Rickey plants and it will look lovely.
Make sure you place the blocks so they are higher than the car door and that will stop her using your land.

Neighbour complaining about our garden lights
Laughterisbest · 26/11/2019 17:53


They're not stepping onto OP's drive. They're stepping onto her garden. Perhaps she should pave over that side of her garden to enable the neighbours to step out of their car. After all, God forbid they should widen their own drive themselves if they want to park two cars on it instead of the one it was designed for.

And the bit about maintaining the hedge has been made throughout the thread.

Dontsweatthelittlestuff · 26/11/2019 17:53


Neighbour complaining about our garden lights
Dutchesss · 26/11/2019 17:54

Wow, I cant believe people on here think that the neighbours should be able to use your garden!
Good on you for planting the hedges, they should not be walking over your flower beds or lawn to get out of their car.

Maintaining a good neighborly relationship comes from both sides, a good relationship does not consist of one rude neighbour dictating to the other.

Insanelysilver · 26/11/2019 17:54

My next door neighbours had the exact same situation with the neighbours on the other to them. Smaller house and tiny driveway which meant they were opening their car door onto their lawn.
They placed a low fence to prevent their neighbours stepping into their front lawn.
However according to the deeds no fence was allowed to be placed between the houses. This was because the planners wanted to make sure the residents of the smaller house couid open their car doors and exit their vehicle.
I wonder if your neighbours checked that they wouid find that there is a clause to stop people making their lives difficult by planting hedges or putting up fences.

lilgreen · 26/11/2019 17:55

YANBU. Put up a fence while your hedge grows.

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