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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:
Smelborp · 25/11/2019 12:12

If they continue to do this, it will damage the hedge once it reaches the bottom of their door, so I would refuse and point out it will show them where your hedge is. It might be worth getting a larger specimen for the bit where their car door goes.

spanglydangly · 25/11/2019 12:13

Your lights your garden!

SirVixofVixHall · 25/11/2019 12:17

They will wreck your hedging if they repeatedly open their doors onto it. I would put up a fence. I like to get on with neighbours and be helpful but this is cheeky. I can’t believe they want you to move lights in your own garden ! They need to move their cars!

Sotoes · 25/11/2019 12:17

Do they really need to squeeze 2 cars onto their drive? If there is someway they could alter their own garden to accommodate the problem, then I would erect a fence before they kill your hedge.

If parking is a real problem in your road and they have no other choices, I might be more helpful.

hoxtonbabe · 25/11/2019 12:17

A wall or fence would be the best option. This is what I would do. They can Park their car side by side if they want, but that can’t be at the expense of my stepping into Garden/property or telling me to move or not put xxx in my garden

SirVixofVixHall · 25/11/2019 12:17

Or you could plant some large pyrocantha....Grin

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea · 25/11/2019 12:18

If they are nice I would work out a compromise. If they're selfish then don't and tell them why.

timeforawine · 25/11/2019 12:18

I wouldn't move the lights, i'd also put up a small edging fence around the edge of your garden to define the barrier. She should not be walking on your garden because they are squeezing too many cars onto their drive

spacepyramid · 25/11/2019 12:22

Pyrocantha have a beautiful colour at this time of year, what an excellent idea. The lights would illuminate it beautifully so your NDN can see it in all it's glory.

CAG12 · 25/11/2019 12:23


BestOption · 25/11/2019 12:23

What have they done previously that was selfish?

I probably wouldn’t have put a hedge there, but as you have I would put something in with the little hedge so they don’t stand on it.

I might have put gravel so that them standing on a bit of the garden wouldn’t turn it into a mud bath, but if they annoyed me in other ways I’d have probably put pots on it...big heavy ones hard to damage & a deterrent to them parking there.

I’m happy to be very accommodating, but once you piss me off...

thecatsarecrazy · 25/11/2019 12:23

Tell her to fuck off and if she doesn't like it get a house with a bigger drive or park on the street. People like this piss me off. We all have 2 parking spots here and dh has 2 cars. We got home last Saturday evening to find a car on our parking spot.. right opposite our house. Was there all night. It was a visitor to a neighbor.. who could have parked in her 2nd spot. The mind boggles. It's your land so do whatever you like.

SoupDragon · 25/11/2019 12:24

Be 100% honest and think how you would feel if you had to struggle to get in and out of your car!

I would make sure that my own driveway was wide enough to accommodate my car without me needing to walk over my neighbours garden.

PinkCrayon · 25/11/2019 12:25

Can u put up a fence? Personally I would feel really rude asking my neighbour to remove lights in their own garden. Their drive doesn't sound big enough for them to park both cars and that is their problem not yours op. I would put up a fence, I think unfortunately with some neighbours you have to define a boundary.

JacquesHammer · 25/11/2019 12:26

I’m waiting for the thread in a few years when the hedge has grown and neighbours are now parking on the road and inconveniencing OP Grin

caoixr · 25/11/2019 12:27

You are definitely not being unreasonable or petty to grow a hedge or put lights to stop them walking on your land.

If you give CFs an inch they will take a yard.

Maybe if they are were otherwise delightful neighbours you could acquiesce but it sounds like you need to show them now that you (nor your garden) are not going to be walked over.

Maybe just ignore and smile and wave while going indoors hastily to avoid talking to them about the matter further.

If they ask directly again just act vague like you’ve forgotten and then act confused about why it would be a problem for them.

I think the other people on the thread who say you are being petty probably have CF tendencies or just have quite poor housing standards that it wouldn’t really occur to them to protest about this.

plightofthealbatross · 25/11/2019 12:27

I'd whack a fence up on your side of the boundary line.

Helpel · 25/11/2019 12:28

Just in sympathy from personal experience, I used to live in a terraced house on a main road, each with a drive way with enough room for, properly, 1 car. I lived there alone and so 9 times out of ten had no need for a 2nd car. However, my neighbour on one side lived with her boyfriend. She therefore crammed 2 cars on the drive every day so close together than only the driver could open their doors onto each neighbouring driveway. Not a problem, some people on this thread might say. However, her doing that every single day, and her getting home before me, meant that I could never have a 2nd car on my drive as we wouldn't both be able to park so close to each other and open the car doors. Me only having one car enabled her to always have two cars there. Which was very frustrating on the occasional time I needed to fit two cars on when I had visitors. So I agree with the OPs reference to being selfish. The neighbour can only park two cars because OP enables it by arranging her garden in a way that suits the neighbour. I understand trying to keep the peace, but why should she at her own detriment?! Keep the lights and the hedge. She will need to park one of her cars elsewhere.

Andbreatheout · 25/11/2019 12:29

Ourselves and ndn have a drive each just wide enough for two cars, sometimes they open and walk on to our drive, sometimes we do the same, can't say it's ever been anything I've thought about. Can I ask why this bothers you? Is there any damage caused by them? Or is it a way to annoy them like you've been annoyed by them? Genuinely confused why this is an issue.

Hepsibar · 25/11/2019 12:30

Do you think they think you have put the lights in to make it difficult to open the doors?

I feel you need to think whether this is something worth going into battle over or whether it's an irritation worth living with ... if it was someone like my mum or auntie or partner, absolutely would batten down the hatches and wouldnt care if they never spoke again, but I would probably move them as would think about children in same class and so on. PS wouldnt it be funny if they too were on Mumsnet and saw this thread ... would they recognise themselves?

Winterdaysarehere · 25/11/2019 12:32

Suggest they pay you rental per month for using your garden to access their car.

YouDancin · 25/11/2019 12:34

Move the lights - closer to the hedge.

NearlyOutedMyself · 25/11/2019 12:36

I'd be tempted to plant some gorse as a hedge.

soupforbrains · 25/11/2019 12:37

@Andbreatheout it's not really the same though is it, you and your neighbour both walk on one another's driveway whereas OP's neighbour just walks on her grass and garden. Driveways don't get damaged by being walked on, grass does. Especially at this time of year and so will the newly planted hedge if the neighbours continue to assume they can use OPs garden for their car logistics.

I expect that OP has planted the hedge because they wanted a hedge and not anything to do with the actions of the neighbour but actually it is irrelevent, it is their garden and they can do with it as they wish.

Slave2love · 25/11/2019 12:39

To be honest I'm not bothered about her damaging the hedge when it grows, I just wanted privacy from them aswell. We will make sure the hedge doesnt overgrow on to their side by the way. We will make sure its trimmed regularly. It may take some time to grow high enough to be an obstruction anyway. Someone was asking about the things they'd done to be selfish so here's just a few things that have irked me:
Dog left to bark.
Beeping horns in the evening when they know we have children in bed.
Their kids trampling our plants and running over our lawn (pre hedge).
Children screaming bloody murder in the garden til late.
Building decking higher than our actual fence so now I feel uncomfortable in the garden.
Visitors parking selfishly.
Putting their bin in front of our house and leaving it there for days.
Instructing parcels to be left with us without asking if it's ok. Then knocking on the door to get them back at unsociable hours.
Painting their side of our back fence so that we now have grey paint dripping through on our side.
Not an ounce of a heads up about building work that they were doing that required them to access our alley way. They just got the builders to tell us that they needed the access left open.
I know I'm probably being petty and these arent horrendously bad things but I just want to be able to separate my lawn from their drive. Just to add, originally their drive could only fit one car. They've had it widened (in her dads words so that they dont have to walk on our grass)but not widened enough really. It's quite ironic really. They literally squeeze two cars but in doing so arent able to open doors properly. They have the same issue on their own side but it seems they want to use our side to create space. When we planted the hedge and put the lights in we also did it to the other side of our line so its symmetrical. We mainly did this so they wouldn't think we were doing it just to block them off. Wish I hadn't bothered now. I've tried to upload a pic. Unfortunately the problem car isnt in the pic as shes out but you get the gist of how much space is left. She drives a big 4x4 so not a small car at all. I guess I just feel annoyed that we are being asked to change something when it's all because the drive isnt properly wide enough in the first place.

Neighbour complaining about our garden lights
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