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Neighbour demanding money

248 replies

4or5 · 24/08/2022 23:42

My neighbour is asking me to “cough up!” So earlier this month I took the DC to the beach for the day. When I arrived home there was a letter from the next door neighbour (elderly lady, lives alone) saying that all the banging from my house had caused a picture to fall off the wall, and she expected a contribution to the cost of having it reframed. I promptly popped over to get more detail. She said that it had happened at around 9:30pm the evening before and claims that there was horrendous banging coming from my house, I explained that my 20yr old DS sleeps in the room adjoining her house and that he wasn’t home until gone 11:30pm and went straight to bed, therefore he couldn’t have been banging anything. The wall between the two houses is also solid brick so I can’t see how she would hear any noise that couldn’t be heard from inside my own house, let alone cause such a vibration that it caused a picture to fly off the wall. After I explained, I thought that was the matter dealt with. Anyway yesterday she knocked round telling me that my DS has a big bill coming his way, I asked what for? and she said about the picture. (No longer asking for a contribution, wants DS to foot the whole bill) I explained again that no one was in the room so we cannot be responsible for her picture falling, her response was “So you’re not going to cough up?” I stayed polite and sympathised that her picture was broken but firmly let her know we would not be paying anything. She’s now saying she’ll get her family involved, which is fine, I will explain the same to them (If no one was there how could they be banging!) We are new to a small village and I fear this could escalate quickly into us being the scum of the village. AIBU to think it’s unfair for us to take the blame?

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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

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OnTheBrinkOfChange · 24/08/2022 23:45

Is there a chance they have dementia?

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LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL · 24/08/2022 23:51

OnTheBrinkOfChange · 24/08/2022 23:45

Is there a chance they have dementia?

This

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WhileMyGuitarGentlyWeeps · 24/08/2022 23:52

As @OnTheBrinkOfChange said. ^ I would actually write her a letter before action. Threaten her with legal action for harassment. What the fuck is wrong with her, and who does she think she is?!

She sounds like the entitled fucker in my local Aldi today, who wanted me to let her in front at the checkout coz she has only 5 items. I had 7. When she said 'can I just nip in front of you as I only have 5 items and I am in a rush?' I said 'well I have only 7 items, and I am in a rush too, so I'm gonna say no.' She flipped her fucking lid, said I was a selfish cow, and stormed off to another checkout.

Sounds like the same kind of weirdo as your neighbour!

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Keyansier · 24/08/2022 23:53

When in doubt, blame dementia.

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Ishacoco · 24/08/2022 23:57

That's really weird.....sounds like she's just trying it on but God knows why. You handled it really well though!

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4or5 · 24/08/2022 23:57

I don’t know her well enough to know if dementia is starting… or whether her family have/will accept that as a possibility. Other neighbours have said she gets muddled sometimes so certainly a possibility in my view, plus she is now trying to change the time of the ‘picture falling incident’ obviously because DS can’t take the blame for original time frame!

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BewareTheBeardedDragon · 25/08/2022 00:07

A solid brick wall cannot be banged so that a picture on the other side falls off without mechanical or natural disaster involvement. I just went and banged my one brick walls as hard as I could. It didn't move at all. Sadly I think you just have to be patient but firm in your refutal of responsibility and hope that a family member will be more reasonable if they do get involved.

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mycatisannoying · 25/08/2022 00:11

Just because she's old, it doesn't mean she's doolally! I mean, it seems unlikely she'd make the whole thing up.

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LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL · 25/08/2022 00:14

Keyansier · 24/08/2022 23:53

When in doubt, blame dementia.

Or try to ge understanding that something is going on for irrational behaviour?

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LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL · 25/08/2022 00:14

mycatisannoying · 25/08/2022 00:11

Just because she's old, it doesn't mean she's doolally! I mean, it seems unlikely she'd make the whole thing up.

She not old...

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Sunshinegirl82 · 25/08/2022 00:16

Maybe worth writing a polite letter back, confirming your original discussion (including the timings she mentioned! Together with your explanation that DS was at work etc) and following up on the recent conversation confirming you don't believe you are liable for anything/owe her anything. Never hurts to have a paper trail! Keep a copy for yourself.

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Thinkingblonde · 25/08/2022 00:17

The nails probably fallen out of the wall or the string holding the picture up has frayed causing it to fall. Happened to us, did we demand payment from next door? NO, we didn't.
Tell her you won’t be paying anything and if her family get involved it’ll be classed as harassment.

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ChiefWiggumsBoy · 25/08/2022 00:35

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL · 25/08/2022 00:14

She not old...

(elderly lady, lives alone)

From the OP Confused

@4or5 if she comes round again I would just tell her we're not paying, it's not possible that any action on your family's part has caused her picture to fall. Regardless of which family member she gets to threaten you with.

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ChiefWiggumsBoy · 25/08/2022 00:35

Out of interest, how much is she asking?

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Threelittlelambs · 25/08/2022 00:41

I’d stand firm. Absolutely ridiculous!

Who’s actually going to believe this is true? The neighbors won’t care.

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4or5 · 25/08/2022 00:41

£100, picture is by a deceased local artist so wants it professionally reframed.

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4or5 · 25/08/2022 00:48

@BewareTheBeardedDragon
my dad said exactly the same thing and he’s been a builder for 50 odd years!

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sst1234 · 25/08/2022 00:51

Keyansier · 24/08/2022 23:53

When in doubt, blame dementia.

Or autism, ASD, mental health issues. No one, literally no one on the planet is just plain unreasonable. Everyone has an illness.

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4or5 · 25/08/2022 00:58

@mycatisannoying I’m not suggesting for a second that the picture didn’t fall down, I know it broken as another neighbour cleared it all up for her. I’m simply not prepared to let my DS take responsibility when he wasn’t even home. There’s 100 reasons why it could have fallen.

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Rogue1001MNer · 25/08/2022 01:01

We had a neighbour opposite who used to complain about her NDNs.
She called the police and local council due to the "noise".

This included when the house was empty. I took her round there once. I had the keys to collect posts and water plants (she knew they were away, but thought they had set something to play music and disturb her).
She saw with her own eyes they didn't.

Unfortunately, it only ended when she died

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MintJulia · 25/08/2022 01:04

Yanbu. Stay calm, consistent & polite.

You may find she has form for being unreasonable. When I moved in I was approached by an elderly neighbour who claimed 'my removals people' had damaged her garden wall. Only I moved myself in and I know I didn't damage her garden wall.

I was worried until the neighbour the other side asked if I'd been contacted yet. Apparently the lady made a habit of making unfounded allegations.

So stick politely to your story and wait for it to pass.

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SenoritaNaturista · 25/08/2022 01:10

You mention being new in your village, is there a village hall/ cafe/ coffee spot where people congregate? If so you could discreetly ask “is Mrs x ok does anyone know?”….because we have had this odd problem….

Someone might discreetly put your mind at rest, also give you an opportunity to present your situation as it is (i.e you not at fault)

The letter suggestion above is also a good idea.

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LampLighter414 · 25/08/2022 01:14

I think rather than dementia it’s more likely she just hates any noise and detests any she hears from your house. Her picture which has probably been barely hanging on a single nail for 30 years fell randomly and she has attributed it in her mind that you’re her new neighbours, you make noises/bangs sometimes and surely that’s shaken it out. It can’t possibly be anything else. Miserable git syndrome. Hearing banging at that specific time is just BS to try and convince you and not have to explain what she knows is flawed logic. There are plenty of able minded people of all ages who would think this way.

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Maytodecember · 25/08/2022 01:23

She’s not got a leg to stand on so I’d just ignore it. Be polite but firm.
I had an elderly relative who swore she could hear running water, even to the extent it was inside the chimney breast. Got ndn round late one night to check. Turned out she had tinnitus.

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Aquamarine1029 · 25/08/2022 01:25

Stand your ground and refuse to engage any further. Ignore.

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