Neighbour accusations

Neighbour accusations

Postby lisagirly » Sun Jul 10, 2016 9:50 am

Hi all, we have had a couple of minor disputes with our neighbour since they moved in last summer over parking (they kept parking across the dropped kerb access) and fence (they wanted to remove the wire fence on the boundary which we own which a lot of the shrubs grow through, so they demanded we remove all the plants so they could install a new fence, we said no and they cut it all back and installed their fence up against ours). Anyway, this was all months ago, climaxed in her running out of her house being aggressive and verbally abuse to my husband when he was walking out to his car and now they refuse to speak to us. So I though all had gone quiet so thought we had now found a way of living next door to each other peacefully.
However, this weekend we had a letter put through our door accusing us of spraying chemicals which had gone into their garden and killed their shrubs and lawn! I don't know what bit they are talking about but I can see one plant that is higher than the fence that looks pretty dead. Hubby tried to look over and said the plant and edge of lawn dues look dead but no different to other patches of lawn on the opposite side of the garden (its under a large tree). I do use weed killer but last time was over 1 month ago and Ive seen pics of their garden in the last week and it looks fine so whatever has caused them to die has worked really fast.
Im concerned by their letter because they werent asking if something we did could have caused it, they basically said we had did it, that it might have been by accident but if it happens again then they know we have done it on purpose and will take action!
I've checked with my other neighbour as I used weedkiller on the other weeds in the other boundary the same day and he has said his is fine , my plants in the surround areas are fine too and Ive used this stuff before.
Ive typed up a letter basically saying this, I dont want to say I dont use chemicals when I do but this is not the cause of their issue.
Im going to stop using the weedkiller but am concerned that if whatever problem they have continues (as per their letter) that they are accusing me of doing it maliciously.
I just dont know how to deal with these people, they seem to think we are on some sort of a mission against them when we aren't and Im wondering that if this all dies down, what will be next, I start to dread these hand addressed letters coming through the door thinking 'what now?'
So in light of said garden chemical situation, how should I handle this?
lisagirly
 
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Re: Neighbour accusations

Postby despair » Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:16 pm

I agree its unlikely you have killed your neighbours plant however I beg you not to use weedkiller other than very very carefully in a contained way on columbine

its simply totally unnescary elsewhere and is killing vital bees
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Re: Neighbour accusations

Postby lisagirly » Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:54 pm

I rarely use weedkiler, maybe twice a year on our drive and patio. I used a little in the garden on a handful of stubborn weeds that I got sick of pulling out only for them to return. I wont be using it now in the garden but am concerned if the neighbours issue continues, they are going to accuse and blame us.
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Re: Neighbour accusations

Postby mr sheen » Sun Jul 10, 2016 1:03 pm

Warning......you may not like what is to follow......

When you moved in, you could have made allies of your new neighbours by changing the fence with them or at the very least allowing them to change the fence and removing your plants......you chose not to help your new neighbours and create animosity and forced them to do something with the they didn't really want to and was really unnecessarily awkward. They had every right to cut back your plants that had encroached not their land .....because you hadn't ensured they remained within your boundary.

So the neighbours are not that happy with you....and I can see why....you probably can't and will come back with how awful they are etc etc etc....

So my advice is ...do NOT send them a formal written reply... Go round with a bottle of wine and explain that it appears that you may have got off on the wrong foot...apologise for the fence thing....explain that you haven't killed their plants and wouldn't do that and also that you also don't like the use of weed killer. Pass them the 'peace offering' and ask that you can all start again.
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Re: Neighbour accusations

Postby COGGY » Sun Jul 10, 2016 2:23 pm

Certainly worth a try. As Churchill said "Jaw jaw is better than war war". (Hope that is correct)

Arguments with neighbours are sometimes unavoidable,but best prevented if possible.
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Re: Neighbour accusations

Postby lisagirly » Sun Jul 10, 2016 6:31 pm

mr sheen wrote:Warning......you may not like what is to follow......

When you moved in, you could have made allies of your new neighbours by changing the fence with them or at the very least allowing them to change the fence and removing your plants......you chose not to help your new neighbours and create animosity and forced them to do something with the they didn't really want to and was really unnecessarily awkward. They had every right to cut back your plants that had encroached not their land .....because you hadn't ensured they remained within your boundary.

So the neighbours are not that happy with you....and I can see why....you probably can't and will come back with how awful they are etc etc etc....

So my advice is ...do NOT send them a formal written reply... Go round with a bottle of wine and explain that it appears that you may have got off on the wrong foot...apologise for the fence thing....explain that you haven't killed their plants and wouldn't do that and also that you also don't like the use of weed killer. Pass them the 'peace offering' and ask that you can all start again.



no, hang on, I didn't have the chance to explain the full background, only put the basics to explain the history. We were amicable when they mentioned the fences and we said we would prefer the current fence to remain, we gave our reasons, they said they had thought about it and they agreed not to change them. Then we hadn't seen them for a couple of months when my husband was walking out the car when she came running out of her house and verbally attacked him, saying she was sick of the neighbours, she didn't care what we thought, that she was putting up the fence against our fence, she will be cutting back the shrubs to the boundary and we can go f*** ourselves! This came completely from the blue, the discussion around the fences was 7 months earlier and we hadn't seen or spoken to them for a couple of months. (It turns out another neighbours had spoken to them about something else they had done that they weren't happy about, but we knew nothing about this until weeks later). They were the ones that were being completely unreasonable and they were the ones that caused the relationship to sour. In fact, just a week later they were getting out of their car, I smiled and said hello and I was told to f*** off.

I don't think we were unreasonable in having a say in what fencing we want in our garden, plus we had a 10 week old puppy and there was a security issue with doing it at that time. Also the planting they asked us to remove wasnt just some bulbs and flowers, there was some very well established shrubbery, plus all the work we had just put into the garden (we had only been there for a few months) and she told us to cut down our trees too!!
Whilst I think they were amicable when we discussed it, I think once they closed the door, she wasn't happy at not being able to do what she wanted.

I would find it very hard to believe that anyone in our situation would have agreed to that neighbours request.
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Re: Neighbour accusations

Postby lisagirly » Sun Jul 10, 2016 6:34 pm

COGGY wrote:Certainly worth a try. As Churchill said "Jaw jaw is better than war war". (Hope that is correct)

Arguments with neighbours are sometimes unavoidable,but best prevented if possible.


I completely agree, but honestly these people are nightmares, they have fallen out with almost everyone in the street for various reasons literally within 6 months of moving on. Ive tried to be amicable and Ive been told to f*** off on several occassions. There is only so many times you can try to be reasonable with people like that, especially when they are finding something to accuse of. Whenever it goes quiet, they find something new and start it all up again
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Re: Neighbour accusations

Postby despair » Sun Jul 10, 2016 6:50 pm

lisagirly

sounds like your neighbours are real bullies

theres only one way to deal with them

IGNORE THEM , CUT THEM DEAD , learn to think of how they look stark naked

just ignore their existence and on no account retaliate , respond or even grimace
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Re: Neighbour accusations

Postby COGGY » Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:00 pm

Despair said

IGNORE THEM , CUT THEM DEAD , learn to think of how they look stark naked

just ignore their existence and on no account retaliate , respond or even grimace


I love it Despair and will certainly use it at some time. Brilliant :D
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Re: Neighbour accusations

Postby lisagirly » Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:09 pm

so, should I not respond to their letter? I would like to be able to defend myself and also make them aware that this could constitute as harrassment. they are the ones that have refused to speak to us, yet seem to think its ok to send us letters?
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Re: Neighbour accusations

Postby mr sheen » Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:10 pm

Both sides always think they are the ones not being unreasonable. You think it was reasonable to object to their request about the fence and to have cut back your plants (which they had the right to do btw) some people may consider your position in relation to the fence unreasonable ..even petty. What did you have to lose by agreeing to their request ? ....the fence is there now any way.

Now... Choice is yours ...escalate this minor issue into a full blown dispute ...or calm it down...the CHOICE is yours. At the minute there is a request for you not to use weedkiller since the neighbours think it may be killing some of their plants.......minor issue that could be resolved amicably. Take an objective look at your draft letter...will it escalate ill- feeling? Probably! Therefore is it really worth it?

They have only exercised their rights so far. If you write and escalate things.....try to imagine just how awkward/ difficult they could be! Take a look around this forum....and then reflect on these minor issues and ask yourself if you really want this to turn very nasty and see who can be the nastiest and then.....live for years in misery...you have the choice to nip this in the bud....you can nip it if you want to or we'll see you back here time and time again about issue after issue in a place of no return.
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Re: Neighbour accusations

Postby lisagirly » Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:27 pm

first of all I would like to point out that on the fence issue we did not say they couldn't cut back our plants, I know they have a right to do that we have never objected to that (in fact we cut back the ones that come into our garden from both neighbours). She told us to 'dig out and remove' our shrubs and to 'cut down' our trees. I have no objection whatsoever to them pruning or even to approach us to discuss the option of putting up a fence but there is a way to go about it. She basically demanded it, told us she was doing it and we had to do what I have quoted as above. She even told another neighbour they need to take down their shed at the end of their garden because she doesn't like the shadow it casted on their garden!!

I have now typed up a letter and it by no means should escalate the situation. I have told them Ive used weedkiller but it was over a month ago, there is no damage to my other neighbours plants (was used on both sides of our garden sparingly) and I would not wish any harm to their plants.

However I do feel I need to address their threat that they will be watching us and if this occurs again, they will take action. i dont believe my using weedkiller is the cause so whatever it is is likely to occur again or continue and spread and I dont want them continuing to think its us.
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Re: Neighbour accusations

Postby mr sheen » Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:44 pm

When writing a letter remember that it will be kept ad infinitum and can pop up and bite you in the behind. If you are intent on memorialising your actions and position in writing, then it is worth keeping the letter focused, legally acceptable and limit admissions.

Personally, I would
- not admit to using weedkiller or identify when it was used
- not mention any other neighbours since the effect on a party not involved in this dispute is legally irrelevant

For example, your proposed letter....
Admits using weedkiller
Identifies a timeline that can be linked to the fatal effects on plants
Talks about it not having affected other neighbours...which is irrelevant.


My letter would be....
We acknowledge your letter dated..xyz
We are sorry to hear that you have had problems with your plants but this has not been caused by us.
Please feel free to discuss matters with us in person since we wish to be neighbourly and resolve any issues amicably. We hope that this matter has now been fully resolved.
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Re: Neighbour accusations

Postby lisagirly » Sun Jul 10, 2016 9:51 pm

thanks, I will do that
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Re: Neighbour accusations

Postby Collaborate » Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:31 pm

I agree with Mr Sheen's proposed wording, but not his other analysis. Their request in relation to your fence was cheeky, and had you acceded to it I suspect would have portrayed you as a doormat and encouraged further liberties to be taken. What next? They don't like your curtains and want them changed? You had nothing to apologise for over the fence.
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