I have recently bought my first property and have been reading these forums to induct myself into the wonderful world of land ownership. I have already had some useful guidance on here during the buying process (very helpful, as my 'solicitor' as recommended by the estate agent was complete pants).
So, being as how this is all very new to me I was rather surprised that the done thing appears to be to immediately enter in to a form of spirited and tenacious agression with one's neighbours? Well, when in Rome...
So, to make this as easy as possible I have sought out a property with a ROW across it, and with the benefit of ROWs acorss the neighbours' properties. Seems to be one of the best ways to ferment the NFH lifestyle. The problem with that is that my neighbours seem to hardly use it and have no issue with my using it. They have it well fenced off and paved as does my new property. There are no obstructions and everyone is very reasonable and happy for use whenever. This is not what I have been lead to expect on here and it is making for a horrid lack of drama. Don't people watch soaps anymore? How boring my neighbours seem to be.
I have an allocated parking space and was cheerfully expecting a fight over that, but the owner of the space next to mine doesn't use it which leaves me with a huge amount of space and very easy access. People seem to park very carefully. Not one cross word or hard stare, very disheartening.
Unfortunately, on checking my deeds it appears that boundary fence ownership is clearly marked and recorded in words! What's more, everyone abides by this! What is the world coming to? Even worse, the deeds record a right of access for maintenance so there's little room for arguement. I know, I really should have checked but on reading this forum I expected such to be a never ending supply of friction. The disappointment continues.
So, the neighbour at the foot of my garden, on the other side of my ROW but has no right to use said ROW, has only gone and not installed a gate in his fence at all. The cheek! He does have a selection of trees that hang over the ROW, unfortunately at sufficient height to cause no obstruction. The problem is he is not only happy for me to trim any bits that get out of hand, but he is also happy for me to put the trimmings back over his fence. I mean, I try hard to act appropriately NFH but I'm metaphorically hugged at every turn. This man is impossible! He'll be saying 'Good morning' next...
The house is a terrace, but it turns out it is practically sound proof. I'd have to deafen myself just to get anyone to even notice.
There is one cat in the neighbourhood. Great I thought! This is bound to create friction... but no. It came to visit my garden once, I shooed it out round to the front for a stroke and it has never come in to the back again. This is the most polite cat I've ever seen. Hopeless.
I mean, basically it seems I have few options. I could get a trampolene, but as I don't have kids that would be a lot of effort for me to create a problem. Getting a loud dog would be worse for me than them. The back garden's too small for a bonfire. I'm at a complete loss. I often see the suggestion on here to buy the neighbour a bottle of wine. I presume I should then drink the lot, vomit on his doorstep and chuck the empty bottle over his fence but there'd be little else I could do to follow up and it'd certainly be blamed on students. I guess a message in the bottle would be cheating?
So, how to fit in? It seems far harder to conform to NFH expectations than one would think having read this forum. Any tips on how to successfully establish the correct NFH credentials and so fit in well with the British landowning clique? It seems beyond my limited anti-social skills, so I defer to the experts on here.
Sadly NFH comes in various guises and some golk never ever experience one whilst others having lived in peace and harmony with other neighbours for 50 years can suddenly be confronted with nothing short of hell from a new neighbour
It only takes one.
Planting a tree near the boundary
Planting a hedge
Planting trees in one's own garden
Parking a caravan or camper van on ones own driveway
Having a dog....or worse still 2 dogs
Having a cat..or worse still 2 cats
Using your own right of way over neighbouring land in the day....or worse still in the night
Having your visitors use your right of way over neighbours land
Having your older teenagers and their mates use your right of way over a neighbours land esp. on their way back from the pub
Placing your windfall apples on a boundary wall
Picking up windfall apples that fall into next door ....and also not picking up your windfall apples that fall next door
Exercising your right to cut back overhanging vegetation to the boundary...and also not cutting back vegetation
Placing your bins out for collection
Parking on a public road
Seeking planning permission
Using your development rights
Building an extension
Having a barbecue
Having friends round
Having your children's friends round
Buying your children a trampoline
Painting your boundary fence
Not fixing a broken fence....and fixing a broken fence
Painting your house
Extending your driveway on your own land
Putting up CCTV for security reasons
Etc etc etc.......let's hope that you and all the neighbours accept all the above ad infinitum and in the spirit of mutual harmony so that this lovely once upon a time story ends up with everyone living happily ever after....
We await your next posting with interest
Consider my post to be dark humour. I do recognise the serious side of all this, but I believe that humour which highlights the craziness may help a little. It is unfortunate, but it is far easier to create problems than to solve them. I sometimes wonder what that beardy haloed chap was thinking.