The fence

That’s our trampoline. Yes, it needs a bit of maintenance. Yes, we will do it one day. But the kids aren’t using it right now. BECAUSE THAT’S NOT OUR HOUSE AND THAT’S NOT OUR GARDEN. (OK, I’ll calm down a bit and explain that the bit in the foreground IS our garden, but the bit behind the trampoline isn’t.)

What you are looking at is our ‘sort of’ neighbour’s house and garden. I don’t know a lot about our sort of neighbour. I doubt I would even recognise her if I saw her in the street. I believe she is a middle-aged lady who lives alone with a teenage son. What I do know about her though is SHE TOOK THE FENCE DOWN WITHOUT WARNING OR DISCUSSION. In October.

It was a shock when we got home one day and could see right down into her garden to the closed curtains of her house. Because she keeps her curtains closed so we can’t look in. EVEN THOUGH WE WEREN’T THE ONES WHO REMOVED THE FENCE.

We keep ours open because we want light in the house. Luckily it’s ‘only’ the dining room she could look into. Where we don’t tend to be naked.

It was bad enough in winter, but it’s nearly summer now. Our kids would like to play out in the garden. They’d like to use the trampoline. But I know nothing about those people. How do I know the teenage son won’t be perving over my 7 year old daughter’s knickers flashing as she jumps or my 9 year old boy’s muscular body?

And even if they’re not perving, I don’t feel entirely comfortable with them being able to see and hear everything we do in our own garden.

We live in a bungalow one a funny-shaped plot. We have two conventional next door neighbours – one joined to us – and two people who live in a different road and whose gardens back onto ours. It takes a good two or three minutes to walk round to their houses.

One of them seemed OK, but took offence when we had the cheek to replace a crap fence with a good one, with her consent and at our expense. Seriously. There’s no pleasing some people.

And the other one? Well, after inconclusive discussions approximately once every two years (interspersed with sarcastic ‘Oh, YOU’RE IN!’ like she comes round to talk about this stuff all the time when actually, there’s always one of us here after 6pm and often a lot earlier than that) she just removed the fence. No warning.

And in those seven months since she removed the fence there have been no discussions and precisely no action to replace the fence.


Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. Can you put a fence up on your side of the boundary? I know it’s hers to do…but doesn’t look as though she’s going to? Or hop to the garden centre and buy some conifer tree?
    Seems very odd thing to do…grr indeed xx

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  2. Yes, agree with suggestions from dragonsflypoppy. Think some fast growing conifers sound like an excellent idea – she’ll soon be sorry she took that fence down!

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  3. The irritating thing is that this fence should be her responsibility. I am sure if you got the council involved they would say the same thing. However, that could cause a life-long feud with her – is it worth it? As the others have said – perhaps shrubs, although I know they are very expensive.

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  4. I cannot see any logic as to why she would remove the fence ? Seems very odd to do and I would have been furious too coming home to it being removed. Have you spoken to her about it ? Surely when you live in close proximity to people (like I am sure we all do) we actually want the privacy.

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  5. Personally I would not be the slightest bit concerned about a teenager seeing my kids on a trampoline. My kids play in our front garden in their swimsuits in full view of anyone who might be walking down the street.

    But I would be annoyed about the fence! Are you going to speak to her about it?

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  6. I’ve boy one got you. A nbrs tree fell on my house. (She doesn’t live there, she’s a slumlord) she DISAPEARED when we let her know our roof needed replaced. So we replaced it out of pocket.

    2 years later, the same tree was hanging over our new roof. We trimmed the branches off our house. She came over & cussed us out for limbs that fell in her yard. It’s disgusting.

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  7. The same thing has happend in our garden just ring council when we done that we had it sorted with 2weeks x

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  8. Seems very odd. I’m not sure of the rules around fencing (although I realise we each take responsibility for one side). Have you tried ringing the council?

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  9. nightmare i have shocking neighbours! i know you shouldnt have too but you can legally put a new fence up as long as its on your boundary? xx

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  10. Thanks for your support, everyone!
    I think it’s time to say goodbye to Mr and Mrs Nice Guy and take action! We’ve let it slide too long. It was irritating, but didn’t matter too much in the winter. Now we need to do something.
    Some great suggestions from you all and we can afford to put up our own fence if needs be.
    Shona – the rational part of me doesn’t mind who sees my kids, but they’re in their own back garden – they have the right to privacy. Being that little bit older, they don’t now run around in the road half-dressed, so people don’t get chance to look at them like that!

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  11. That’s insanity! Perhaps she’s trying to make her garden appear bigger by having a view into yours?! Either way, I’d be knocking on her door ans asking her what the heck she’s playing at! Good luck getting it sorted.

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  12. Everyone has a fence dispute at some point. Our neighbour (after 9 months of building traffic) wants to double fence their service driveway, which runs alongside our garden. Yes, they are that posh! Anyway, I told her to get on with it and not to touch the existing hedge. We’ll see.
    If I were you, I would do my own thing with the fence. Something pretty, painted blue, and plant climbing roses on it x.

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  13. Thanks very much, ladies. It does seem like everyone has a fence dispute at some time! 🙁 Husband has actually spoken to her today and there was a catalogue of ‘dog ate my homework’ type excuses for why it hadn’t been done. Fingers crossed she gets it sorted before it’s been down a year! x

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