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AIBU expect neighbour's children to respect my property?

(23 Posts)
lefthanded Mon 02-Feb-15 09:52:46

I own my house, but the house next-door (non-adjacent) is rented, and there are new tenants in there who moved in on Friday.

This morning, I was sat in the car on my drive with the engine running to defrost the windscreen, a boy about 14 years old came out of the neighbour's house, stepped over the dividing wall (which is only 3 bricks high) and walked across my drive behind my car in order to take a short-cut to the footpath. I was absolutely gobsmacked!

How should I deal with this?

Grannyknot Mon 02-Feb-15 10:01:14

left that sounds like a typical thing that a 14 year old might do. Next time you see him doing it, just say something about it in a friendly way.

We had a problem recently with student neighbours making a racket when they would come home from clubbing at 3 a.m. and congregate outside our gate for a final smoke. I bided my time and then cornered them one fine day (not at 3 a.m.) and told them it's not on. They apologised and it hasn't happened again. I said something like "You know how you ....etc? Well, you can't do that any more".

Nelliemoser Mon 02-Feb-15 10:14:02

Lefthanded I agree it sounds typical of a 14 yr old. I would try not to get out of proportion. How much of you garden is he actually walkng across.

If he is not doing any harm, I can't actually see if that it is any different to briefly using the run up of someone's front drive to reverse into for a second to turn your car around, I don't mean going up completely into their garden.

You could suggest to him that you were worried you might have reversed into him as you didn't expect anyone to be there in your garden.

rosequartz Mon 02-Feb-15 10:28:24

The postman always walks across our lawn instead of down next door's drive and up ours.

Mishap Mon 02-Feb-15 10:30:27

I would ignore it - neighbourly good relations rate higher than this minor infringement. Not worth risking falling out over. If he was actively vandalising something then that would be different. Live and let live would be my thought.

Riverwalk Mon 02-Feb-15 10:32:58

These small incidents can be irritating and get out of hand, especially if the other kids, visitors, etc do the same.

As they've just moved in you can nip it in the bud, in a nice neighbourly way, along the lines of in addition to the risk of reversing into them, it could set off your burglar sensor.

As others have said, typical 14-year old!

Elegran Mon 02-Feb-15 10:49:30

I was about to say to start gently reversing, but that could end in disaster!

tanith Mon 02-Feb-15 10:59:11

I think I'd ignore it too, if was damaging anything then a different approach but is it worth starting out with new neighbours with a complaint? If things escalate further down the line then maybe a word with the boy as the others have suggested.

J52 Mon 02-Feb-15 11:33:08

It was only when they had grown up did my neighbours mention the irritating things my teenage boys did!Nothing too serious, but the neighbours were all retired (!) and set store by things being done in the right way.

That included, my helpful son dragging our and their empty bins across their front lawn. He was only found out because the wheels left marks in the frost!

A gentle word perhaps. x

ninathenana Mon 02-Feb-15 11:36:30

A minor infringement compared to the boy who moved into the cul-de-sac behind mum and would hop over mum's back fence, walk up the path, past the back door and out the front gate to take a short cut to the shops !!! The neighbours all had 6' fences across the back, we soon made sure mum did too.

I agree a gentle warning about the safety of cutting behind your car is the best action.

Greyduster Mon 02-Feb-15 12:31:29

We had a similar problem, having uprooted a shrubbery at the side of the house and laid the area to grass, which was quite a costly exercise. Children up the road coming home from school suddenly thought "hey, we can cut across here and we don't have to walk round the corner". I stopped them one day and asked them very nicely not to do it, and pointed out where there was a visible track developing across the grass! I don't think they thought there was anything wrong in it, but they haven't done it since. To reinforce the point, DH planted a low box hedge round the perimeter and it seems to have solved the problem. I would politely say that you would prefer them not to make a habit of it and hope it stops.

numberplease Mon 02-Feb-15 16:07:24

We live in an end terraced house, with a wall about waist height around the back yard, and there`s a public footpath down the side of us. At the other side of the path is a wall about 8` high, dividing us off from a new housing estate. We regularly get not just children, but young men as well, standing on our wall in order to gain a foothold onto the higher wall, and save themselves a long walk round. We`ve tried asking them not to do it, but just get either ignored, or rude gestures. Pieces of our wall are gradually falling off!

Nelliemoser Mon 02-Feb-15 16:30:09

FlicketyB Anti climb spikes on the top or something similar? Could whoever built the big wall take some responsibility. You could try growing Pyracanthus or othe very spiky plant over your wall.

I have just joined a U3A class which is held in road just at the back of me It's about a 7minute walk around, but if I climbed over the compost bins and my fence I could go through the garden of the house at the bottom of our's. That would take about 2 minutes.

Nelliemoser Mon 02-Feb-15 16:31:35

Whoops! that should be for Numberplease not FlicketyB blush

numberplease Mon 02-Feb-15 23:49:40

Nellie, not being a gardener, could I grow what you said with just a wall, no soil? It`s a concreted yard.

rosequartz Tue 03-Feb-15 11:45:17

Pyracanthus needs soil, but doesn't need particularly rich soil. However, when it grows it is terrible to cut back because of the spikes! We have got rid of ours.

We used to have a gap in our back hedge which puzzled us as we kept re-planting something there. We thought it was a fox getting through then discovered it was next door's son who used to nip through the garden at the back of us, through our hedge, across our garden and over the fence. It was a short cut home from the pub! We didn't fall out (just planted the pyracanthus) and went to his wedding in fact. They no longer live next door!

Anya Tue 03-Feb-15 11:53:03

Yes, if you have space plant hedging of some kind. It doesn't have to have lethal thorns. You can get wild rose hedging which does have some small thorns, grows quite quickly, has wild rose flowers in summer and hips in autumn. It's easy to keep under control and bees like it.

Anya Tue 03-Feb-15 11:56:20

PS now is the perfect time to plant bare rooted plants

Ana Tue 03-Feb-15 11:58:32

You could use a trough as a planter, as you have no soil in your back yard.

Eloethan Tue 03-Feb-15 16:20:55

At the moment I would try and ignore it because even small complaints can create bad feelings that can possibly escalate.

I think maybe certain people, including myself, have a much stronger awareness of the notion of "territory" than others. My mum has a wide US-style front lawn (the mid-1960's estate was designed to have no hedges or fences separating lawn from pavement). I have never, and would never, cut across her lawn even though I'm sure she wouldn't mind me doing so - but she would mind anyone else taking a "short cut". Some neighbours/friends near me got extremely annoyed when their neighbours had a party and some of their guests came out onto the front and sat on our friends' wall. As it was a one-off occurrence, that wouldn't bother me, but my husband said he would be very annoyed.

Given that such issues arise amongst adults, I suppose it's not surprising that they occur with young people.

sarahc446655 Tue 03-Feb-15 16:44:52

It seems to me that the majority of people have a normal sense of boundaries, but there are some people who don't and deliberately cause trouble for others, as most of these people aren't so stupid that they can't see what's happening around them in the world. Actions speak louder as words only inflame the situation - afterall being abusive to someone else has only one result - to make them retaliate, and lose control of the situation.

I experienced severe anti-social behaviour while living up north as I had moved into a ground floor flat that had previously been targeted. About 4 teenagers used to stand on my doorstep in front of my door and flat door going up to the flat above. I met the elderly lady living in it who had been living in terror for 10 years worried that they would set fire to her flat and she would have no escape. She was a normal retired woman with a nice flat and had had to have the front door handle replaced.

I also had footballs kicked at my downstairs kitchen window and decided to do something about the doorstep problem by getting a fence put up - the normal solution in these situations. My elderly neighbour was convinced that it would make things worse but I wasn't and decided not to react to these people as they get an adrenalin rush which feeds more trouble. When two of the ring leaders threw snowballs at my car I told them they'd get a clout round the ear - which shut them up.

The worse situation ever was a larger group of teenagers about 10-15 got into the neighbours flat while he wasn't there - with out his permission. He was shocked when he got back and would leave his door un-locked, country district. When people start invading somebodies home casually like that - without permission - something is severely wrong.

The housing association had to be constantly harassed to put up the fence and the police did nothing - one even sided with the kids when they were out at night totally un-supervised.

Today I've heard people say that housing associations have tightened up the criteria for tenancies - it used to be the people with the biggest drug problem got the flat etc very sad for normal and disabled people without the funds to live somewhere decent.

Anne58 Tue 03-Feb-15 17:32:27

sarahc446655 , I'm having a slight problem with some of your comments, viz Actions speak louder as words only inflame the situation - afterall being abusive to someone else has only one result - to make them retaliate, and lose control of the situation.

Surely using the RIGHT words should be considered, why on earth do you say that "words only inflame the situation", then go on to look at the consequences of being "abusive"?

I'm sure that I can't be the only person in the world capable of having a pleasant, no-abusive conversation with others?


Ana Tue 03-Feb-15 17:38:34

I was a bit bemused by the fact that the ringleaders shut up when you threatened them with a clout round the ear. The usual response from such troublemakers would be to laugh hysterically and/or report you to the police, sarahc446655!