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new neighbours do not seem to care

(34 Posts)
mollie65 Wed 01-Apr-15 19:15:47

probably I am being unreasonable - please tell me before I leave them a note reminding them of their joint responsibility

long story short
previous neighbours lovely couple of OAPs and we worked things out amongst ourselves. - they moved out about 2 months ago.
new neighbours still of working age so in and out of our shared driveway (false description should say - mud and gravel farm track.)
in recent high winds a small tree had partly blocked said track which I only noticed when I went shopping (a once a week trip) this morning.
so this evening 'lurch' and I walked to the end of the track and sawed off most of the sticking out branches so that it is not necessary to drive on the field to get past. (I sawed, 'lurch' waited patiently grin)
now the thing is - next door would have driven down the track (2 cars) at least 4 times and did NOTHING about it. - am I right to feel this is a joint responsibility - he is 6 foot tall working man in his 40s and I am a 5ft 2 68-year old pensioner

harrigran Wed 01-Apr-15 19:18:45

hmm difficult one, if there is bad feeling from the start it may cause friction having to live next to them.

amarmai Wed 01-Apr-15 19:24:47

hopefully he'll have time at the weekend. If not weigh carefully how to react, as you may be neighbours for a while.

loopylou Wed 01-Apr-15 19:24:51

Not surprised sadly.
During heavy ice and snow our roads became treacherous. There's a salt bin at the entrance to the estate so 67 year old neighbour and I spent a morning clearing the worse bits and spreading salt. About 80% of the residents are under 45, yet not one helped although many saw us while walking their dogs!
The village appeal for Snow Wardens fell on deaf ears on all the estates with a majority of younger residents, none of whom can get out when it snows because gritter lorries don't cover smaller roads, so that speaks volumes.

Lack of community spirit here!

mollie65 Wed 01-Apr-15 19:25:48

thank you Harrigran - this is why I have debated the wisdom of leaving a note reminding them of 'joint responsibility' - maybe it is a generational thing and the younger ones are so caught up in their own lives to see that they should shoulder some 'responsibility'
I am the type of individual who cannot leave something undone that 'needs to be done' even if I am not wholly responsible - if you get my drift.

mollie65 Wed 01-Apr-15 19:29:13

thank you for the other responses too - I think I will have to let it go and see how clearing the track in the winter is tackled if they have to get to work. do so agree about lack of community spirit and other GNetters were also brought up as I was - just get on with it if it needs doing
'Lurch' was fascinated by seeing me sawing and throwing the branches in the hedge (he is a dog)

Ana Wed 01-Apr-15 19:31:06

Thank goodness you said that, Mollie, I was thinking Lurch was your OH! confused

pompa Wed 01-Apr-15 19:41:23

We had a similar problem for years. a shared sewer runs the length of my drive, some 80ft. (4 houses feed into it). It has blocked many times over the years, but no one else is interested in helping to clear it. I just bought 2 sets of rods and clear it myself as required. Luckily this chore has now been taken over by Anglian Water. I could have got Dyno Rod in and sent each house a 1/4 of the bill, but I prefer to stay friends with my neighbors.

annodomini Wed 01-Apr-15 19:42:51

I think if I were you, I'd go round and have a friendly word and just ask if they would mind giving you a hand. They might say no, but at least you won't have put their backs up by writing a note about 'joint responsibility'.

pompa Wed 01-Apr-15 19:47:59

Also, they may not be practical people and prefer to pay someone to do the work for them, if they do, are you up for 1/2 the cost.

annsixty Wed 01-Apr-15 19:58:29

Unless it is really getting to you Mollie I would hold fire on complaining. One of my neighbours has done just that about "them next door" who have four cars always parking outside her house, and of course she has no legal right as the highway is public. However she has and it has caused hassle and she now hates going through her front door in case they are about and it is ,at the present, making her very uncomfortable and unhappy.

mollie65 Wed 01-Apr-15 21:20:26

thank you all - glad I asked opinion as I was tempted to let it ride in the interest of not creating bad feeling.
Mr neighbour is a 'roofer' so should have access to more muscle than I possess shock
think I will phone them if I do not see them before and mention I have 'trimmed' tree but it really needs moving off the track totally and I am not able to move it. no accusations just a gentle reminder.
'lurch' does have a proper name but he is a bit of a loon and a shaggy lurcher so I have been known to call him 'lurch'.

Mishap Wed 01-Apr-15 21:36:44

Yes - definitely hang fire. Nothing worse than getting off on the wrong foot with neighbours, especially of you share a driveway. If they are a working family it may be that they were hoping to do it, but were up to eyes in children and work commitments - best to give them the benefit of the doubt at this stage I think. Discretion and valour and all that.

mollie65 Thu 02-Apr-15 08:08:37

mishap they have no family at home - she works part time and he is self-employed - it is not a driveway as such - just a farm track which soon becomes blocked with snow, pot-holed at the drop of a hat
it is not the first instance of their 'can't be bothered to be considerate' behaviour on their part and they know I live alone and am 'elderly' and I know my previous neighbour would have done (being of a certain age) exactly what I did
in fact they should check in on me and say thankyou for the effort I have put in - if they are so busy. shock

Elegran Thu 02-Apr-15 08:37:44

Do they know that it is a shared driveway and that you are jointly responsible for it, or do they think that "the council" will come along and fix everything? If they are new to rural living, they may still be in town mode, where roads are for using and someone else does the maintenance and clearing?

I think your idea of phoning to say you have trimmed it back but could they do the heavy stuff is excellent, not condemning them for not doing anything but sharing the work with them.

soontobe Thu 02-Apr-15 09:02:33

People I know move out of properties with shared tracks.

soontobe Thu 02-Apr-15 09:03:09

It gets to them after a while.

HildaW Thu 02-Apr-15 12:28:27

Two months duration in a new place is really not that long to fully get to grips with the 'lie of the land'....all those unspoken 'who does what's unless you have actually had some sort of discussion. It just might not have dawned on them that its a shared responsibility. They might be a bit trepidatious about jumping in and doing stuff. Its very easy to worry about not giving offense by holding back.....and then actually giving offense.

I'd be inclined to play the 'old lady' card and come over all delicate and girly and actually ask for a bit of specific help. As you get to know each other you can then have a discussion about how things have gone on in the past....and will you mind helping me out in the future.

Learning the ins and outs of any new home can take a long time and its going to be no skin off your nose to give them the benefit of the doubt for a bit....a sort of new owners honeymoon.

amarmai Thu 02-Apr-15 12:49:00

Hilda, I love your diplomatic response!

Galen Thu 02-Apr-15 13:18:48

We have new neighbours who apparently were known as the neighbours from hell where they previously lived.
They have bought a bungalow and done a lot of structural alterations ( without planning permission) and plan to build an extension.
The work they've done resulted in a large pile of rubble which blocked the pavement and part of the road. This remained for several weeks until one of my neighbours complained to the council. Following that they were told to remove it which they did, but left the gutter full of rubble. After a month of this unsightly mess and everyone moaning about it, I got Gary the Great to sweep it all up and next door took it to the tip. While Gary was doing it the owner came out and complained to Gary asking him who'd organised him to do it and it was a waste of time as there was more work to be done!
I feel we may have trouble ahead!

thatbags Thu 02-Apr-15 13:40:08

I was thinking similar things to what hilda's post starts with: if they've only been there two months perhaps they haven't unpacked their tools yet, especially as it has been winter. They might not even have a suitable saw.

Next time something needs doing, just go round when they're in and ask tem to give you a hand because you find it all a bit much nowadays, being sixty-eight and all smile

Mishap Thu 02-Apr-15 13:45:29

OH blimey - neighbour trouble is so stressful.

Once, when a SW, we really truly did have the family from hell on our books. I cannot tell you what they did, for obvious reasons, but even if I did you would simply not believe me. Not only was I trying to deal with the family's problems, but I had many representations from the neighbours, particularly those adjoining, who were in danger of their house going up in smoke. There was a convicted arsonist and chain-smoking man using oxygen next door! I felt so sorry for these neighbours, as it was a pleasant neighbourhood where a family had left their home in the hands of letting agents while they were posted abroad. The agents made a bit of a boob in their vetting procedures.

I think that hilda has suggested a good solution to your problem mollie. And galen I hope that the new neighbours finish their work soon! It is always a shame when you have life settled and new neighbours disrupt the smooth running of life.

Charleygirl Thu 02-Apr-15 13:48:20

I agree, ask for help with a specific job, not necessarily to be done on the spot but when they have the time as you are aware that they work. There was a time of course when you could do it all, but not any longer, the years have crept up on you, putting on the old lady guise. They must realise that you are not in the first flush of youth. Good luck.

rosequartz Thu 02-Apr-15 14:39:10

I would try HildaW's approach first too, smile sweetly and ask for some help - 'Could you get your strong wrist around that' was my MIL's usual way of asking tbusmile

Good luck, and to you Galen

We were informed that our new neighbours would prove to be the 'neighbours from hell' but so far they have been lovely. So far, so good!

Teetime Thu 02-Apr-15 14:43:17

I agree don't start a range war - invite them in for coffee and cake and casually bring the subject up. you may have to live together for many years to come. Hope it works out OK its good to have good neighbours.