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Is this trespass?

(96 Posts)
Carolebarrel Thu 19-Apr-18 19:38:58

Need to rant. I came home from work today to find that my neighbour (a real pain) has been in my back garden looking for her cat. I only knew because my bins, which I push against the gate, we're moved. I've told her not to come into my garden when I am not there, but should I tell the police or wait and see if it happens again?

Jaycee5 Fri 20-Apr-18 10:03:34

I would be very surprised if the police would come out for that. My neighbour used to go through my garden to climb over the fence letting my dog out of the garden in the process. Once I realised how the dog was getting out I put a padlock on the gate.
Lindaylou55 I had a neighbour who used to take in washing and hung underwear along the top of my fence which was really annoying but I let it go. Then I was ill for a while and could not keep my garden tidy (it was not really bad just a bit overgrown). He knocked on my door and said that they were getting rats because of the state of my garden. The people on the other side would throw piles of bread down for the birds - ignoring the fact that only four legged long tailed birds seemed to be attracted to it but they were friends so obviously agreed that the rats were because of my slightly overgrown garden. I didn't see any myself probably because I had a cat who was a good chaser.
Neighbours can be a pain. I am very lucky with those I have now (as long as the problem neighbour doesn't come back She also has a problem but when I complained about her sister buzzing my intercom for 2 hours one morning starting before 6 am the Council said 'well she was worried because she couldn't get any answer from her sister'. They had no sympathy for us at all.) Good neighbours are like gold dust.
I was asked to go on Robert Kilroy-Silk's programme once and talk about neighbour disputes (I knew a friend of the producer) but I can't think of anything I want to talk about less, particularly as I never particularly found the law helpful with my own neighbour problems.

Mapleleaf Fri 20-Apr-18 10:31:52

I don’t think I would want people wandering around my garden without my permission, either. However, we’ve got a lock on the back gate. We are also fortunate to have nice neighbours. Our front garden is open to all, as it’s in a courtyard, but we all respect each others space and do not invade it, though if any of us had to retrieve anything from others’ gardens, none of us would be upset about it.
I don’t think calling the police would help, as they wouldn’t view it as serious. Glad to hear you’re putting a lock on the gate and keeping your fence panels intact. Good luck.

glammanana Fri 20-Apr-18 10:52:25

CB How old is your neighbour to be able to think of removing a fence panel ? she must have been frantic with worry about her missing cat but that does not excuse entering your garden without permission.
Get yourself a lock on your gate and try and keep somewhat cordial relations with your neighbour as we never know when we will need them.

GabriellaG Fri 20-Apr-18 10:57:31'll be lucky if the police do anything. They don't attend robberies, you have to fill in online forms instead unless violence is involved.
Why waste their time?
Just give your neighbour to understand that she MUST NOT enter your garden under any circumstances, otherwise you will report her. Obviously, you aren't going down that route but she won't know.
Is there any way that you could secure your gate with a chain/lock so that she can't get in?
Extreme, I know but that's the only way if she won't keep out.

razzmatazz Fri 20-Apr-18 11:12:38


Jan66 Fri 20-Apr-18 11:18:10

I wouldn't dream of going into a neighbours garden without asking and I wouldn't expect any neighbours to enter our garden (but then we don't all think the same do we). Our neighbours ask if they need to come onto our property to do anything (repairing a fence etc). We have a few gates which are all bolted as we have a dog which could run away so we have to keep her safe. Locking the gate is a good idea and so is the security tag idea for the cats collar as we have to do more ourselves to keep safe these days, given the situation with the Police. Some rather harsh posts on here too, when someone was only asking for advice! Wishing you well - hope you get is sorted Carole.

moorlikeit Fri 20-Apr-18 11:20:02

Windyweather, I totally agree with you that too many posters are harsh and unfeeling in their reactions to OP requests for advice. Why rush into print with unkind comments? It has certainly put me off from ever sharing my worries.
Carolebarrel, I understand your frustration with your neighbour who is not respecting your privacy but other posters are correct about the probable police reaction. I hope you have success following the more considerate posters' suggestions. Good luck.

homefarm Fri 20-Apr-18 11:32:46

Get a lock. We had to after being burgled, our insurance required it.
If your neighbour can get in so can a thief.

colette13 Fri 20-Apr-18 11:37:43

Carolebarrell -- I'm the same as Solitaire -- albeit I have much loved moggies -- I wouldn't want to go onto someone's property without permisson but all the same I probably would if I thought one of my cats was there I certainly wouldn't damage anything and would ensure I explained to my neighbours what I had done at the earliest opportunity if you neighbour is like me, she's probably just a middle-aged or older lady who loves her baby (cat) -- as some of the other posts said -- make a friend of her -- life's too short, all the best.

wildswan16 Fri 20-Apr-18 11:38:04

If her cat went missing and that was unusual, then I wouldn't have minded anybody coming in to look for it. It could have been injured. If you were in, then she should certainly have knocked on your door first.

If a child had gone missing I presume you would not have objected? For some people, their pet is just as important.

Mabelsmummy Fri 20-Apr-18 11:45:05

I also sympathise with you, I would get a lock for your gate. It’s very unnerving having someone in your garden that you weren’t expecting even if it was your neighbour. The house at the back of our garden removed part of the fence so she could look right through into our kitchen. We very quickly nailed a new piece back and planted a few evergreens. I feel so sorry for people like that, they must have mental issues of a kind which is tragic and they need care and understanding but at the same time we all need our right to privacy.

Stansgran Fri 20-Apr-18 11:59:19

It's horrible having people tramping through the garden. Yesterday sitting still in the sunshine admiring the delightful number of birds on the feeders a gang of youths crashed through a gap in the hedge intending to take a short cut through my garden. I don't know how they thought they might get through the gate at the top. They were certainly not school age more university and they argued with me! I'm tall and quite happy to take no prisoners but I felt a tad vulnerable and you can call me petty but they got a bit caught up on the hawthorn on the way back.( hawthorn hedge is very old and where they have died off we have planted more shoots but are waiting for them to fill out)
If they had seen me and called out i would have let the, throughas ive often found stranded tourists or school children on cross country runs and unlocked gates for them.

Jimbow15 Fri 20-Apr-18 12:20:15

As it is a civil matter you could send her a letter yourself or get a solicitor to write you one.

Cambia Fri 20-Apr-18 12:26:18

My neighbour is a pain like this! We once had her horse jump over and trample round. She denied it, even though there were horse shoes leading to her gate!! We have been next door to each other for thirty years and don’t particularly like each other but tolerate each other. Every day at 1pm she shouts for her cat for lunch and if it doesn’t answer starts searching other people’s gardens. One of these days I am going to take the cat for a really long drive and let it out.......only joking! Irritation rather than world problem!

endre123 Fri 20-Apr-18 12:39:07

It isn't acceptable to have anyone entering your premises without your permission. Wherever I have lived we respected neighbours' property and they respected ours. Of course they could get to the front door but elsewhere is private. Maybe the neighbours are fine but it could be someone who has bad intentions so in the name of security it is best not to encourage anyone to wander onto the property. Your neighbours can keep an eye on your property when you are out and you can do the same to check for intruders. Elderly living alone must ensure they do encourage people to go on their property without permission unless family or carers. I had cats and they are free spirits, no amount of persuasion would get them back from next doors' garden apart from food. I can understand trying to catch a dog but that would mean there is somewhere it breached to escape. I would be shocked to find someone had forced herself (she pushed the bins aside) to get onto my property. It sounds like this neighbour doesn't respect boundaries or she may need medical help. Even if she was usually lovely you would expect her to ask you if she could get on to your property. PS. I never give a key to a neighbour now. I once came home and my freezer was filled with her stuff as she didn't have room! Another time I was on holiday neighbour with key went away for a weekend and her daughter & boyfriend had a party in my house! The mess was a shock, I lost a few precious items. As I had given them a key nothing could be done about it.

Yellowmellow Fri 20-Apr-18 12:54:25

I can appreciate that you were really put out that this lady had been in your garden, and I'm almost sure that the police threat was part of the 'rant', and nothing more. I really enjoy 'Gransnet', but come in ladies, we are all entitled to put our ideas on a 'thread', and also can voice our opinions, but sometimes people go a bit too far, and no one has to put anyone else Carolebarrel said....calm down ladies

blue60 Fri 20-Apr-18 13:08:15

Like you, I regard my property as mine, and is not to be entered unless invited.

I have a lock on the inside of the gate leading to my garden, so you could consider that. I would not report it to the police because a) they would not be interested and b) would probably cause more harm than good.

I would say to your neighbour that you would prefer her to ask before entering your property; if you are not there, then she should wait until you are. If a cat has found its way in, then it will find its way out.

A locked gate would send that message.

stevej4491 Fri 20-Apr-18 14:45:54

What a storm in a teacup, one of my neighbours often wanders around my garden just to see whats what. I usually notice him out the corner of my eye while I'm on my computor. He has a key to my back door ,as most of the residents in my cul- de -sac have each others key because we are all elderly and the majority us live on our own.I often come home to find a parcel in the kitchen that he's been kind enough to take off the postman ,its saves me having to go to the post office next day. I think I've veered off the subject somewhat ,he ,he.

grandtanteJE65 Fri 20-Apr-18 15:19:17

Trespass is a difficult kind of crime to prove legally, and I think you will only have a lot of trouble if you try to stop a neighbour from entering your garden.

I agree that it is impolite of her to do so, and very odd that she asked you to take fence panels down, so she could get into someone else's garden from yours. I would have refused to countenance that either.

However, I do understand that the lady could be worrying about a missing pet, but the long and the short of it is that if you don't want her in your garden when you are out she ought to respect that.

Whether you have a legal right to try and keep her out, I don't know. I believe it depends on where you live. In Scotland there is no law of trespass, as far as I know, but England is a different matter.

Has she done any damage to your property?

Flowerofthewest Fri 20-Apr-18 15:20:03

Much ado about nowt. Is she a bad neighbour? Myself I would and have asked permission to search for my cats when they were first let out. Seems a bit extreme to take a fence panel out though. Is it worth falling out over? Police? Definitely not.

ReadyMeals Fri 20-Apr-18 15:23:26

I agree with everyone that it's a civil matter not criminal. On the other hand if she's that worried about her cat getting out of her garden maybe she ought to keep it indoors or in a mesh enclosure when it's outside.

greeneyes Fri 20-Apr-18 15:24:48

I though gransnet were above harsh posts.

I agree she has reason to be annoyed. Its only polite and good manners to ask first before going into others property.
Glad I don't post much.

grannyticktock Fri 20-Apr-18 15:36:15

I can't get heated about this either way.

First, I can't understand why a cat that has (possibly) gone into a neighbour's garden is regarded as a crisis at all. Most cats roam through many gardens, and find their way home again when they're ready. The neighbour sounds a bit obsessive, and to even think of removing part of the fence is nonsense.

But if it was for some reason a real crisis (the cat ill? injured?) I wouldn't really mind if someone came into my garden looking for a lost pet, providing they did no damage. This week I have been struggling to minimise damage done to my garden by cats, badgers, mice and a heron, so a human being would not add greatly to my worries. If your back garden is a place you want to keep secure and private, lock the access to it - but be aware that this may limit the help you are able to receive in any emergency, especially if you live alone.

sarahellenwhitney Fri 20-Apr-18 15:36:32

As long as there was no damage done what's the problem.?
Always make sure any out buildings are locked before you go out then nothing can get in
Inform your neighbour of this but as for telling the police that's going a bit too far.

beeelaine Fri 20-Apr-18 15:45:47

having had neighbours in the past come into our garden i know how it feels - its an invasion of privacy (especially if you happen to be in there having a nice relaxing time in your PJs for a morning brew) and rude really - as if you want to go in someones garden you should ask first - you wouldnt walk into someones home, and you shouldnt walk into a garden either (unless its a shared/community garden).

We put up locked gates and it solved the problem immediately. Tell her she is not to go in the garden when you are not there, but to knock on the door and ask to go in when you are in, and definately no moving of anything at all for any reason while you are not there, then get the locked gates - gives you peace of mind and its a good security thing to do anyway - if she can get in so can someone who wants to rob your house.

I think the easiest way to do this is to say if she comes in she will set of the motion cameras which records any movement - people dont like to be filmed so it will probably put her off (whether you have cameras or not).

Problem is, there are some really wierd neighbours about, and i have friends who have had plants actually dug out of their garden, potted plants go walkies etc, certain things destroyed that they dont like to look at (strangest thing is one of those items you could only see if you went into my friends garden so how they knew it was there was a mystery) - plants are only to be found in next doors garden, god only knows what she is doing in there - get some cameras in they are cheap on ebay.