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AIBU

Neighbours constantly asking for things

(90 Posts)
nellgwynne Tue 25-May-21 13:03:23

AIBU? We've moved to a brand new house 6 months ago, and our front gates are shared with one other house. The neighbours are an older retired couple who are very nice. However, they always seem to be asking favours, names of tradesmen, how to do things, where to buy things etc. We've been happy to help with all of this. My husband is also sorting out problems with the shared gates and the solar panel problems as well. They've also asked us for some of our building materials that they saw in our front garden, some paving slabs for themselves, and gravel for their daughter! Recently we've had a skip delivered, and they asked to put some of their rubbish in it, before we'd put our own in. They also walk into our garden uninvited. None of this is reciprocated, we wouldn't dream of behaving like this. We are now feeling thoroughly fed up with it all, and don't feel like being Mr and Mrs nice guy any more! How do we maintain a friendly relationship with them and have our boundaries at the same time? And AIBU? Thank you all. smile

poshpaws Tue 25-May-21 13:18:03

Oh boy! YADNBU. I'm afraid I don't have much advice for you, but I didn't want to read and run without saying how sorry I feel for you in such an awful situation. Your neighbours are CF's. Can you put up a fence to stop them walking into your garden? As to asking to have some of your stuff, and using your skip - you'll absolutely have to tell them "no, I'm sorry, we'll be needing that/all the space", or you'll find yourselves forever subsidising them. Skips are not cheap and they charge by the weight as much as the time: why should you pay for their disposal needs?

Nip it in the bud now or you'll end up like my late husband and I, having to be very confrontational - which we both hated so much - with neighbours who took the mickey more and more and more.

tanith Tue 25-May-21 13:21:35

You're not being unreasonable, because you've been so obliging they don't realise how intrusive they are being. Time to get your big girls pants on and start saying no! Stay polite but just sorry but no.

nanna8 Tue 25-May-21 13:22:13

I bet they are laughing at you and have you picked as a couple of mugs. Stand up to them, they are obviously a couple of takers.

Namsnanny Tue 25-May-21 13:22:49

Their behaviour is unacceptable. Do as poshpaws suggests.
Maybe practise your responses so you feel more confident.
Why do some people have no understanding of boundaries?

Feelingmyage55 Tue 25-May-21 13:29:29

Could you suggest that they do not come into the garden as it is not currently safe and hope that breaks the habit.
With regards to the building materials perhaps say, IF there is any surplus you already have a family member you will be giving it to.
I have a neighbour like this and I didn’t nip it in the bud early on. I now have stock answers to requests such as, “someone else has already asked”, “we're already fully committed that day/week” etc. I have a neighbour who expects us to do her bins as we are slightly younger. I couldn’t help when my DH was away and I had a leg injury. She knew and offered no help for the six weeks I couldn’t go out so we just stopped. If there is some reciprocation, offering plants from their greenhouse, taking in parcels, you might be able to make it work but if it is all one way then you would be wise to put the brakes on but still be smiley and wave.

hazel93 Tue 25-May-21 13:51:55

Good grief ! These people are taking the piss, getting older does not change ones personality ! I imagine they have always been "takers" and see you as an easy target.
Be firm. Say "No" be polite, smile and leave it at that.

Susan56 Tue 25-May-21 13:58:21

There must be a lot of these people about as our neighbours are the same😡

My husband has put an extra gate so they can’t see/get into our garden as we were told by another neighbour they had lifted a fence panel and gone in our garden to help themselves to veg while we were away.

We now have two gates on each side of the house that can only be opened with a key.

We have managed not to fall out but basically just say hello if we see them but don’t go out our way to make conversation or interact.

It is a shame when you have been so kind but just take a step back from interacting with them and don’t let them spoil your enjoyment of your new home.

Susan56 Tue 25-May-21 13:59:05

Forgot to say these people are in their eighties so it must have taken some effort to lift the panels!

DiscoDancer1975 Tue 25-May-21 14:08:44

Please just talk to them. So many people have no idea they’re a nuisance, and it’s not fair not to say something. On the other hand, they could just be ‘ takers’. Either way, a discussion would put you all on a level playing field, and you could maybe start again.
Good luck

Calendargirl Tue 25-May-21 14:18:00

Oh dear!
With regards to the building materials, simply say “Our son/daughter is having the slabs/gravel if we have any spare.”

And the skip. “We will be using the skip to capacity ourselves. This is the name and phone number of the company we’ve used, I’m sure they will be able to supply you with one if you ask”.

And I agree with others, try and erect some sort of barrier to separate you from them if possible.

And keep being civil, but back off from being too friendly and obliging. Awkward I know.

Savvy Tue 25-May-21 14:29:46

I've had this problem with various neighbours over the years. Give them an inch and they'll take a mile!

The best course of action I've found is to just be a bit canny with them; they come into your garden, tell them you've just sprayed it with weedkiller or some other chemical; they want to use the skip, sure, as long as they pay for half of it; same with the building materials, they pay for what they have. You need to let them know that you've had to pay for stuff, and so should they.

If they ask for information, point them towards Google.

You are not being unreasonable, they are!

nellgwynne Tue 25-May-21 14:59:16

Thank you all so much for your replies! I really do appreciate it. I showed to my husband and it's helped to strengthen our resolve to just say no to the neighbours. I think we'd both wanted to have a nice cosy relationship with our neighbours, but if it means being taken advantage of, then no way! Thanks to you of you, I love your answers!

Oopsadaisy1 Tue 25-May-21 15:48:47

Sometimes you find that elderly neighbours will zoom in on a younger couple who they will ask to do things so that ‘ they don’t have to bother their own children’ the ‘children’ are happy because they know that if there is a problem the neighbour will help to sort it out.
As your neighbours get older you could find yourself in a similar situation to another poster on a similar thread.
Say no now, be friendly but set your boundaries before they get worse.

wildswan16 Tue 25-May-21 16:03:30

Good advice already given. Just get into the habit of saying "no" to which you can add "if there's room in the skip when we've finished I'll let you know", or "if we have any left over xxx I'll let you know".

Chloejo Tue 25-May-21 21:42:57

I had this first it started with me taking the bins out. Then watching ask me to post letters. My ex partner mowed their lawn I went mad because they will expect it all the time. I got them a gardeners number he very reasonable and they moan about paying. I’ve given up now and I am standing firm I will do the bins but no more. They will just want more and more !! Stand firm say hello but have excuses ready

Vickysponge Tue 25-May-21 22:05:31

Oh my goodness are cheeky are they? I’m afraid I’d be blunt with them and tell them where to go. Unbelievable. What a horrible situation to be in. They are taking advantage of you. Set clear boundaries now!

Vickysponge Tue 25-May-21 22:23:54

Vickysponge

Oh my goodness are cheeky are they? I’m afraid I’d be blunt with them and tell them where to go. Unbelievable. What a horrible situation to be in. They are taking advantage of you. Set clear boundaries now!

Sorry for typo. Should read how cheeky.

JenniferEccles Tue 25-May-21 22:38:36

It’s not always easy to get neighbourly friendliness right is it?
We all want to have a good relationship with our neighbours but unfortunately some people will take advantage.

I always think it’s best to take time to suss new folk out before becoming overly friendly to such an extent that liberties are taken as has happened here.

Advice from others to nip this behaviour in the bud is good, and to be on your guard against any other cheeky requests.

Grammaretto Tue 25-May-21 23:34:11

It is a nuisance to feel put upon so YANBU.
When people ask for something and I am not happy to give or share, I do say no sorry but I also share things with my neighbours/friends. There is one who currently has my pickaxe and has asked to borrow the garden fork. I said it wasn't spare.
She used to work and live in a residential school and since retiring I think she is learning new "rules" about private property. Perhaps your neighbours are similar?
It's good to feel generous but horrid to be made to feel mean.

BlueberryPie Wed 26-May-21 00:29:46

I think there are just a few people around who seem to have missed the unspoken rules the rest of us know and live by. They will request help, favors and freebies from anyone, to whatever extent they can get away with.

I don't know if they're socially clueless, amazingly self-centered and greedy, were deprived as infants and desperately looking for a new mommy to latch onto, or what. But I guess it doesn't matter why, for practical purposes.

These neighbors definitely seem the type who will encroach on you as much as they're allowed to. So I'd back off from them completely. Whatever they ask for, the answer would be no and I'd also stop talking to them beyond a wave or hello when you're stuck crossing paths. If you stick to it, they'll find someone else to bother.

In my experience, neighbors are too close for friendships anyway. So often, you find you just don't click with new people that well after all for various reasons, and then it's awkward when you constantly run into them.

Toadinthehole Wed 26-May-21 08:15:24

BlueberryPie

I think there are just a few people around who seem to have missed the unspoken rules the rest of us know and live by. They will request help, favors and freebies from anyone, to whatever extent they can get away with.

I don't know if they're socially clueless, amazingly self-centered and greedy, were deprived as infants and desperately looking for a new mommy to latch onto, or what. But I guess it doesn't matter why, for practical purposes.

These neighbors definitely seem the type who will encroach on you as much as they're allowed to. So I'd back off from them completely. Whatever they ask for, the answer would be no and I'd also stop talking to them beyond a wave or hello when you're stuck crossing paths. If you stick to it, they'll find someone else to bother.

In my experience, neighbors are too close for friendships anyway. So often, you find you just don't click with new people that well after all for various reasons, and then it's awkward when you constantly run into them.

I agree. We’ve never made friends with neighbours. We both had very similar problems growing up. Completely independent of each other. Both sets of parents didn’t deal with it very well. We both learnt from that, and when we got married, vowed to always be civil, but nothing more.
I agree, you have to talk to them, and start to say ‘ no’. The hardest word in the English language to say it seems, on so many levels.

Buffy Thu 27-May-21 10:36:04

Nightmare. Why did the last people move?

wetflannel Thu 27-May-21 10:36:10

Oh dear this needs nipping in the bud. They have latched onto you and are exploiting your friendly nature. Firm no to the next request or it will get worse.

Buffy Thu 27-May-21 10:38:55

Poor you, it’s spoiling your enjoyment of the new house.
Get a second gate and a big ‘Beware of the Dog’ sign. I have one I can send you!