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Excessively Pernickety Neighbours

(39 Posts)
westerlywind Mon 27-Jun-22 10:07:36

I moved into this home about 2.5 years ago. Then came the pandemic and lockdowns so I had to put up with the place as it was and not be able to have work done.
Finally I have started work on having the place done up. Last week I had work done and this was split over 3 days. There is still work needing done but the materials needed are still to be sourced.
The morning after the first day I had a neighbour at my door complaining about a dire mess in a communal area. There is no mess only items awaiting uplift by cleansing department. The small items were all black bagged and disposed of.
The morning after the second day I encountered the local "little hitler" as I was heading out to an appointment. He was full of criticism and threats. I invited him to contact the workman direct as the workman had told me to do this. Of course "little hitler" would not dare to tackle a man.
Several days later I was going out and was tackled by Mrs "little hitler" trying to excuse her husband's behaviour. She is more to be pitied being married to a man who could only tackle women and even then he was answered back.
The occupants around here are not allowed anything like using drying greens or having plants by these two households. Legally they are only the owners of each of their homes and do not hold any title to any other part of the area
AIBU to think this is excessive?
WWYD about this bullying?

icanhandthemback Mon 27-Jun-22 10:15:02

You do not have to put up with this. Is there a Residents Group or a Housing Society you can talk to? The other thing you can do, is ignore them. Tell them you consider this harassment and will be taking appropriate action if they continue. They are working on bully boy tactics and will probably crumble if you stand up to them legally.

Beautful Mon 27-Jun-22 10:17:24

If his wife spoke to you , seems like he may be like this with other people aswell ... hard as it seems ignor him ... could he be jealous you are having things done who knows ? Yes surprising how many will speak to a woman & not a man ... 3 days is not long even a few weeks isn't

Aveline Mon 27-Jun-22 10:19:18

Good advice icanhandthemback. What a miserable attitude. Surely the residents association is in charge rather than this restrictive couple. It's very nice to see plants and personal items on communal landings. In our flats each landing is very different depending on the various occupants.
Good luck dealing with them. Let us know how it goes.

Witzend Mon 27-Jun-22 10:20:18

I’d say as little as possible and just ignore them. Unless there’s anything in the official paperwork (e.g. in a lease) there’s nothing they can do.

My widowed elderly FiL moved to a development of small new houses, where an officious neighbour informed him that net curtains at front windows were obligatory, and he was not allowed to hang washing in his back garden, either.

They were her own ‘rules’ - her idea of what was or wasn’t ‘nice’ - so naturally he ignored them.

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 27-Jun-22 10:42:51

Are you in the US? Your post doesn’t read as though you’re in the UK. If you’re not in the UK it’s difficult to advise on what your rights might be.

Franbern Mon 27-Jun-22 10:43:27

If, at it seems to be, a block of flats, then there may be rules as to what can be put or left in the public areas. These will have been notified to you when you moved in. The Management Company will be the ones who have the authorisation and responsibility of reminding people about these rules and enforcing them.

So, politely, listen to this man, smile sweetly and ignore him. Not worth having arguments, just take absolutely no notice.

With regards to plants, etc in communal areas, there may well be rules banning these enforced by fire safety.

When you are having contractors in to carry out work in your home, it can be a good idea to inform the Management company about this in advance.

westerlywind Mon 27-Jun-22 11:20:21

I am in the UK.
The plants would have been outside and not on the internal stairways.
The items are placed on an outside communal area .
This man has a reputation for butting into everything but so far has never been seen taking on a man.
The management company do not take anything to do with personal issues only deal with communal matters

J52 Mon 27-Jun-22 12:03:07

When someone (rarely?) speaks to me in this way, I smile and thank them for their opinion, then move on.
As others have said ignore him. Should the harassment continue, you sound as if you could point out that it is harassment and you will not put up with it.
I wouldn’t mention any legal escalation at the moment, see if he leaves you alone after tackling him.

Aveline Mon 27-Jun-22 12:11:13

Do you rent your flat from a management company? Our flats are all owner occupied, we have a residents committee and they appoint a factoring company to maintain the building and gardens. This external company has absolutely no say in what residents do or do not do.
Just smile and walk away from this man.

westerlywind Mon 27-Jun-22 12:14:13

My flat is bought as is their flat

nandad Mon 27-Jun-22 12:28:14

Regarding the neighbours, if the builders have said, ask them to call me, then tell neighbours to do so. Then just smile sweetly!
Regarding plants and drying greens, this would have been in your lease so you would have been aware of it before you moved in. Most places with communal areas usually don’t allow ‘personal use’ of those areas eg putting up washing lines.

Grayling Mon 27-Jun-22 12:39:37

Our last property had communal areas for parking, bins, etc but all the "rules" were clearly set out on our Title Deeds (Scottish Law) and every knew exactly how it worked and it did apart from one. The annoying thing was that the person causing problems didn't live there!! They had bought the apartment for their daughter and were abroad for the first few months of us all moving in. Everyone was friendly and a Residents Committee was set up with monthly meetings in a nearby hotel. When the parents came back the "notes" started - on the bins, on the cars, etc. I can't be bothered going in to details as it was ridiculous . Although she didn't really bother us too much as we had a veranda apartment and own back door and rarely used the communal entrance my DH tried to have a word with her but she wasn't going to listen. However they came to the next meeting and were put in their place firmly. You definitely will have the details of your property and boundaries set out somewhere so this could be sorted out. Can't believe the other residents have condoned his behaviour and rules. I certainly would be putting out my washing in my own back garden!!!!!

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 27-Jun-22 13:16:37

You need to study your Lease to be sure of your rights and obligations. They are as set out in the Lease, not as dictated by your neighbours. Forming a residents’ association would take the wind out of Hitler’s sails.

westerlywind Mon 27-Jun-22 13:28:32

I abide by the rules in the Title Deeds and while I (and others) are not allowed this or that some people such as the ones doing all the moaning disregard the rules.

Philippa111 Mon 27-Jun-22 14:40:34

Personally I wouldn't go down the route of saying to the man that it was harassment.

Remember you have to live next to this person. People like that can very quickly escalate things and make your life a misery on a daily basis. They thrive on confrontation and are just looking for someone who will engage in a fight.
A friend of mine is now in this situation with a neighbour who is a bully. He throws his fag ends into her garden and spreads rumours about her to other neighbours and it VERY nasty to both her and her daughter. She has become the focus of all his anger and is an easy target.

I would be very polite and say you realise its unsightly and let him know you too find it unsightly but know it will be over soon. If you have proof in the title deeds, I would mention that calmly.
And smile sweetly and walk away.

biglouis Mon 27-Jun-22 22:11:32

I once worked on a chat line doing the S&M calls and have a tongue like a lash when needed.

A few years ago two "men" (actually teens or early 20s) wearings masks kicked my door in and demanded money. I called them "sonny" and told them scornfully that they had come to the wrong house. I never kept cash in the house, wore expensive jewelry or owned a smartphone. I was not going to beg and plead with scum. They left with nothing.

After that experience no shitty little neighbour dispute is going to scare me.

DaisyAnne Mon 27-Jun-22 23:07:43


I am in the UK.
The plants would have been outside and not on the internal stairways.
The items are placed on an outside communal area .
This man has a reputation for butting into everything but so far has never been seen taking on a man.
The management company do not take anything to do with personal issues only deal with communal matters

It sounds as if your property is leasehold - are they flats? If they are on a lease go back and check the conditions. Other leaseholders can be inclined to imagine there are conditions that never existed. I assume the management are the freeholders?

NotSpaghetti Tue 28-Jun-22 00:55:22

Given that Mrs "little hitler" tried to excuse her husband's behaviour, you may actually be able to create an unlikely ally there. Be super-nice to her in a conspiratorial way.
She must be heartily sick of his complaining.

You may be able to say to her you hope that Mr. little hitler is feeling better after getting so distressed- (and not causing you upset at home).
Thank her for coming to explain how stressed he gets. You can remind her that you have twice tried to give him the contractors information if he would like to reassure himself that all is well. You could later pop round and give it to her...
I would try to take pity (quietly) on the wife. She may resolve things behind the scenes.

biglouis Tue 28-Jun-22 12:37:32

My NDN was a whiner and a bully. Several times I said to her husband that I "understood" that his wife had mental health problems and he used to just nod and look resigned. I know she bullied him and her children. Unfortunately he died recently and now there is no one to keep her in check. However she seems to have quietened down and lost a lot of her confidence. Shes having to do a lot more of the jobs he used to do for herself.

Germanshepherdsmum Tue 28-Jun-22 12:44:33

It would be very unusual for lessees to have the right to put their own potted plants on a communal area. Their rights over communal areas would be clearly set out in the Lease.

Aveline Tue 28-Jun-22 15:26:25

If it's leased which it may not be!

grandtanteJE65 Tue 28-Jun-22 15:41:32

As these people have no legal right to interfere in what you do, I would ignore them AND make a point of hanging out my washing Monday to Saturday as and when it pleased me to do so.

As for plants, as long as you tend them and do not plant them or place flower pots in other peoples' way, that too is surely up to you, unless there are any rules forbidding it in your lease.

If they complain, ask politely what right they have to do so.

Vintagejazz Fri 01-Jul-22 08:22:29

To be honest, if you were leaving stuff lying around a communal area it might have been nice to stick a notice up in the lobby explaining they would be moved tomorrow, and apologising. I used to live in a block of flats and some people treated communal areas like extra storage space. If your neighbours have had that type of experience they may be very much on guard for it when someone new moves in.

Doesn't excuse rudeness of course. They could have just checked with you that it was being moved ASAP.

Mine Fri 01-Jul-22 12:15:43

Get the facts right about the communal areas before you tackle this issue...Most communal areas have spaces to put out your washing...Sounds like Mr Hitler thinks he rules the roost....Needs to be put in his place... Strange how other neighbours put up with his nonsense..