Neighbour garden issues

Hi, I have joined in desperation, thinking gardeners will know what to do ( i hope)!  Long story short - neighbour has lived, as have i, in house since new, whilst I have nurtured mine, they have left to nature ie done nothing.  17 years later - seriously impacting on my garden, our jointly owned fence and indeed other neighbours (mice)! in storms earlier this year, two fence panels fell down, i have left notes, nothing, until a couple of weeks ago i spoke directly to neighbour who told me they could not afford fence repairs (dont work, on disability), couldnt clear garden (as bad back) - kindly told me i could clear and fix fence.  we have joint responsibility for fence on house deeds. Neighbours garden is so bad, i have 6 ft fences, the brambles/weeds whatever they are - are at least 3 ft over my fence - there is a 40ft tree at the end of their garden and it is even over growing into the parking area. i have pictures if anyone can help - i am in despair and do not know what to do - i have had a quote to fix fence, happy to pay and get done, yet see no point if neighbours garden is in such a state - even mice early in the morning, my neighbour has even laid traps in their loft!  I have emailed the council tonight, however, we are not "adopted" by the council so i hold little hope that they can help and i have no idea what to do next (neighbour despite stating cannot afford, has just had bt broadband,  has sky, runs a car, and does a massive weekly shop in sainsburys each friday - not exactly aldis)!  hoping someone can help me!

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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 27,882

    Hi ellie - you have my sympathy. I'm not sure what you mean by not being 'adopted' by the council so forgive me if I've not understood properly. I'm assuming you both own your houses as the council would surely have to oversee maintenance if they were rented? Even so, the council can intervene if there's an issue which impacts on your environment. The mice are a problem right away so that would be your first query to them. If you're both responsible for the maintenance of the fence, then I'd suggest you take the quotes to the neighbour and politely make it clear they have to pay half of it so would they like to proceed. If they refuse then that's another issue you can raise with the council. Request a visit from an official so that they can get an idea of what you're up against. Councils are often very amenable when a resident approaches them in a reasonable way  image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • ellieh44ellieh44 Posts: 5

    thank you so much - its horrendous! ive asked and asked over the last 6 years - asured it would be sorted, it never has been - now it has to be sorted!  i am horrified that someone can live next door to me, know their garden has been affecting mine for the last 5 years, assured me, yet done nothing, and when it comes down to finally needing to do something, stating they are cant.  i have emailed the council, maybe they will pass on to environmenta; health re mice - am so grateful for your post, its horrendous and i had no idea where to go or who to ask, so thank you again  - ps, where we live, despite a new estate when i bought property, live in courtyard type of scenario - not adopted bycouncil, so they do no maintenance whatsoever! we do both own our houses x

  • ellieh44ellieh44 Posts: 5

    hi mike allen - thanks so much for your response - its horrendous, one can feel very much alone!  where i live is not sponsered or maintained by the council, but i have emailed them and hope environmental health might investigate in view of the mice _-trouble is, i feel bad now!  ridiculous, cos my neighbour obviously doesnt care!

  • ellieh44ellieh44 Posts: 5

    fairyallen - i have emailed the council tonight, on the advice of a work colleague 0 greate advice, i would not have thought about that as where we are ie live, not adopted by council, but understand now they have to react - great advise thank you so much xx

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 27,882

    Just keep phoning and emailing the council - everyday if necessary - to politely ask when they're sending someone out to deal with your issues. Give them a reasonable timescale that you're willing to accept - within a month for instance - and make it clear you'll go to the MP or Sunday papers if you don't have some kind of resolution. They don't like that sort of publicity! image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • ellieh44ellieh44 Posts: 5

    thank you so much Fairygirl - it has been horrendous!  I feel better now, have emailed the council and will inform neighbour with a letter - thank you so much xxx

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 27,882

    Good luck with it. Sometimes it helps just to have a chance to let off steam and see if someone can see the problem with a fresh pair of eyes. Let us know how you get on. Don't give up image

    If all else fails - tell 'em you're not paying your council tax till they do something about it!  image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 19,337

    I would also suggest a letter sent to the appropriate Council department and copied to you local councillor.   Sometimes seeing something in print gets a better response than an email on a screen. Keep a copy yourself and if that doesn't work write to your MP with a  copy of your letter and a clear but succinct history of the problems..

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,153

    Hi, you also have my sympathy.

    Just a couple of points, being disabled or having a bad back is not a reason for not replacing a fence or contacting the council re-vermin infestation. How many able bodied people call in other people to replace their fence! I called in other people to replace the top of my fence and to put concrete posts on the side fencing.

    Being disabled they may have access to other services through Social Care but not want to ask for help believing they are coping. They could also enlist the help from family and freinds in maintaining the garden area.

    I don't want to sound harsh or distract from your main point which is a gardening issue but would advise not to make it a disability issue if you are contacting the council, stay with the gardening issues.        

    I have very fond memories of trying to do wheelies in my mothers wheel chair and climbing steps in a wheel chair before ramps were invented...image

    I'll get my coat....image

  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 5,367

    Hi Ellie and welcome to the forum -  you'll receive a lot of much needed support from the friendly crowd here image

    I can see from your avatar that you really do have a pretty serious problem. I'm no expert but I think you really have to press on the environmental health side with the council. You have seen mice - the council will probably not be interested in mice outside but you need to emphasise that the mice have invaded next door's house & you are seriously concerned that they might make their way into yours. Dont want to worry you - but are you sure there is no rat problem as well - EH more likely to get involved with rats.

    You said you have pictures - I would put them into a tidy file & see if you can't get an appointment to see someone in EH & show them how bad things are. 

    I believe some councils have a small team specifically to deal with neighbour disputes - they might be able to help. Again a phone call to find out if you can make an appt to see one of them and show the pictures.

    Citizens Advice might also be able to help.

    You have tolerated this for 17 years. You are clearly a nice person who doesn't want to make trouble but things have reached a head. Keep calm, write out a reasoned account of what's happened over the years, back it up with your photos & start showing them to the people who can help you. There is no need to make any threats to anybody - just be quietly persistent & emphasise the EH side of things.

    I think that if you can get someone from the council to come & take a look they might help with clearance. 

    Throughout all this, try to stay on reasonable terms with your neighbours. There might be community based volunteer teams (or people on Community Service sentences) who can come in to help - but only if your neighbours will allow them access to the garden. Do you think they would allow the garden to be cleared if it involved no real input from them?

    Good luck with this - keep posting to keep getting support. You've already taken the biggest step in deciding to do something. Just try to keep things calm and respectful for now - I used to work for the council - we hated shouters and screamers & went out of our way to help frightened, bullied, respectful people who had a real problem.

    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
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