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Ever dealt with a hostile neighbour?

 
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smallblondehippy



Joined: 23 Jul 2020
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2021 7:10 pm    Post subject: Ever dealt with a hostile neighbour? Reply with quote

So our new cottage should be up and running ready for restrictions easing. It's an exciting and terrifying time as we've never done this before. However, we've run into a snag: a hostile neighbour.

Our cottage is in a VERY touristy village where there are lots of holiday cottages. The parking for our cottage is on a steep hill outside. It's not permit holders only, no yellow lines and is first come first served. However, one of the neighbours seems to think its her personal drive to the point where she's already verbally abused my dad for parking there and I've heard reports from the other neighbours (who are very supportive of our cottage) that she's previously had a go at the previous owner's guests. Then on Sunday we returned to our car to find that she'd put a nasty note on the windscreen telling us that parking is for 'locals only'.

I'm concerned she'll do the same to our upcoming guests which potentially could ruin their holiday. Any advice on how to deal with this? Experienced anything similar? From what I've been told all the other neighbours have had a run-in with her and she's well known for it but I don't want this to impact my guest's stay.
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Norfolk Canary



Joined: 07 Sep 2016
Posts: 84

PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2021 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks to me almost inevitable that this woman will cause you problems. If she has also had run-ins with other locals I expect she isn’t the type to try and sweet talk. I would be tempted to go the other way completely and set out my stall firmly at the earliest opportunity. I would discuss this with a lawyer and get them to come up with a letter that outlines the laws regarding on-street parking and leaves this woman in no doubt that you won’t take any of her unreasonable behaviour quietly and will take legal action against her for loss of income due to having to refund upset guests and loss of future bookings if guests leave negative feedback as a result of her actions. It just might make her think again.
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Norfolk Canary



Joined: 07 Sep 2016
Posts: 84

PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2021 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I looks to me almost inevitable that this woman will cause you problems. If she has also had run-ins with other locals I expect she isn’t the type to try and sweet talk. I would be tempted to go the other way completely and set out my stall firmly at the earliest opportunity. I would discuss this with a lawyer and get them to come up with a letter that outlines the laws regarding on-street parking and leaves this woman in no doubt that you won’t take any of her unreasonable behaviour quietly and will take legal action against her for loss of income due to having to refund upset guests and loss of future bookings if guests leave negative feedback as a result of her actions. It just might make her think again.
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CSE



Joined: 06 Nov 2006
Posts: 4305
Location: Galicia

PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it not the case in the UK where the seller is obliged to inform the purchaser of any neighbour disputes before purchase?
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Drax



Joined: 21 Jul 2016
Posts: 158
Location: Yorkshire Dales

PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Norfolk Canary wrote:
It looks to me almost inevitable that this woman will cause you problems. If she has also had run-ins with other locals I expect she isn’t the type to try and sweet talk. I would be tempted to go the other way completely and set out my stall firmly at the earliest opportunity. I would discuss this with a lawyer and get them to come up with a letter that outlines the laws regarding on-street parking and leaves this woman in no doubt that you won’t take any of her unreasonable behaviour quietly and will take legal action against her for loss of income due to having to refund upset guests and loss of future bookings if guests leave negative feedback as a result of her actions. It just might make her think again.


I agree with Norfolk Canary but be aware that involving lawyers can be costly.
I once had a problem with a neighbour (he was an a***hole, if you forgive my 'French') that led me to consult a solicitor.
He wrote a solicitors letter to my neighbour, explaining the rights and wrongs of the case (I was in the right).
That letter cost me a significant amount of money (hundreds of pounds).
To be fair to the solicitor he did advise me to seek an amicable resolution with my neighbour (which I did) otherwise the costs would spiral to the heavens.
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apexblue



Joined: 10 Sep 2008
Posts: 2249
Location: UK

PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My thoughts CSE.

What did it say when details completed by vendor.
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Mouse



Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 7276
Location: Balearics

PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes we had a very awkward neighbour that upset us in the first few years of renting. I think there's even a thread I started on LMH asking for advice.
With him it was an (unreasonable) noise issue (we ensured always that neighbours weren't troubled by guests noise). He did allsorts of nasty tricks and even tho we spoke with him and asked him to speak to us if he had any issues he still ended up speaking to guests telling them to be quiet in the afternoon in the pool!?
He only visited his house in summer...we lived there year round including when guests were there.

We tried being nice but the final straw came and we met fire with fire. That stopped him. So I'm afraid I agree with Norfolk Canary. You can't win with these people so you need to fire a warning shot across their bow. I feel for you as unfortunately I'm sure she will try and intimidate your guests. Luckily being on site and building a relationship with our guests meant we did find out most of what our neighbour did.....if you're offsite you may never know, but guests won't visit again.

Not an easy situation.

Mousie
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e-richard



Joined: 17 Oct 2004
Posts: 5010
Location: Algarve, Portugal

PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2021 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A slightly different viewpoint:

Assuming none of the other attempts suggested above and elsewhere have any impct on your unfriendly neighbour, I would be sure to advise all incoming guests of this issue.

By all means couch the wording in as light or jokey manner as you can, perhaps ridiculing the neighbour while accepting that its a pain the one just has to live with like rain in summer.

My gut feel is that it will work well with 80% of your guests who will see the sad side of this poor neighbour, but you may well get some cancellations from groups who do not want this to "ruin their holiday". When you get these, ensure that they are in writing and its more ammunition for any legal actions down the line.


Indeed CSE is right about being informed about neighbour disputes at the conveyancing stage, but since you have now taken ownership, my guess is that you're looking for a way through the problem. By all means take it up with your conveyancing solicitor and instead of suing them, you could even try to get them to take you case against the neighbour for free !!!
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zebedee



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 1237
Location: yorkshire dales

PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2021 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In addition to the above, you might want to have a pleasant word with the neighbour and remind them that any holiday guest is only there for a week (maybe two). So if the neighbour doesn’t like them, they will soon be gone.

However, you will say, if your plans for a holiday let are not successful and guests are unhappy, plan B is to let the property on a long term let to some poor family who have been evicted from a Housing Association property for anti social behaviour, who now can only use a private landlord. You would be willing to give them a second chance, as the rent would be guaranteed from benefits Very Happy ; I’m sure you can add the detail to the story about how you want to “give something back” to those less fortunate.

Maybe then this neighbour will understand that they don’t actually have the upper hand that they think they do...
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CSE



Joined: 06 Nov 2006
Posts: 4305
Location: Galicia

PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2021 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zebedee wrote:
In addition to the above, you might want to have a pleasant word with the neighbour and remind them that any holiday guest is only there for a week (maybe two). So if the neighbour doesn’t like them, they will soon be gone.

However, you will say, if your plans for a holiday let are not successful and guests are unhappy, plan B is to let the property on a long term let to some poor family who have been evicted from a Housing Association property for anti social behaviour, who now can only use a private landlord. You would be willing to give them a second chance, as the rent would be guaranteed from benefits Very Happy ; I’m sure you can add the detail to the story about how you want to “give something back” to those less fortunate.

Maybe then this neighbour will understand that they don’t actually have the upper hand that they think they do...


The issue might be holiday makers in general. It has been said, in the original post, that this is a very touristy village. It may not just be aimed at one car which will be replaced by another on change-over day in high season
The other idea of yours says a lot an individual making associations. This can be associated with certain newspaper headlines “dossers” “layabouts” “scroungers” and “skivers” means benefit claimants are treated with unremitting hostility. Thank you for adding to that.
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zebedee



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 1237
Location: yorkshire dales

PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2021 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CSE wrote:
zebedee wrote:
In addition to the above, you might want to have a pleasant word with the neighbour and remind them that any holiday guest is only there for a week (maybe two). So if the neighbour doesn’t like them, they will soon be gone.

However, you will say, if your plans for a holiday let are not successful and guests are unhappy, plan B is to let the property on a long term let to some poor family who have been evicted from a Housing Association property for anti social behaviour, who now can only use a private landlord. You would be willing to give them a second chance, as the rent would be guaranteed from benefits Very Happy ; I’m sure you can add the detail to the story about how you want to “give something back” to those less fortunate.

Maybe then this neighbour will understand that they don’t actually have the upper hand that they think they do...


The issue might be holiday makers in general. It has been said, in the original post, that this is a very touristy village. It may not just be aimed at one car which will be replaced by another on change-over day in high season
The other idea of yours says a lot an individual making associations. This can be associated with certain newspaper headlines “dossers” “layabouts” “scroungers” and “skivers” means benefit claimants are treated with unremitting hostility. Thank you for adding to that.


No.
I said people who exhibited anti social behaviour. I was not making disparaging comments about people on benefits in general.

The neighbour is being both a bully, and actually demonstrating anti social behaviour herself. It sounds very much like she has gotten away with it for some time. She may amend her behaviour when she realised that she cannot control what other people do with their property.
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smallblondehippy



Joined: 23 Jul 2020
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2021 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to everyone who's replied. It's good to know we are not alone!

When we bought the house we checked thoroughly whether the previous owners had declared any problems with the neighbour as we knew you had to declare this. They hadn't. They also had the holiday let for 7 years so I'm hoping the neighbour can't be that bad.

When we went up last time we left a note on our car in response to her leaving a nasty note on ours, politely but firmly explaining that we have every right to park there and requesting her to have to the decency to speak to us directly if she has a problem.

Since then we've heard nothing. The real test will be when the cottage opens and we have guests of course.
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zebedee



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 1237
Location: yorkshire dales

PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2021 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would advise that you create a feedback form and send it to all guests after their stay. Most people won’t tell you directly if the neighbour is unpleasant with them, but they will never return and will possibly put up poor reviews.

Be suspicious if you get few forms returned to you.

Returning guests are our life blood. You relax when they are there as you know they will look after your property and are happy with what you provide. You need some regular guests and will not survive if the neighbour is aggressive to your guests and you are unaware.
Best wishes, I hope it works out well for you.
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CSE



Joined: 06 Nov 2006
Posts: 4305
Location: Galicia

PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No good hoping if it could mean "issues" in the future. The person in question ( lady of note) may have left you alone but there is no guarantee she will not start again on your customers.
Something does not sit quite right here.
You have had "issues", the neighbours say that guests have had "issues". But the previous owner has not had any issues.
Maybe the issue is with incomers? Was the previous owner local? Was there a price war when you purchased the property?
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