A woman has expressed her irritation after her neighbour’s son was caught climbing over her garden fence as a “shortcut”.
The woman installed a fence, with planning permission, along the top of her wall to try and prevent her neighbour’s son’s continued use of her garden but believes she’s caught him continuing to climb over it on camera.
She took to Mumsnet’s popular advice forum, Am I Being Unreasonable (AIBU), to seek guidance on how to handle the situation.
In a post titled “Neighbour seems to think he has the right to jump our fence”, she revealed her neighbour had put a complaint in after discovering she planned to install the fence which would hinder his son’s ability to climb over.
She penned: “We moved in about three years ago and put up a fence on top of an existing low height wall (which we own) across the front of our front garden which has a footpath the other side. We got planning to do this.
“One of our neighbours had an issue with this, because his adult son (early 20s) liked to walk across our front garden and hop over our wall to save him from walking around. He put in a complaint when we went for planning saying that if the fence went up, we would need to make it safe as his son would be climbing over! The council made no comment on this.
“This has made it inconvenient for him as it adds five mins walking time to walk down the road and up the public footpath. Since the fence went up, we clarified with the neighbour (the dad) that this was our property and our fence/wall, to make 100% sure there was no misunderstanding with who owns what, which he agreed.
“We have now got video from our ring doorbell of “someone” walking across our garden and jumping the fence. It is unlikely to be anyone else as we are at the end [of] a small road. What would you do? Trespassing is not a criminal offence. So far we cannot for sure identify the person as it was at night and not a great image.
“They obviously see no issue with doing it so speaking to them won’t help, considered anti climb spikes but have seen you can be liable if trespasser gets injured on your property. WIBU [would I be unreasonable] to get spikes if I put a warning with it? Any suggestions? If he keeps doing it, it will end in damage to the fence and probably us paying for it”.
The woman’s post was met with more than 250 comments from fellow Mumsnet users, keen to share their thoughts.
One said: “Anti-climb paint! (with a clear warning sign)”.
Another said: “Marmite all over the top of the fence.”
A third said: “Plant some roses. Not sure if this is the right time to plant them though…pick a super thorny one.”
And another commented: “I feel your pain – recently had words with my neighbour who feels it’s OK to use my driveway without asking permission. Plant something with massive thorns along the fence. Alternatively, you could swap the fence for trellis, so that it’s just too flimsy for the son to climb over.”
One user disagreed and said: “I was on your side until I read that it takes the neighbour an extra five minutes to walk round. That adds up to a lot of wasted time. I’m not surprised he jumps the fence when he thinks you’re not looking.”
To which, someone else replied: “are you serious?” While another said: “There is always one!!” Another added: “That’s not the OP’s [original poster’s] problem?! He’s just lazy.”
One Mumsnet user said: “Tough! A twenty year old man can walk for an extra five minutes. He shouldn’t be going into his neighbour’s garden and climbing the fence. I had this problem in my last house, that fence panel had to be replaced several times. I also got abuse when I politely asked this adult man to stop damaging my fence and using my garden as a short cut. People can be so bloody lazy, entitled and rude.”
Another commented: “Absolute p***k. Honestly. That sort of entitlement, which is obviously his parents’ work, gets on my wick.”
In a follow up comment, the woman added: “I do wonder where we’d stand with cat spikes as they’re not as lethal as some of the anti burglary spikes and are technically aimed at cats so may not need warning signs?? It would definitely make it harder to pull himself over. In the meantime, I’ll do the wet garden trench idea, I like that I can still grow things there and it’s good for the wildlife!”
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