My neighbours keep using my garden – and it just drives me crazy

On the parenting forum Mumsnet, a woman with username @PrammyMammy explained that she, her husband and her son live in a “block type flat” and downstairs, a couple in their 60s have three grandchildren who “visit every day”. The woman and her family have their own fenced back garden which is separated from the neighbours’ and has a gate. However, that doesn’t stop them from using it.

She explained that the neighbours’ garden is “lovely, with flowers and lots of garden gnomes and a water feature”.

However, there is no grass in their garden, it is all slabs and pebbles, while her garden has grass and a small path that takes to another fenced part of the garden where her son usually plays.

There, she has her son’s toys, a swing, a tree house and a trampoline, as well as a table and chairs set.

“Every day the neighbours’ grandchildren are in my garden, using my son’s toys, climbing on the table and just driving me crazy,” she claimed.

The woman added that “no one ever asked me if they could use my garden, it just happens”.

She explained that sometimes the neighbours even move her chairs into their garden for them to use while sunbathing.

“Today, for example, I took my son outside to play and found the three children on his things,” the Mumsnet user said.

The woman admitted that she is “so angry” because the neighbours’ grandchildren always start crying when her son wants to play there and she has to take him back inside the house while they use his toys.

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The woman asked for advice and hundreds of mums took to the comments section to share their thoughts.

Most people suggested she should talk to them “nicely” as what they are doing is “just not fair” for her or her son.

One commented: “Well, you’re not being unreasonable to feel angry about this, I know I’d be very annoyed! The only thing to do is have a quiet word with your neighbours and see if that makes a difference.”

A forum user suggested she could get a padlock for the gate and remove all toys or get a shed and lock them away.

Other mums recommended installing a fence or gate. “I used to live in such a flat. I ended up putting a six-foot fence up around my garden.

“I got a right mouthful from the elderly man upstairs but it was my garden and was worth it for the privacy.”

Others suggested she should simply tell the neighbours’ grandchildren to go and play in their own garden.

Citizens Advice explained that people should only “talk to your neighbour if you feel safe and comfortable”.

“It’s quicker to talk face to face – but you can write, text or call if that’s easier. You can take someone with you for support.

“Tell your neighbour how their behaviour is affecting you and what would help,” the Citizens Advice website states.

GOV.UK recommends talking to the neighbour but if that doesn’t work, people can always contact the neighbour’s landlord.

If a dispute isn’t resolved, people can use a mediation service or complain to the local council.

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