‘Fence wars’ after neighbour paints woman’s fence ‘without asking’

On the parenting forum and social media platform Mumsnet, a woman with username @supermario10 asked for advice over a “neighbour dispute/fence issue” and a potential “fence war”. The forum user explained that she and her husband bought some land at the back of their house to increase their garden size and they spent a year landscaping the whole garden.

“Part of this landscaping including erecting (and paying for) a fence on the new boundary where we bought the land,” she explained.

A few months ago, a new neighbour moved in, and one day, when she came back home from the school run she found the “new neighbour was painting his side of the fence”.

The dark green paint he was using had dripped down the back onto her side of the fence and “looked awful”.

“I’m gutted,” the woman admitted. “He’s also screwed a bird box into it (only noticed that when I looked over today).”

She said that they had treated the panels as they wanted a natural wood look for their fence and the neighbour clearly ruined that.

The forum user clarified that she doesn’t want a “neighbour dispute” but at the same time “I feel really annoyed that someone did this without thinking to ask first”.

She added that sadly, they had “spent a lot of time, effort and not to mention money on it,” and asked other forum users for advice.

Her post was inundated with comments, mostly from people who had experienced a similar situation and a woman with username @custardbear suggested that the best option was to “talk to them and explain what happened”.

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Another forum user, @bytheseaseasea, joked: “Lift the panels out and turn them round”, and many agreed this could potentially be a very “practical solution” as long as she doesn’t mind the colour.

“They can always repaint their ‘new’ side which will cover over the drippy paint runs,” one suggested.

Social media user @yoyo1234 commented that “obviously they shouldn’t have done what they did”, especially after dark green can be a “very offensive” colour, but suggested that she can always paint her side to “match”.

“Just as a leaking green probably looks far worse than a solid green,” she added. Another one, @mountainbear opined that it sounded like an “honest mistake”.

Although the neighbours probably didn’t realise the paint would come through, many suggested that she should still go and have “a quick chat” to work something out.

“Communicate with the new neighbour that it’s your fence, this will hopefully stop further damages to the fence,” recommended @ivykaty44.

Another forum user added that they should have sought permission to paint before “ruining your side”.

On the same social media platform, a woman recently shared her frustration online over her next-door neighbour who “completely ruined” her side of the fence.

Similarly, they had used a dark paint that “seeped through” to her side and made her lovely fence look “ridiculous”.

“I could cry, we’re busy working parents with young children so could really do without this,” she explained.

When a situation like this arises and neighbours can’t reach a decision, the best option is to contact the local council or Citizens Advice.

Alternatively, a mediator can help. “This is someone who doesn’t know either of you and is trained to help people resolve disagreements,” Citizens Advice explained.

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