Is my neighbour conducting anti social behaviour or am I overacting?
I really need some advice please. Our neighbours moved in about 4 years ago. We’ve had balls kicked over our back garden fence every now and then from the beginning which, although annoying, wasn’t really a problem. Now the 2 youngest boys are older, they kick harder and higher resulting in many balls coming over each week.
Recently they knocked a plant, twice in the same week, destroying half of it, and knocked the washing off the clothes airer. I complained to the dad and he apologised and told the boys off. He offered to buy a new plant but I said not to worry about it, just stop the balls coming over. The following day the boys kicked the ball over and it hit me. I shouted out to them ‘that hit me’ and the dad came out. He asked one of the boys to apologise and that was pretty much that. That same evening 2 more balls came flying over - 1 hit my plant again, and the other smacked our bathroom window leaving a dirty great mark. We then also noticed another ball in our front garden, too.
Today the dad asked my 7yo daughter to throw the ball back (I think she told him it was in our garden). I went to talk to him about the fact we now have 5 balls of theirs when the dad snapped. He shouted at me ‘what do you want me to do, break their effing legs?’ I said you what? He repeated it again and asked what I wanted him to do about it? He then accused me of overacting, like an axe had hit me, not a football. He always swears. Every other word is a swear word and so this all felt really aggressive. I basically pointed out that we wanted to use our garden without my property getting destroyed or my family getting hurt. I described that our daughter could be hit and hurt. I got a minute of abuse before his wife told him to go in and calm down as we had a friend and her children with us.
His wife came over and she basically agreed and understood where I was coming from and that she would get the boys to keep the football in their garden. Again, I just reiterated I didn’t want to spoil their playing but we should be able to enjoy our garden too. She offered to clean our window in a ‘you’re a bit petty’ kind of way but I declined and again said it’s not about that.
The husband then comes out again, ranting and swearing that I need to get a blind for our bathroom so they don’t have to watch my husband and kids pi##ing and that I should have some self respect!? Our window is frosted - with a light on, you would still see a silhouette of someone standing at the toilet with a blind. We had a blind but they go mouldy.
Although we have always ‘got on’, they have a very volatile relationship (last year he called her a c##t and told her to go and kill herself in front of her kids and mine) and he drinks every minute he isn’t at work. She quite clearly likes to start arguments on the same things that never get resolved, too. A lot of this aggression happens in their garden for all to see and hear.
My husband and I are going to put a 6ft fence up between our properties ASAP as we really don’t want repeats of this but this means that, as their property is lower than ours, the fence will be about 9ft high on their side. They may moan, they may be glad.
Am I being unreasonable or moaning for the sake of moaning in this situation? I really felt like he was victim blaming me, but maybe I’m just being over sensitive? I was shaking at the time as it was so out of the blue, and I’ve had a headache since.
Your neighbor's a drunk. HIs wife's a shrew. The kids are unhappy. Plus with the role models the children have, being considerate of others will be kind of a stretch for them. Put up your fence.
Thank you so much for your response. You summed it up nicely, and confirmed my feelings. The fence will set us back £2000 (£2500 with a replacement 6ft side gate), and that's for only half the stretch of the garden where the main issues are, but I think it will be money well spent. I also reported his behaviour to the Police today - just to log it in case we have any repercussions regarding the fence. I'd be more than happy if we just never spoke to each other again!