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Things being thrown in to my garden from a neighboring property


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Not sure where to go with this one…

 

Some advice or guidance required please as to my rights / neighbours obligations regarding things being thrown in to my garden.

 

I live in the centre of a mid terrace with the rear garden of my property accessed via an alley way. The alley acts a point of access for x3 other properties with mine being the last. There is no through way.

 

Running along one side of the alley way are the boundary fences for the other x3 properties in my terrace row. On the other side is a boundary fence for another property which pretty much runs the length of the alley and also backs onto the rear of my property (it’s a nice big garden). That property has no access to the alley way.

 

The property which runs the length of the alley way and backs onto my garden is a residential home for adults with learning disabilities who are unfortunately throwing things into the alley way and my garden. These items consist of things from food to stones & metal bin lids (other items which could be considered dangerous to those throwing them, and also dangerous to my 4 year son).

 

The problem I have is that although I have made the owners of the facility aware of the issues, they doing nothing to stop it. Nor are they going to. So my frustration is with them, not the residents (the residents have every right to live where they do as I have a right not to have my garden used as a bin or worry about my son’s safety in my own property).

 

The problem has been ongoing for nearly x2 years and I’m desperate for it to stop – apart from the inconvenience, trying to safe guard my son is my priority.

 

Through lack of action from the facility owner, local authorities have been contacted. I’ve followed their request to record and document what they deem anti-social incidents but after speaking with them yesterday they advise the local authority is powerless to do anything.

 

So it seems I must just put up with this it and hope nothing bad happens…L

 

 

What should I do & what are the facility owner’s obligations in this situation?

 

Any help or advice is much welcomed

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Start off by photographing everything which is thrown on to your property.

Get a "filed plan" of your property from the Land Registry with your boundaries marked in red. Get Google maps and Earth print outs so that it is all very clear.

Document every incident and also make sure that all of your dialogue with the home is in writing or confirmed in writing.

 

I would be very careful to make sure that all of your dialogue is couched in a way which makes it clear that you appreciate that the "throwers" are people in very sad circumstances and that you sympathise with them but on the other hand, the managers of the home have a responsibility.

You don't want to come over as someone with no social understanding and who doesn't give a monkeys about other people. I think that would be very unhelpful to your case.

 

At the end of the day, your action is in trespass.

Trespass to property is not only about intruding on some one else's land - but also with dealing with the land in a way which only the owner or lawful occupier has the right to do.

This can be dealt with by means of a simple County Court claim. Rather than going for an injunction straight off, which would complicate your court claim, I would start by making a claim for a modest figure in compensation - say £100 to cover cost of removing and disposing of the items and for inconvenience. The idea of keeping it very small is so that the management will be obliged to sit up and take notice - but it won't be such a large amount that they will feel justified in instructing a load of lawyers and turning it into some marathon event.

 

make sure that the sum you are claiming can be justified to a court. If necessary, claim less - but keep it just a pure money claim.

 

An action for trespass can also include a claim for exemplary damages which are a higher sum which might be awarded to compensate you for hurt feelings - or the insult to your rights over the property.

As you appear, at this point, merely to be concerned with the risk of harm to your child rather than getting some money out of it, I suggest that you don't bother with this head of damage on this first occasion. Keep it simple.

Hopefully the Home will want to sort themselves out once they see that you are prepared to take an action - and this simple uncomplicated process might sort the whole thing out.

It is highly likely that they would want to avoid court and would attempt to settle with you. I would refuse to settle unless it was all subject to a Tomlin order which is an agreement which is signed off by the court.

If there were further incidents then you could revisit the problem based upon the Tomlin order and also consider bringing a more serious action for the fresh trespass which might include exemplary damages - maybe £500 if you were lucky. The important thing is that a second action on the back of a Tomlin order would be likely to get you a more significant award.

 

A suitable Tomlin order might include an undertaking to prevent further occurrences, and agreement to be injuncted in the event of further occurrences, an agreement to be responsible for the collection and disposal of any other items which are thrown over the fence in the event of any breach of the Tomlin order, an agreement to pay your costs incurred so far (clam fee etc) - etc.

 

If this way forward appeals to you, then build your file so that it shows the whole story and in a logical and chronological manner. Include copies or notes of all correspondence or dialogue.

Write letter to the care home and include a copy of the file. Point out your previous approaches to them and that the problem is continuing and that if there are any further incidents at any time, that you will begin an action in the County Court for trespass without any further notice.

 

Do not make this threat unless you are prepared to carry it out.

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Bankfodder you are a very difficult person to get hold of:-)

 

Yup, I been trying too inbox is Full :|

 

Get an injunction

 

 

Simple

 

mrpenguin

 

Get a load of Evidence before hand !

Please use the quote system, So everyone will know what your referring too, thank you ...

 

 

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Many thanks for the advice - greatly appreciated.

 

Do I inform the facility owners of my intended actions by way of a LBA citing their responsibilities and the element of trespass to see if they will do something now knowing what is in the pipeline, or just proceed without any further notice?

 

Thanks again!

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Many thanks for the advice - greatly appreciated.

 

Do I inform the facility owners of my intended actions by way of a LBA citing their responsibilities and the element of trespass to see if they will do something now knowing what is in the pipeline, or just proceed without any further notice?

 

Thanks again!

 

You could do this - give them a specific time say 7-10 days, after which point without further notice to them you will file your claim.

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Be careful with the accusations. This sounds like a neighbour dispute but may not, you only suspect it could be one or more of the residential occupants with learning difficulties, with no real proof, could be anyone with access to alley (presumably not gated so syringes or condoms left?)

Not sure of facilities owners (LL) has any liability if culprit not identified? Poss supervisory staff, but what can they do apart from deprive all residents access to a secure exercise area.

Set up a video/web cam in bedroom window overlooking the alley and collect evidence of likely culprit(s).

Council will do nothing, not noise nuisance, but rubbish in private alley. They will prob charge for clearing rubbish if alley provides fire brigade access to rear of properties or becomes a health hazard.

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Hi,

 

Presumably these items are being thrown from ground level and not from windows overlooking your property? If that is the case you could suggest that they raise the height of their fence to a much higher level and have the top curved inwards, overhanging their garden, which should make it more difficult to throw things. Or they could put a net above the wall to stop this. It might not look too pretty but would be effective in stopping the rubbish.

 

I do agree with bankfodder that you need to show some sympathy to the adults with learning difficulties but if the owners of the home haven't bothered to do anything for two years then clearly you do need to take some action if it is ever going to stop.

 

I would also strongly emphasise the potential danger to my four-year-old child who could be badly injured by the stones and dustbin lids they are throwing.

 

It sounds as though you have been incredibly reasonable and I think this is why the owners/management really aren't doing anything.

 

DD

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Hi there,

 

Yes things are being thrown from ground level. In communications via a learning disabilities team at the local authority there was suggestion in a letter I receive to say the facility owners were considering raising the fence height but that was a year ago...

 

I'm looking to draw up my P.O.C but not sure where to start. Is there anyone that could help with this?

 

Mr P

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello there.

 

I'm sorry you haven't had any replies to this. I'm going to try moving your thread to the General Legal forum and see if the guys there can help.

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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I understand this has been going on a long time but I think it is still a bit premature to draft a POC.

 

Personally I would start this off by sending further letters to the organisation setting out why this is still a real problem for you and expressing disappointment that nothing has been done. Personally I would ask to have a meeting or telephone call with the person in charge in order to discuss what can be done. Put a clear time frame on it (e.g. give them 14 days to respond) and if you still don't get any joy, send a chaser letter saying that you hope to find some way to resolve this but if no response is received will need to seek legal advice in order to protect yourself and your son.

 

Before issuing a POC you would need to send them a formal letter before action which should contain everything set out here http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/pd_pre-action_conduct#A (Annex A, paragraph 2.1) as a minimum. A formal legal letter before action will put them into a defensive mode so do keep trying the cooperative approach first.

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Next time they throw a sharp object in your garden, put gloves on and place it in a sealed bag.

Then the waiting game will start.

If you're like me, you will cut yourself sooner or later and blame the sharp object.

This will mobilise the elf & safety council mob and sort it out.

They never do anything until too late, so extreme measures are needed.

Please don't follow my advice if you believe in politics.

This is what I would do, it doesn't mean it's the correct answer.

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Not sure if that is wise king12345 ... if caught the op would lose all credibility in the eyes of the authorities and the courts.

How would you get caught?

You won't ask for compensation, merely report an incident to elf & safety mob at the council with supporting photos of the sharp object and the cut.

They love getting involved when something has already happened.

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There would be doubts raised for example if the cut is not consistent with the sharp object. Its the kind of thing op would be cross-examined on if he did end up in court for whatever reason.

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Hi there,

 

Thanks for the inputs.

 

As is stands, x3 members of staff have been challenged about things coming over (no action taken), and there has been contact through x2 local authority groups (the learning disabilities team & ASB team) both who are, they say, unable to do anything.

 

I have no doubt that any letter will be ignored, however if it is a requirement then I will send one. At least this way it will set out an uninterpreted chronology of events including the issues. I should try to avoid emotion in the letter I guess to avoid it becoming personal, but stay factual.

 

I'll draft this and send out soon.

 

I do happen to have a bag full of items already that I have been collecting since last year!

 

Thanks all,

 

Mr P

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Yes, it is a requirement. With something like this you can't trust random members of staff to deal with it, it really needs to go to someone high up with the power to make decisions.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Can you put up a cctv camera to catch the culprit?

 

It's not that there is any denial who is doing it or where the items are coming from, they just care about the impact it has :-(

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Hello All,

 

Please see below my draft notice/LBA to the management of the care facility - any comments, feedback etc all very welcome.

 

From approximately the middle of 2012 (circa June) until the current date, the residents of [address] have been throwing various items into my property.

 

These items include, but not limited to;

Food

Soiled medical dressings

Clothing

Bedding

Plastic bags & sheeting

Plastic straps, pipes & tubes

Plastic bottles, cups & containers

Metal clips & fastenings

Metal bin lid

 

Members of your staff have been engaged on several occasions to request this to stop. As a result 2 local authority groups had been contacted in an effort to encourage you to take some action. To this date, the local authority groups have been unsuccessful in encouraging your organisation to put in place reasonable measures to prevent items being thrown into my property.

 

From my understanding, the residents of [address] are in residential care which is the responsibility of your organisation [organisation name]. I fully appreciate that it may be difficult or take a great deal of effort to provide appropriate levels of care for the residents; however your organisation also has a responsibility to ensure that it does not impact or detriment others by its actions or inactions. As such your organisation must take reasonable steps to fulfil this duty.

 

I believe it has been highlighted to you, and I will reiterate here that some of the items that are thrown into my property are considered dangerous, especially if they struck someone, and also if they were to be handled by the wrong person. It is my primary concern that my son, who was 2 years old when items began to be thrown across, may indeed be injured by these items. I am deeply upset that you do not share any such concerns towards others and do not show any signs of consideration allowing matters to continue for two years now.

 

Items that have been thrown into my property have been collected and disposed of appropriately at my personal expense. Also including time & effort. I must state that having to scrape marmite sandwiches from my son’s garden toys and pick up soiled medical dressings is not pleasant.

 

For a limited time, some items were photographed and recorded (also visibly witnessed), and subsequently shared with the local authority groups in an attempt to encourage you to take action, but alas this has not yielded any result.

 

AS of the date of this letter, if any further incidents of items are thrown into my property I will begin a County Court action for trespass and shall give you no further notice.

 

If you wish to liaise with me to help facilitate the prevention of items coming into my property (i.e. to gain access to my property to raise your perimeter fence, or discuss an appropriate height for this), then please write to me at my address as given.

 

Kind regards

 

Mr Penguin

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You have received so much helpful advice already, yet just wanted to give a little advice myself if that is good with you?.

 

 

I live in a private residence that also houses vulnerable adults with varying degrees of mental health conditions. I am a voluntary warden as well as a respectable tenant, yet have the responsibility of overseeing the management of negative behaviours I then report to the manager of the housing scheme. I completely empathize with your situation, and you should certainly not have to tolerate anti-social behaviours from your neighbours, regardless of whether they are vulnerable adults or not. As the ever-intelligent Bank Fodder has sugessted: document all activities - however small and trivial - right through to the discarding of their waste matter over your garden.

 

 

You have the right to enjoy your property without intrusion; negative or destructive behaviours from those who do not show intelligent respect of your rightful peace. It is deemed as 'tresspassing' and in some instances of poprieter protection law: adverse possession, if neighours or even strangers tresspass your property and inhabit it as if it were their own. However, the best course of action as always - talk to the property owners - only write them a serious letter of complaint if the problem still exists after talking-it-out with property owner, and does not resolve the matter. In desperate measures, the Police can be contacted and get involved if the neighbours are using deliberate intimidating behaviours - something which even, adults with learning difficulties, are capable of conscious of behavioural misconduct, and you should not be afraid whatsoever, to address this in a letter of complaint or to the police if absoloutely necessary.

 

 

Vulnerable adults are protected by human rights laws - yet only to a marginal extent if their care-wardens are not doing their job by allowing them the ultimate freedom to behave in ways that intimidate - and/or threaten others on a persistent basis.

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