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Rant Neighbour's right to privacy?

Discussion in 'General' started by Nealieboyee, 8 Nov 2018 at 10:24.

  1. Nealieboyee

    Nealieboyee Packaging Master!

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    Hi all,

    I just have a query about my neighbour’s right to privacy.


    Quick back story. We moved into a semi detached place in May. We are renting, and so is my neighbour. I have been desperate for a space to do my hobbies etc for a while now, so the first thing I did was tear down the old rotting potting shed and build a 6x9 (2x3m) shed in its place. The height is right on the limit at 2.5m.

    Everything has been fine up until now. A few days ago I knocked on his door and had a chat about my noise in the shed, and that if it were ever a problem, to just shout over the fence and I’ll do my best to keep it down. I’m trying to be a good neighbour, you know?


    So fast forward to yesterday, he asks for a chat over our shared fence. My first thought was that I was making noise and he wanted me to keep it down. But instead he says his landlord has said that I must extend the height of the fence up to at least the top of my shed windows, because Its affecting his privacy. Also his wife likes to exercise in the garden sometimes. The light from inside the shed is also bright. I agreed, the shed is pretty tall and its off the floor too so it seems even taller. We only have a 5ft fence so I can see straight into his garden/house. We talked for a bit and everything was civil and we discussed me putting up some trellis extensions for the top of the fence.


    Afterwards, I started thinking about it. Is it really my responsibility? Shouldn’t he pay for the trellis toppers on the fence? His privacy is his responsibility, surely? I’ll do it, but if its actually not my problem then he should know that it was done as a courtesy, and not because I was forced to.


    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    I'd say it's your responsibility, but I'm speaking morally rather than legally, as you're directly responsible for the change in his privacy. If you're looking for a cheaper way of sorting it out, consider asking him if he'd be happy with you throwing a bathroom-style privacy film on the window facing his house: you'll still get the benefit of natural light, but you won't be able to peer in to his living room.
     
  3. Nealieboyee

    Nealieboyee Packaging Master!

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    Thanks Gareth. You mean to put the privacy film on my shed window, yes? If so, I don't think that would do it. I think the height of the shed (at least compared to the height of the fence) is a problem for him. But yeah, I'd have to agree with you. Morally, I caused the change in privacy.
     
  4. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Yeah, stick it on the shed window. If his concern is truly related to privacy, then that solves the problem completely: you can't see him any more. If he's still concerned about the bright light in the shed, add a cheap blind to the inside of the window (although when my neighbour's security light is shining in my window at night, I just close *my* curtains - so I'm not sure why he can't do that.)

    If it's that he considers the shed an eyesore and is using loss-of-privacy as a convenient excuse, then yeah: sounds like you'd be stuck with trellis. Personally, I'd rock up and cheerfully announce that you've found a really quick way to solve the problem, explain about the privacy film, and if he's still umming and ahhing offer to go halves on the trellis option instead. Won't leave him with much of a position to argue against that option if he wants to stick to his privacy story, but makes you look like the reasonable one.
     
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  5. legoman

    legoman breaker of things

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    We have an ongoing issue with our neighbour claiming they want total privacy but keep looking over our fence etc.
    I would go with Gareth's suggestion or, if they still want a trellis fit either that or a bamboo screen, you can easily train a plant up there as well to soften the look. I put a couple of Clematis in this year which have done a decent job of it, plus they are easy to maintain and no thorns so they cannot complain on that side of things.
     
  6. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Swinging the banhammer Super Moderator

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    I'd just go with the film on your shed window if they're up for it. It sounds like they're not happy with you being able to see into their garden rather than them being able to see your shed.
     
  7. spolsh

    spolsh Active Member

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    I'd say just sort it out to his satisfaction, be it privacy film and blinds or the trellis - I suspect the trellis idea will now be locked in his head if his landlord suggested it. Two plus sides though, it means you get privacy in your shed too and as you've accommodated his wishes this time, he'll probably be a good neighbour to you too and be more willing to put up with a little noise sometimes.
     
  8. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    Another option would be horizontal louvres over the outside of the window, angled up: Block vision down into their garden, blocks light spill from the shed into their garden (as that was mentioned), but still allows light into the window.
     
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  9. Nealieboyee

    Nealieboyee Packaging Master!

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    Some good replies, thanks all. I'm going to talk to him this afternoon and offer to board up my windows because I don't really need them. I have decent lighting in my shed. If that's not good enough for him, then I'll know it's not a privacy thing and more of an eye-sore thing, in which case I'll have to put up some trellis panels. But surely not along the whole fence? Just enough to block line of sight to the shed windows?
     
  10. B1GBUD

    B1GBUD ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    Legally, isn't there still a lack of a full and precise definition of privacy? or ones rights to privacy?
     
  11. sandys

    sandys Well-Known Member

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    When you build extension etc there are rules as to how far you have to be away from a fence to have a window facing a neighbour for privacy, on my house with my 2 story extension I had to remove all side windows as part of building regs, so I would say your neigbour has a point.

    My windows still exist in my house but just inside the house as mirrors etc :D
     
  12. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    If the issue is the window either cover it entirely or get some window film that makes it opaque but still allows brightness to come through. Like white film or something.

    You’re renting so you probably don’t want to futz with the fence.
     
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  13. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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    It's a rental.

    Just appease the neighbour as best you can. Ask the landlord their opinion on your potential solutions. You don't want to lose (more) deposit because they had to undo stuff when you leave.
     
  14. Archtronics

    Archtronics Well-Known Member

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    As already mentioned, legally there is nothing they can do as its a rental.
     
  15. yodasarmpit

    yodasarmpit No longer the other Brett.

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    For those saying it’s just a rental, he still has to live there. I’d be tempted to just cover the window, no need to add anything on top o& the fence.
     
  16. Arthur

    Arthur Comment is over there ----->

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    Lay him out, take his bird out for drinks then exercise on her in the shed...should be sorted after that.
     
  17. Lassar

    Lassar Lean Mean Fighting Machine !

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    HAHAHAHAHAH just spat coffee at the screen reading this comment.
     
  18. Nealieboyee

    Nealieboyee Packaging Master!

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    @Arthur Lol thanks for the laugh. Made my day.
    I spoke to my neighbour yesterday. Because of the 2m height limit for a fence, I can't put a 2ft trellis up so I offered to put up a 1ft trellis and block the shed window facing his side. He was perfectly happy with that.
     
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  19. B1GBUD

    B1GBUD ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    What did the wife say to the drinks?
     
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  20. Nealieboyee

    Nealieboyee Packaging Master!

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    haha. You'll forgive me if I didn't feel like asking her.
     

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