What’s that saying, “Good fences make good neighbours”?? My hubby just had it out with our next door neighbour. Today was the last straw for me with this man. We’ve been next door to him for almost 2 years and over the last year it has gotten progressively more and more intense.

Two years ago he came to us about putting up the fence, we said great – we’d like that. $250 was our portion. The next day, my hubby’s mom died (in his arms in our house). It was obvious that my man couldn’t help this guy build the fence now – we were a little distracted. The guy came to us and said he’d take care of it. He’d build it on his property so we wouldn’t have to worry about it. Great – one less thing on our plate at that time.

He’s been an ornery little man since.

We’ve offered to pay him half of the fence cost but each time he has said, “No, it’s ok!”. Over the last year he has talked to our kids – behind our backs – when their balls hit the fence or they fall into it while playing sports in our backyard or when their ball flies over the fence into their yard. He never once came to us – he and his young son only yell at my children. Today, my oldest went outside to help clean up the toys in the yard so my hubby can mow the lawn when the neighbour told Q to get the bike lock off the fence or else he would cut it off. I had it. Enough is enough.

My hubby headed over there to talk to this man, I could hear the man shouting at Dave quite quickly. Dave remained calm as he always does! I was listening at the window and I couldn’t help but shout out the window – I’m way way too emotional at times… Dave explained that he cannot stop soccer balls from hitting the fence. The neighbour started yelling back that it was his fence over and over again. Dave offered him the money again. He said no he didn’t want it but he kept yelling about it being his fence and that we did nothing to help him put it in. Dave says, “I was burying my Mother when you put in the fence”. Dave again offered him the money to which the man said no once again. Then the man says if the kids hit the fence again he will call the police on our rental unit. I LOST IT! What rental unit? I live in the basement of my own house while my f-i-l has the upper floor. All of our names are on the mortgage. Dave told me to be quiet – I was going to explode on him.

Am I just being unreasonable? There’s more run-ins with this man and his son who has taken on his dad’s attitude.

One day my s-i-l parked on the street in front of his house – which is public property – and he parked his vehicle right up against her bumper, actually touching her new car. He did the same thing to my other neighbours van. He parked so close that he hit the bumper causing the van to rock. My nice neighbour came over to his house to ask him why the grumpy man hit his van. Do you want to know his response? “I didn’t know it was your van?!” You see…. they have the exact same mini-van as us. He thought he was hitting our van and apparently that was OK!!

Everything in me wants to send all the kids outside to run around and scream as loud as they can!! I know that is not the right thing to do but…. 🙂


I'm the Cool Mom of 4, Married to the Preacher Man, but at times I'm a little more Sass than Saint!

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  1. Been there… no easy answer, especially when the person you’re dealing with is unreasonable to begin with.
    Neighbours can be very difficult and even when you go out of your way to get along they just refuse to.
    Offering the money wouldn’t help, if he took it, he would look bad for taking it, and it would still be his fence. You can’t buy the use of half a fence on somebody else’s property.

    If your neighbour is making threats you might do well to file an official complaint with your Township.

    I may not have the best response, I’ve had too much trouble when I’ve tried to be the “better person”… this is a bit of sore spot for me.

  2. It was after he implied that my kids were stealing things from his backyard that he said he’s going to call the police next time and then jumped into our illegal rental unit… which we live in. Strange man without a leg to stand on.

    I had wanted to put on the fence a mirror and other wrought iron pieces I’ve been collecting. If it is on his property — even though it is facing my yard — can I do that? I need to call the city to see what is his and what is ours.

    After the run-in… he was working on putting in a gate where the fence currently ends… by the end of the conversation he went and got an ogger and is now putting the fence the entire way up the side of the yard to the front of the house. Swearing each and every step and dig. My kids are learning all sorts of new words thanks to him…

  3. LOL… they don’t need those kind of words! Can you imagine sharing that on a Sunday morning!

    No, his fence is his, you cannot hang anything on it, lean anything against it or paint it to match your yard. Mind you, if he wants to maintain his fence facing your yard, you might want to tell him he needs to ask permission to walk on your property if you are wary of him being where the kids are.

    I was awake for part of the night thinking about this… and the one thing I would definitely do is inform your neighbour in writing that he is NOT to talk to your children regarding anything to do with the fence, the property line, or any issues to do with being neighbours. You don’t want to “push him too far” and say to stop completely talking to your kids, because he should be able to say hi and any other nice things… but cut him off from discussing adult issues.

    Don’t let him harrass your kids.

    I can get along with most people, but mistreat my kids on any level and you will get the fight of your life.

  4. Why not just build your own fence on your property. The kids can kick balls all they want you can put up your mirrors and lock your bikes to it.

  5. Our plan of action for this week is to kill him with kindness. Cards, flowers, baked goodies, etc. We’ll see where we get by Wednesday – if he is still grumpy by Friday, I’m going to visit the by-law office to see where to go from there.

  6. According to our township, you cannot build a fence against another fence, the bylaw says a fence needs to be accessible from both sides. There cannot be a permanent structure within 3 feet or 1 meter of a fence.

    Your neighbour or yourself has the right to maintain a fence and has to be able to access both sides at all times.

  7. I am afraid we are going to have the same problem when we put our fencing up with 1 neighbor… she thinks her property line is about 100 yards in our property!!! could be interesting.

    some people just have nothing better to do…. try not to let it steal your joy!
    love you..off to Barkerville this morning

  8. he built a permanent shed on a concrete base just over a foot away from the fence…

  9. Wow Shan
    I had no idea you guys had this problem. We haven’t had to deal with it yet as we don’t own the outside of our house and property. I would also have to lock my self inside as my initial instincts are to strike and attack when I am angry. I don’t know what to say but I totally understand wanting to tear a strip off his back. Of course that is never an efficient or Christ like way to deal with things. Ha Ha
    I’ll keep in mind that fences make good neighbours.

  10. Dave bought a bottle of one of my favourite wines (Naked Grape Merlot – hint hint for all reading this…) and took it over with a card. We wait and see now.

  11. You might think I’m just sitting around reading this… I’ve actually been very busy…

    The moment you saw your neighbour preparing to build a shed, you should of reminded him of the bylaws. Having gone through this too many times, I have learned quite a bit.

    For example, when we decide to build our fence our neighbours have to remove their shed. I have already confirmed it with the bylaw officer and he said if there are any issues, he will come and deal with the neighbours so we don’t have to.

    When I first mentioned this change to our neighbours it was not received well, but I hope by the time we’re ready to build things will go easier.

    Know your bylaws, they will back you up… stay with the facts and stay away from emotional confrontations.

  12. Yes it was particularly fun last night when 5 or 6 different families from church showed up at our place for a corn roast and movie! 🙂 I’m sure that made his day!!!

  13. Good thing the movie was inside.
    Our fence was already up when we moved in.

  14. This guy has issues! I wonder what is going on. Very strange. It has to be about more than a fence.

  15. I like your style Shan and Dave. Do the kindness route. He obviously has other issues. Maybe you have more friends visiting. Don’t let him steal your joy. If he wears you out come to the beach. I have made note of the Wine – one of my favorites too.

  16. Gotta love neighbours who like the bylaw people…and if he called the cops because your kids are hitting his fence with a ball, they will probably just laugh it off. We want to put a fence up next year (so we can level the yard and have a pool), but I can’t find anything online about fence bylaws…

  17. I’d call the city and find out exactly what the rules are in your town-if there is no “easement” rule between fences, then I would put a fence as close as you can get it to “his” fence; it would be especially good if it means that the “in between” space is HIS property to figure out how to take care of.
    If there are rules, then build it as close as the law will allow you to, and THEN call and report his shed that is too close to his fence.

    And all the while, I would not say ONE word to him about any of it…I would just be as nice as possible every time I saw him

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