Neighbours

Old Feb 7th 2020, 9:29 am
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Default Neighbours

We have recently had an influx of new neighbours ..all along the right side of our villa. going from the 'almost top of the hill, where we are ,down to the road at the bottom.. Five houses in all..along our boundary . All bought by Swedes.. Who have obviously got together, as fellow countrymen, and had a good chinwag about the neighbours US !!!

These houses were declared illegal when first built 12 yrs ago.. Much higher than our villa ,with pools at the level of our upper patio . and too close to our boundary line, and other villas above and below us They were only used as rentals until last year when the builder must have finally gained a licence to sell

The previous owner of our villa had had the landscape gardener Justin Wride ( of the alas now defunct Garden Magazine ) plant out their garden. 22 yrs ago He put pine trees along the right hand fence ,interspersed with Acacia and jacaranda . Its now a very mature garden ,so much so that we had to have all the pines 'topped' 5 yrs ago.. to what we considered a reasonable height
My new neighbours came around for coffee a couple of weeks ago and told us they wanted one of the pines taking out completely as they 'hadn't got a view of the rock luz beach'. We were quite taken aback. but in the name of good neighbourlyness( is that a word ? ) we said we would talk to our Tree Surgeon ,who now comes once a year to trim the palms. He came and said indeed one or two were very big and were in fact threatening our cookhouse and my Art House .so he recommended taking them out I told the neighbours and they seem happy ,and I thought that was that WRONG
Yesterday I was in the garden and noticed that they had cut the hedge between us, right down to the top of the brick wall. They were all lined up looking down into my garden My neighbour smiled and said 'Look what we did,,this is so much better.. we have MORE of a view. When your tree man comes , we would like him to cut down these pines you have along the side of your house as they are stopping our palm trees from growing . The OH then tugged at a bush in our garden that reached the top of the wall. 'what is this ? he said It is growing into our tree on this side..
OHMYGOODGOD..... It seems that the neighbour at the bottom of the garden also wanted trees taking down as he 'claims' he had a view when he moved in.. and doesn't have it now. He moved in LAST SUMMER ...

Anyone any views on this..? Has it happened to you?

I am stunned that these neighbours bought houses without views .. but feel they are entitled to them, at my expense.
Whats worse .They are really nice people and I wouldn't want to fall out with them, but it seems they are not shy in wanting their own way here
what would you do ?

Last edited by GeniB; Feb 7th 2020 at 9:37 am.
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Old Feb 7th 2020, 9:47 am
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Default Re: Neighbours

Difficult for you. I think that the first thing to do is to ensure you have a good photographic record of how things are now - and do you have any photos of the trees before they moved in? I think that there are two issues: whether it is reasonable for you to allow for changes, and whether your neighbours should be allowed to take unilateral action and cut your property. As far as the latter is concerned, absolutely not, because there is no damage or threat to their own property. Whilst I think it will be a difficult conversation for you, I think it important to take a friendly but firm approach, and inform them that they must not damage any of your property in the future - if Portuguese law is anything like UK law they will only have the right to cut down overhanging branches, but even then must return the cuttings to you.

As far as the views are concerned, it might depend on the balance of advantage to them against disadvantage to you. Although you would prefer to keep them as they are, ask yourself if you would mind a lot if they were reduced in height. If your answer is that you would not mind much, then by cutting them back you will be providing them with a lot of happiness at a small, but acceptable cost to you - do it. If it would generally make you very unhappy, then you will resent it and that alone will interfere with potential friendship, in which case it makes sense to hold firm. There might, though, be another way: can some trees be cut back, giving them some view, whilst retaining others? A working compromise?
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Old Feb 7th 2020, 2:41 pm
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Default Re: Neighbours

Thanks Diddion We have already come to the conclusion that we would rather have good neighbours than hang on to the trees.. Our Tree surgeon had already suggested we take down at least two of them.. Which actually serves us more than our neighbours as they block the sun on the pool more and more at the moment. We will concede one more tree for the neighbour at the bottom of our garden.. even though he has not approached us directly on the subject. .Then its up to our neighbours. ( we will pay for those described ) We will send the Tree Surgeon around to their house and if they want more, they will have to pay for it...as long as it suits us that is
I still find it odd that anyone would buy a house , without a view, and just expect the neighbours to provide it?
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Old Feb 7th 2020, 2:47 pm
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Default Re: Neighbours

Originally Posted by GeniB View Post
Thanks Diddion We have already come to the conclusion that we would rather have good neighbours than hang on to the trees.. Our Tree surgeon had already suggested we take down at least two of them.. Which actually serves us more than our neighbours as they block the sun on the pool more and more at the moment. We will concede one more tree for the neighbour at the bottom of our garden.. even though he has not approached us directly on the subject. .Then its up to our neighbours. ( we will pay for those described ) We will send the Tree Surgeon around to their house and if they want more, they will have to pay for it...as long as it suits us that is
I still find it odd that anyone would buy a house , without a view, and just expect the neighbours to provide it?
Yes, GeniB. "Good call," as they say!
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Old Feb 7th 2020, 2:57 pm
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Default Re: Neighbours

My old Dutch next door neighbour just took similar action on a row of conifers and the bottom of our joint rear wall. Conifers belonged to the neighbour behind us.
One day he just took his shears and cut all of them down to the level of the rear wall. I suggested that he should have asked for the owner of them to cut them down, he just shrugged his shoulders and carried on. But they were no so high in the first place but again it was they spoil my view, apart from the fact the house behind had been there for over 10 years.
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Old Feb 7th 2020, 4:04 pm
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Default Re: Neighbours

Originally Posted by wellinever View Post
My old Dutch next door neighbour just took similar action on a row of conifers and the bottom of our joint rear wall. Conifers belonged to the neighbour behind us.
One day he just took his shears and cut all of them down to the level of the rear wall. I suggested that he should have asked for the owner of them to cut them down, he just shrugged his shoulders and carried on. But they were no so high in the first place but again it was they spoil my view, apart from the fact the house behind had been there for over 10 years.
That doesn't surprise me at all wellinever Having lived in the Netherlands for over 30 yrs.. I know they don't hang around doing the ' manners and polite ' stuff we Brits were brought up on .
Just had lunch though with my German friend ( married to English guy ) who used to live near Hever Castle. Her garden there was a sort of hockey stick shape and their neighbours 'hockey stick' wrapped around theirs They used to be able to sit on their patio and get a view down the' long part' and see woods and the castle in the distance. They built a small summer house type shed in the foot end ..so to speak. One day her OH called her as she came home on the train and said 'Don't freak out when you see it ,but our neighbour has put up a 'shed' the size of the Taj Mahal. She was horrified .it completely blocked their view. No consultation and it seems no planning permission needed as the neighbour was a senior police officer and a mason to boot My friend moved away a year later
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Old Feb 7th 2020, 5:25 pm
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Default Re: Neighbours

Ah, the glory of the Alentejo

The worst we get is the neighbour's sheep getting into the garden.......
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Old Feb 8th 2020, 9:00 am
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Default Re: Neighbours

Originally Posted by macliam View Post
Ah, the glory of the Alentejo The worst we get is the neighbour's sheep getting into the garden.......
Agree. The most we have to worry about is when the orchards are sprayed around us. Or the noise when our nearest neighbour is doing his permanent building works when he is not at gainful employment (which has been going on for 20 years).. We chose not to have immediate neighbours following a nightmare situation in the UK.

We did have to cut back a large Almond tree and a Jacaranda last year on the lane ... but that was because the EDP required it.

We love no campo!

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Old Feb 9th 2020, 10:21 am
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Default Re: Neighbours

No one has a right to a view over your place.
I get a sea view when some distant acacias get cut; the view goes away when they grow tall again. That's life.

So how to deal with Swedes bearing trimming shears?
I think you've done well, as by luck you needed to cut those trees anyway.

Our new neighbors have their sea view completely blocked by our 3 meter hedge. It was like that years before they got here.
He did ask me not to plant pines at the border of his potato field; no potatoes in it for years but he has a point. The roots will cross under and cause trouble to crops.

Apparently there is some rule or law about trees at the border of agriculture fields, and if anyone can tell me details I'd like to know how far from the line I should plant.
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Old Feb 11th 2020, 3:09 pm
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Default Re: Neighbours

Originally Posted by macliam View Post
Ah, the glory of the Alentejo

The worst we get is the neighbour's sheep getting into the garden.......
I hope it comes with mint sauce
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Old Feb 11th 2020, 3:29 pm
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Default Re: Neighbours

Originally Posted by GeniB View Post
I hope it comes with mint sauce
Believe me, you wouldn't want to eat them - they're mutton dressed as....... well, mutton

You'd have to be baaarmy!
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Old Feb 11th 2020, 4:32 pm
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Default Re: Neighbours

Mutton needs longer hanging and much slower cooking but the flavour is superb.
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Old Feb 11th 2020, 4:46 pm
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Default Re: Neighbours

Originally Posted by Shanorme View Post
Mutton needs longer hanging and much slower cooking but the flavour is superb.
I used to be served mutton in Ireland - you can have mine, with pleasure
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Old Feb 11th 2020, 7:10 pm
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It's awful if it is not hung and cooked properly.
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Old Feb 11th 2020, 8:44 pm
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Default Re: Neighbours

Originally Posted by Shanorme View Post
It's awful if it is not hung and cooked properly.
Which is also true for some neighbours.
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