A woman recently asked for advice about a conflict with her elderly neighbor. She was shocked when he rudely claimed ownership over her garden path, but was she right to consider denying him access? Here’s what she had to say:
The Woman Had An Elderly Neighbor
“My (21F) house and my neighbour’s (80M) house are connected on one side, so our gardens are connected. My gaden has an alley that leads to the front of our street, but his garden doesn’t.”
The Man Used A Mobility Scooter
Because of his age, the man was quite frail. He needed special assistance to get around, namely a mobility scooter. The scooter didn’t fit through his front door, so he took it out the back way and got to the street via the alley.
The Woman Was Happy To Help
Although her neighbor didn’t technically have the right to go through her garden, she was happy to turn a blind eye. She knew that it was much easier for him than the alternative. She didn’t even mind when he removed the gate that separated their two gardens.
She Was An Avid Gardener
She loved to have a yard full of plants and flowers. One night, after doing some gardening, she left some plants out along her path. Although she normally tried to keep the path clear, she didn’t think it would be a problem. But she was wrong.
The Neighbor Was Furious
The next morning, when the woman woke up, she was surprised to hear her neighbor’s voice. He was shouting about the obstruction on “his” path. He demanded that she come down immediately and move the plants out of his way. The woman did so, but she didn’t like his attitude.
Her Good Will Only Went So Far
As far as she was concerned, the path was still hers. Although she was happy to let him use it, it wasn’t “his” path or “his” right of way. She had done him a favor, and he had been ungrateful to shout at her.
She Considered Changing Her Ways
Her neighbor’s rudeness had pushed her to her limit. She had always worked to accommodate him, and the one time there’d been a slight problem, he’d turned on her. She wondered if she should revoke his access to her garden.
She Didn’t Want To Be A Bad Person
She knew that her neighbor struggled to get around. If she blocked his access through her garden, he might struggle to leave his own house. Could she bear that on her conscience?
She Tried To Find Another Solution
She decided to contact one of her neighbor’s children in the hope that they could resolve the situation. She called one of the kids, and he promised to intervene on her behalf. His dad had been out of line, and he wanted to put things right.
Was She Wrong To Consider Barring Him?
She couldn’t decide if her urge to ban him from the garden made her the villain of the piece. He needed all of the help he could get moving around, and, in the past, she’d been happy to help. Perhaps she should continue to be kind. But, then again, he had rewarded her kindness with a rude outburst. Some people didn’t deserve nice things—or did they?
One person said, “I would give talking to him a try before putting up the gate, though. Tell him he is allowed to use the path in your garden as long as he remains polite, and if he yells at you one more time, then you are done.”
Another Person Had This to Say
“Being old and disabled doesn’t mean he can scream at you about YOUR property. You were doing a nice thing for him, but, ultimately, that’s your property, and you can block any path you like.”
A Final Comment
“NTA. His age doesn’t make it ok for him to be rude, nor does his disability.”
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