My passive aggressive neighbour tidied up my garden without asking and is demanding money for it

dear moral money,

My wife and I bought our first house last year and our neighbor waged a passive war of aggression against us from the start.

It started small, with notes through the door complaining about our Yorkshire Terrier barking and comments about our children playing in the street outside. But it has now escalated and we need advice.

Our neighbor has (mercifully) decided to move and is trying to sell her house. Two weeks ago, she complained about the state of our front yard, claiming it put off potential buyers.

Admittedly, since my wife and I stopped working from home, we’ve struggled to stay on top of things and the garden has faltered a bit. It wasn’t a complete jungle, but it wasn’t as primitive and tidy as it used to be either.

I told our neighbor that we would sort this out as soon as possible.

However, last week I came home from work and was shocked to find that the garden was tidy. Apparently she had mowed the grass, clipped the hedges, and piled some of our children’s toys that were lying on the lawn into a pile on our porch.

I couldn’t trust her cheekiness but to make matters worse she had dropped a £50 bill in our mailbox along with a passively aggressive note claiming she couldn’t wait for us do it yourself.

Of course, we threw the “bill” in the trash, but she did not drop the issue and demands payment. Should we pay them or keep fighting?

LW, via email

Conflicts between neighbors can be extremely distressing and often arise when one party is trying to sell their home.

Luckily for you and your wife, your neighbor is looking to sell her property and you may soon have new neighbors who I hope you will get along with better.

In the meantime, Citizens Advice recommends that you keep a record of all neighborhood disputes. Write down as many details as you can, including what happened, how long it took, and how it affected you.

Since you didn’t allow her to tidy up your garden, you don’t have to pay her. Since she has entered your property, you may be able to pursue the matter further, but this will likely escalate the situation.

She’s selling the house and things will be resolved soon, so maybe it’s best to let it go.

You could tell her you won’t be paying the bill, and politely but firmly tell her not to enter your yard without your permission. If she ignores this and continues to trespass, you could file a lawsuit.

If communication has broken down between you and your neighbor, you can ask your local council to find an arbitrator to settle future disputes. My passive aggressive neighbour tidied up my garden without asking and is demanding money for it

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