When the Original Poster (OP) purchased a historic property and planted hedges for privacy, she unwittingly collided with the plans of the new owner of a neighboring cottage, who had dreams of running an Airbnb with a view. Legal and moral questions emerge as official letters fly in, accusing OP of sabotaging these plans by blocking the view with hedges. OP is caught between the rights to personal privacy and the impact on a neighbor’s potential income, leaving us to question: Who is in the wrong?
The Historic Purchase
Last year, OP and her family bought a historical property, previously run as a small hotel by the older owners. The property came with a large plot of land. The elderly couple sold it because they couldn’t meet operational demands anymore.
From Hotel to Home
OP and her family decided to convert the hotel back into a private residence. They began renovating, decorating, and settling in. The property was large and situated next to a busy country road.
The Hedge Project
To ensure privacy and safety, especially for young nephews who might visit, OP decided to plant hedges along the longest edge of the property. This would block the view from the road and serve as a natural barrier.
The Gardener’s Cottage
A small gardener’s cottage was located at the edge of the property line. This cottage was sold separately when OP bought the main residence. OP and her husband took care to plant bushes only within their property lines.
The elderly couple had sold the cottage to a relative without informing OP. The new owner had plans to turn it into an Airbnb property. OP was unaware of these plans at the time of the hedge-planting.
The Growth Spurt
After a summer of lush growth, the hedges became more noticeable. At this point, the new owner of the cottage realized what OP had done. OP received official-looking letters from the new owner, accusing OP of impeding their reasonable enjoyment of the gardener’s cottage property.
A Matter of Views
The crux of the issue was that the cottage was going to be marketed as a property with a “view of a historical landmark.” The growing hedge would, over time, obstruct this view significantly. Both parties had their own interests and priorities, creating a conflict that needed to be addressed.
OP and her husband wanted to know their rights concerning the hedges they planted on their property. After pondering the legal aspects, OP also asked for moral advice, wondering if they were wrong for potentially harming someone else’s business prospects.
The Income Argument
The new owner clarified that the hedges could potentially damage their income. Their Airbnb plans heavily relied on marketing the property’s view, but OP and her husband had been cautious about planting the hedges within their own property lines.
The Unspoken Assumptions
The new owner of the cottage had not initially communicated their Airbnb plans to OP. There were unspoken assumptions on both sides, complicating the situation further. The hedge issue had introduced a level of tension between OP and the new owners.
OP and her husband were caught in a dilemma. On one hand, they had planted the hedges for privacy and safety. On the other, they were now accused of diminishing the value of the neighboring property.
Family vs. Business
OP and her husband had planted the hedges with their family’s safety and privacy in mind, especially considering their nephews. Meanwhile, the new owner was focused on the business potential of their property.
The Moral Conundrum
OP questioned their moral standing in the situation. While they had not intended to harm anyone, their actions had unforeseen consequences. Now, they faced a dilemma: should they maintain their hedge or give in to the neighbor’s demands?
Was The New Owner’s Behavior Appropriate?
OP posted the story online for the feedback and perspective of the internet community. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter.
One reader said, “Unless they plan on paying you for your landscaping and upkeep of the historical property that you own. Marketing their property as being able to look at yours 24/7 sets you up to have your privacy violated.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote, “Get a lawyer and have them send an official letter to them not to harass you. This is your private property now, and they have no say in what you do with it.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person stated, “Reasonable enjoyment of property doesn’t include views. What’s more, you’re entitled to privacy on your own property; no one else has a right to view you.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another reader commented, “The very reason you need the hedge seems to be the main enticement of the Airbnb. Their primary marketing strategy is to sit and watch you, to infringe on your privacy.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.