Neighborly woes

As the warm season is coming to an end and all new builds and additions outside get more or less finished, then comes the neighborly woes and complaints. My neighborhood has row-houses (80 of them) and flats in two-story buildings (64 of them). I live in a ground-floor flat with direct access to the outside from my outside place. At the back of the row-houses it is popular to build decks. In recent years these have gradually grown. Not always to the content of the neighbor. The above is a typical example.

They enlarged the old deck to go a bit further out. I can understand why as they previously were tucked away in the corner of the house between the wall and the neighbor on the other side. By doing so the next neighbor felt very overlooked as they hadn’t been that before and sent us an email complaining about it. So we (the housing-cooperative) asked the ones with the enlarged deck to build a partition at their end, towards the neighbor, so next neighbor wouldn’t feel so overlooked.

And so they did… Only problem being the partition landed in the middle of the window to their living room.  Length of deck being what it was as the neighbor previously had complained that they thought it was too big and they wanted to leave some space in between them and the neighbor.

Yes. They are close to each other. And the position of the partition was awkward  for those with the new deck. So they asked for permission to enlarge the deck in width with approximately 40 cm to not have to have the partition in the middle of their window. We gave the permission to do so provided they  leave the gutter free.

The neighbor yesterday sent a new email complaining that they didn’t want that kind of partition, felt like a wall, became too dark… and again complaining about the size of the deck. Fact is the deck isn’t any bigger than other decks in the neighborhood. (Yes, we do have rules but over the years nobody has followed the rules).

I think the neighbor simply wants them to crawl back behind the corner so they don’t have to see them at all. That won’t happen. What the neighbor wants, they write, is some kind of transparent partition… (Which they won’t get as any putting up of glass walls on outside additions on decks need permissions from the municipality and that is a bit complicated). How would that protect against overlooking?

Haven’t answered the complaining neighbor yet, but I will later today. Have to think about how to answer them as diplomatically as possible.
Thing is the one with the enlarged deck has tried to talk to them over time when building the deck to no avail. No matter what they have suggested the complaining neighbor has not been ready to compromise.
We won’t tell the co-operative people with the enlarged deck to go tear it down.

Neighbors are not easy to have to deal with… ah well.

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