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  • Shared allotment problem

    Sorry if this is in the wrong place, not sure where to post it.

    Just after I got my plot about 2 1/2 years ago I went through a bit a bad time personally where I found it difficult to cope generally, never mind trying to cultivate half an overgrown field. My other half suggested I share a bit of the plot with his retired uncle and at the time I was happy to do so as it took a bit of the weight off my shoulders.
    My idea was that he would have a small piece of the plot to potter about on but the plot as a whole would be mine, all mine. I couldn’t have explained this properly (I thought it was obvious d’uh) as he keeps doing stuff on the rest of the plot without discussing it with me. It’s mostly minor(ish) stuff that I just bite my tongue over (won’t go into detail here, this post’s long enough already).
    However, what really upset me last year was that, without consulting me he made an arrangement with a neighbouring householder to run a hosepipe from the guy’s outside tap, along my plot fence and fixed a tap to a post outside so that everyone could use it and then – and I didn’t realise this bit till another plotholder told me later in the season – went round the other plots asking for money to give the guy with the house. (We have no water supply at my site).
    I know is seems a great idea and he genuinely meant well by it, but there are too many potential problems. For one thing, there’s too much scope for issues/disputes to arise with other plotholders over the supply and for another, the guy who owns the house could be breaking some law or regulation by supplying the water.
    The bottom line is that if there’s any kind of problem at all, it’s going to fall back on me as the lease holder of the plot and I really, really don’t want the hassle. I just want to enjoy my plot without having to worry about what happens if......
    His uncle is a really nice guy, who’s only trying to be helpful but he’s very much a “doer” who just goes ahead if he thinks something’s a good idea. I don’t want to hurt his feelings but I’m already getting worked up over this and if I don’t say something I know I’ll end up really stressed over it like I did last year. My other half is no help as he just tells me to speak to his uncle. I get on fine generally with his Uncle but we’re not really close and I’d feel awkward just phoning him up to say this (we don’t meet that often as he’s retired so is up the plot during the week whereas I only get up at weekends)
    Any ideas on how I can approach this???? (Sorry for the long post)

  • #2
    If you can't bring yourself to address this problem, get someone to ring OH uncle pretending to ring from Water Board say that he has a specific time to remove the water extension. You really need to bite the bullet on this one though & tell him. Like you say, it will be you that is evicted.
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    • #3
      Hi Plot10,
      I feel for you in your predicament, but I'm afraid your OH right. You MUST talk to your uncle and get the situation sorted out.
      It doesn't have to be confrontational, as you say, he helped you out during a difficult time and you don't want to upset him.
      "The last thing I want to do is upset you, because I appreciate the help you've given me...." would be a perfect way to start a conversation.
      You say he's a nice guy, so he will probably be mortified to know that you have been worrying over this.
      Not sure what to say about the water situation as to bylaws (I expect someone else will have more knowledge in this area), but if the household supplying it is not on a water metre and is happy with the arrangement, I don't see it as a huge problem.
      As to the other stuff, the minor-ish annoyances, perhaps you could suggest that know you are more able to stay on top of things, you feel it would be better to devide the plot more officially, so that you each stay within your own boundaries.
      It's a sticky one, I know, but if you go in gently, making sure that you tell him how you've appreciated his help, I don't see how he can take offence.
      Better to do it now before it gets to a situation where you can't take it any more and blow your stack.
      Good luck, I hope you get an outcome that satisfies all.
      When the Devil gives you Cowpats - make Satanic Compost!

      Comment


      • #4
        If there is no hosepipe ban currently in force...the householder can use as much water as he likes for whatever purpose....Does he have a meter?. You are not however allowed to carry on a business on an allotment site....Unless there are big profits. I don't think this is too much of a problem here though. Why would anybody be evicted?

        You may not sublet any part of your plot. So officially your Uncle in law is only assisting you.

        If your intention is to gain a few veg and potter about at the weekend I am sorry but I can't see your problem. Unless his activities are hindering that rather than helping.

        To me it really sounds like you need to talk to the Uncle...Arrange a meet try not to be resentful Just say that you want to discuss the plans for the growing season,(maybe take OH down to keep the peace) Thank him for his past assistance but explain if you can now cope much better and would like to do your own thing.(pretend your experimenting with biodynamics or something). Reiterate that he is welcome to an area to grow veg in his style and You may need to put in a couple of sticks to mark an area (as suggested above) Don't be too specific but say that the deal is he needs to abide by the photocopied list of the tenancy rules you will give him and stick to his bit.

        Just read Creemteez entry...sorry beat me to it... I'm reading from the same song sheet really...I had to go and work half way through my reply
        Last edited by Paulottie; 19-03-2010, 02:30 PM.

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        • #5
          I can only agree with what's been said above.
          You sound like the kind of really nice person who doesn't like to speak out about something for fear of upsetting someone no matter how much it's bothering you.

          You obviously understand that as the named plotholder the buck stops at you if there's a problem and you're quite right to want everything above board.

          If I were in your position I'd arrange to meet the uncle... either at the plot, at his house or in a pub, whatever's most natural... and explain the concerns regarding the water and the plot.

          Personally I'd be inclined to address the whole lot in one conversation (though as separate issues so as to avoid confusing them) and get it in the open... that way there's no need to have another talk with all the worry of offending him.

          If you get on well (close or otherwise) I see no reason to avoid having the discussion.

          On the water front - maybe it's one of those things that could continue without problems but you'd be better off getting the pipes and tap off your plot so it's more of a shared responsibility in that respect... but bear in mind that some people wouldn't think twice about making it known it originally came in via your tennancy if they thought they might end up in trouble if questions are ever asked.

          Then again - it could be that there's nothing at all wrong with the water situation and maybe the uncle has looked into it.

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          • #6
            Thanks for the advice. I suppose I just needed someone to reinforce what I already knew – that I’ve got to screw my courage to the sticking place and phone him up. Paulottie – You’re right in that I do, more or less, just potter at weekends but whether the water issue proves a problem or not, I’d just rather not have to worry about it.

            I think I’ll tell him that I’ve sought advice from some Allotment Society and they’ve advised not to do it as it could breach all sorts of regulations (if anyone has anything specific I’d be grateful).

            Basically, he has too much time on his hands and I have too little but that doesn’t mean that I want him to use his time doing stuff for me. I’m the sort of person who prefers to do things for myself and if I need help I’ll ask for it and it really winds me up when people just go ahead and do stuff when their help is neither required or desired. (Even my mother calls me an ungrateful little so and so and she’s probably right). If he’d only ask me before he does stuff, but I don’t think it enters his head that I might not want him to do whatever it is he wants to do.

            Thanks again

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            • #7
              I'd be inclined to look into the water issue before demanding it gone.

              If there's no problem with it then it's doing you and other holders some good.

              It might even be possible to get the pipe buried by the council so you have a proper supply without needing to use the neighbour's supply (which might have to stop if he moves house).

              The issue you have with telling a lie is if he (understandably) asks which society you asked so he can check with them, so he can see what they think of his reasoning or just out of curiosity - you're going to be left floundering or having to name a society that he might then phone and you'll be proved a liar.

              Really honesty is the best policy for so many reasons and this the least of them. It's just easier.

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              • #8
                I think you'll find the local Water Authority will have serious objections to pipe extensions outside the property. They don't like outside taps without back-flow protection, and would probably insist it was installed or checked by a professional, and metered, and registered. You could call them anonymously, and ask.

                Apologies if I'm talking rubbish, I have had only limited dealings with Water Authorities in the past, but I can assure you they have many many rules and regulations.

                Good luck with whatever you decide!
                All the best - Glutton 4 Punishment
                Freelance shrub butcher and weed removal operative.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Glutton4... View Post
                  ... You could call them anonymously, and ask.
                  Remember to block your phone number first
                  aka
                  Suzie

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                  • #10
                    Perhaps it would be more subtle If you were to have a couple of 100 litre barrels that could be filled up (so you know easily how much water you have bought) rather than having a free for all hose constantly on display....or leaking.

                    That way everyone can get some water in times of need , no-one would know, you wouldn't be seen as the wicked witch of the west for stopping their supply.

                    Try not to worry though...someone wise said to me once 'Worry is interest paid on events that may never happen'
                    Last edited by Paulottie; 19-03-2010, 08:16 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Paulottie View Post
                      ... 'Worry is interest paid on events that may never happen'
                      See, I know that - but do you think I can keep it in my head when needed - oh no!
                      aka
                      Suzie

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