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Broken Pool Fence
Should I 'dob'?

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#1 Lightning_bug

Posted 07 November 2012 - 12:18 PM

My neighbour has a broken pool fence.  It's been broken for years and held together by a piece of rope.  I hadn't thought much about it to be honest but only this year it's hit me how incredibly dangerous it is (don't ask me why I didn't 'notice' it before now).

With a 2-year-old and 5-year-old with ADHD it worries me.  So I mentioned it, politely, to the neighbour explaining my concerns and that it's something which he should attend to.  

He agreed but then had to add 'but the obvious solution is to keep your eyes on your kids'.

I didn't flair up, just told him I'd do my best and that I hope he did too.  

It's been three months and nothing's been done.  Should I approach him again or is it time to call the local council and dob?

#2 Green Fairy

Posted 07 November 2012 - 12:21 PM

I would call the council, the rules are in place for a reason and it's just too risky to ignore.

#3 Guest_Maybelle_*

Posted 07 November 2012 - 12:22 PM


In a case like this, with something so dangerous, I would definitely say he has had his chance.

#4 belindarama

Posted 07 November 2012 - 12:29 PM

Did he not the news when that little boy drowned at the neighbours' and was charged with manslaughter?

Of course in an ideal world your children wouldn't end up in his yard but if something did go wrong he would be responsible.

I would call the council.

#5 BobBottersnike

Posted 07 November 2012 - 12:31 PM

Call the Council. Once they're made aware of it my understanding is that they're legally obliged to carry out an inspection and ensure that the fence is compliant with the relevant Australian Standard.

Oh, and you're not dobbing. You're doing your civic duty and helping to avert a potential tragedy.

And your neighbour is a douche.

#6 Acidulous Osprey

Posted 07 November 2012 - 12:32 PM

What the bobster said original.gif

#7 FeralFerretOfDoom

Posted 07 November 2012 - 12:33 PM

People like that make me so angry.

If he wants to have a pool, he has a responsibility to comply with pool safety legislation.

Call the council now.

#8 Lightning_bug

Posted 07 November 2012 - 12:38 PM

QUOTE (belindarama @ 07/11/2012, 01:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Did he not the news when that little boy drowned at the neighbours' and was charged with manslaughter?

I think it was this story which tweeked my attention.

I knew the fence was broken a couple of years ago but assumed it had been fixed.  Then I saw this story and thought 'what if it hasn't?"

#9 Feral Grey Mare

Posted 07 November 2012 - 12:39 PM

Either make the neighbour angry or potentially save a child's life (your own or someone who is visiting your neighbour) ?
Not really a difficult choice to make is it?

#10 moonshine

Posted 07 November 2012 - 12:41 PM

All i can say is please call the council.

#11 Lightning_bug

Posted 07 November 2012 - 12:47 PM

QUOTE (Old Grey Mare @ 07/11/2012, 01:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Either make the neighbour angry or potentially save a child's life (your own or someone who is visiting your neighbour) ?
Not really a difficult choice to make is it?

That's not the choice - it's approach him again and give him a chance to right the wrong or go to council and have him hit with a fine.

#12 Froger

Posted 07 November 2012 - 12:48 PM

Depends. He is likely to know (or at least highly suspect) it was you. So is he someone that may come around and beat you up and poison your dog (or worse)? If not, then I would report. But any chance he would go nuts, then probably not. I'd just make well and truly sure my own fences were good if he seemed like a bit of a highly strung criminal type who wouldn't care less if he had another 6 months in the big house for GBH.

#13 spannah

Posted 07 November 2012 - 12:54 PM

It's not just the OP's kids that can fall in his pool though. Any child could wander in.
OP I would politely remind him again. Then, if after a couple of weeks, nothing has improved-make the call.

#14 BabeBlossom

Posted 07 November 2012 - 01:13 PM

Maybe have another casual chat and mention the story of the neighbor charged with manslaughter for not maintaining his fence make it sound like you're coming from a place of concern for him and the neighborhood children. If he makes noises on agreeance ask him for a time frame when he thinks he will be able to do it and if it's not done in time then go to the council.
I believe in giving neighbors second chances to get stuff rectified, sometimes if it's not a priority to you it's easy to lose track of time or get distracted with other things.

#15 glasnost

Posted 07 November 2012 - 01:16 PM

Usually I am all for giving people second chances however not in this case. It isn't worth the risk if you wait a couple more weeks to see if he fixes it and based on his first response I think you will be waiting for nothing. I would call the council.

#16 luke's mummu

Posted 07 November 2012 - 01:21 PM

I would just call the council, as you have already asked him once. It may save your child's or another child's life.

#17 starfire

Posted 07 November 2012 - 02:07 PM

I'd call the council. I'd rather not take the risk.

You already had a conversation with the owner about getting it fixed and you know that he still has not done anything to get it fixed and his attitude during the conversation implied that he didn't really see it as an important issue. Having another conversation won't resolve anything at this point.

#18 Funwith3

Posted 07 November 2012 - 03:02 PM

Yes you should keep an eye on your children. But I'm sure you do. However, it takes one minute for a child to slip out the door un noticed. It would be totally his fault (not yours) if your child drowned in his pool.  mad.gif He would very likely go to jail. Call your council. It can be anonymous. Not even worth a second thought when kids drowning is the risk.

#19 FeralZombieMum

Posted 07 November 2012 - 03:25 PM

It's definitely time to call the council.

He has had YEARS to get it fixed, plus you've already given him a chance to get it fixed.

#20 beaglebaby

Posted 07 November 2012 - 03:35 PM

Phone the council and chat to the pool inspector.  He won't get fined - certainly not straight away anyway.  Most councils do inspections every couple of years, usually the inspector is happy enough to say that is what they are doing - so he shouldn't even know that anyone has reported it.

Our neighbour put in a new pool and didn't fence it, even with regular visits by council it took weeks - and even now he only has a temporary fence up - 2 years on!  Council has to issues warning notices, then after several non-compliances they can start legal action.  It's not as simple as just ordering it to happen or issuing a fine.

I tried approaching our neighbours wife about their (lack of) fence, I pointed out that all that was between my kids and her pool was a ringlock farm fence, she agreed and said she was worried her dogs would drown but her husband hadn't bought all the panels yet ddoh.gif aannoyed.gif rolleyes.gif

#21 Sallystwo

Posted 07 November 2012 - 04:50 PM

Yes, I would call the council

#22 tothebeach

Posted 07 November 2012 - 06:46 PM

I may be being thick but to get to your neighbour's backyard, would they have to scale a 1.8m fence?  So, if they have done this, do you really think that it will make a difference that he has a 1.5m high pool fence - even if that fence is secure.

One side of our pool fence (and that of our back two neighbours) are our property fences - so if a child got over the fence and into our properties, they would be straight into the pool area.  So I'm not sure how much more dangerous his dodgy fence is to your children.

#23 Lightning_bug

Posted 07 November 2012 - 07:54 PM

It's really hard to explain their set-up.  It's a battle-axe block.

It wouldn't involve scaling the fence, all you would have to do is open their always unlocked side gate.  Or climb over their small retaining wall.

They do have a big boundary fence but it's open at the front and you can just walk around the back to a small gate.

#24 canuckmel

Posted 07 November 2012 - 11:40 PM

QUOTE (Lightning_bug @ 07/11/2012, 12:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
He agreed but then had to add 'but the obvious solution is to keep your eyes on your kids'.

What's so bad about that? It is the obvious solution.

#25 Feral Grey Mare

Posted 07 November 2012 - 11:47 PM

QUOTE (tothebeach @ 07/11/2012, 07:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I may be being thick but to get to your neighbour's backyard, would they have to scale a 1.8m fence?  So, if they have done this, do you really think that it will make a difference that he has a 1.5m high pool fence - even if that fence is secure.

One side of our pool fence (and that of our back two neighbours) are our property fences - so if a child got over the fence and into our properties, they would be straight into the pool area.  So I'm not sure how much more dangerous his dodgy fence is to your children.

This fence is not just a danger to his neighbour's children but to any children visiting his house. Sure, it is the parent's responsibility to watch their children but who can honestly say they have NEVER taken their eyes off their own children.

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