View Full Version : Hello everyone, and please help!!! :-)

06-10-2013, 06:21 PM
Hi guys,

I'm a newbie on here and just wanted to take the opportunity to say hello!

Also, I have a couple of potential issues which I would be very grateful if someone could offer some advice on.

I'm a preregistered childminder. I'm just in the process of filling in the forms through Ofsted, but have stumbled upon potential problems

I approached a neighbour of mine this afternoon and told her about my plans to register as a childminder, and she was actually quite put out by my plans. She made reference to potential problems with noise and she also asked me if I was aware of a line in the property deeds about not using the property for anything other than as a home. I told her that I wasn't aware that there is anything in the deeds, as my husband and I have both read through them meticulously before even contemplating my registering. I thought I'd better have another look through the deeds this evening and could only find the following line - which I believe is the one my neighbour was referring to. It states:-

"Not to use the property other than as the site of a single private residence".

I'm not very good with legal documents - and neither is my husband (he's a mechanic!), so I would be very grateful if someone from this forum could please offer some advice on this. Does this line in the deeds mean that I can basically only use my house as a home???

I would be so disappointed if the above did result in a problem as I've had my heart set on becoming a childminder for so long.

There may be a couple of other potential problems too and I'm now starting to panic as I'm about to submit my form to Ofsted. It's a little complicated but I'll do my best to explain. The same neighbour who (so kindly!) drew my attention to the line in the deeds actually owns the driveway to our house. There are three houses in our cul-de-sac. We are in the middle and my neighbour (the one I told you about) lives in the end house. Her drive runs all the way from her house to the main road and we have to come up onto her drive to get onto ours. We are only technically granted access on and off our property, and aren't actually allowed to park on her drive (we had a letter warning us about this from her solicitor as we were alledgedly abusing our rights of access when we first moved in by allowing our guests to leave their cars on there overnght. Admittedly we were blocking my neighbour in, but our drive is so small - what else could we do??). But my question is: would Ofsted see it as a problem that we only have a very small drive for visitors to park on? And an even bigger worry for me is, can my neighbour technically stop visitors from even coming onto our drive as they'd have to cross over what is her property? Could it be classed as trespassing if she decides to not grant access???

And my last question (sorry to go on, but I'm concerned - and a little angered by my selfish neighbour!). Another neighbour of ours (a different one) recently complained about the level of noise coming from our house. They classed it as "unacceptable domestic noise" because they said that we have our music too loud (our conservatory is our main living space) and because our twelve year old has a tendency to be a little excitable when she has her friends over and they'll all playing on the trampoline. We received a letter from the council informing us that we were being monitored for the noise. This was quite recently, so my question is: do I have to let Ofsted know about this, as it may effect our chances.

Anyway, rant over. I'd be most grateful if someone could please help answer my questions. From seeing this all written down I'm starting the think that the odds may be stacked slightly against us on this one, and I may have to reconsider childminding (unless I move house, of course!).

I look forward to hearing from some of you, and to chatting to some of you soon.

Kindest regards,

Chrissy x

06-10-2013, 08:10 PM
OK, so I think you have 3 concerns:

1] Possible line in your deeds that might mean no business allowed to be run from your house. I am afraid only a lawyer can truly comment on that one and if you have an interfering neighbour then even more reason to have a quick word with a solicitor who deals with property law. Explain your situation to the solicitor receptionist and see if there is a chance of a 15min time slot with a fixed fee just to get the answer- and get it in writing. Then your mind is at rest and no one can argue against you. Ofsted will not be interested in this, I think, it is just to stop your neighbour complaining to authorities etc. Of ask at Citizens Advise Bureau of there is any legal advise charity or support you could access.

2] Driveway access- neighbour can not stop visitors accessing your house by their drive as long as they do not block their drive, as far as I understand your explanation. It is clearly explained in your deeds? If visitors can access now then they will when CMing.
Otherwise- Could visitor park down the road and walk up to your house? Maybe your clients will walk anyway, or come by bus- who knows. Ofsted would not be interested in this either- you can CM while living on a dual carriageway or with double-yellow lines outside your house, or in a flat! If you want a definite legal answer on this one too then bring it up with the solicitor, as above.

3] Ofsted are not interested in noise. They do check with Social Service about your history but if they have never been involved, and there is no criminal file against any of you, then you are fine. There is no harm in telling Ofsted if you feel it is important but I doubt they will care.

You can always phone Ofsted, anonymously if you wish, and ask their opinions on any of these matters.

This annoying neighbour sounds a pain and you are probably going to have keep up the reassurances that you are only caring for 'x' number of children for 'x' number of days/hours, that you will often be out of the house and that they will not create any more noise.

06-10-2013, 10:06 PM
good luck xxx

childminding isn't viewed as running a typical business and so generally you are fine to childmind, even if the deeds say you may only use your house as a residence. I agree with moggy - get a lawyer to look at it and write you a letter explaining/confirming.

difficult neighbours ... well, sorry, but a difficult neighbour is difficult! I had one for 5 years. the best thing I could do was to prewarn all parents not to park anywhere near her drive ( she had a go at one of my parents sitting in his car half on my driveway, half on the road; NOT blocking her access or near her drive and he then got out of his car ( all burly 6ft 6 of him, in his police uniform and told her he was NOT blocking her access and she could not stop people parking there! :D she wans't a happy bunny! )

and as far as noise goes ... I think you would need to speak to the council about the noise issue ( have they actually been round to check on the noise level? or just relying on neighbours? ) and if still worried, ring and speak to Ofsted. but I wouldn't think Ofsted would be interested.

good luck.