Help!! My neighbor isn't listening!! - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-03-2012, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, here's my situation:

 

  My husband, 2 kids and I are renting a wonderful little bungalow and have been in talks with the landlord to purchase the property if he decides to sell.  He agreed, this year, to work out a 2 yr deal so we can get the down payment saved etc.  The house does need some upgrading and we definitely want to put in a garage as it doesn't have one.  Even though these upgrades are very much needed, we decided we will not do any work to the property until we have purchased it in order to keep the property value down.  This does include the landscaping to the house which is desperately needed as well.  Which is where my neighbor issues come into play.

 

   This is our third summer in the home.  The first summer, I patched the front lawn and got the bare spots covered in grass and it was looking much better by mid summer. Back yard; just mowed as it is a huge square with one 3 ft wide dirt patch (clay) between my offending neighbors fence and lawn; Our back neighbors have huge pine trees that suck moisture from that area of lawn along our fence so the grass doesn't grow very well there.  But that's ok b/c I have plans for that area once the garage is up.  

 

  Second year, spread grass seed & fertilizer and top soil all over the front lawn and it was looking just as good as my neighbors by July.  So happy!!  Took out the hideous white rock from the front beds and replaced with black cedar chips and planted lots of lovely perennials given to me by my mom and oma from their gardens.  B/c the soil is solid clay, i dug out a LOT and replaced it with good soil, manure, fertilizer etc etc that my mom gave me to help me out.  Hooray our front yard is starting to look real good!! Back yard; still just mowing and noticing a lot of weeds in the back yard in the 3 ft wide dirt area.  I blame the new development across the street as a whole new neighborhood is being built and I'm sure a lot of weed seeds are blowing in.  But oh well, I will mow them and dig out any huge ones and dig out the weeds before they flower and thats ok b/c I have plans for that area once we buy the house.  (I am using the dig and fill method for the weeds that do show up in the front lawn.)  We are against using any poisons to kill the weeds b/c we dog sit my mom's dog and my brother-in-laws dog often and they play fetch in the back yard and love to eat the grass. So not wanting their balls or other toys to get covered in any poisons or to get the grass that they eat covered in it, we chose not to use any.  More work yes, but I feel okay knowing the area they play in is chem-free.

  But I notice the weeds along the offending neighbors fence (in the 3ft dirt patch) are turning yellow.  Thats great!! they are short-lived weeds!! But wait a minute, only half of these are yellow (about 2ft wide) and the rest is still green?  Weird!! I go to my neighbors house to ask if he sprayed any weed killer in my yard.  He admitted to it and long story short; he swore, raised his voice etc and said that he's had to take care of that yard for the 10 yrs he's lived there b/c it has always been a rental property and he's tired of the weeds. ( His lawn and yard are amazing by the way!! He is a slave to his yard and it shows.  I'm impressed.  Want mine to look like that and I know someday it will, but on our own time. ) So I asked him to not worry about our yard, I will deal with it in my own way and time (I work 3 part time jobs so not a lot of time) and here's why I can't have you spraying out yard with toxins....  He said as long as I do my yard the way he does his, he will leave it alone.  I said, there are other ways besides yours to deal with weeds and please do not spray chems. in our yard. While that conversation did not end well, as my husband came outside to see why our neighbor was swearing at me, so my husband grabbed his hand shook it, thanked him for his concern and said we will work on it. Please give us our space.

 

  So during this second year, my mom gave me more perennials and a lilac tree from her husbands old farm (it was being sold so she though it would be great for all of us kids to have a piece of this history).  Cool. I decided to plant the lot in the dirt area thinking it would keep my neighbor from spraying again in the future.  It took hours to dig out a section of clay and replace with mixtures of soil, manure, fertilizer etc that once again my mom gave to us b/c she was so excited about me finally having a bit of a green thumb.  

 

  This year the perennials are gorgeous!! So big and green and lush!! I can't wait to build that garage b/c I will move them along the side of it in perennial beds!! I am so excited!! I am actually going to have to dig another section of dirt and replace with good soil and spread them out b/c they are growing quite big.  No worries.  It's worth the work!!  Look at me!  I'm growing things!!

 

  About a week later, I notice there's a foot and a half of yellowing going on with the weeds that are beside my perennials and in between them and my lilac bush.  2 days later I notice my perennials are starting to die as well and my little thriving healthy lilac tree is burned from the chems.  I am so angry!!  He doesn't even bother to tell us he is doing it.  I don't know until they start to die.  I also need to let you know that I have chives in that perennial bed and thank God we didn't use them for supper yet this year!! And I don't know how many times we've played fetch in that area with my brothers dog during this time.

 

  I am at my wits end!!  He finds it more important to make sure his yard is weed-free than to help us keep our families and pets safe.  I want to go over to his house again but feel this will not work.  

 

What advice does anyone out there have for my situation?!!!!! 

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Old 07-03-2012, 12:27 PM
 
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Maybe a new fence, something more of a barrier to him, might make him think twice before crossing the line to do yard work on your side. Maybe a nice unwelcoming no trespassing sign for a while too.

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Old 07-03-2012, 06:30 PM
 
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Whoa... that was really hard to read.  Paragraph breaks are your friend.  

 

Your neighbour sounds like a real piece of work.  Ugh. I'm sorry you have to deal with him.  Makes me feel fortunate to have my neighbours, who simply don't bother to mow or do anything else to their backyard, leaving it more dandelion than grass.  I've learned to love with the constant clouds of dandelion seed blowing over the fence into my yard, and the extra time spent weeding as a result.  I'd be furious about the spraying!

 

I'd be tempted to make a list of perennials killed by poison, price out what it would cost to replace the plants from the garden center and give him a bill for that + labor costs.   That very well could escalate the situation though. 

 

For a better, though less satisfying solution, I agree with the previous poster.  A tall fence made from solid wood panels should both prevent him the horror of having to see an occasional un-poisoned weed in your yard and make it harder for him to spray.  

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Old 07-03-2012, 06:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JamieCatheryn View Post

Maybe a new fence, something more of a barrier to him, might make him think twice before crossing the line to do yard work on your side. Maybe a nice unwelcoming no trespassing sign for a while too.

 

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Originally Posted by pers View Post

Whoa... that was really hard to read.  Paragraph breaks are your friend.  

 

I'd be tempted to make a list of perennials killed by poison, price out what it would cost to replace the plants from the garden center and give him a bill for that + labor costs.   That very well could escalate the situation though. 

Excellent ideas all.  I know building a fence might increase the property value, something that you don't want to do.  But it is really the best solution.


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Old 07-07-2012, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He does have a 6 ft tall chain link fence with the plastic strips in it.  It is relatively private, but we have definitely been thinking about putting up some kind of trellis-type things close to it in the future.  And then this way we can build them higher than we would be able to build new fence, legally.  Unfortunately we won't be doing any of that until we get the garage up and then figure out a layout for our landscaping.  

 

As of now, he would have to stand on a step ladder in order to get his weed killer into our yard otherwise he would get way too much spray back if he tried to spray between. He also has a row of bricks along the bottom of the fence  and he also has a foot and a half of dirt space along the fence.  So he is definitely trying to keep the weeds off his lawn.

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Old 07-07-2012, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A very good idea re: the list of replacements costs!  I'm sure it would start something again but at least he would have a better idea of the trouble I am going through to make our yard something nice in the future.  And perhaps he will make sure he has his glasses on the next time he gets the itch to spray.  Then he would have a better chance of deciphering plants from weeds.  

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Old 07-07-2012, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by pers View Post

Whoa... that was really hard to read.  Paragraph breaks are your friend.  

 

Your neighbour sounds like a real piece of work.  Ugh. I'm sorry you have to deal with him.  Makes me feel fortunate to have my neighbours, who simply don't bother to mow or do anything else to their backyard, leaving it more dandelion than grass.  I've learned to love with the constant clouds of dandelion seed blowing over the fence into my yard, and the extra time spent weeding as a result.  I'd be furious about the spraying!

 

I'd be tempted to make a list of perennials killed by poison, price out what it would cost to replace the plants from the garden center and give him a bill for that + labor costs.   That very well could escalate the situation though. 

 

For a better, though less satisfying solution, I agree with the previous poster.  A tall fence made from solid wood panels should both prevent him the horror of having to see an occasional un-poisoned weed in your yard and make it harder for him to spray.  

Sorry about the huge paragraph, got on a bit of a roll.  Thank you for your reply.  And since I thought I was replying to your response, when in fact I was replying to my own thread, the reply to you has shown up on the bottom.  (blush blush)

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Old 07-09-2012, 06:36 AM
 
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Fencing is very expensive.  I would start with a big "no tresspassing sign."

 

I would also send him a politely worded letter on how you are trying to avoid chemicals on your property - and how if he has issues with the way your lawn is kept he can come talk to you or he can call town hall.  In all probability - he does not have a leg to stand on bylaw wise (but do check it out first).  Once he realises that you are not breaking any laws with your lawn - but that he is by trespassing and altering your property, he might cut it out.

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Old 07-23-2012, 09:49 AM
 
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You've already gotten great advice, so just sympathy here! I've had to deal with this in the rentals I've lived in. At one rental, the owner sprayed outside without our consent when I was pregnant, and I was *angry*. The chemicals really anger me too because I like things like dandelions and nettles (and use them!), but I can never grow them when I know there are weed-free neighbors. It's just too dangerous :(

 

I'm confused about his fence, though- did he spray *over* the fence? Or did he trespass to come spray on your side? Either way- ick! Good luck!


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Old 07-26-2012, 03:29 AM
 
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I'd be tempted to make a list of perennials killed by poison, price out what it would cost to replace the plants from the garden center and give him a bill for that + labor costs.   That very well could escalate the situation though.

Yeah, I'd have your husband go over with the tally of plants that were destroyed with the last spraying, including the priceless one.  Because that's just not nice of the neighbor - it's not his side of the fence.  :(  He likely wouldn't be thrilled if you threw vinegar on patches of his lawn to 'help.'

Anyway.  My first thought was sheet metal up against the fence on your side (not much can get through that, unless things are sprayed *over* the fence).  One thing I'm aiming to try in the future is using 2-ft sections of culvert pipe along my (chainlink) fenceline to plant my tayberries in so they don't spread and go completely bonkers.  Not sure whether something like that would work though, especially if he's spraying through the slats regardless.  You might just need to leave that patch alone until you buy the house and have a nice chat with the neighbor - pulling out the kids/dog playing in the yard kind of thing, and they're allergic to it, blah blah blah.


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Old 07-27-2012, 02:36 PM
 
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My mom is an Insurance agent, she said turn in a claim to your home owners insurance, maybe they can make him pay the damages. The other advice I have is build a better fence mom says great fences make good neighbors. If he goes over that one, call the police. He is trespassing and he can be charged. You can also take him to small claims. Maybe that would get the point across to him.

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Old 07-28-2012, 12:15 PM
 
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i agree with the poster who said to make up a tally and give it to him.  I see it like this even if he is standing on his property, presumable he isnt actually stnading on your property(if thats the case I would include in the letter that you will press trespassing charges if he does this again) but say he's on his side and spraying over to your property he is still liable for damage to your property.  for instance if he was on his side and spraying paint on your vehicle he would be liable.  I dont see the difference in what kind of property, kwim? 

 

I would also say that you have decided to install a camera(you can buy fake ones for $10 off of amazon) because there have been several incidents involving destruction of your property and law enforcement has instructed you that you can pursue legal action.  Even if its a lie perhaps that will stop him.  We had a issue with a neighbors child who we knew was pretty likely causing scratches on our vehicle as they played in the street.  After confronting the parents about it several times we finally resorted to the well placed fake camera,  low and behold the kids stopped playing near our vehicle and there was never another mysterious scratch.  its your property not his you can do/or not use whatever you feel like as long as your within your county's laws. 

 

however, it might cause some tension between you and your neighbor but you have explained to him nicely and he dosent seemed concerned regarding your feeling on YOUR property

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Old 07-29-2012, 11:47 PM
 
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i agree with the poster who said to make up a tally and give it to him.  I see it like this even if he is standing on his property, presumable he isnt actually stnading on your property(if thats the case I would include in the letter that you will press trespassing charges if he does this again) but say he's on his side and spraying over to your property he is still liable for damage to your property.  for instance if he was on his side and spraying paint on your vehicle he would be liable.  I dont see the difference in what kind of property, kwim? 

 

I would also say that you have decided to install a camera(you can buy fake ones for $10 off of amazon) because there have been several incidents involving destruction of your property and law enforcement has instructed you that you can pursue legal action.  Even if its a lie perhaps that will stop him.  We had a issue with a neighbors child who we knew was pretty likely causing scratches on our vehicle as they played in the street.  After confronting the parents about it several times we finally resorted to the well placed fake camera,  low and behold the kids stopped playing near our vehicle and there was never another mysterious scratch.  its your property not his you can do/or not use whatever you feel like as long as your within your county's laws. 

 

however, it might cause some tension between you and your neighbor but you have explained to him nicely and he dosent seemed concerned regarding your feeling on YOUR property

I agree that seems like a good way to go about it. And as far as him standing on his property and spraying her yard, he IS liable, he is damaging something that is not his. If you have insurence and turn it in, you'd probably have to pay the deductable, but his insurance (if he has any) would have to remberce you the rest, and his insurence would go up. Maybe he'd get the point then. The camera idea is a great idea too. That way he'll think you have proof of his wrong doing that you can turn into the cops ^_^ At this point I wouldn't worry to much about tension between you and him anymore because obviously he doesn't care about your feelings.

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Old 08-19-2012, 06:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi!

 

Thank you everyone for all your great advice!!  Love the idea of getting his insurance to pay for loss and damages!! Great feedback thank you!

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Old 08-23-2012, 05:30 PM
 
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Sympathy here too.  We have a green thumbs next door as well and no fence between us.  DH is adamant about how he does NOT want a fence.  At all.  Of course he also does not want to really do any yardwork, and I'm pregnant and *can't* do yardwork, so our lawn isn't really in the best condition right now.  (It's a new development, too, with a bad lawn started, we've been living here less than a year, blah blah.  We have plans to work on it, but this summer it has not been our priority.)  Our yard doesn't really look too bad in comparison to the rest of the neighborhood - most are pretty natural looking.  However, Mr. Neighbor has one of the nicest lawns around and in comparison, yeah, you can definitely tell that he has a lush green weed-free lawn and we have a much more natural one.  He has made a couple of offhand remarks about it but hasn't really pushed it.  We're worried though because he mentioned casually that he almost sued the previous homeowners of our house because they did something to his lawn, let a grass mower or something on their property.  So I just worry that he would be litigation happy if anything interfered with his yard.  Blah.  He has been much more passive aggressive than your overtly aggressive neighbor, though, OP.  Still... suckage, a little bit.

 

We don't want to be bad neighbors, but our property is technically our property.  =/

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