Landlord siding with crazy neighbor!

focusguyAugust 25, 2006

So the quick version of the story is like this:

I live on the main floor in a 2.5-unit building (.5 is a basement flat) with an upstairs neighbor.

Soon after moving in, it became clear the neighbor doesn't "play well with others" and rather than come talk to me about issues (all minor) he would complain straight to the landlord.

Landlord never handled issues very well, effectively tried to appease everyone, as a result neighbor thinks we ignored some issues, now we don't get along at all.

In a very recent confrontation, the landlord just started siding with the neighbor, and I am utterly bewildered. Basically, the neighbor decided he wanted to "split" the common backyard, thus giving us LESS area than what we agreed to when we moved in. We said we don't want to do this, and are happy to share.

Landlord is telling us we are the unreasonable ones. Again - neighbor wants to take our land away from us, we say we'd rather not, landlord says this is being unreasonable.

The only 'real' question I have is - my lease doesn't explicitly mention the backyard in any way whatsoever. Do I *have* to do this? Would love to know my legal rights here (I live in San Francisco, home to all the crazy neighbors)...


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Sounds like our place. Our real estate agent will tell each tenant what they want to hear just to avoid confrontation.

We had an issue with parking when the tenant 2 doors over (townhouses, I'm in the end unit) decided she was going to start using my parking space on the side of my house. RE agent told her it was OK....I called and said no, I maintain the spot, it's on "my" property, and he told me it was mine when I moved now he says "OK, it's yours" crazy neighbor is mad because he changed again.

There is nothing in the lease, same as your situation, and we have an agent that flip-flops, same as yours.

If you can't come to an agreement with the neighbor, then you need to explain to the landlord that it's really becoming a problem and he needs to step in and help negotiate.

My RE agent gave me a hassle over having to settle a fight, but had he been clear with her in the first place, it wouldn't have been an issue.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2006 at 2:35AM
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Why this is an issue is beyond me if the backyard isn't in your lease. Is use of the yard in the other guys lease?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2006 at 3:35PM
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Well, I'd assume it is not in either lease, since we have a fairly 'boilerplate' type of lease...

My hunch here is that since I was told we had total access to the yard when we were shown the place it is an oral agreement, which is fairly binding in California, and I have multiple witnesses to that front. Plus, the first 16 months using it freely also sets the precedent that we are allowed to use it.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 12:42AM
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