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Advice On New Neighbor

Posted by GardenGuy2000 (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 21, 14 at 23:30

This family moved in next door to us (they are renters) and they just don't care about anything. The city I live in is the type of city where people buy the old houses, tear them down, and build huge houses on on the small properties. The house I live in does not have a garage, but I do have a driveway where I can park two cars deep. My house is rather small because it has not been torn down and build as new.

This next door neighbor, who lives in a huge house, has a double garage, and in front of his garage he has two more parking spaces, his driveway then narrows into single car length that goes out into the street. His garage is at the back of his house, so in theory, he could park like 7 cars on his property.

He parks one car in his driveway, and the other two on the street, (I guess he doesn't want to move one car out of the way in order to take the first car out)usually right in front of my house (I know, I know, its public property, you can't claim a parking space on the street, but I find it funny that they always park in front of my house first, and then in front of their house second). Also, I'd like to mention that they all drive SUVS, and there's only three of them. Now, I don't drive a Prius or anything but just wanted to throw that out there.

His son likes to show the neighborhood how awesome his car stereo is and likes to play it nice and loud. The properties are so close together that it's ridiculous, my daughter's bedroom is like 3 feet from their driveway where they park their car.

A couple of nights ago his son was out there yelling and swearing with his friends because he got locked out of the house, he was yelling and using the f bombs like they were going out of style. I'm not sure if they realize there are other people living here. And I'm like 4 feet away from them with my newborn.

And last but not least, whenever they park their car in their driveway and they have passengers, they like to park so close to my side of the property (because they are to lazy to drive further up near their garage where their driveway turns into a double width length) that their passengers get out on my grass.
The tires of their cars are actually touching my property line.

I'm not just talking about inches here. They actually get out of my front lawn, like 3 to 4 feet!

The first time I saw this I was truly amazed that they would actually do that.

Now to be fair, this is my first home (I have owned condos before). But does this not sound a bit strange to you guys?

My questions are as follow:

1) Does walking on grass daily damage it? Am I over reacting? I drove around the neighborhood to see if some houses had fences or shrub fences in their front yard (some do).

2) Also, I noticed that the mailman cuts right through our lawn as well! I'm thinking of putting some landscaping to help the mailman use our sidewalk. What kind of plants/shrubs would I need for that? I live in Michigan by the way.
3) I would like to either put a fence, either metal or some kind of shrub. Which one should I go with?
4) Do you need permission from your neighbor if you are putting in a fence in the front yard?
5) How exactly do I find out where the property line is? I'd hate to install a fence and then have the neighbor say it's actually on his property line.

Thanks for any information.

This post was edited by GardenGuy2000 on Mon, Jul 21, 14 at 23:36


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Advice On New Neighbor

Call your local city housing authority and ask them to come out and mark your property line and about what would be required in licensing to put up a fence.

If it's your property, your neighbor doesn't actually get a say about what goes up next to his property... not to mention the fact that he's renting, so he's not the owner.


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RE: Advice On New Neighbor

Response in all caps

"3) I would like to either put a fence, either metal or some kind of shrub. Which one should I go with?

HOW ABOUT AN IRON FENCE WITH SPIKES? SO THESE RUDE PEOPLE CANNOT CLIMB OVER IT? (SEE LINK BELOW)

4) Do you need permission from your neighbor if you are putting in a fence in the front yard?

ONLY IF THE CITY SAYS SO. ASK THEM.

5) How exactly do I find out where the property line is? I'd hate to install a fence and then have the neighbor say it's actually on his property line.

DID YOU HAVE A SURVEY DONE WHEN YOU PURCHASED? IF NOT, GO TO THE ZONING DEPT AND ASK THEM FOR A PRINT OUT OF YOUR PARCEL. LET THEM KNOW YOUR INTENTIONS SO THEY CAN GIVE YOU THE CORRECT INFO ON HOW TO GO ABOUT THIS LEGALLY.

Links that might be useful:

Echelon Plus Decorative Aluminum Fence

http://www.ameristarfence.com/residential-ornamental-wrought-iron-aluminum-fence-echelon-plus

Keep Your Property Free of Trespassers
http://www.mossyoak.com/our-obsession/blogs/hunting/2013/07/26/keep-your-property-free-of-trespassers


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RE: Advice On New Neighbor

Do you know who the owner is? They, not the renters, are the appropriate person to contact if you need to. My first line of inquiry would be your local appraisal district -- mine has an online search function you can use to look up the property address, then the owner name. If you are lucky, the owner will be a local you can contact.

Do you need to contact the renters to put up a fence? No. Do you need to contact the owners? No, but your might want to complain. It's almost impossible to stop other people being asholish though.

But -- you do need to know exactly where your property line is, and if there are existing easements you have to watch out for if you want to put up a fence. Did you receive a survey when you bought the house? Look through your purchase papers, call the title company whose closed for you and ask if they have it.

What type of fence or barrier you put up depends on a number of factors:

1) if there are homeowners' association rules or restrictive covenants which govern your property
2) cost
3) what you like, and what goes with the style of the house


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RE: Advice On New Neighbor

Thanks everyone for the information. I will call the local zoning department and ask if they have any papers on my property showing where the property line is.

Also thanks for the link of the fences:

Echelon Plus Decorative Aluminum Fence

http://www.ameristarfence.com/residential-ornamental-wrought-iron-aluminum-fence-echelon-plus

I really like fence #11 and #12 (Genesis style, the ones with the spikes).

If the neighbor was to get out of his car and put his hand or arm on top of the spike and get hurt, could they sue me or no?


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RE: Advice On New Neighbor

Your city may have a law about how close to the street a fence can be built; or what the fence height can be at certain distances from the street.

As for property info, in my state I go to the county's website, then look under Departments and click on GIS (Geographical Information Systems). Next, I click on GoMaps. Somewhere is the option to see the name and address of the property owner/property tax payer.


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RE: Advice On New Neighbor

Your neighbors are inconsiderate. With that said they could be even more inconsiderate or even hostile if they think you are trying to get them to change their rude ways. Read bad neighbor stories on the Internet and it usually starts when someone tries to stake a claim to their own property. So be careful there on how you approach putting a fence up. You might want to try shrubs if possible to see if they run them over. If so......they will most likely do that to your fence.

I always give my mailman a nice Christmas tip and have never had one walk through my lawn.

Good luck.


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RE: Advice On New Neighbor

If you live in California, or another place where rudeness reigns supreme, here is what to do:

Use a weed wacker to edge the curb in front of your house where the people park. Make sure the weed wacker is turned so the effluent dirt and grass trimmings are directed right at the vehicle. Time your yardwork so that it occurrs right after their carwashing. Act completely clueless about whats going on if they initiate a confrontation.

That trick worked for me about 9 years ago, and I only had to do it one time. The problem vehicle would show up every tuesday & thursday while I was at work. I figured out they were affiliated with the neighbor across the street. There was always an open space in front of the house where they had business, as well as two open spaces in the driveway. Whatever reason they had for parking in front of my house was inconsiderate. We live on a very busy street, so their inconsiderate behavior was actually causing us a safety hazard, to have to needlessly cross the street.

If I didn't live in California, the land of blatant passive aggression, i would have made every effort to meet and reason with the people, that's my nature. But past experiences living here have taught me otherwise. Voicing a concern in a reasonable manner is seen as weakness in certain cultures. Sometimes you have to stoop to their level, but do it in a way that beats them at their own game.

They have no way of knowing if the action was intentional, or just inconsiderate. The first few times the car parked in my space, i didn't think of it as intentionally rude, but it was certainly inconsiderate. Once I determined that it was a habit, it really doesn't matter anymore. They are set in their inconsiderate ways, whether intentionally rude or accidentally. The only way to get their attention is to expose them to their own behavior, but to do it in a way that is not directly confrontational.

Or you could try talking with them. Like I said it really depends on the culture where you live.


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RE: Advice On New Neighbor

I kind of like the idea of starting with bushes/shrubs instead of a fence. First, you won't need any type of permit and second the passengers will be unable to open the car door to walk on your lawn. It is also, I imagine, much less expensive to plant a few bushes than to put up a fence. As for them parking in front of your house I would, for now, begin parking your car(s) in front of your house. I know it will probably be more of a pain for you, but it will prevent them from parking there. Hopefully, after you begin parking in your driveway again they will continue not parking in front of your house.
Also if that situation occurs again with their son yelling and swearing I think you should go outside and say something. Especially if its at night ie. dark outside. Something simple like I hate to bother you but I am trying to put the baby to sleep do you mind keeping it down a bit. If these things don't work than I would start more drastic measures such as calling the owner of the house putting up a fence etc.


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RE: Advice On New Neighbor

Thanks for the tips everyone.

I think that bushes/shrubs will be cheaper than a fence. Any idea what kind of bushes/shrubs I should get? I called the city office and they said the maximum height of the fence cannot go over 3 feet, so I think that bushes can't go that high either.


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RE: Advice On New Neighbor

Talking to a neighbor about the issue will only give them a reason to believe the shrubs where planted to stop their bad behavior. My advise is to act first, innocently. Plant shrubs that have some kind of defense, like barberry, (cheap and hardy and pretty enough) yucca, or roses (high maintence, winter dormant). Purchase large enough specimens that they cannot be accidentally destroyed. Plant them close toether to form a fence. Make sure you choose a tall variety, not one that grows only 2 ft and can be stepped over.


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RE: Advice On New Neighbor

GardenGuy- Dwarf yaupon if your climate will support them. People tried to run them over in my yard and got scratched for their trouble. If you plant them 14 to 18 inches apart, they will grow into a little hedge not more than 2 feet high. They are very pretty and hardy.


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RE: Advice On New Neighbor

If your area is full of fairly large rocks you can have a decorative "fence" of rocks placed about 1 ft apart- they won't want their vehicle all scratched up hitting them & as the doors open small dings & dents. GF had problem with neighbors across from her place on Colorado River always parking on front of her property I told her to find some fairly heavy rocks & make a décor statement that would keep them out of her grass & no more ruts & dead grass. She loved it & they parked over on their side from then on.


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RE: Advice On New Neighbor

Umm, grass is made for walking on. Get over the mailman thing, it's not going to hurt a thing, neither is them getting out on your grass. now driving on it is a different matter....

I'd be most pissed about the noise, but can tell you from personal experience that people who are polite and care about others aren't rude like that and people who are rude like that don't give a crap that they piss you off, and indeed if you confront them about it they generally get passive aggressive or flat out aggressive and things get worse.

Next time they're locked out and cussing and yelling, just call the cops.


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RE: Advice On New Neighbor

I'm in PA, zone 6 and boxwoods and other hedge types are common landscape delineators in my area. But I really do like the rock idea. Although for a diff reason, on one particular curvy road in my area, several homeowners (including chief of police) have placed the large boulders decoratively along property line. It looks nice and as mentioned, they won't want to park close so as to not scratch their car.

Every homeowner is entitled to quiet enjoyment. It's the law. Be discreet, those tenants don't care about being considerate. I'd give them a year max and they'll prolly move on. Then there's next tenant.


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RE: Advice On New Neighbor

Repeat after me : "They're only renters" , meaning sooner or later they will leave. The next family could be great you know.

Also :" It could be so much worse".

Cities change constantly. In the beginning everything seemed so important, so permanent. Time has given me a different perspective. Anymore I try to redirect my focus when a renter moves near that bothers me.

Not making things worse is my goal now. What little I did mange to change with bad neighbors in the beginning was really not worth the upset I went through to get them to change even a little bit.

The swearing outside the bedroom is unacceptable though. Have you met the parents ? Are they perhaps decent enough they would deal with their child and this issue ? They may have no idea.


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RE: Advice On New Neighbor

I would dig up a 2' wide strip that defines your yard and then plant roses, ask on the rose forum for happy healthy thorny roses for your zone. If you have a color preference add that too.

For the noise, just call the authorities if it is after your communities quiet time.

I prefer to water the lawn and then use the weedwacker to edge. The water helps the grass to stick to the offending car.


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New Neighbor

I have 40 roses, some are the mini but all need trimming & I get lots of thorns in me, not just in my arms but occasionally get 1 in my neck or cracked on head. Roses are a lot of work even if you don't trim them much, black spot, mildew, critters &all & if you don't fertilize they go back to the rootstock which is usually little red roses. I was thinking least amount of care & maintenance costs. Rocks just require weed whacker to keep grass around them down. Mad neighbors might just cut roses down!


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RE: Advice On New Neighbor

I would avoid any talking to them. It could escalate to a fight, don't want that. But, you could write them an anonymous note. Most states have landlord-tenant laws. You might mention the noise, loud radio and foul language in this note. I like the weed wacker on car idea, great! Also the rocks. Long lasting. You could also find our your neighbors owner. Usually it's a DOT map and look for the place to select "parcel labels" this will give you the info you need to go to the assessors web page and enter that number, will give you address of home, and owners' name. The DOT map and assessors office are both by county. This is public information. Good luck and keep us posted as to how it goes.


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RE: Advice On New Neighbor

With all due respect, I really don't get this mentality that they must be jerks who will not respond to reasonable discourse, and that you should just call the cops. What has happened to us when we can no longer work out our differences with neighbors? Or at least try, before calling the cops.

You don't have much of a case with the street parking. Most places, that strip next to the curb is public right of way anyway, so you can't do much about people getting in and out of cars. The lat night noise - you know teenagers are brain damaged, right? Go outside and politely ask them to hold it down a bit, because it's late and people are sleeping. If that doesn't work, THEN it's OK to call the cops. This may be the first time the kid's actually been spoken to as an adult by an adult. He is potentially teachable.

We need to avoid walling ourselves off from others and throwing rocks at them when they misbehave.


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RE: Advice On New Neighbor

Toxcrusader, my exact sentiments, are you Canadian? Might have some Acadian in you.

Aiden, I sure am glad I don't live in California.

I don't agree that not talking to them is the thing to do. Ask them not to walk on the grass, including the Mailman. Kids are inconsiderate, I was a kid and I was as well until the nice man next door asked me to try and keep the noise down when my pals and I tuned our extremely loud dual exhaust hot rods when his wife, his elderly Mom and he were trying to listen to the BBC in the evening. No problem, we were kids, all he had to do is ask. The world revolved around us, we were 18, remember 18?

Mom and Dad had a car each, both brothers had their beaters, I had a car, truck and bike. Our driveway was empty sometimes so the neighbourhood kids and us could play basketball. I worked shifts at 16, so did Dad and Mom as well, can you imagine moving all those vehicles at midnight after whomever was on 3 to 11 got home and someone had to be up at 5 AM and the rotation started all over again? So we parked on the street most of the time as the drive only held 3 cars anyway. My Mom told us not to until she was blue in the face. Thinking about it I cringe as to how the neighbours may have felt but as an adult understood the reason why some people park on the street and the driveway may have a space in it. We didn't rent, it wasn't a slum but it was a working class neighbourhood with kids, lots of kids. And many shift workers, maybe that's why no one complained about the parking, they understood what a pain to have 5 people in the home working 3 different shifts, 2 come, 2 leave, 1 is missing.

Ask them nicely to not walk on the grass. By the way where is the precious grass that you remove to put up these bushes etc. going to end up? You are going to throw it out. It's more of an invasion of your property than damaging the grass. It's only grass.

Only my opinion.

This post was edited by SouthernCanuck on Mon, Aug 11, 14 at 5:57


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RE: Advice On New Neighbor

Walking on grass does not generally harm it.
I built a cute picket fence around my front yard, with gardens around it.


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RE: Advice On New Neighbor

SCanuck - I'm totally Amurrican but one side of my family is French-Canadian from Montreal area, about a century ago, via Michigan. Maybe that's why my dad was a polite neighbor. :-] The other side is Sicilian, which may explain why mom is completely bizarre with her neighbors. LOL


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