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Forum > Miscellaneous > Dealing with Trespassing Neighbors ( Moderated by Deepika, EleanorSews, CynthiaSue)

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Dealing with Trespassing Neighbors
Fed Up
QuickFade
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QuickFade
Intermediate
USA
Member since 6/7/05
Posts: 1778
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Date: 7/9/09 7:33 PM

For nearly six years, my neighbors have allowed their kids and their kids friends to trespass on my property at all hours of the day or night. I haven't really that the funds to move the fence, but I have asked and told them dozens of times to cut it out.

The mother claims she has no control over her kids and that the father is of no help and that it's my job to tell the kids not to do it. She's pretty immature though she is nearly sixty years old.

For a year and a half, one of their kids had parties in the back yard, not with loud music but with loud talking and playing Kendo, with sticks hitting loudly at 2 or 3 in the morning. I kept telling him to cut it out.

Well, I finally got him to stop by saying if it happened again, I'd talk to his dad at work. His dad would always have his lying wife talk to me. Finally, the parties stopped except for one exceedingly loud one till 1 a.m. one holiday.

I asked her once to put a small piece of fence up to stop it and remove the walk pavers they had installed, partly in my yard. She did have them remove the pavers, but she said, "I'll put up a gate.

I have called the police a few times on this family, only when there was a lot of stranger traffic through my yard and it appeared there was drug traffic, even according to a neighbor who had been watching from far away. Their older kids had in fact been arrested in a drug party bust at their house before I moved there.

Now, the neighbors on the other side let their kid go through my yard and they do it in front of me.

I don't want to totally alienate these people, but my grass is ruined in those areas, my privacy is wrecked as they go past my windows at night, and my dog wakes us up when they do.

Should I write a letter to them, including the other neighbor, who has actually been as nice to me as I think his wife would let him, or do I just find a way to put up a fence and call the police whenever they make noise in the wee hours?

Also, I found that my live oak was cut over the street, something the city insists it didn't do. It was not sealed, and I was not asked or notified of this. This alone could cause that tree to die because it is in an oak wilt area, and that tree is worth a lot of money and would cost me a lot to take down if it died. I suspect my neighbors (the second ones) because they drive under there and may have felt it was in their way. But, no one said anything to me.

I know I sound like a doormat, but I have actually gotten them to stop leaving fast food trash in my yard, stopped the apparent drug traffic, and stopped kids from playing on my swing and keeping their basketball hoop in my yard. So, I did accomplish some things. I actually am still sleeping in a small bedroom instead of my master bedroom because I don't want to deal with backyard late night noise.

By the way, these people really don't talk to me much, except the dads when the moms aren't looking. This is no doubt related to the police calls. But, I have no apologies for that. Others called as well, and you can't run a drug business and have people running through your neighbors yard at midnight and not get any flack.

To make matters worse, I let my across the street neighbor's nephews do some yardwork, and after they did part of it, they demanded all the money. I refused, but they tried to bully me out of the rest, calling me a cheat, saying they could get bitten by a snake or get scratched as they were wearing shorts. One, it turns out had spent time in prison. I nearly called the police for that as they were getting pretty threatening. I finally paid them a little more than half and lost money really but I got them off my property. So, that young woman, who is not friends with anyone except me before this, doesn't speak to me. She did actually wave to me a couple of times, but it's bizarre. I've been so nice to them and was her only friend in the neighborhood. I think those boys went over and told their auntie a crock of lies about being used and abused. They were both over eighteen.

So, I really don't want to make enemies, but, I'm sick and tired of them going through my yard. I even thought about putting dye in the yard to break them of the habit. I thought of using manure as fertilizer, but another PR member warned me against the flies it would draw.

The first neighbor even had workers go through my yard and has had them tear through my grass and put down wood to walk on, leaving it destroyed. They have bushes lining their front yard at the curb, so they just go through my yard instead. She admitted that it ruins my grass, but she won't do anything about it.

We have never done this to our neighbors. The worst thing I did was leave my dog outside in the back yard fenced in when I went out of town for cancer treatment. She had lots of food and water and excellent shelter. But, I couldn't trust the neighbors to take care of her because I frequently found large rocks in my back yard with my dog having bloody cuts on her head. They didn't want her to bark when they were having parties late at night and had people coming through my yard.

Should I write a letter and give it to both neighbors, call the police when they do this late at night, or both? Or, something else? I'm fed up.

Leora
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Leora
Intermediate
Oregon USA
Member since 2/7/04
Posts: 2143
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Date: 7/9/09 7:54 PM

Obviously, being nice and reasonable doesn't work with these people.

I think you can put stakes around your property line and post a no trespassing sign, be sure it is a sign that makes it clear violators will be reported. Access is cut off.

As for the loud parties, find out what time is the cutoff- I think it is 11pm around here. Then call the police every single time there is a disturbance. Move back into your comfy room, go about your business and live the way you want to live.
Other ideas... get yourself and your son martial arts training? get a bigger dog?

------
Leah

My blog:
http://www.journeytocouture.com

My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.

Michelle L
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Michelle L
Intermediate
Missouri USA
Member since 1/20/08
Posts: 1301
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Date: 7/9/09 8:01 PM

I had a similar issue here when I first purchased this house. There was a driveway that was in dispute, that we found had been a part of the property for my address since 1928, yet my next door neighbor contended that it was his. No matter how reasonable I was, he would not accept that that was my driveway. So, I had my attorney send a copy of my survey, a copy of the 1928 documents, and an offer to sue him for $100.00 for every day that I was unable to fully access my property.

His vehicle was gone in less than 24 hours.

------
Michelle

http://cheapandpicky.blogspot.com/

Liana
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Liana
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Nebraska USA
Member since 8/31/03
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Date: 7/9/09 8:08 PM

The longer you let this go on without taking documented action, the less clout you're going to have in getting help from the police or whomever to make them stop. Put up something that they will have to tear down to get through, and when they tear it down, call the police. Every time. That's destruction of property, vandalism, criminal trespass and possibly breaking and entering. You have to just quit being 'nice' since the neighbors interpret it as 'doormat'. If you do nothing for enough years, they might actually be able to claim that it's a public access that you've allowed, and then you will have to prove that it isn't. Good luck.

------
Liana
http://sewintriguing.blogspot.com/
http://artisanssquare.com/sg/
http://www.pbase.com/lianasews

QuickFade
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QuickFade
Intermediate
USA
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Date: 7/9/09 8:54 PM

Yeah, I have a letter written. But, I haven't sent it. I hate stuff like this. I can't believe these people. The men act all nice to me, but the women don't. The men don't do anything about it, though.

Franksdottir

Franksdottir  Friend of PR
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Member since 4/25/08
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In reply to QuickFade


Date: 7/9/09 9:12 PM

There is no reason why you should suffer this way, and not have the use of your own property.

This is my advice: start documenting EVERYTHING. But don't do it on the computer, do it on paper, with dates, names, times, offenses, etc. Written documentation is a lot harder to fake than on the computer, so that will stave off an argument.

It is now time to get a lawyer. You may not have to go to court, but at least getting a letter from a lawyer will make these people understand that this is serious. If they don't comply, sue them. It will be worth every penny.

------
Barb

Sew Cool

Sew Cool
Intermediate
California USA
Member since 4/28/06
Posts: 298
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In reply to QuickFade


Date: 7/9/09 9:27 PM

OKAY, here goes, this works every time, just say, "I am calling Probation!" Most likely if they are doing every thing you are saying that they are doing, they have probation or parole officer/agent. Some probation system are set up so that a probation officer can plug in an address and everyone in the home who is on probation will come up. Don't give them any explanation just say, I'm calling probation. When you say this, watch their body language. You'll get a good idea if they are on probation or parole.

Hope this helps.
Sew Cool
-- Edited on 7/9/09 9:50 PM --

Sweetsong

Sweetsong
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Michigan USA
Member since 12/26/05
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Date: 7/9/09 9:33 PM

Don't move the fence if you cannot afford it now, but purchase a substitute (here in Michigan I would use a snow fence) like those smaller garden border fences. So they don't complain about "not seeing them" tie orange ribbons, or strips of bright plastic, to the tops of them...all around the yard. Take pictures of the borders, the tree, the driveway, anything that they've messed up, or won't get off of.

In our state, if someone uses the property after so many years they CAN claim it. Get some sort of markers up pronto. Get a lawyer, or at talk to someone who know about property rights.

We have had problems with our neighbors, too. Kid used our garage as a backdrop for his catching/pitching baseball. Parents didn't stop him and the baseballs kept landing in our yard. He was basically aiming for our garage window. Refused to throw one back to him after I got fed up, dad came over demanding baseballs, I said "no." He dared me to call the police. I did. Anyway, this year the pitching and catching are going a different direction.

Larisa
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Larisa
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Virginia USA
Member since 7/15/05
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Date: 7/9/09 10:01 PM

I agree with everything the other posters have said. However, there is one thing that we did that has really cut down on the idiots from cutting through our yard (we live on a corner lot and they seem to be too damn lazy to actually walk to the corner and around). We got some wire and ran it from the end of one section of fencing to the start of the other section of fencing (previous owners put the fencing up, we are saving up to get stockade fencing up to further prevent people from accessing our yard). A few times of them tripping as they cut through did the trick (evil grin). If you can't do that, maybe some small very prickly shrubs (barberry work great 0 we had them by our basement window in NY and called them "burglar bushes" because if anyone tried to get past them, they'd get a nasty shock.

Definitely keep calling the police, see if you can get an attorney to contact them regarding the situation for a minimal fee, get the noise regulations and post them to both houses, mark your property lines and post no trespassing signs.....and if you need to, greet them the next time they cut through with a BB gun in your hands...yes, I've done this as well...it does work....and the look of total fear is worth it. No, I'd never use it on a person, but am getting close to using it on the dogs that run free and use my yard for their business (main ones "belong" to the drug addicted couple that live diagonally through our backyard....they have no collars or tags and that's not even the worst...the parents don't watch their kids and the youngest has been seen numerous times completely naked, climbing on the beat up cars and crap in the yard).

Larisa

------
research associate in the field of child development, married to an engineer

I am woman, I am invincible, I...am...TIRED!!

QuickFade
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QuickFade
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USA
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Posts: 1778
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Date: 7/9/09 11:52 PM

I didn't deal with it more than verbally for a while because I was going through so much with my health and had my plate full. And, I finally just said, "I'll get my son through high school and move." But, I don't want to live two more years this way. It's nearly eleven, and they just came through again. By the time I get outside, they are gone.

I guess I could call the city tomorrow and ask for the proper procedure to follow. I don't want to get cited if I'm not allowed to put up a wire or signs like that. And, I want to see if I can have someone call them as well. A police officer did talk to them when there was the drug activity apparently.

The druggie kids are grown and gone mostly. One of the older ones is there sometimes but I don't think he lives there anymore. The only one left, I think, is a sixteen year old. So, they have him living or at least entertaining down in that separate apartment below the main house. My son is the same age but doesn't associate with any of the neighborhood kids. Really, it's just them and the ones on the other side that are friends with them and a younger, silly, lovesick girl across the street that he would not be interested in. So, all his friends are where he goes to school, and I'm glad. So, I don't know if that kid is into drugs like his older siblings, but he's got the traffic through my yard going pretty well.

Yeah, I'll probably go to the city and the police station tomorrow and talk to them and see what the best course of action is. And if they say it's okay to put up the wire, I will. I mean, I wouldn't think that if anyone tripped, they would report it, but you know some people could sue you if you put up something like that, and they said, "Well, I always go down there and have for years." It's really ridiculous.

These people look so respectable on the outside. Another tactic I could take is to talk to the nice guy whose son is always doing it, but I don't know him super well.

I really basically prefer to deal directly with the jerks next to me in writing. I know another mom who is an atty who might write a letter cheaply for me.

So, city, police, letter, signs probably. Another PR member ofered to come help put in a fence, but I don't know the cost of materials. I do know a person who might have some extra fence though, so we will see.
-- Edited on 7/10/09 0:05 AM --

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