neighbors

Jessica - posted on 04/09/2015 ( 5 moms have responded )

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So this is kind of a rant. I have some neighbors that have a side yard as their backyard. This sideyard connects with our front yard. So their house is caddy corner to ours. They only have part of this yard fenced in. I have four boys and one girl who play in the cul-de-sac on the street/ our own yard. I am always outside keeping an eye on them and this time of year I have to pick all the weeds that take over along the property line because they never put sod in. While I was picking the weeds along the property line I tried to keep my 2 year old around me along with one of her older brothers in case she wandered. They didn't wander far onto our neighbor's property but were wondering on it close to me as well as on our own property. I didn't think it would be a big deal for the following reasons: their kids have played on our property before without our permission, he mows over the property line constantly because he has a riding mower and it won't fit around a tree on the edge of his property unless he mows over the line - then he says it looks better to have a straight line - so he mows all down it and shorter than we like because our grass is grass - not weeds and we actually want it to grow, he has also said more than once after they moved in when I tried to stop our kids from wandering over the line that it is fine because it is just weeds. They aren't hurting anything. Not to mention when other neighbor's have friends with kids over they always let all the kids play on their property and we let them on ours, too.
They are young kids all under 10 - unless they are digging holes how much damage could the really do running around? Well today my 8 year old was chasing butterflies between the two properties (not crossing over in front of their fence or house - more of an obvious violation). All of my other kids were riding bikes. My two year old was taking a nap. When it was time to go in, my eight year old refused to come and so I had to go over onto their property to get him. Well tonight I went out for a walk and saw that they put up a private property sign more towards and kind of facing our house. What upsets me is that they never even tried to talk to me or my husband about it. And the husband was out there at the time today and on Saturday when I was pulling weeds. He just smiled and waved. Not once did he approach me. I had no idea it bothered them because they had previously said it was fine. We have talked to them numerous times - gone over there for dinner and get-togethers, had them over to play darts. I wouldn't say we are the best of friends but we always seemed friendly with each other and got along. My husband and I decided not to make a huge issue about them mowing over the line because we weren't worried about them not knowing where the property line is (we had a discussion when they moved in because they were going even further over) and felt like we were friends and it would seem petty to make a big deal about it when it seemed obvious, after talking about it, they weren't trying to infringe. They also let their dog crap all around our mailbox - we never had an issue with this until they got a dog so I'm pretty sure it is their dog. Not to mention all of the times I have caught their dog for them and kept it in my own yard despite the fact he broke through their fence when they weren't home (I just happened to be outside). We live not far from a busy road and dogs get run over all the time. My mom says I'm making a big deal out of nothing but I am upset because I really do try to be respectful to other people and thought that we were friends with these people enough at least that they could talk to us. I guess I am just disappointed that they aren't because I had liked them and was looking forward to hanging out with them more now that the weather is better. They had always said they wanted to live on a street where we are more of a community. Where we all look out for each other, where kids are all outside playing, and neighbors do things together. But I felt this was very passive aggressive. And now I think it will just be awkward. I know it's their property (I am sure someone will say it) and they have every right to post a sign. I just wish they would have talked about it with us opposed to sending us a message. I probably wouldn't care as much if I knew we were moving soon but they moved in a year ago and we moved in a couple of years before that, so these are going to be our neighbors for at least a few years more and I feel like if this is how they deal with a conflict, it could lead to bigger problems if we do something else that irks them. Let's face it sometimes we accidentally make our neighbors upset. What would you do? Would you talk to your neighbor if you had an issue or just hint at it?

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Ledia - posted on 04/10/2015

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Are you sure the sign was meant as a message for you specifically? By the way you describe the rest of your interactions with them, it really doesn't sound like they would put up a tacky sign just because your child chased a butterfly into their yard.
Could there possibly be another unwelcome person wandering into their yard that you are unaware of?

Perhaps kids from further away in the neighborhood are coming to play in the yard without permission--if the kids got hurt on the property while playing without permission, they property owners would be responsible for damages. We had some neighbor kids doing this at one point. I came home from a meeting one day to find 4 boys jumping on our trampoline, which is located inside our back yard fence, and my son was not even home! So maybe they are having issues with kids playing while they are not home or while they cannot be attentive.

I'm not saying the sign wasn't meant for you, but there is a possibility it wasn't. I would just ask next time you see them. Say something like, "Hi, I noticed your new sign. Are you having a problem with people coming onto the property?" and see what he says. If you want to be bold, you can even add "I hope my kids haven't bothered you, if they do please let me know and I will take care of it."

Raye - posted on 04/10/2015

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It would have been the nice thing to do if they had talked to you about it. If you can afford it, I would suggest getting a fence across the property line. I would also suggest getting a sign that says "no dog poop" and put it around the mailbox. Still smile and wave to them when you see them out. But I think the get-togethers are over.

I have a neighbor that, for years, had Beagles that would bark and carry on at all times of the day and night. I never said anything to them, because I know Beagles are noisy dogs, and they weren't hurting anything except my sleep every once in a while. Well, they recently got a new dog and it would jump the fence into everyone else's yards. It is a Mastiff, very large dog, and would square off with me and bark at me. I was afraid that the dog could bite someone or get out in the street and get hit. So I went to the neighbor and let them know the dog had gotten in my yard and asked that they control their pet. They acted like I was wrong for suggesting such a thing. Well, it came down to me threatening to shoot the animal and having Animal Control come out to talk to them, and now they've been putting up taller fencing. Because of the way the cul-de-sac is, there are 6 other yards that touch their back yard, plus the front out to the street. Currently they've put fence along 5 of the 6 yards, so the dog could still get out. I started out trying to be nice, and they were unwilling to take measures until threatened. I have to protect my family and my dog from their dog that did not seem friendly. It's sad that people can't seem to be respectful and talk about the issues, that it seems to have to resort to threats.

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Jessica - posted on 04/10/2015

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Oh wow, Ledia! They got on your trampoline within your fence? Sometimes kids don't understand boundaries, but that is brazen. My parents said there was a couple with a young child on our street growing up that would push their child on our swingset before and after our fence was up. It didn't bother them. When I asked why not? (this was when I was a kid) they said because they were parents who were actually spending time with their kid and it's not like they were going to break it. We were not playing on it all the time and it was also before they had put in the neighborhood playground. I guess I am more like that, but I would mind if it was a trampoline just because kids can get hurt on that if they aren't following safety rules. Thank you for being encouraging!

Jessica - posted on 04/10/2015

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Thank you all for responding and not criticizing me. My mom said I shouldn't care if they put up a sign or not. But it wasn't the fact they put up a sign on their property. It was the way they put it up facing mainly our yard and putting it close to the property line opposed to the middle of the property or even close to the cul-de-sac. To me - it means they developed negative feelings and resentment - which I feel could have all been resolved or avoided if they just would have talked to me about it first or at least backed me up all of the times I told my kids to get off of that lot and they said forget about it, it's fine, let them play. That is like cutting my legs from under me! I guess I should have just been like - no - they will not play here - They have their own yard to play in.

Yes I agree good fences make good neighbors. However, it is on a utility easement so it would have to be on the other side of that which would then be in our trees. But we aren't allowed to have fences in front yards anyways (Some ridiculous city ordinance) but if THEY put one up/expand their current yard then that would be allowed - even though that would be our view from the front yard and wouldn't be much different from us putting up our own - just slightly further from our window. The builder got lazy and was wanting to build two homes on pretty much yardless lots and when he saw one wouldn't sell because everyone wanted a yard - he threw in the other lot which wasn't designed to be a back yard at all. I really don't think the property line would be a huge issue if there had been a house built. The majority of the lot would be a house and the kids are good about staying off of neighbors yards that look like front yards. Really they don't get on this one much either.

Yes, she admitted the sign was because he wandered over there on and off for the hour on those two days I was picking weeds. Were there other kids? Maybe. Rarely do I see many kids outside. Occasionally I see older kids riding their bikes - the kids said there were a couple of boys running around our front yard a couple of weeks ago, but really, that doesn't bother me. I guess it is possible these guys could have gotten on their lot as well. Kids need a place to run around and play and the backyards these days are abysmal well at least around here.

I apologized to my neighbor for the disrespect she thought we were showing them and I assured her I would talk to the kids about staying away. I also told her that if my kids ever do anything that bothers them - then they should tell me. I also put up an orange rope along the line and told the kids they aren't to cross that. Maybe for the time being they'll stop mowing over our property now, too. :) I am thinking maybe we could plant some rose bushes along the line? Can you plant those on the utility easement? The sign for the dog is a good idea. But now they may think it will target them - the war of the signs lol - just kidding.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 04/10/2015

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Good fences make good neighbors. Put up a fence on your side of the property line. Problem solved. Put up garden fencing around the base of your mailbox, and a nice little sign to remind dog walkers to pick up after their animals, and you aren't directly targeting their dog.

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