Neighbor Nightmares

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by TeDo, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I know others have vented about their neighbors and I've had such wonderful neighbors, I just couldn't relate....until NOW.

    The house on one side of me sat vacant for 5 years. This spring, a woman bought it for her father who has health issues. Her and her boyfriend have been doing a lot of work on it since they bought it. Their own house is almost 3 hours from here so they are here for a week or two and then gone for a week or two. They've been doing this since summer started. Now to get a visual of my issue, keep in mind that my house and that one (both over 100 years old) were built before there were such things as houses needing to be a certain distance from the property line. Our houses are so close difficult child 2 could lay between the two with his arms above his head and touch both houses at the same time. My central air unit is actually half on their property.

    In August, they reshingled their house. They drove on my yard and ruined my rhubarb patch (which is by my garage) to get their supplies right up to the side of their house. I asked them not to drive on my yard and especially keep away from my rhubarb. They were outraged that I made such a request and told me they'd talked to city hall and were told the property line was at the edge of my house. I informed her that I would gladly have J (someone I've known most of my life since I was born and raised here) that is the person in charge of such things come out and mark the line. She shut up immediately so I knew she was bluffing. J had told me that they don't do the locating but he showed me how to do it. I did and I put 3' wooden dowels in the ground to mark the line. Since then, they have been driving across my yard AND driveway to park trailers alongside their garage. They've even done it while I'm at my kitchen window watching. They keep pulling them up and/or running them down to drive their trailers to where they want them without having to back them up. I keep putting them back up and they keep taking them down. I have been in contact with the chief of police (who I've also grown up with) and the city attorney (a friend of our family's) for the last 2 weeks about what I can do to stop this. They said they don't get involved in neighbor disputes unless there are laws broken and these people always do it (except the once) in the middle of the night so no one can catch them doing it. M (police chief) and P (city attorney) just advised me yesterday to post a NO TRESSPASSING sign in the exact same spot that I've had the dowel. That way, when they move it and M said he KNOWS they will, they can be charged with tresspassing as often as they do it. I bought the sign last night but didn't have time today to post it.

    Came home from work tonight and there are 4' METAL posts sticking out of the front and back yard with a long blue string running the length between the two. difficult child 2 said that he was walking home and the neighbor lady told him she's "tired of this s***" and that she'd "had the city come out and mark the line" (they wouldn't do it for me even as a favor) and to "tell your mom it's illegal to put those sticks where she did".

    Now I have no idea what her beef is since we don't go on her property and we don't even let our dog reach that far but if I can't put wooden dowels in the ground in MY YARD on MY SIDE of the property line, what the h*** does she think she's doing with taller metal ones on MY SIDE of the property line in MY YARD? I just want them to stop driving on my grass!! They're making ruts and killing grass and she said "it's just grass, it'll grow back". Like M said, that's not for her to decide since it's not hers.

    Their posts are farther away from the alley so they still have room to drive across my yard easily (how convenient). I know she's full of s***. I am planning on calling J and beg him to once and for all come and mark the line for me even if I have to pay for the "service" and I want M there watching so she can't do a thing. I want M to watch me put the sign in MY YARD on MY SIDE of the property line right where he told me to put it. Then when their posts and their string are proven to be on MY PROPERTY, I want him to charge her with tresspassing right then and there since I can't catch them any other time. (yes, the ruts are noticeable but M says that's not enough. M agrees that there is no question they have been the ones removing them because the dowels don't move the entire time they're gone but within 24 hours of them being back, they disappear again.

    Sorry this ended up being so long but this really has me ticked. difficult child 2 made the comment just a few minutes ago that he liked it better when the house was empty. I soooooo agree with him.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Do you not have survey people who come out and actually legally mark the lot limits? They then do up a formal lot plan, which includes (ta-da...) the distance from your house to the property line on all sides. So that even if they take out the stakes, the survey report shows where the line is. This provides the legal basis for where you put your "no trespassing" sign, all you need is a picture with a tape measure from the house to the sign showing that it is within that measurement.

    (it isn't exactly cheap, but it solves lots of issues in the long run)
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    IC's idea is really good.

    Nichole caught her new neighbors driving their truck across her backyard. (she just moved into her new house) She planted shrubs ect to bar the access. Ones that would not be so nice to the underside of their truck should they get a wild hair up their fanny one day. Spring there will be black berry bushes with long sharp thorns. She's not had any more issue since the shrubs, but is NOT taking chances.

    You need to get your survey done. Personally, after that I'd get garden fencing, set the poles, put of the fence, then mark the No Trespassing. Then not only will she be charged, she can pay to redo the fence each time if she's stupid enough to keep pushing her luck. geez People are idiots these days.
  4. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    I'm confused. Is there a driveway between your homes? Any driveway? Why are they driving on the property at all?

    I only ask because there are rights of ingress/egress that can supersede property lines.
  5. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I would LOVE to be able to afford a surveyor. Remember, I've been unemployed for 16 months and only back to work for 1. There is NO room in our budget. That's why I'm hoping J will agree to do it.

    Sig, my driveway goes to the alley from my garage in the middle of my property in back. They drive across my driveway from the alley then across my yard. Their garage sits perpendicular to my driveway (parallel to the alley) about 6 feet from the alley. They are using a big trailer (about the size of a car hauler) to move things from wherever they're finding them to this house and they park it between their garage and the alley. They just insist on driving it straight into the spot instead of backing it up on their own grass.
  6. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Do they have their own driveway? I'm not purposely being dense!!

    You should have a copy of your survey with your purchase info on your house. If not, you should be able to view it a city hall or even online!
  7. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    If it's not too expensive, and if J won't be able to help, could you possibly set up a videocamera and a motion light to film them doing this? We had a neighbor who we thought was coming up on our property to poison our dog and we did that.
  8. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Their driveway also runs parallel to the alley on the other side of their garage (opposite my yard). They are on a corner lot and I am the next house in. There is no official survey on the property and the only thing I can get, and have gotten, is the dimensions of the lots on my block. I know that my property line begins 90' from the middle of the road. I have measured it out front and back and that is where I placed my dowels. It puts the property line 2 feet from the side of my house. Where they put the metal poles and string puts the property line 6" from the side of my house which means my central air unit is "tresspassing" (next, she'll insist that be moved even though it's been there 20 years) and my furnace venting extends over the property line as well.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    i would probably be looking at the cost of spike strips. Seriously. Or else I would declare that area off limits to your kids and dump a box of nails/thumbtacks in the area. Later you can go and dig them up. It is not your fault if they get flat tires from driving on your property. It would prove that htey did drive on your property also. When they whine about their tires, tell them that you accidentally dropped the nails and haven't had time to pick them up yet. And SMILE that smile that says that of course you didn't accidentally drop them, but you won't ever admit it.

    I would also think about a security camera so you would have them on film.

    Why not put some thought into how you can best make them miserable? What can you do that the cops won't bother with but will drive them nuts? Maybe put a cd player outside and blast Barney songs at them all day? Trust me, 30 min of Barney songs and they will be unable to get the songs out of their head for all day.

    Or play Gregorian chants and have 'rituals' on the lawn when they are home. Tell them that you are putting a hex on them. Use some black candles, get one of those sage smudge sticks (I found one on ebay for $0.99 plus $1.49 shipping) and maybe a can with dry beans in it or maracas or a tambourine, or even a drum. Chant in Latin, dance around (maybe with a loose dress or even a sheet wrapped toga style or a cape, whatever) play the drums or the tambourine or shake the can of dry beans. Don't be quiet about it. You WANT them to notice. Maybe get some bones from chicken that you had for dinner and tie the bones into little bags with some dirt, some type of spice that has an odor, a marble or rocks, whatever. Put these on the property on your side of the line. tie a few bags like that on any trees or shrubbery or on the dowels marking the property line. Make sure that you tell the neighbor they are gris-gris bags (used in voodoo, but these are not actually voodoo or anything like that - but you want the neighbor to think they are.

    You have enough creativity to pull this off, and it is entirely possible that they will believe that you are hexing them or putting a spell on them. Tell them your land is sacred to your religion and by driving across your offering to the spirits (the rhubarb patch) they have angered the spirits and the spirits will punish them.
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    If there was no survey certificate available when you purchased the property, then contact a legal survey company and pay them to prepare a legal survey certificate. Nothing else will stand up in court.
  11. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Ok- if they have their own driveway- there is no question if there being an egress easement.

    Get out the yellow pages. Call every fence company that offers free estimates. And get the estimates . One by one. They may even be willing to look at the plat and mark out your proposed fence with striping paint. (It's your secret that you are not planning to get a fence.)

    And I would get one if those deer deterrent sprinklers that come on automatically when an animal(!) approaches. Especially after the deer wrecked the rhubarb. And motion activated floodlights.
  12. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    (Otherwise, dig a few post holes and set some concrete in sono tubes for a quick, easy, cheap barrier that they can't drive over)
  13. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Literally beg J to come out and do you this favor...bake him some cookies or prepare a meal he can bring home to his family. Something simple. If he still won't help you out, I agree that it's time to fight fire with fire. How about dig out a fire pit in the EXACT location they are crossing over. Or 'accidentally' drop a box of medium sized roofing nails at the property line...

    Surveillance cameras can be costly but motion detector lights are not - go to Home Depot or Lowes and find them cheap. Once you can afford to, I would be installing a nice 6' fence, with the ugly side OUT.
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think the posts set in concrete would be PERFECT. Let them call the cops - after all the survey says it is YOUR property and they can do NOTHING about it. SInce they go home every week or two, that would give your concrete lots of time to get fully hardened. You can even just get the bags of concrete at the store and pour it into the hole and add water and stir it right in the hole.
  15. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Throughout our town, concrete markers are directly on the property line.
  16. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    You don't need posts. Just quick set concrete and a sonotube - cut the sonotube to 3-4' lengths, dig down about a foot and use the form to set the concrete in perfectly round barriers that emerge 24" or so above the ground. 3 or so should do the trick. Add a pillow and call them toad stools.

    -- adding -- in our neck of the woods there is a sunken iron pipe marking each corner of a property line. And our subdivision is from the 40's. We've lived on new AND old lots in IL and WI - and all of them were marked by pipe.
  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Great ideas!


    What IS it with-people? I am so sorry you have to go through this. Our houses and yards are more than that. They are our homes. The place we come home to when we're tired and overstimulated, where we can take a soothing shower and let our hair down.
    When neighbors do not understand that their rights do not trump yours, it ruins everything.

    Be aware that after you get the fence companies to do estimates, and you have put in cement or whatever you do, that this will not go away. But you do have to put your foot down and make sure it stops because these sorts of people do not give up and only understand assertiveness to the point of aggression.
    I am still learning that one the hard way. Sigh.
  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Neighbors can be the bane of ones existence. Personally I would love it if I could look up at the sky and say "Beam them up Scotty!" However what keeps me going is the fact that we have one of those little egress things that Sig is talking going straight up the side of his lot and I dont think he realizes it. He keeps building permanent type buildings on that exact strip of land and when we get ready we are gonna insist on our rights to that strip and pull the rug out from under him.

    The driveway we actually use now isnt really a driveway or a road. Its just a dirt path that people have driven down for so many years that it has packed down. Its actually on two other peoples property and they could decide at anytime to say we cant use it.
  19. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    You've been using it for HOW long?
    Under common law - and US law is based on common law - you have earned "right of access" by virtue of using it for access for so long.

    For example, royal estates in England have historical pathways that run through the estates... and anybody can walk on those paths, at any time. You can't leave the path, you can't "park" on the path, you can't do anything to the property as you walk/drive/ride by. But "right of access" or "right of passage" is earned by virtue of the "path" having been used as a path and the owner not preventing it early on.
  20. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    IC is right. That's the egress law I was writing about. You are entitled to an easement to get to and from your property - even if it is landlocked. That right supersedes all else. So they can't block you.

    Didn't apply in TeDo's case because they bad neighbor has a driveway.