Good Fences = Good Neighbors?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from ennui. Show ennui's posts

    Good Fences = Good Neighbors?

    About 1 year ago I replaced a stockade fence that separates my driveway from my neighbor's.  The neighbor is new, having moved in late last summer.  Since she moved in 6 full trash bags, old gutters with nails sticking out and various other debris have been sitting piled up against the fence on her side of the driveway.  As I paid $1,500 for the 25 foot strip of cedar fence, new posts and  an additional $300  for sealing & staining, do I have the right to politely ask the neighbor to remove the debris from leaning against the fence?  I fear it will hasten the aging, cause rotting, etc. Since the fence is on my property, it would be up to me to replace...again.  The bags are also collecting rain water; a breeding pool for mosquitoes.

    Any advice on how to handle and  maintain a neighborly relationship?
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from Henners. Show Henners's posts

    Re: Good Fences = Good Neighbors?

    I have wondered the same thing, only my fences are chainlink, so I can see all the junk my messy neighbor has piled against the fence, including heavy ladders and plastic containers of what looks like old car oil. I had to replace a chicken wire fence with chain link at a cost of almost $1,000, because neighbors on the other side toss their snow into my yard and essentially crushed the fence twice. They complained about the unsightlyness of it - but never offered to pay for the damage. They'd been replaced by neighbors who will pile snow up to the height of the fence. What concerns me is all this weight creating a sag or bend in the fence, which doesn't need to be there and which would, if bad enough, create an eyesore and shorten the lifespan of the fence. I'm also not thrilled about the oil moldering on my property line. So I too am wondering If I have the right to ask neighbors to stop leaning/piling stuff up against my fence and to stop disposing of snow over the fence. 
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from ennui. Show ennui's posts

    Re: Good Fences = Good Neighbors?

    Thanks for the response.  I want to give my neighbor some credit as a first time home owner so think she may not be thinking in terms of other people's property. She is a decent and intelligent person with a good job and otherwise very considerate. I'd prefer to not upset the dynamics of having a good neighbor but at the same time do not want to foot the bill to replace an brand new fence over carelessness.  This isn't an inconsiderate neighbor as seems to be your case and that is why I want to address the problem in a delicate manner.  Each day I come home and pull into my driveway I see all that trash against the fence and it bothers me that I don't say something.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie18. Show pinkkittie18's posts

    Re: Good Fences = Good Neighbors?

    say something. Be prepared with info for a local dump or trash service to suggest if their response is "I don't know what to do with it."
    Frame it in the interest of your fence, as no one could blame you for wanting to protect your investment. Also let them know that the town can cite them for leaving it there.
    If they refuse to remove it, you can call town hall and complain about it. My parents had the same issue with their neighbors. The town forced the neighbors to get rid of the trash or they would face a pricey citation.

    Thanks for the response.  I want to give my neighbor some credit as a first time home owner so think she may not be thinking in terms of other people's property. She is a decent and intelligent person with a good job and otherwise very considerate. I'd prefer to not upset the dynamics of having a good neighbor but at the same time do not want to foot the bill to replace an brand new fence over carelessness.  This isn't an inconsiderate neighbor as seems to be your case and that is why I want to address the problem in a delicate manner.  Each day I come home and pull into my driveway I see all that trash against the fence and it bothers me that I don't say something.
    Posted by ennui

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from ennui. Show ennui's posts

    Re: Good Fences = Good Neighbors?

    You're right. She knows about the town dump. She is new to owning the home but  lived in the town for 7 years so in my mind, no excuses. When she moved in there was a lot of debris from construction she was having done to the interior. She hired a dumpster and everything went in there and when it was time to move in, the dumpster was gone.  Since then, the remains have been piled up and that was last July.  It is also right by her car and side door so not like out of sight out of mind.
    I will make it all about the fence and put it in a way that does not accuse her of being careless.   Thanks for your input.  Sometimes it is better to get advice from a stranger since friends tend to automatically take your side, no matter what.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Good Fences = Good Neighbors?

    That's a tough one, but I'd definitely gently ask while bringing up your concerns about the lifespan of the fence and how you can't afford to replace it.  I'm sure your neighbor hasn't thought a bit about it either way and that they aren't trying to be inconsiderate.  I'd hope that anyone approached by a reasonable person with a polite, reasonable request would be, well, reasonable.

    Good luck!
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from ennui. Show ennui's posts

    Re: Good Fences = Good Neighbors?

    That's a tough one, but I'd definitely gently ask while bringing up your concerns about the lifespan of the fence and how you can't afford to replace it.  I'm sure your neighbor hasn't thought a bit about it either way and that they aren't trying to be inconsiderate.  I'd hope that anyone approached by a reasonable person with a polite, reasonable request would be, well, reasonable. Good luck!
    Posted by kargiver


    kargiver:
    Love your avitar!  As it happened, the neighbor in question came by last evening with cupcakes she baked as a thank you for bringing in her mail while she was away on business (awww).  This makes it even MORE difficult no matter how nicely I approach the subject.  She really is a sweet person and as she is a new homeowner probably still has the mentality that things are magically repaired and or replaced by a landlord.  I'm giving it a couple more weeks and then might ask her if she needs help taking her pile of debris to the dump. Thanks for the input.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Good Fences = Good Neighbors?

    Thanks!  It's my bridal bouquet. :)

    Actually, I know what you mean, but I think her being so nice and neighborly would make it easier to approach her.  Just go heart in hand and tell her how awkward and uncomfortable you feel having to ask, but let her know about the damage those things will cause, and I'm sure there will be no hard feelings.  Bring your own baked good as a peace offering; people give gifts that they'd like to receive themselves so it will go over great.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from ennui. Show ennui's posts

    Re: Good Fences = Good Neighbors?

    Thanks!  It's my bridal bouquet. :) Actually, I know what you mean, but I think her being so nice and neighborly would make it easier to approach her.  Just go heart in hand and tell her how awkward and uncomfortable you feel having to ask, but let her know about the damage those things will cause, and I'm sure there will be no hard feelings.  Bring your own baked good as a peace offering; people give gifts that they'd like to receive themselves so it will go over great.
    Posted by kargiver



    It's beautiful, truly!  That is a great idea. I do good brownies and you are correct, we are two reasonable adults.   How nice to try and resolve situations without reverting to an eye for an eye rage - imagine if everyone thought along the same lines?  Thank you so much. 

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Good Fences = Good Neighbors?

    Thank you!  I was sad I didn't preserve them, but I guess I kind of did this way.

    Indeed, where have the good old days gone?  Bring them back one brownie and cup cake at a time. :)
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Good Fences = Good Neighbors?

    What happened????
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from pingo. Show pingo's posts

    Re: Good Fences = Good Neighbors?

    I am with kargiver and pinkey. Try to solve this in a friendly manner. Not always easy, I know. Generally a fence is never ON the property line, but a foot or more away on the fence owner's side - so if things get "sticky", you have right to tell her that she is actually using your property to dispose off her trash.
    Since you say, she seems to be a nice neighbor, I would invite her over for a cup of tea or coffee, and then explain the situation. She may not be aware of it at all.
    We own a comercial property and have in our deed, that we have to put up a wooden fence, since our neighbors are recidential homeowners. No problem. Our fence is about 1 foot away from the property line as per code. However, one of our neighbors decided to have ivys covering his side of the fence.  Plants keep a lot of moisture and our cedar fence kept rotting in certain places. We had to replace some of the sections several times. Did not speak up. Wanted to be good neighbors.
    Well, finally we had it. Wrote a letter to the town, and asked them  - what could be done in a friendly manner. Within 2 weeks our neighbor had a letter form the town (we got a copy), that if he wanted to grow ivy on a fence, he needed to put up a fence on HIS OWN property. They also told us we had all the rights to kill or remove, whatever was growing on our property.
    This is some years ago - and the last time we replaced the intire side of that fence, we made sure to have our landscaper pull up all the ivy and put down a weed killer strong enough, not have it come back. Since then we did not have to replace the fence. Good luck to you!

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from ennui. Show ennui's posts

    Re: Good Fences = Good Neighbors?

    ]What happened????

    I approached my neighbor and asked her if there was a reason she had for keeping the bags of trash and did she need any help removing them.  She said she was still working on some home improvements and realized she was negligent in disposing of the items. Then I said my only concern is the possibility they might shorten the life of the fence that I replaced less than 2 years ago. She said she'd remove the items as soon she had a chance.  She removed the rotted wood gutters with nails jutting out (also good to not be there for safety of her daughter). To date the bags of trash are still piled up against the fence. 

    Been busy with my mother who has been in and out of hospital and rehab since January so just getting around to checking back.  Thanks for caring about the outcome. Wish it was better.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Good Fences = Good Neighbors?

    Brownies are still your best bet. :)  Stay firm, seriously; it seems like she's at least open to talking about it.

    Best wishes with your mom and the neighbor.  Check in when you can.

    ~kar
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from TarheelChief. Show TarheelChief's posts

    Re: Good Fences = Good Neighbors?

    Sometimes the best defense is a good offense.
    You can do something simple like place a used lifesized inflatable doll against the fence.
    This normally elicits a response,and a reaction.
    Secondly,it  helps to discuss  your recent  attempts to alter the zoning ordinance and create a shelter for large unwanted dogs.This too lightens the conversations over a simple matter of removing unwanted trash.
    Lastly, a favorite of mine are local  shooting contests for local gun collectors. Few if any neighbors want to deal with gun collectors,especially when they have put up a bull's eye against the fence.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from ennui. Show ennui's posts

    Re: Good Fences = Good Neighbors?

    UPDATE:  The line of garbage bags continues to accumulate and  now runs along almost the  entire length of the fence.   I guess I'll await until it makes its way into the street and let the town deal with it.   I'm leaning towards TarheelChief's advice.  Maybe a Pit Bull Rescue shelter! Some people are not cut out for being home owners.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Good Fences = Good Neighbors?

    What a nightmare!  Why would she want garbage all over her own place let alone damage your fence in the process? 

    Sorry you are still dealing with this.  I don't have any more advice; sounds like you can talk 'til you're blue in the face to this woman and nothing will change...  Hopefully, it will reach town property soon and you can get it dealt with that way. What a terrible solution...but I can't think of anything better.


     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from ennui. Show ennui's posts

    Re: Good Fences = Good Neighbors?

    Kargiver:
    Think I might take pictures of it so when I end up going to court for replacing the new fence she ruined, I'll at least have proof.  Trust me when I tell you - the inside of the house isn't much better so there ya go!  Thanks for "karing" !

    Will keep you fence posted - ha ha!


     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Good Fences = Good Neighbors?

    Pictures, what a great idea!  Maybe she'll see you and ask what you're doing.  You can tell her you're collecting evidence against her for when you take her to court for ruining your fence with her garbage and then turn and walk away.

    You're welcome - wish we could do more for you.  I don't have any suggestions at this point.  Seems she's beyond hope.  :(

    ~kar
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Good Fences = Good Neighbors?

    Wait, the mosquitos!  With all the rain lately, the misquito population is in the news right now.  Call the town and tell them you are afraid of the health risk your neighbor is causing.  They'll keep it anonymous, I mean, a city worker could have noticed all the standing water...
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from ennui. Show ennui's posts

    Re: Good Fences = Good Neighbors?

    Mosquitos - ah ha!   Great idea and excuse.  Neighbor on other side of me works for Town Hall.  Will mention it to her casually and see if there are any health ordinances against piled up trash, not to mention the standing water - which there is.  

    Enjoy the weekend and thanks for your input.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Good Fences = Good Neighbors?

    Good luck and, of course, let us know how it goes!  I'll be watching, fingers crossed.


     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from TarheelChief. Show TarheelChief's posts

    Re: Good Fences = Good Neighbors?

    At some point one should involve the neighbors in a little picture show.
    Take pictures of all the other neighbors on the street.Then get prints of these yards and send them to the neighbor in question.Spend a little money and send them in a UPS package.
    This should quietly get the point across. Perhaps these folks grew up in areas where people were allowed to throw their trash out on the side yard.Perhaps they just inherited money and decided to move out of their dirty old neighborhood.
    Perhaps they still don't know how the other neighbors act.It doesn't require a heavy hand,it just requires a little nudge.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from ennui. Show ennui's posts

    Re: Good Fences = Good Neighbors?

    Tarheel:
    The neighbor is from a very good family and a professional.  She lived in the town long enough before buying into it.  From observing the immediate neighbors who take pride in their landscaping, she should get it, one would think so maybe a nudge is too subtle!    But I do like your idea; anonymous pix of the neighboring yards and then one of her trash heap.  To know her and speak with her, you would never take her for this type.  And she is home almost all the time (works from home a lot) so not like she doesn't have the time to remove the pile.  Worst case scenario is that I get yet another new fence but on her dime this time around. 

     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Good Fences = Good Neighbors?

    If she won't pick up her garbage, she'll never agree to pay for a new cedar fence...let's hope it doesn't come to that.
     
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