Dealing with neighbors - when does too much become *too* much?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by gregstaten, Sep 18, 2003.

  1. gregstaten

    gregstaten Supporting Actor

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    Since I got home from work at about 7pm I've been listening to my next door neighbor's beagle howl. He hasn't stopped and they haven't lifted a finger to stop him. This has been going on since about three months after they got him - or nearly a year. They got him, they say, because their 7-year old girl wanted a dog. Of course, he was too much for her to handle and sadly they now they basically ignore him. He spends most evenings tied out on a short leash on their concrete driveway. The poor dog doesn't even get to be in the grass!

    I love dogs and he's a nice, though completely undisciplined, dog. At least they aren't letting him run wild anymore. Before they leashed him they used to just let him out. He'd run over to the fence around my yard and bark at my dogs. (I fenced in the meadow in my backyard when I bought the house so my dogs would have a safe place to be in and so they wouldn't annoy the neighbors.)

    Then there's the dead electric stove that has sat on at the edge of their grass (by the road) for about four months ago. I've checked and the town doesn't take them away unless you pay $20. Obviously he hasn't done that. Then there's the dead car that has sat out for about five months with a spray-painted "$350 or best offer" sign on it. And we live on a cul-de-sac in a very rural neighborhood. Other than the mailman and our own friends, virtually no one drives by.

    I try to be a nice neighbor and have suggested ways to get rid of the car (charity, donating to a high school shop class, etc). No, he's convinced that some random lost person will see his sign on the piece of junk and buy it off of him. Same for the broken electric stove. He figures that either the garbage men will eventually take it (out of pity?) or someone will drive by and take it away for him.

    So my question is, when is too much *too* much? When do you crack and stop being the nice neighbor and, for example, call the SPCA or the cops. Become a jerk over him trashing up the street, etc? I like where I live and I don't want to develop an adversarial relationship with my next door neighbor, but...damn!

    Has anyone had a similar situation? How did you deal with it?

    -greg
     
  2. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    People complain about them, but it's situations like this that make me glad I'm in a neighborhood with an HOA.

    You should call the SPCA for the good of the dog and tell them the story. Beagles howl and like to be outside (I've had one), but that doens't sound right.

    I can't help with the car or stove - hey there may be a county ordinance that if the car is sitting unmoved and parked it can be classified as "abandoned" and hauled away. Call the local police about that.
     
  3. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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  4. Steve_Tk

    Steve_Tk Cinematographer

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    You have to talk to your neighbor, plain and simple. Don't let people take advantage of you. If they think it's ok for their dog to sit out their and howl 24/7, then they don't give a shit about you. Normal people would be embarrassed because the thought would actually cross their mind, "I wonder if that yapping is annoying to my neighbors?" Talk to them, then take it further.

    You are already being too nice anyway. You can do it in a polite and assertive way without causing a problem. But don't say anything like you will have to do XXX if they don't solve it. Ask them politely, if that doesn't work then take it further. Most people just don't give a shit about anyone but themselves. Either that, or they are just stupid.

    That reminds me of the morons I can see down the road that listen to their stereo in their car, in the street, so that everyone in the area can hear it. If I can here it from here, then I know damned well it's too loud down there. Last I checked they had not opened a club on the street. The point is, they never even think or care if all that noise is actually bothering people.
     
  5. DonnyD

    DonnyD Screenwriter

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    You're neighbor has dismissed the idea of getting along with you so why should you worry about getting along with him?

    I have one of those types too.... and after a year of listening to his BS, a situation finally arose that led to him no longer coming around me!
    We live on a new cul-de-sac that hasn't been paved yet (maybe this month-after a year!) and I noticed this neighbor of mine changing his oil one day and he just walked out to the gravel and poured the used oil out on the ground. I just came unglued as that was so stupid. His son and my son play all in that area and this guy just didn't give a sh** about 1) polluting the ground 2) exposing our children to an environmental hazard. When I confronted him, he was speechless and gave some lame excuse. I told him he just never looks beyond his own nose and suggested he clean up the oil or I would see that he had too. Digging in that gravel didn't look like it was too much fun!
    Since then, he hasn't spoken to me and it is true bliss. He has been such a neighborhood loudmouth and know it all that I am glad a situation arose that put a stop to having to put up with him.
    We have a responsibility to be good neighbors and your neighbors have that same responsibility too. As a poster above wrote, you really have to talk with this guy as this situation seems to be bothering you a lot. There is no reason to keep going with something that puts stress on yourself.
     
  6. Jerry Almeida

    Jerry Almeida Second Unit

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    You should talk to some of your other neighbors about the troublemaker. Maybe you can subtly convince one of them to,

     
  7. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Producer

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    I have a neighbour that tends to leave their nice dog outside alone a great deal of the time. It was underfed, and hardly given any attention. They claimed they got the dog for their kids. (Their kids are around 2 & 4.)

    I called the SPCA. I have no problem doing this.

    As for the car & stove, all you can do is check local laws and bylaws. I live in the city, and you simply cannot do that. A car that doesn't move for a certain period of time is considered abandoned, and can be removed.

    Good luck!
     
  8. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    "I noticed this neighbor of mine changing his oil one day "

    Heh, reminds me of an embarrasing moment. I grew up in a very rural area way back when pollution was what made indians cry by the freeway. Used oil was found to be spectacular weed control! As soon as I could hold a wrench dad had me change the oil on our cars and tractor.
    The spent oil just went under the tree where the most weeds grew!

    DOH!

    The worse part was attending college in a not-nearly-so-rural-and-backwards area. Go to change my oil one day and look - no weed tree! Crap! Now what? Ahhh - a gutter!

    Luckily a neighbor was kind enough to catch me in the act and KINDLY educated this bumpkin what you're really supposed to do with spent oil.

    I'm eternally grateful not only for the education, but also the kindness. I truely was naive.
     
  9. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    In some rural areas, used oil was also spread on dirt roads to keep the dust down. We had a neighbor that used to do this (20 years ago).
     
  10. JamesHl

    JamesHl Supporting Actor

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    Call the SPCA. Doing whatever else you want is optional. In your area I'm not sure you have much legal recourse, but perhaps if you could figure out some way of getting either or both items to block the road and call someone to have them removed/towed that could accomplish something.
     
  11. Elliott Willschick

    Elliott Willschick Second Unit

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    I had a neighbour who left a car in their driveway for a few years. I called the city and they ordered her to have it towed away as well as to replace her broken up driveway. There are by-laws regarding the appearance of property so I would suggest calling your local by-law office and telling them the situation. Nothing if more satisfying than making people pay for responsibilites they shun.
     
  12. Jeremiah

    Jeremiah Screenwriter

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    I remember when I lived next to this college kid and I saw him actually try and dump the used oil form his car into the freaking gutter, I was going to tell him off but he seemed like a nice kid, just a little nieve, so I kindly told him what regular folk do with waste oil.

    Juts a little comic relief.
     
  13. John Thomas

    John Thomas Cinematographer

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    Jeremiah, do you live near Eric?

    Did anyone else catch that?
     
  14. DonnyD

    DonnyD Screenwriter

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    I have had several neighbors who would really have ways of getting under your skin....The one I wrote about above is on my left, and the one I'm about to write about moved in on my right, stayed long enough to disrupt everything she touched and then moved away..........
    This young lady along with her husband and two small children came here from a northern state. The husband worked all the time in a tech job but there seemed like there was never enough money......... but the wife still bought stupid stuff that caught her fancy..... She also had the idea that us "southerners" were slow and lazy... who knows where she got that.... but of course she didn't turn her hand at anything, even cleaning her own house!
    They were here about 3 days when she found out that I was an HT buff and had a nice dvd collection. She'd just walk in, go straight to my dvd rack and pick out several and upon leaving with them, would annouce "oh, I borrowed some dvds"............ It usually took her a month to bring them home.
    Their yard was littered with toys... nevertheless, her 5 year old son was told he could play with everybodies else toys whenever he wanted.... he would often come to our house when we weren't home and take my sons battery powered riding toys. He always went stright for mud holes which would clog them up until it wouldn't pull itself, left it for us to clean up. I eventually put all the powerwheels up so no one would ride them.
    This lady got into everybodies business and tried to run it even though her own household was falling apart. This essay is only a glimpse of her ways but her antics were a daily nuisance to us and the rest of the neighbors too. I really felt sorry for the husband, as he would come home and never knew what kind of crap she had stirred up that day. It was always something. When they moved, we found that apparently one of them was diabetic..... they left trash outside that had insulin syringes in it that got strowed aroudn the yard. Several kids in the neighbor hood found them and one little boy actually tried to inject himself!!
    We all have neighbors who seem to believe in "do whatever".......... no respect for themselves much less anyone else. That just seems how American life is now....
     
  15. gregstaten

    gregstaten Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the ideas and thoughts everyone. I'll call the city on Monday and see if there is an ordinance that can be used to force him to get rid of the car and range.

    I may also tip off the SPCA. I love dogs and it really kills me how poorly that dog is treated. When will parents realize that a dog isn't a kid's toy that can be put in the closet or discarded when the kid grows weary of it?

    -greg
     
  16. Magnus T

    Magnus T Supporting Actor

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    If everything fails, call me. I'll make sure you never hear about the dog again...[​IMG]
     
  17. Elliott Willschick

    Elliott Willschick Second Unit

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    Greg, might I also add that you should be very specific as to how long the car has been there. You can even say it has been there for a year. I assume it's not driven so make sure you emphasize that as well. The stove is something that should be taken care of right away, the car will depend on how long you are allowed to keep it.
     
  18. Jeremiah

    Jeremiah Screenwriter

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  19. Mark Shannon

    Mark Shannon Screenwriter

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    Greg, does the stove still have it's door hinged on? There's a bylaw in my area that states that if an appliance with a door is put to the curb, the door must be removed and set beside it. This is to prevent little kids and maybe animals from becoming trapped in the appliance. Maybe this applies to your area.
     
  20. gregstaten

    gregstaten Supporting Actor

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    Nope. The door was still hinged on. I say still because it wasn't there when I came home from work today. Maybe my somewhat firmer query on Sunday worked!

    -greg
     

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