neighbor issue

vstoltzfusJune 28, 2012

Last summer our neighbor needed to have his septic system replaced. He asked if the trucks could access his yard through our property. It meant the trucks would drive up our driveway and cross about 15 feet of lawn to get to his backyard. He also said he would reseed the lawn if any damage was done. We reluctantly said yes, because we wanted to be good neighbors. He not only reseeded the lawn, but brought in some new gravel for our driveway, which was very kind of him (even though my dh says it was the wrong kind and the driveway is now too loose). Well the problem is now our neighbor uses our driveway all the time--several times a week--and drives across our lawn to access his yard! I'm hoping it's temporary, since he's doing landscaping to replace what was lost last year to the new septic tank. Should I endure, or should I say something to him (he and his wife are deaf so communication is very difficult), or should I do a little landscaping along my driveway so he can't access his yard anymore? There used to be a tree right where he drives, but it died and I never replaced it. I could do that now, along with some more trees I've been wanting to add. Any thoughts?

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Welcome to the party!

Wow. I find it totally amazing he'd continue to drive through the yard on a daily basis?! I would absolutely replace the tree, and for now, it'd have those "guide wires" on it--so he couldn't go around it. I realize this is passive-aggressive, but it's your yard and you're just reclaiming your own property. How can that be wrong? It is better to have your tree replaced, as you needed it as a gardner anyhow, right? Heck, I'd build a whole bird garden, so don't ask me. As long as I am planting plants, I'm happy. It's my go-to solution for stress, upping the value of a house... the list goes on.



    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 9:05AM
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The First thing that you should do is ask him how much longer he expects to be using the "road." He could need only a day or two more and you would have stirred up some trouble for little reason.

Then, if he can't, or won't, give you a good answer, go ahead with your idea of new things to block off his access.

Remind him that you want to put your yard back into the condition it was before the septic tank problem.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 9:46AM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

Unless you want to be a total jerk....communicate with your neighbor, even though it may be difficult.
Walk over admire his new landscaping. Tell him that as soon as he is finished and doesn't need to use your yard any more that you intend to do some landscaping too.....and thank him for the reseeding and the gravel.

It's really a small thing to give to allow him to access his property through your yard. My next door neighbor built a huge garage limiting access to 3 back yards by heavy equipment. The guy who mowed my lawn with a rider used to come down the neighbor's shared drive and across a portion of their lawn to mow my yard. They objected and told him he couldn't do that any more. Needless to say they are not held in high regard by people in this neighborhood!!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 2:18PM
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Just outta curiousity? Why would anyone expect such an entitled person to be reasonable? What a weird idea that he could just come and go through their yard just because he repaired what he ruined in the first place. I admit it is a delicate issue, but I'm less certain it is a small thing to drive through a neighbor's yard on an ongoing basis. I'm not in the business of ruining relations and have certainly had my share of unkind and very kind neighbors. Takes all types to make this world go around:)

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 3:30PM
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I know what this is like! We had a huge storm come through our part of town and several houses in a row had to have their roofs repaired. On our lefthand side, the neighbors warned us and we were ready for workmen, although the workmen were rude and threw trash in our yard. They cleaned it up, but asphalt ended up in our rain barrels (not on their property) and in our herb garden. But at least the neighbor tried to let us know. Our house, they were in/out and cleaned up by sundown and was never on anyone's property but ours. On our righthand side, they're renters and the landlord isn't on premises. The first day, the roofers were in the driveway that is owned 75% by our house and it'd be impossible for them to get their cars to bottom of the hill if we didn't share. They used OUR water (emphasized enough?) to clean up the first night. And wouldn't move outta the driveway, even when asked nicely by me. People upstairs, in my house, called the nextdoor renters' landlord and said, can you please warn us if/when they come again? and please don't use our water. They showed up again a couple of days later no warning... and put huge supplies behind my car before time to head out to work. I was watching when I heard them drive down the hill. I came out and told them to move the next door neighbor's supplies into the next door neighbor's driveway behind their house. Went to work and stopped to talk to my house's upstairs neighbor to let them know they were back. He was ready to tell them he was planning on using the entire 25% more of the driveway, good luck parking cars off the street!!! if they didn't do a better job this time and handing them the increased water bill.

Which neighbor do you think will have full run if they want a favor next go around? Loud music for a party one evening, for example? But the other one? Reason and kindness didn't get through that thick skull.

We can tolerate some things, but some things aren't reasonable to have to tolerate. Driving through my yard isn't something I'd tolerate on an ongoing basis. To get work done a couple of days is tolerable. That's what I'm getting at.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 3:43PM
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I'd talk (communicate) with the neighbor and give him a deadline when you intend to replant your garden.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 7:56PM
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This happened a year ago, and he's still driving across your lawn to access his yard, or did this just start up again with the landscaping? Regardless, if it continues, your yard will suffer. If done repeatedly, your soil will compact and eventually the turf will be damaged, not to mention it's very presumptive. I agree that you do need to just communicate with them and simply ask their intentions. If you start planting things there, it might seem like an easy way to stop the situation, but they're likely to assume (and rightly so) it was intentional and for their benefit. It would be more awkward in the long run. They did right by you the first time around, and there's no reason to think they won't this time.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 10:57PM
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Thanks everyone! Calliope, he's been doing it all spring/summer as he works on his landscaping. I'll "talk" to him about it--maybe wait until his daughter (who knows sign language) is around.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 3:07PM
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you should plant new seeds along your driveway, its passive aggressive. and then when he drives over your seedlings you can call the cops and have an outdoor domestic dispute that will end up on tv. or just tell him to cut it out.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 5:31AM
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