What to do about a weird neighbor?
posted by masquesoporfavor to Home & Garden (59 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
We moved into our house in February, after our "short"sale offer was accepted in August. The house wasn't in bad shape, but wasn't quite move-in ready either. We've done tons of painting, cleaning, etc. The yard hasn't been at the forefront of our minds, but we did buy a lawn mower and regularly mow the front yard. The back yard is fully fenced and doesn't have a ton of grass.
There are some bushes/trees outside of our living room window, that I quite enjoy (they are not inside a fenced area--which I am now considering fixing!). Our a/c is busted and the trees provided shade. They also provided privacy, as we have some very high windows that allow our up-the-hill neighbor to see right into our living room.
The neighbor seemed friendly enough. Before we bought our lawn mower, he mowed part of our lawn. At the time I thought he was friendly, but we did rush out and buy a new mower soon afterwards and now mow regularly to show we are responsible homeowners. The neighbor's dog gets out of his fence sometimes, and always heads over here. He only does this when the neighbor is gone. Then the dog has to stay here for hours, or sometimes overnight. The last time this happened, when the guy came home he called me and said "Are you going to be there a while?" and I said I guessed I would. He said, "Good because I'm going to just fix the fence now," and he left his dog with me for 2 more hours. I am terrible at confrontation (which continues to be a problem, obviously) and rather than say, "Uh no, I'm not a dog boarding facility, come get your dog!" I just kept the damn thing.
So the neighbor called my boyfriend and left him a voicemail saying, "I really want to trim the privet between our houses, man. I haven't seen it this out of control in 6 years. I know you want your privacy in the living room, but it really has to lose some height."
First of all--it's not really between our houses. I mean technically it is, but it is CLEARLY on our property. The branches may hang over some of his property (which I'd have been fine with him trimming, if they were in his way), but the height is what keeps the room shady and private.
My boyfriend called the neighbor back and left a voicemail saying he would try again. My boyfriend called again and got no answer. He is a flight attendant, so Sunday morning he went out of town. When I went out to the living room on Sunday afternoon, the shrubs were down to about 5', from their former 12' height. Oh man, I was pissed!
My boyfriend texted the neighbor and said, "Thanks for doing that, but they're way too short and in the future we'll take care of it." The neighbor wrote back, "You are most welcome." I do not think my boyfriend was harsh enough, though I do understand the desire to be polite since the dude lives next door.
I also want to add, this guy invited us to a couple Mark groups at his house. I am not familiar with them, but from what the internet has told me, it's an intimate get together and can end in nudity. The neighbor's voicemail invitation said, "We can all get together and find each other perfect." I have to admit--I think this is really weird, and it makes me uncomfortable. I walk around the house topless a lot, and I am now afraid (I know I have a vivid imagination!) that since we turned down his love party invite, he decided to make our living room visible to him at all times.
My questions are:
How mad should I really be?
How rude should we get with this guy?
My name is not on the house at all; should that affect my willingness to get involved? Also I'm female and this dude is a male and I feel a little intimidated by him, but my boyfriend thinks he's harmless. Also I am home alone 3-5 days a week because of my boyfriend's job, so I get a little uneasy being alone regardless of who is next door.
What would you do in my position?
Do you agree that if the neighbor were really concerned with the shrubs that he could have trimmed them in the months the house sat vacant?
Do they make blinds that can be installed at an angle? Because the window that is uncovered is up near the ceiling, and is a big triangle.
Am I right to expect my boyfriend to say more than "thanks", basically, to this guy?
Thank you. Sorry for the length. And please be gentle on me if you think I am way overreacting.