Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Neighbors. Grumble.

This one's a ranty post, so brace yourselves.

Yesterday, I was in my front area. I got frustrated with our dilapidated planters and I had a few hundred bulbs to somehow quickly plant, so.... I was in the process of ripping things out, getting rid of dead undergrowth, trimming back ferns and roses, etc etc. You get the idea. A pretty massive undertaking for 1.5 hours of sun left in the day.

The way our houses are set up... the landlord owns three houses in a row. A huge, 3+ bedroom, 100+ year old GORGEOUS craftsman, a bungalow, and a cottage. The craftsman? Probably 1500 sq feet, at least, with a basement. The bungalow and cottage are both under 500 sq feet each.

Here's a map:
Both the bungalow and cottage pay a little extra than the typical "SMALL UNIT" rent because there's a big yard. The craftsman rent, I'd imagine, is much higher because it's 1500+ SQUARE FEET. Plus, I'd imagine there's the same little extra (same as the bungalow and cottage) for the yard.

The deal on the "shared yard" is that you have to be respectful. It's meant for the tenants to enjoy, not the tenants and their million friends.

Anyway, Craftsman gal comes up to me yesterday. Not only did she say she doesn't want the fire pit moved (it's in the trees right now, which is STUPID and right next to our deck), but she also informs me that her (often unpleasant) teenage daughters plan on camping out in the trees "every night this summer with their friends."

Um, excuse me?

First off, there's a NO CAMPING CLAUSE in our rental contracts.

Secondly, they have made the trees look like squatter-ville. We're not talking about a nice set-up. We're talking about a mix-mash of plastic broken-down furniture and collapsible chairs, all of which don't get cleaned up after they use the area. Their last party was over a month ago, and they cleaned up their mess YESTERDAY (and then only kinda sorta) only because I finally said something.

And then....oooo, and then: the woman had the gall to say "hey, I have to borrow every month to rent this place, and the reason I do is for that yard." In other words: I pay more, so I'm bigger and better than you, so no one had better stand in my way.

Ok now, let's see. Bungalowers and us cottagers pay less than you, oh, wait. letmme think.... maybe because OUR PLACES ARE 1000+ square feet LESS THAN YOURS.

It's just SOO rude. If the girls actually treated anything with respect or the mother actually made sure the girls cleaned up after themselves, that'd be one thing. But based upon precedent set so far? They don't. B and I really don't want to be kept up late every night because twittering, partying teenagers are camping 20 feet from our deck. SERIOUSLY.

I was so mad. SOOO mad. I kept my cool and quietly contacted the landlord. Not to cause problems, but moreso just to MAKE SURE problems don't happen later on.

The craftsmaners moved in last summer, so this will be their first real summer in the house. Bungalowers have been here for 3ish years, and they like us, but not really the craftsmaners.

Really, the craftsmaners have seemed ok, excepting the yard deal. I just don't want them thinking "shared" really means that they can do whatever they damn well please. Um, no, it doesn't. It means you have to respect the two houses you share it with and remove your crap.

Here's hoping this all resolves fast. I'm trying to not cause problems, but I really don't want partyville in our backyards.

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