PermaLink In which Turtle gets pissed at his neighbors07/20/2006 05:37 PM

I am the last person to resort to lawyers, but in this case, the neighbors are just being selfish.  Time to make them stop.
This all comes from the fact that I'm getting older and my ass is less elastic than it used to be.  When I'm out on one of the tractors -- none of which have springs, which is usually the case with tractors -- I feel every little bump and rut in the yard when I'm out mowing or driving around.

I have these rather young neighbors.  Where they got the money from, I don't know, but a little over six years ago they bought the microscopic lot next to me and put up a prefab house on it.  They came over before doing so, introduced themselves, and said they'd have contractors crossing the lower corner of my property to get at their homesite.  Worth pointing out is that the old woman who'd owned both of our parcels for many years had, the day before our closing in 1996, granted herself an easement to provide access from a small driveway down to the state highway, across some unspecified portion of my lot, into the next lot.  We never even learned of that easement until after closing, because it was literally filed the day before, and wouldn't have shown up on a title search.  Our attorney questioned whether Minnie could even grant herself an easement, since she didn't technically need it -- she owned both places.  The easement specified that maintenance of the right of way was to be shared between the holders of both parcels.

Anyway, when the young kids came over and introduced themselves six years ago, the only thing we told them was that we expected them to give us warning before using it, tell us who and when, and not damage the ground.  They nodded and shook hands and they haven't come over to talk since.

However, over the last five years, their contractors have torn down fences, taken gates off their hinges, left all kinds of deep ruts in the pasture down there -- my ass knows where they all are, because I still jounce over six-year-old ruts -- and not once did I receive any advance notice that they'd be there.  A couple of times, I've had to physically block the access.

Now, six years later, they're still doing it.  I went out this morning to find some big contractor trailer parked near the property line, and a Bobcat loader on their lot, apparently there to dig and lay a concrete slab for some sort of equipment shed.  The gate was open, there were more new ruts in the pasture, and the grass was all torn up and flattened.

When I get home tonight, I will be parking the tractor across the gate again and chaining the gate.  I sure hope the contractor has some other way out.  See, what I've figured out is that the neighbors aren't using the easement and the gate because it's the only way onto their property -- it isn't; they have several hundred feet of road frontage and a paved driveway.  They're using it so that instead of screwing up their yard and driveway with their contractors' vehicles and leaving big ruts in their property, they're using it so that my place gets torn up.

This is going to stop.  I called them and told them I'd like to talk to them about this, and basically, the only thing I am going to want is termination of the easement.  They don't need it; they've abused it; they've damaged my place, and they've never assisted in maintenance of the right-of-way.  I'm the guy who mows it, plows it, gates it, and replaces the gateposts when needed.  They can be reasonable about it and give it up, or I'll just have an attorney move to terminate it.  If that doesn't go through, I have other things I can do, like plant a bunch of expensive saplings in exactly the right pattern to prevent any large vehicle from getting onto the property (basically, anything larger than one of my tractors) and I am well within my rights to lock that gate.  I hadn't been doing it for a while because it was a pain in my own ass, but I can see that I'll have to inconvenience myself in a small way rather than have the neighbors abuse my property in a big way.

Why are young people so clueless?

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1. David DeWell07/24/2006 04:22:53 PM

not sure what the laws are there in MD but I would suggest that you issue the company that is doing the contracting (and your neighbors) a trespassing warning to not leave vehicles on your property or you will call the police to have them removed from your property. I think you will find that the easement is for thoroughfare and not for "parking"

2. Turtle07/24/2006 12:06:58 PM

Further update: had a long talk with the neighbor yesterday, in which he agreed to let me know when people would be down there, which he did. However, this morning I found his dumbass contractors parked on my (not the neighbor's) lot, so I'll have to send them a note and remind them, or go down and bitch at the contractors myself. There's a pretty clear distinction between my lot and theirs, so you'd think these guys might notice. Just because you're working on the neighbor's place doesn't mean you can park anywhere you like...

3. Patrick M07/21/2006 09:24:52 AM

Ah, the ME generation. Lazy, selfish, entitlement minded pricks.

Shove it to them, Turtle.


4. Gregg Eldred07/20/2006 10:54:07 PM

Why are young people so clueless?

Oversimplification: it is all about them, damn the rest of us.

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