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Old 08-28-2012, 08:56 AM   #61
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I don't think the consensus here was to just let it go.
Most of us were suggesting the OP talk it out with the miscreant, so that all the facts (and opinions) on both sides were out in the open.

Otherwise, we're looking at a knee-jerk reaction to a jerk's action, and that can't be a good thing in the end.
Sounds like he did try to talk to the guy but ended up talking to the hand.

With "two non-working cars in the driveway, one on ramps", I think I got the picture of what this guy is up against.
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:16 AM   #62
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Marko- You hit the nail on the head, these people are completely ignorant. They have grandparents, adult children, granchildren, boyfriend/girlfriends of adult children all living over there. They are probably violating the housing code in regard to the number of residents in the dwelling. Talking to them is like talking to a wall, because they have such an entitlement mentality.

Braumeister- I simply don't agree with you. These neighbors do not have a justifiable reason for their egregious behavior, and I have neither the time nor the inclination to elicit from them, after the damage has been done, what the unreasonable basis for their behavior was. I had the interaction on Sunday, and no explanation was offered, and nothing they could have said would justify their behavior. They are ignorant, selfish and self-centered people who give no consideration of others in their behavior. I simply attempt to avoid them, but this clearly went over the line.
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:33 AM   #63
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This could only end in tear...
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:36 AM   #64
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I live in a condo and the thought of getting a house instead (more privacy) sounded appealing. But after reading Midnighter's situation, maybe I'll table the thought of getting a house.

"Good fences make good neighbors" -- Robert Frost
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:47 AM   #65
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Marko- You hit the nail on the head, these people are completely ignorant. They have grandparents, adult children, granchildren, boyfriend/girlfriends of adult children all living over there. They are probably violating the housing code in regard to the number of residents in the dwelling. Talking to them is like talking to a wall, because they have such an entitlement mentality.

Braumeister- I simply don't agree with you. These neighbors do not have a justifiable reason for their egregious behavior, and I have neither the time nor the inclination to elicit from them, after the damage has been done, what the unreasonable basis for their behavior was. I had the interaction on Sunday, and no explanation was offered, and nothing they could have said would justify their behavior. They are ignorant, selfish and self-centered people who give no consideration of others in their behavior. I simply attempt to avoid them, but this clearly went over the line.
In that case, get the town involved via a complaint about any obvious code violations and see if you can file charges for trespassing, destruction of property, etc. Start the paper trail.
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:57 AM   #66
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Some stuff just ain't worth it.
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midnighter777, it really sounds as though the tree limb issue, in and of itself, is more of a "last straw" than an issue worthy of your extreme level of anger. Every living situation brings with it some level of interaction with neighbors, zoning boards, town rules and regs, etc. It sounds as though the personalities, life style and living arrangements of your neighbors really rub on you and that your town's rules and regs (or their level of enforcement) don't adequately control the situation. Your extreme displeasure at who is living next door, the broken down cars in the driveway, the personalities of the neighbors, etc., seems to have erupted with this last incident.

I'd suggest taking some time and think about whether you can tolerate (or if it's worth tolerating) living next to these folks. Sit down with someone from your town gov't who can advise you on what they can/would do from an enforcement standpoint. The broken down cars parked for an excessive time, for example, might be an easily enforceable violation of a town ordinance. Perhaps the number of people living in the house too. Then you'll have to decide your course of action. You can live with things as they are and avoid stirring up open warfare. You can ask the town to do some enforcement of ordinances that might make things more to your liking. Or you can move. What you can't do is expect these people to significantly change. Even if you succeed in some legal action so they know they should never, ever put a toe on your property again, they'll still be who they are and you'll still be living next door........
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:09 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
I live in a condo and the thought of getting a house instead (more privacy) sounded appealing. But after reading Midnighter's situation, maybe I'll table the thought of getting a house.

"Good fences make good neighbors" -- Robert Frost
This situation demonstrates the value of the dreaded homeowners association rules!
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:18 AM   #68
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This situation demonstrates the value of the dreaded homeowners association rules!
Completely disagree! usually people like this will ignore the homeowner's association.
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:22 AM   #69
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midnighter, I can't for the life of me understand why you wouldn't approach your neighbor and ask "why would you do that without talking to me first? Is there some reason you were so secretive about cutting off that limb?"

Just logical questions one would ask if they want to maintain some kind of good neighbor relations. It's a little after the fact now and your neighbor is probably saying "I guess he really didn't care".
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:26 AM   #70
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I'd probably already have called a lawyer myself but since you came here and asked for advice, it didn't seem like something you wanted to do. Like I said before, you should call the city (and maybe your police department) and chat them up about what happened. If you lead into some code violations on the neighbors' property, the city could fine them (and all cities welcome the opportunity to get some income from fines).

You should do whatever you're going to do pretty quickly so it doesn't appear that you didn't care, and agree about the paper trail.
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:28 AM   #71
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This situation demonstrates the value of the dreaded homeowners association rules!
I don't understand what a homeowners association would have to do with this situation.
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:28 AM   #72
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This situation demonstrates the value of the dreaded homeowners association rules!
Yep. Everyone has to pick their devil. Unruly neighbors with ghastly lving habits. Or, a homeowner's association which rules like a band of thugs getting into everyone's business, snooping, interpreting and enforcing rules in unpredictable ways, acting like the "top dogs in town......."

It's not easy to get just the right balance in society!
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:32 AM   #73
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I don't think the consensus here was to just let it go.
Most of us were suggesting the OP talk it out with the miscreant, so that all the facts (and opinions) on both sides were out in the open.

Otherwise, we're looking at a knee-jerk reaction to a jerk's action, and that can't be a good thing in the end.
I don't know what I would do personally, but I suspect the approach would be somewhere in between "no big deal, let it go" and "wage all out legal and criminal war". I probably wouldn't be inclined to go to court or the police (at least in terms of actually following through) but I would make it clear that if it happened again, I would.

I do like the idea of getting an arborist out there, assessing the situation and "treating" the tree as necessary, and giving the bill to the neighbors.
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:35 AM   #74
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Yep. Everyone has to pick their devil. Unruly neighbors with ghastly lving habits. Or, a homeowner's association which rules like a band of thugs getting into everyone's business, snooping, interpreting and enforcing rules in unpredictable ways, acting like the "top dogs in town......."

It's not easy to get just the right balance in society!
I kind of worried about this when I bought a condo. But just like I had no reason to worry about apartment living, I had no reason to be concerned about condo living. I think the key is upper middle class people with jobs and lives. They really have no reason to be a-holes, there is too much interest and satisfaction in their lives for them to waste time on manufactured conflicts.

I suppose as a retiree, they took a risk on me.

Ha
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:37 AM   #75
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I kind of worried about this when I bought a condo. But just like I had no reason to worry about apartment living, I had no reason to be concerned about condo living. I think the key is upper middle class people with jobs and lives. They really have no reason to be a-holes, there is too much interest and satisfaction in their lives to waste time on manufactured conflicts.
I for one love the concept of urban living without needing a car. The problem is that I can't stand noisy neighbors and have a low tolerance for such, and as a result I am averse to sharing walls with anyone I have little or no control over.
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:38 AM   #76
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The OP will have to find a way to warn the neighbor not to do this again, yet not waging war.

This guy's home has many occupants, and who knows what they can do while the OP is at work and cannot prove who does what. Please be careful.
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Old 08-28-2012, 12:32 PM   #77
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Hi Johnny- I did ask- and I was told- I work five days and week, and you were not home when I decided to do this. Ridiculous, right?
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Old 08-28-2012, 12:36 PM   #78
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Completely disagree! usually people like this will ignore the homeowner's association.
Yes, they will but there is legal recourse without having to go out and hire a lawyer yourself. It may take a little time, but if you have a half-way decent association, the neighbor will clean up or be gone!
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Old 08-28-2012, 12:45 PM   #79
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Ridiculous, right?
It seems like we've accumulated about 4 pages of consensual validation that the neighbor was wrong to trespass and remove the limb from your tree. We understand that you're really pissed. But to move ahead, where to you feel comfortable heading with this now? Direct confrontation? Confrontation through town officials or a lawyer? Just let the neighbor know you're unhappy and not to trespass again and then let it go? Do nothing further?
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Old 08-28-2012, 12:46 PM   #80
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The neighbor's reasons aren't relevant unless he can prove that it was an eminent danger to people or property.

BEFORE you dispose of the mess I recommend an inspection by an arborist with a report about the health of the tree and any impact it may have on it long term. Our arborists recommend sealing that extensive a cut, do whatever the arborist recommends. Send the arborist's bill and any expenses related to this stunt to the neighbor and if he doesn't pay up take him to small claims court. Also tell him that any subsequent incursions constitute trespass.

Some cities require an arborist opinion before committing tree surgery such as in the picture particularly when it is along or near a street. I wouldn't get them involved at this time, just know if you have any local ordinances.

Maybe it is just because I live in a timber producing state but around here cutting a tree you don't own is a serious violation of state law. The State Police stop pickups with wood in the back and do our own version of 'papers please'.
Kinda like in the ol west and horse thievin'. That would be a hangin offense but he already cut the limb off the hangin' tree.
I would'nt do anything to his property and run the risk of legal action against you. I would also not have any further contact with that family. Your neighbor has already demonstrated that he has no respect for personal property, is inconsiderate, and would more than likely prove to be a further pain in the neck. I would, however, make sure this is reported to the city and is on file that he trespassed and damaged your personal property. What ever you do document everything and make copies.

Cheers!
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