Join Early Retirement Today
View Poll Results: Should I Blow the Whistle?
Yes 29 60.42%
No 19 39.58%
Voters: 48. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Should I Blow the Whistle?
Old 09-05-2010, 09:42 AM   #1
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,197
Should I Blow the Whistle?

I'm deciding whether or not to report a neighbor's code violation to the county. Here's the situation (see also Need Help: Neighbor Dog Problem and Dogs, Power Outage, Smoke, Fire, Grow House

When we moved here 11 years ago, we had some nice, quiet, elderly neighbors. But they died a few years ago, and left their home to their four sons.

MainHouse1.jpg
MainHouse2.jpg

It turns out that they had built a mother-in-law house in the back without getting any permits. That fact scuttled a sale of the house that almost went through.

The son who lives in this area has been renting out the two houses, and has let them deteriorate. The roof leaks and the living room carpet has been removed, for example. It's a positive feedback situation, and the quality of the tenants has spiraled down, with the last crop being evicted after growing dope.

Here's the house in the back:

BackHouse1.jpg
BackHouse2.jpg

The son has been somewhat responsive to complaints by another neighbor and me.

I am considering calling the county code enforcement unit, and letting them know that the uninspected house is being rented out. I'd tell them that they have an opportunity to deal with it now before new tenants are found.

Advantages of Reporting It:

1. Neighbor might be forced to fix things up.
2. Neighbor might not be able to rent it, meaning 50% fewer lowlifes people living next door.
3. House will be sellable if the situation is fixed.
4. It may help my other neighbor who is trying to sell his house.

Disadvantage of Reporting It:

Neighbor may realize that I reported him, and be less likely to cooperate with me if there are further problems.

Thoughts?

Thanks!
__________________

__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 09-05-2010, 09:53 AM   #2
Moderator Emeritus
Rich_by_the_Bay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 8,827
Just wondering - would you think of buying it yourselves, either as an invest-repair-resell, or as a rental property? With mortgages in the 3.5% range it might be an opportunity for a definitive solution with you in the driver's seat.
__________________

__________________
Rich
San Francisco Area
ESR'd March 2010. FIRE'd January 2011.

As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
Rich_by_the_Bay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2010, 10:48 AM   #3
Recycles dryer sheets
NW Landlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Seatlle
Posts: 185
+1 - I agree with Rich!

I actually purchased the-house-next-door from a neighbor during a down market and it turned out to be a great investment/easily managed rental & the tenants couldn't misbehave, because I lived next door.

Personally, I wouldn't report a code violation unless it had gotten to a point of no return for me. I have reported drug activity in neighboring houses (to my rentals) before with good results. In our area you can give "anonymous" reports to police of Narcotics Activity and many times they will send in an undercover cop to purchase drugs & close the operation down. If I rent to a tenant who appears to be involved in such activity, I take a more direct approach...

I have had code violations called on rental houses in 2 separate unrelated properties and both times I knew EXACTLY who called it in and even told the code officer who it was. In one case it was a vindictive As*h*le who was just trying to harrass me because he did not like a neighboring rental property (Bonaparte Syndrome) that he himself had tried to purchase BTW. The "false" code violation report was easily disproved and dismissed. The guy also reported me to the state for L&I (workers compensation) violations (I had ad hoc workers fixing up the house). Such a nice person.

The other case happened just last month and was caused by my tenant, who is a nice hard working nuclear Samoan Family that has taken ownership of the house and planted flowers, trees, fencing & statuary...unfortunately they also put up a tent structure that attaches to the fence on the Property Line. Well the Neighborhood Ogre happens to live on the others side of the Line & since he is currently $$ broke and unemployed and unloved and has nothing better to do all day, it got reported.

Neither me or the Tenant are upset, but we definitely know who did it & maybe next time I will move the BIKER DEATH SQUAD DRUG DEALERS in so said Ogre/Neighbor will have something more constructive to worry about!
__________________
NW Landlady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2010, 11:17 AM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,197
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
Just wondering - would you think of buying it yourselves, either as an invest-repair-resell, or as a rental property? With mortgages in the 3.5% range it might be an opportunity for a definitive solution with you in the driver's seat.
Yes, that could be a good idea, but I don't want to add that kind of complexity into my life.
__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2010, 11:19 AM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Purron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,584
As you pointed out, it's likely your neighbor will know you called in the code violation. For this reason, I'd be inclined to talk to him about all the issues of concern to you and the neighborhood in general. You might even get some neighbors to talk to him too. I'd do it seperate though because otherwise it might seem like you're ganging up on him. He seemed responsive to the dog-barking, pot growing complaints, so you may get most positive results by being up front.

Plus, who wants the "biker death squad" moving in just because the owner is seeking relialiation to what they perceive to be harrasement
__________________
I purr therefore I am.
Purron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2010, 12:05 PM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Ed_The_Gypsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: the City of Subdued Excitement
Posts: 5,293
I would let it go. Like NW Landlady says, he will know who turned him in. It is his property anyway.

If it really bothers you, confront him. Tell him your concerns and ask him what his plans are. Try to negotiate, but if you don't like those plans, tell him that you plan to turn him in. Why not be up front if he will know anyway?
__________________
my bumpersticker:
"I am not in a hurry.
I am retired.
And I don't care how big your truck is."
Ed_The_Gypsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2010, 01:57 PM   #7
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,617
Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
I am considering calling the county code enforcement unit, and letting them know that the uninspected house is being rented out. I'd tell them that they have an opportunity to deal with it now before new tenants are found.

Disadvantage of Reporting It:
Neighbor may realize that I reported him, and be less likely to cooperate with me if there are further problems.

Thoughts?
You seem to be under the impression that the code cops are actually going to do something concrete and visible in response to your complaint.

The gulch behind our house is zoned agricultural. For the last 10 years, the owners have been operating (or leasing) activities like construction-equipment repairs & rentals as well as Oahu's largest cockfighting rooster-breeding enthusiast's site. All of these have numerous code and permit violations, as well as criminal/drug activity. (It was interesting to watch the police chopper evade the power lines and other aerial obstacles to land the raid in the gulch's parking lot.) For the last four years the owners have been under "penalty" of $100/day and various other lien threats.

Other than a very sympathetic letter from the wannabe governor mayor, it's hard to tell that anything has changed. We no longer expect the city/county authorities to be the agents of change. The gulch owners are able to figure out who complained in a heartbeat, but at least we used a petition containing over 80 signatures. Hopefully it's kinda hard to single out people for retribution from that document. I'm not sure you'd be able to use a similar tactic.

Now that your neighbor's property has been identified as a grow house, I think the better tactic would be anonymously keeping in touch with the police. But it's probably going to take a decade or more to achieve change. When I spoke to a local retired vice cop about our gulch he said the only thing likely to fix the problem was either forfeiture as a drug asset or purchase by the state as conservation land.

I can sympathize with buying the neighbor's houses just to eliminate the problems, let alone to profit from the rental income. But then I realized that the approach would not only tie up a lot of dead equity, it would also give me more neighbors...
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
chill out
Old 09-05-2010, 06:52 PM   #8
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 15
chill out

Forget about it and go for a nice long bike ride! You''ll feel much better.
__________________
HarryL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2010, 07:08 PM   #9
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,375
I have an obnoxious neighbor who blames us for calling the city on his issues--and it was someone else who did it! So I say go ahead--maybe your neighbor will blame someone else.
__________________
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2010, 11:34 AM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
HFWR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Lawn chair in Texas
Posts: 12,964
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryL View Post
Forget about it and go for a nice long bike ride! You''ll feel much better.
Signed,

Your neighbor
__________________
Have Funds, Will Retire

...not doing anything of true substance...
HFWR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2010, 11:45 AM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,197
Oh, great, the poll stands at about 50/50 now. That's about where I stand as well.

I talked with the code person a few weeks ago, without identifying the property. He said that they wanted reports like this, because they wanted to avoid safety issues.

Perhaps I could call and say "Hi, this is the guy who just got evicted, and I'm blowing the whistle on the landlord..."
__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2010, 12:23 PM   #12
Full time employment: Posting here.
Cattusbabe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 814
High fence? Worked for my parents trashy neighbor issue.
__________________
A todos los amantes del mundo. No importa el color de su piel, la pasion es universal.
_______________

La tavola e il letto non hanno restrizioni.
_____________
Any day your on this side of the grass is a good day.
Cattusbabe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2010, 12:23 PM   #13
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
This is an interesting question.

The inability to know what will happen if you report makes me think reporting is too risky. Can they even resolve the permit issue? I'd try working with the neighbor first and reassess later.
__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2010, 02:32 PM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
harley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Following the nice weather
Posts: 6,427
How about calling in from a pay phone (if they still have those where you are), and lying about your identity? I don't usually recommend lying, but this is the gov't we are talking about. What's good for the goose, and all that. If they ask why you are complaining, tell them the previous renter shorted you on your last ounce of weed, and you're pissed off.
__________________
"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." - Will Rogers, or maybe Sam Clemens
DW and I - FIREd at 50 (7/06), living off assets
harley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2010, 07:24 PM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Purron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,584
Wow. It's now 50/50. Perhaps another strategy should be considered while the place is still vacant....

__________________
I purr therefore I am.
Purron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2010, 07:48 PM   #16
Recycles dryer sheets
KM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 391
Al,

I think your neighbor just voted a few times......

In all seriousness, though, I would say you should talk to him about your concerns and hear him out. Then tell him if you still have concerns at some point, you will have to call and report the property, as you feel it is impacting yours.

We have had a neighbor come over to yell at us because our dog got loose and scared his daughter. (Apparently said dog would jump over our fence and bark at his daughter when she got off the school bus. Then he would jump back over the fence and be sitting quietly in our back yard when we got home....)

We have had a neighbor call and report us anonymously (for our dog barking).

Needless to say we liked neighbor #1 a lot more....


(In other news, for obvious reasons, we also gave up on having dogs.)
__________________
KM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2010, 10:50 PM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,384
Al, your stories read like the "Perils of Pauline". Life is indeed hard out your way.

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2010, 10:57 PM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 16,465
Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
Al, your stories read like the "Perils of Pauline". Life is indeed hard out your way.

Ha
Yeah, but you should see the view! And it almost never gets hot.

Audrey
__________________
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2010, 06:55 AM   #19
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,531
Quote:
Originally Posted by harley View Post
How about calling in from a pay phone (if they still have those where you are), and lying about your identity? I don't usually recommend lying, but this is the gov't we are talking about. What's good for the goose, and all that. If they ask why you are complaining, tell them the previous renter shorted you on your last ounce of weed, and you're pissed off.
I like that idea. Nobody likes a dishonest thief.
__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2010, 08:34 AM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
tryan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,449
Last time I got "dimed-out" by a neighbor I happened to be at the property when the inspector showed up. I happended to know the guy from 20 years of occupacy permit inspections.

I politely pointed out identical "issues" on the whisle blowers house (while addressing the issues on my own). Then asked the inspector to "return the favor" to my neighbor.

I received a VERY colorful phone message from my neighbor upon him receiving a ticket. I never received one (since I addressed it on the spot).

Never had another issue with that neighbor.
__________________

__________________
FIRE'd since 2005
tryan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Short sellers as whistle-blowers IBWino FIRE and Money 5 09-24-2008 07:30 PM
Blow-Out Vacation bbuzzard Life after FIRE 38 10-20-2006 07:35 PM
Did Bubba Blow It? haha Other topics 54 05-12-2006 02:43 PM
The market that goes from suck to blow... soupcxan FIRE and Money 63 03-27-2005 10:03 AM
Blow Me! Cut-Throat Other topics 8 06-21-2004 08:31 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:55 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.