More Neighbor Problems

My neighbors didn’t mow their lawn for 3-4 weeks. They don’t own a lawnmower, but the couple across the street always mows their lawn. The problem is, the couple with the lawnmower went on vacation. The obvious solution is to get a kid in the neighborhood to mow it for you. They just let it grow, and Grow and GROW (we’re talking waist-high here). Furthermore, they acted as if nothing was wrong.

Last week, I emailed the president of the Homeowners Assn. I never heard anything back, so this morning I took pictures of the grass (er, jungle) with the intention of emailing the president this afternoon with the attached photos. There was a guy in the garage this morning watching me while I was taking pictures, but he didn’t say anything (his English isn’t that good).

I get home this afternoon and notice that the grass had been cut, so I start celebrating in my car as I pull into the driveway. Next thing I know, the guy’s twentysomething daughter comes out of the house and starts saying “Were you taking pictures of my property this morning?!?” (this is the FIRST time in the FIVE years we have lived here that she has spoken to me). I told her “Yeah, I was sick and tired of your yard, so I was going to email the pics to the Assn president this afternoon.” She starts going on about how I had “no right” to do that, and I “could have been more neighborly” (like never talking to me before today is neighborly).

I stated she could have been a better neighbor by keeping up with her lawn instead of waiting for their lawnmowers to return from vacation. I further informed her that I didn’t trespass, and I was only taking pictures of what everyone else in the neighborhood could see, so I was perfectly within my rights. She started with the attitude again, so I said “you know, it’s people like you that make me want to move out of here”. She replied intelligently “So? And? Go ahead and move!”

So, I called her what she is, a bitch, gathered my stuff, and went into the house. She said “I was nice to you; you didn’t need to start cursing”, so I replied with “I call it like it is, and you could have been nice by MOWING YOUR LAWN”.

Fast forward about 10 minutes. I prepared to leave and get my nails done only to find a car belonging to one of the bitch neighbor’s many male friends (ahem) parked on my property and her younger sister talking to 3 other teenage girls from up the street in my driveway. They dispersed shortly after I started the car.

I think that the Assn had the lawn mowed and billed them, and that I got the brunt of the anger because they thought I sent the pics (I haven’t yet). I further think I was perfectly within my rights. Their lawn was making my property look bad and it was violating Assn rules. I was also concerned about snakes.

So, should I prepare for retaliation tonight?

Honestly, I would just keep an eye out. If it’s possible- park all cars you own in the garage (slashed tires and broken windows can be costly fixes). Is your yard fenced in? If not, maybe pull in any furniture or what not that may be in the yard.

I predict a shit storm of mammoth proportions. Neighbor beefs can get really ugly. Good luck.

Well, look at it from their perspective. They’re usually very good about keeping the lawn mowed, this was an unusual circumstance for them. They don’t even own a lawnmower, so it’s not like they could just go mow it. One time they ever let their grass grow and the first thing they hear from it isn’t a friendly “Hello” from you, it’s you, a stranger, snapping shots of their yard. Why didn’t you knock on their door and ask them yourself?

If it really was waist high, then it was a lot longer than 3-4 weeks, unless Florida has some kind of fast growing grass. Maybe waist-high was a bit of an exaggeration on your part?

Personally, I don’t think there’s going to be any retaliation (although I could be wrong - I don’t know your neighbors.) On the other hand, I don’t think you’re making any friends with your current approach. Why don’t you take them some cookies and apologize for getting off on the wrong foot?

While I can empathize w/ your situation, I think you made two critical errors. Taking the photos, in clear view of the neighbors, and using profanity in your verbal confrontation. Like it or not, you have to live next to these people and it 's in your best interest to get along as well as possible. I’d suggest a phone call, to follow up your previous complaint, might have sufficed just as well as taking the photos, and I learned a long time ago that, when involved in a verbal altercation, never, ever, resort to profanity or personal attacks, if you do you have just given away any advantage you may have had.
I know this will be hard to swallow, but a simple apology might save you a lot of grief. If you want a mini war here, I’m pretty sure you’l get it, but remember, “discretion is the better part of valor”.

It takes two to tango, Leviosaurus. They never came over and said “hello” to me. They are very exclusive about who they socialize with: they only talk to the other Hispanic families in the neighborhood. I’ve had to deal with them loudly putting up a fence one weekend that I’m sure they didn’t get approval for, working on a car on the backyard (which is against the rules), and listening to the male suitors roar up and down the road in their hopped up cars. I didn’t say anything those times.

Add to this their loud Tejano music blasting from the converted garage (another thing I don’t think they got a permit for) and different cars for sale in their driveway every weekend while I’m trying to enjoy what little time I have off and I don’t think they have any right to say anything about me not being neighborly.

For those of you who are thinking I am exaggerating, here are the pics.

It’s nice and green though. Wow…

Okay, I’m with you. Bad neighbors, bad lawn care.

So you can be the morally superior one who defuses the situation with cookies and apologies, or you can start a neighborhood war by getting them to hate you (rightfully or no.)

The smart move would be the cookies. To be perfectly honest, when I was faced with a similar situation, I started a war :smiley: . I called the cops on the neighbors until they got sick of it and moved away. But I was lucky. I think my luck may have had something to do with the fact that I’m a large imposing guy who likes to hit a punching bag in the garage (sometimes with the door open and in view of the neighbors) every night. Unless I’m mistaken, you don’t have that advantage, do you? So pick your next move very carefully.

Whatever you do, be nothing but endlessly polite when you speak to them. Sometimes certain words set people off a lot more than you intend. Your words can also be used against you if the police become involved. At some point you may wish you’d just ignored the grass.

Did you post the problem to get advice, or validation?
I think you need to rethink this and decide where you want to be w/ this in the future. Your comments about the neighbors choices in friends is very telling. It sounds like there’s a lot more going on than uncut grass. Your future relations w/ these people is in your hands. You’ve got to live w/ whatever path you chose.

The pics were one thing but calling the daughter a bitch was way out of bounds. Regardless of how justified you were about siccing the HOA on them, it kind of makes you sound like a jerk.

Did you ever go over to say “hi” to them? If not how can you blame them, the fault for any lack of communication is shared. Why is it their responsibly to say “hi”?

You definitely have deeper issues here. Why, if the grass was bothering you, didn’t you go over and offer the use of your lawn mower? Or at least ask them to mow their lawn before you thought involving higher powers would be appropriate - that being the neighborly thing to do.

Since you have no idea about the fence or garage reno, why even bring them up? Because they annoy you? If they did get a permit, would the annoyance go away? And you’re annoyed at having cars for sale in their driveway?!

I don’t know, but if you were my neighbor, I wouldn’t like you. If you have a problem with the person, go tell them. Don’t go rat to the Assn. This is playground stuff.

Tejano music in Florida :dubious:

Is it common to turn your garage into a living room in FL? Report them for that ugliness since you already burned the bridge.

Duh, it was in Mexican and had a salsa beat! It’s whatever those Mexicans are listenin’ to nowadays. God! :rolleyes:

I can’t imagine why, if they’ve received such a warm reception from the gringos. What was your “welcome to the neighborhood” gift to them, again?

So maybe they are rude and snobbish, but might they have reason to say the same thing about you? At least make the attempt to play nice, or else you’re both going to have a miserable time until one of you moves.

If you treat them with respect, make reasonable requests (not demands) and show willingness to negotiate and compromise, then you’ve done all you can. If they are non-responsive or completely unaccommodating, you’re free to tell them “In the future, I won’t waste your time and will instead go directly to the homeowner’s association.” That way, they can never say you didn’t try to be “neighborly,” or that they weren’t warned.

I call them like I see them. Maybe they’ll think next time before they let their property look like crap.

I just went outside to get the paper. Car looks OK.

I think you should have spoken to them first about the grass and the other problems you seem to have with them. You definitely shouldn’t have called the girl a bitch. It was their daughter, right? Didn’t you say she was like 16? Yeah, bad move.

If your other neighbors don’t like the loud music and cars roaring down the street, you should all think about politely talking to these people.

I could be wrong, but there is a tone in your posts that makes it seem like you don’t like hispanics, or at least would rather not live near them. I’m not saying its true, but thats the vibe I get.

The bit I don’t get is that it was grass. So it got long, what does it matter? Did you think it was going to do, come over to your house and steal your television?

If the sight of unshorn vegetation was so offensive, a nice thing to do would been to offer to mow it yourself. That way you’d have removed the long grass, done a nice thing for your neighbours and possibly made friends, and had the warm, inner-glow that comes from having done a good deed.

It’s this kind of story that makes me grateful I live in a rural area with hardly any neighbours at all.

Salsa beat would more likely indicate Puerto Ricans or Cubans. But please don’t let that interfere with your and the OP’s prejudices.