Social Question

GloPro's avatar

Can you do anything about a trailer trash neighbor?

Asked by GloPro (8199 points ) April 11th, 2014 from iPhone

I live right on the water of a huge lake. My home is a duplex, and I am good friends with my eccentric neighbor in her 60s. There are no other neighbors.
My beach is constantly traversed by locals and tourists going from one public pier to another. I am embarrassed by the sight of my little beach because my neighbor has made it her own personal junkyard. We have 4 kayaks covered in pine needles and cones, two grills (one doesn’t work), a concrete fire pit with unburned trash in it, several folding chairs and towels and other random beach items all crammed under our concrete picnic table, all right on the water. It is the ONLY property on the lakefront in this cluttered and junky state. I’ve cleaned it up several times but she just tells me to leave the crap on the beach so she doesn’t have to carry it up and down the 20 steps to the storage at our place.
In addition, despite me complaining many times, she uses the small bank between the house and the beach as a compost pile. She throws oranges, bread, pizza crust, whatever, just over the deck onto the ground. Who does that?!? I’ve told her it is inappropriate to throw ANY trash into your own yard, and she just laughs. She says she figures some animal will eat it. I’ve been looking at a whole orange rotting by the lake by all of her trash for about two weeks now. Ducks don’t eat oranges.
She recently threw a dead plant, clay pot and all, over the balcony. I went and collected the shattered pot from the bankside.
She’s lived here for 12 years and doesn’t think any of this is wrong, or care if it is. I’ve been here about a year.
My duplex just got declared eminent domain so that the two public beaches can be connected come this fall. I am moving in September but want to enjoy my beach for the summer, and throwing food in the yard is beyond me.
Do I just grin and bear it? What would you do?

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15 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I’m sorry you’re having to endure the trash and rubble. I hope you can find a way to fix the problem.

It’s not clear from your details if you rent or own your home. If you rent, call the landlord every time your neighbor throws food onto the back lawn. It’s a health hazard. It’s my best guess the rats love what she’s depositing.

As for the mess she leaves down by the water, I suggest you make sure there is a clear demarcation between her side and yours. Don’t let her push anything onto what would be your side of any line. Each time she pushes something onto your side of the beach area, call the landlord.

I wish you the best of luck.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I’d clean it up & deposit her stuff on her porch every couple days. Does your local PD orHealth Dept care?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

You could try what @KNOWITALL suggested. But I really doubt anything is going to change between now and the Fall. I don’t know if it’s worth stressing out over the loon. Just keep her crap off your beach and enjoy what you can of it. This is one reason I like having no neighbors.

DigitalBlue's avatar

I’m not sure what to do about it, but I can relate. I have a neighbor that throws trash right out of their windows into the yard. My yard. We pick it up and just toss it out, sometimes it isn’t even garbage, things like blankets and pillows and books will be lying out there. That’s barely scratching the surface of the madness that goes on over at that house, I’m sad to say, but over the years I have just tried to stop concerning myself with what they do. It’s an eye sore and they are loud.. I did not miss hearing her scream at her kids and dog while my windows were shut all winter, but I’ve had a lot more luck with learning to ignore it as best as possible than I have with getting anything to change.

wildpotato's avatar

If this were me I would let everything go, especially since you are moving in the fall – except for the trash food pile, which is unacceptable. If I were friends with her I think I’d do the friendly thing, which for me is to educate her about the right way to compost, or make it a project to teach youselves together. Like, maybe if you have a bit of free time you could help create a little low fence around the sides of the pile to keep it contained and less visible, and then grab some free straw or sawdust from someone on craigslist for her to sprinkle over the top every day and keep it from smelling. Compost piles don’t need a lot of work to transform them from offensive midden heap to black gold, mostly just patience.

LornaLove's avatar

This could be a council offence, not sure of the terms you use there in US. It certainly would be here. I’d report her, simply because she is devaluing your area and also causing health hazards. She is also misusing the public areas (if I understand correctly). I would imagine you could do this anonymously.

you have after all tried to reason with her

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Just start dumping your trash over on her place. Or ignore it and move outta there.

Cruiser's avatar

Put a sign that says “Free” in front of all the junk in the front yard…Just kidding.

You already know you are fighting a losing battle and if it was me I would build a Tiki Bar in front of the eye-sore….hang lanterns in the trees, light torches and make huge bonfires every night to burn some of her crap and just enjoy the summer.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

This is an easy one.

Got a camera? Take photos and send them to the city.

It’s not a problem between you and your neighbor.

It’s a problem between your neighbor and the city.

dappled_leaves's avatar

“She’s lived here for 12 years and doesn’t think any of this is wrong, or care if it is. I’ve been here about a year.”

Therein lies the answer to your question, I’m afraid.

JLeslie's avatar

Seems to me the city would have some rules about it since it is a public beach. Call the police or the city representatives and complain. Or, at least maybe they can help you see if there is a law to do something about it. There could be a law on the books about having an unsightly mess, or about feeding wild animals.

The way to avoid the problem next time is to live in a place that has an HOA. A lot of people don’t like that though, they don’t like rules they have to confirm to in a community.

stanleybmanly's avatar

You can’t win. Not only are you the newcomer, the fact that she’s in her 60s means that her habits are fixed. If you could sublet your place for a while to someone more trashy and obnoxious than her, say 3 beer guzzling frat boys with large vicious dogs———-nope, even that’s a silly fantasy. You’re gonna have to tough it out. Know any bikers?

GloPro's avatar

@stanleybmanly Lol, she loves bikers.
@DigitalBlue It’s somewhat comforting to know that someone else is just as baffled to look out the window and see random crap in the yard. At least for me if I look just a little farther I see one of the most beautiful lakes in the country.
@wildpotato I like your idea, but there is no educating this woman. She agrees with everything you say and then does whatever she wants. It’s almost comical except that there’s random food in the yard. I believe I will build a little boxed area for myself and begin composting. Maybe she’ll be compelled to aim for the box.

Side note… She says to me last night that we need to make sure to drag the chairs as close to the stairs as possible at night to prevent them from being stolen. That extra 4 feet is a deterrent, apparently. It kind of opens up a possibility for me to just toss the really junky stuff and play the stolen card. “Huh, it sure is lucky they stole the broken grill instead of the good one!”

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@GloPro I have one rule: Never argue with crazy people. Keep that in mind.

Cruiser's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe We are all crazy here on Fluther and I do not see anyone having any trouble arguing here. Just saying

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