Post # 1
About 4 or 5 months ago the neighbor kids were playing basketball in our driveway without permission when they thought no one was home. Our basketball hoop has been there for almost 20 years and I guess one of them dunked on it or something and caused it to come falling down, within about a foot of damaging our house. At approximately this time Hubs pulled up from work and I came outside. The boys went running and when a adult came out it was just like a maintance man that their family hired and he said it was our fault because it was rotted. About 2 days later we came home and saw the children’s father in our driveway taking pictures of the down poll etc. He asked me to send my father over later (my parents own the house and were in the process of moving out- we’re now the sole residents). My step father went over that evening and the father said they would have the hoop removed and also have the part where it was broken off removed from the ground and that he would keep his kids off our property. Two weeks later the hoop was still there and we dragged it to the road and either the trash or someone else picked it up. The broken piece still stands. About a week after that we got notice from code enforcement that things had been reported around our house (a shed they said wasnt permitted which is, and all other bogus complaints). We’ve since then found out the neighbor works for the county and was most likely responsible for the complaints. To cut a long story short the other day the children’s basketball ended up in our back yard. We were home and would have happily got the ball for them had they knocked on the door to let us know. Instead when we let our dog out we caught them jumping our fence to get their ball. I understand its not a huge deal but I still feel its inappropriate, especially since we do have a pool and could be a safety issue. Obviously speaking to the parents again isnt going to help based on the issues that resulted previously. What would you do?
Post # 3
call the police everytime they come over.
Post # 4
I second calling the police. You also have GOT to make sure you talk to the parents about the fact that you have a pool in your backyard. If those kids accidently drown in it, you could be held liable even though you’ve told them before to stay off. Best bet would be to tell the police.
Or get a restraining order, lol.
Post # 5
I third calling the police, and maybe taking pictures of them in the yard so you have backup. I know they aren’t pretty, but maybe no trespassing signs, too, so in case something does happen you can show that you did pretty much everything possible.
Post # 6
Actually this is a very serious issue. You will be held liable for them tresspassing and getting injured. Call the police EVERY time they come on your property.
Post # 7
I think you should talk to the parents first. Be friendly and neighborly about it, say you know if your kids’ ball comes in our yard, just come knock on our door. We’ll get it for you. But please don’t jump over the fence, because we do have a dog, and I don’t want you guys getting hurt in the process.
Document when you talk to them, and if it happens again, then get the police involved.
Post # 8
I’d take one more shot at talking to the parents, making it clear that you’re concerned for the kids’ safety and as a result will be calling the police the next time they set foot on your property. If any of the kids had been struck by the basketball hoop when it fell, you would have been liable for some very expensive medical bills, and if they fall in your pool it’ll be the same situation.
Post # 9
I would definitly talk to the parents again and make sure they understand where you are coming from as far as safety. Be the more responible person. It might be a weird or uncomfortable conversation but if you plan on living there awhile I would think you would want to be on good terms with your neighbors. Once you start calling the police you can’t go back. IMO. It usually turns ugly and then they will call the police on you for every little thing. I think it would turn into a lot of drama.
Post # 10
The thing is, the parents obviously are trying to put you on the defensive when their kids are in the wrong. I would go over and talk to them and be very blunt. Tell them that you are very upset that they were playing basketball on your property without permission. And you are very upset they broke the basketball hoop. You are upset the parents did not correct the problem as promised. And now you are finding them jumping the fence (which by the way is considered breaking and entering if you have a locked gate) and that you want to make it clear that they are NOT welcome on your property AT ALL. If their ball goes over the fence they MUST knock on your door and ask you to get it. You have a dog and a pool, both of which you want to keep away from them, THUS THE FENCE. If you wanted people in your yard, you wouldn’t have a fence in the first place.
After your talk, type out everything that was said during the conversation and make sure to include their responses. Print it out, then mail a copy of it to them using delivery confirmation. The letter should say something like:
“I wanted to make sure were were clear on the points we discussed including [x,y,z] to which you responded [p,d,q].”
Next you need to post signs on your property. “No trespassing” and “Beware of Dog” signs, at every entrance point and “wall” of your property.
This is basically a CYA issue. If they do it again, call the cops on them. I would warn them before you do this. Specifically tell them you will call the police and report them trespassing if you find them doing it again.
On the one hand you don’t want to start anything, but on the other hand, they started it already. There’s already not a very neighborly atmosphere, so you wouldn’t be deteriorating relationship since you don’t have one. This guy reported you to the city??? Screw him and his family.
PS-My brothers and I used to jump my neighbor’s fence all the time and she was upset about it too. She told my parents about it, and they told us not to. But if she had offered to give the balls back to us (instead of giving them to her grandkids) we would have just knocked on her door instead.
Post # 11
@MightySapphire: I was hoping you were going to respond to this thread! I agree with everything you have said.
I would post signs ASAP and make sure they know you will be calling the police if they keep coming over. some people you just to be to be stern with and let them know what is up.
Post # 12
When I lived in brooklyn, I walked past a house everyday that had a sign posted. It said something to the effect of “we love your kids and don’t mind them playing on our driveway, but if they get hurt on our property, we are not liable” don’t know if it really doesn’t make them liable, but I am thinking that maybe because it is a posted sign, it is? Kind of like signs that you see at places that say “we are not responsible for lost or stolen property”
It puts everything up front.
Post # 13
Just wondering if you have a locked gated fence around the pool. And also, is your pool covered or otherwise unaccessible-besides the fence? That would be terrible if a kid drowned in your pool! -for everybody!!
Post # 14
Document everything that happened/happens, with the date and time that it happened/happens. This includes all conversations, the complaints against you and every incident of trespassing. Put up signs as soon as possible. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to let the neighbors know that you do not want their kids trespassing (nicely or firmly, however you want), and that from now on you will call the police if it happens again.
Most importantly — call the police with each and every incident. They might not even need to come out to get a report, you may be able to do it over the phone. But you want to build the case that you are doing everything you can to stop them from trespassing. It will help protect you from liability if those idiots hurt themselves on your property.
Good luck with everything! I hope they stop.
Post # 15
Thanks for all the advice.
To clarify on a few things- our fence is locked on both sides and only gets unlocked when the lawn maintance guy comes then is promptly relocked once he is finished. Our pool is a above ground pool so its not like they would be falling into it or anything- they would have to knowingly climb a ladder to get into it (and the children we’re talking about are teenagers so should definitely know better). The pool is actually drained for winter right now but it is still a valid concern for most times of year.
My husband actually ran into the father outside last night and calmly asked him to please ask his children to knock on the door if they’re missing a ball rather than jumping our fence. The man mumbled under his breath and walked away. So if we see it again we’ll take pictures and take further action.
Thanks again everyone
Post # 16
It just sounds like these neighbours are going to be a little less friendly than you would like. I think your husband was in the right by calmly talking to the father, but unfortunately some people are just extremely defensive. I agree with the other posters that you should document everything. I would still try to be civil when speaking with your neighbours, even if they arent because it will always reflect better on you, especially if it ever gets lega. It’s too bad that they are acting this way – hope it all works out!