Profile picture for user4135292

How do I stop my neighbor from abusing the driveway rights?

My driveway has an easement on it.  The driveway is on my property and the neighbor uses it to get to his parking behind his house.  Here is the problem.  He walks up and down the driveway looking for  trash to throw on my back deck.  It doesn't matter if it is mine or something that the wind blew in.   Usually it is candy wrappers, cigarette wrappers, or cigarette butts.  I do not smoke.  He is crossing over onto my property to do this and he thinks he has the right because of the easement.  My daughter called the police and they did nothing.  The officer told me to try to get along.  Me!!!  I'm not the one throwing trash on his deck.  What can i do?  Very frustrated.
  • April 21 2012 - New York
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Answers (8)

Profile picture for sunnyview
It sounds like a bad situation. You can try a different approach. Try kindness. Approach your neighbor with some rawhide dog chews or dog biscuits. Tell them that you feel that they are angry about the music comment at the birthday party and that you want to be a good neighbor. Then listen to what they say.

Sometimes even unreasonable people feel better when they feel that they have been heard. That also can make them stop passive aggressive behavior like you are describing. Feuding even if it is not your fault to begin with can take a toll. If you can make a gesture to improve the situation, then I would try. It may work and if it doesn't you know that you did what you could.
  • April 22 2012
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Profile picture for Joseph F Moore

I agree with Cindy 100%. Your best bet is to have a discussion and see if you can work it out. Unfortunately if you and your neighbor can't come to an understanding your left with only a couple choices.

The first option would be to ignore it and leave it alone. If you can do that then maybe it will just stop.

The second option would be to escalate the problem by contacting the police or city officials. They will be able to give you recommendations on how to deal with the issue, but I suspect that unless you have proof of him throwing trash in your yard they won't be able to do anything. The only way to get proof would be to have witnesses or have it on camera.

It's obvious that you're going to have to talk to your neighbor if you want this resolved. If you choose to jump right into (catching him) you'll spend a lot of time and money to prove you were right which might not get you anything expect a feud. If you talk to the neighbor and it continues then you really don't have any other options.

You have a right to enjoy your property. If someone or something is preventing that enjoyment you have every right to pursue whatever means necessary to re-gain your enjoyment. Talking to the neighbor is quicker and much more efficient than installing cameras and trying to catch them.

If it comes to it you have the camera option, but speaking with the probably won't' hamper your relationship; maybe just maybe it will make it better.

There is no magic answer to any neighbor dispute situation. Google all you want and normally you will find ways to get even. You don't want to get even you want it to stop.

I suspect the neighbor is just as non-confrontational as you appear to be. If he wanted to confront you he would have knocked on your door if he thought the trash was yours. He might just wanted it picked up and maybe he thinks you're a jerk. Talk to him! It will work out. If it doesn't you have other options.

  • April 22 2012
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It really seems like when you said you asked him to play his music louder for your party that he took that as sarcasm (did you intend it that way?). People think sarcasm is funny when they are using it, but they don't think it is funny when people use it on them. I think you may have created an issue that day, and while your neighbor is behaving like a child, you aren't helping resolve the issue. I also think he believes you are throwing trash, especially cigarrete butts in his yard, and I'm guessing that is what he told the police.

I think for this issue to resolve, you have to do like Wetdawgs suggested, and go over to his house, knock on the door, and ask him if the two of you could sit and talk. If you aren't willing to do that, buy some cameras and a sprinkler system and let the escalation of the silly games begin. In fact I think I saw a story recently on the national news where there were cameras involved in a neighbor dispute, it looked like loads of fun and a great way to spend time......NOT. Google, fighting neighbors, and you will find some interesting stories and even video. I hope you can quell this instead of making it worse, good luck.






  • April 21 2012
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Profile picture for Joseph F Moore

Easements are a bummer! I bet you'll never buy a house with a shared driveway again!  My best advice is to ask him to stop throwing things on your deck. If he continues to do so I would contact the police and ask them to have him stopped. More than likely the police will confront him and he'll deny it, but the police will warn him to stay off your property. This all set's up your next step which will be more creative.

Set-up a camera to record that area of your home. Once you catch him on tape it's all over. Then you have proof of his trespassing and any other laws or ordinances that would be violated by him dumping trash in your yard.

Feuding neighbors always play he said she said, but a video tape doesn't lie. The tape will also work well if he is violating any other city ordinance.

All the other posters are 100% correct though. You should ask nicely for him to stop as it will be easier for you guys to live next to each other. If that doesn't work then get the police involved and get his actions on videotape to be used with the police or in court.

Also, it doesn't matter if he sees the camera. Him seeing it might just stop the actions all together, but if you can hide the camera it will make for a better home video.

Automatic sprinklers are fun as well.

Best of luck!

  • April 21 2012
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
The point isn't whether you do normally speak,  but that adults can take the responsibility to talk to each other to resolve issues.   If you don't want to do so, please read your last sentence of your second post and recognize you are describing yourself also.
  • April 21 2012
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Profile picture for user4135292
We usually don't even speak to each other.  the last conversation we had i asked him to play his music louder for a birthday party we were having in the back yard.  We couldn't hear it well and wanted to enjoy the song playing.  Then a week later all these cigarette butts starting appearing on my deck.  At first I thought it was from an ashtray my husband left behind when he moved out, but they just got worse.  Then one day I watched him pick up a butt from in front of his house and throw it on my deck.  No explanation what so ever.  He has his yard fenced because of his dogs.  They are not safe with others, and he does not control them.  So in order to collect trash he has to walk up the sidewalk and then down my driveway.
I sorry but I'm not letting him intimate me this way.  I have lived here longer than he has.  He is showing a level of immaturity that frankly I find disturbing.
  • April 21 2012
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Profile picture for Jarrid Echard
put a trash can on or next to your deck then all you'll have to do is change the bag since he's picking it up
  • April 21 2012
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
The police have a very good point.   What happens when the two of you discuss it, face to face?    Is there something more going on in the history of interactions between neighbors that the two of you need to discuss and work out?   What happens if you and your family keep the trash picked up from the driveway?


  • April 21 2012
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