Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Stephen writes:

I stumbled upon your site while I was searching around the internet looking for some municipal bi-law information (which my idiotic neighbor is surely breaking)! I am glad you finally managed to shake your neighbor!

I also live in Southern Ontario and have a neighbor that is a complete idiot!!! We haven't been in our house that long (just over a year), and I am already battling with him. First off, his house is a total eye sore! When we bought our house, it was during the winter and his whole property has covered in snow, so we couldn't tell how bad it was. Big Mistake. Moral of the story? Never buy a home during the Winter time!

I couldn't agree more here. Best time to buy a house is spring. The ground is clear and you will get a good idea as to the state of repair of lawns and gardens. Pride of ownership matters, especially when it comes to resale value.

We live in a very nice neighbourhood in Burlington that is about 20 years old. It is very mature, with big homes and lots of nice trees. All the properties are very well cared for.... except for our neighbors place! He is the original owner (a single male in his 50's maybe? Never married, no kids etc...), and he hasn't done a thing to it since he moved in. He hasn't even paved his driveway yet, so it is gravel and full of weeds that get up to 3-4 feet tall during the summer! He only cuts his grass about once every 4-6 weeks [Sacrilege!!!].

His garage doors are completely rotten with holes big enough for a raccoon to climb through (I know this because I have seen raccoons climbing through them). And he has over-grown ivy completely covering his house with some windows completely covered, and you can't even see his street address sign anymore. Every light on the house is rusted and broken, and the windows and doors don't have any paint left on them! The worst part is that he NEVER takes his garbage out. Not a single bag since we have lived there! So we are afraid that he is some sort of hoarder or something.

Scary stuff. I've posted about hoarders before.

This summer I finally had enough of looking at his horrid property and planted a 7 foot cedar hedge down the side of my front lawn so I don't have to look at his house anymore. I planted it on my side of the property line just in case he complained, which he did.

Natural fences are a great way to either reduce conflict, or take it to the next level. I wrote about how great the Leyland Cypress is on this post from 2008.

He told me it was an eye sore and demanded that I take it down. I just laughed at him and told him I would gladly take it down as soon as he paved his driveway, fixed his garage doors etc. He then proceeded to insult my property, and said my children and wife were eye sores! That was the last time I spoke with him.

Now he spies on me! Last week I caught him hiding on the side of his garage and staring at me while I cut my lawn. I just waved and said hello, and he retreated out of sight. Then he came back later and continued watching me. I suspect he was trying to catch me stepping on his property or something while I was cutting my lawn, so he could come yell at me? He is weird!

We were shocked to come home last week and find he had replaced his garage doors! His property actually looks a lot better now... except of course for the gravel & weed driveway, the rotting doors and windows, 3 foot high grass etc. I guess if he fixes his driveway, I will have to take the hedge down!!!

I wouldn't retreat on that one, especially if you built it on your side of the properly line.

Anyway, I guess in the end there are plenty of weirdo's out there. I am kind of happy that I don't have to speak to my neighbor anymore. I know he doesn't like me, and I don't like him so the relationship works. Now I am just trying to figure out what I can do about the fact that he never takes garbage out. I am afraid of what he has going on inside his house.

I would be afraid as well. I am thinking rats, which carry all kinds of nasty diseases.

Did I mention that he planted rows and rows of corn in his backyard this year? I am all for gardening... but he has 11 foot high corn rows in his backyard! WTF????

I'm all for growing corn actually and have even considered taking big section of my side yard and trying to grow a row of corn next year. We do have a garden already but stick to the basics like Zucchini, Tomatoes, and Cucumbers. I have a friend in Calgary who converted his entire yard, front and back, into raised vegetable gardens with little pathways. If you are willing to give up ALL of your grass you can really grow a lot of food in a standard suburban lot. Provided you keep things looking organized most folks won't complain. This however would NEVER fly in one of those more upper-class neighbourhoods in the USA with homeowners associations. He lives in an older area of town, mostly working-class, houses built in the 1970's.



Thanks for the letter. Sorry it took so long to post. The day job and endless business travel has kept me away from this blog most of the summer. - Ca1v1n