Author Topic: Upstairs/Downstairs Neighbor Conflict (long)  (Read 5253 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Amara

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2409
Re: Upstairs/Downstairs Neighbor Conflict (long)
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2013, 12:53:05 PM »
I agree with everyone that the problem is Kevin's. And I don't think he has a leg to stand on. OP, you and Max and the other tenants in the block deal with Kevin's dog--apparently nicely. There could be issues around that too but there aren't because everyone recognizes that sharing a property requires some accommodations. Well, Kevin needs to recognize that the accommodations swing more than one way, not only but especially because the landlord feels the current situation works for everyone.

It would be best if Kevin and Max were able to talk this out and come to an understanding but I suspect the unrelated argument has set a tone that they are unlikely to be able to back down from.

wheeitsme

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4038
Re: Upstairs/Downstairs Neighbor Conflict (long)
« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2013, 02:39:05 PM »
It's Kevin's issue, he needs to find another solution if there is one to be found. He's not in a private (or even semi-private - sharing with *three* other families!) house. He doesn't own the lawn. He doesn't contribute to the lawn, either, if Max does all the work. Max is well within his rights to use the front lawn to BBQ all he wants. Unless he decides to spill meat drippings all over the foyer and parade a dozen folks up and down the stairs all evening while he grills, he's causing no real harm <snip> he either needs to move or get over it. Max was the incumbent, the grill was obviously visible when Kevin moved in, nothing that Max has hidden.

Agree.  And the person who OWNS the building is okay with Max and his grill.  And it sounds like Max is a great tenant.  Very long term, dependable renter, who contributes to the upkeep of the yard.  Kevin is going to have to learn to deal with it.

camlan

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8778
Re: Upstairs/Downstairs Neighbor Conflict (long)
« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2013, 07:45:36 PM »
However, I would say that Max should find whatever he can do to minimize the impact on Kevin.

Maybe he can create a [non-unsightly] storage space downstairs for most of his equipment, even if it means encroaching on the shared tiny foyer.

Maybe he should find a place to set the grill (while he's grilling) that isn't right outside Kevin's home (I know how frustrating it can be to have other people constantly in the "picture frame" of your window. It feels like they're in the house with you, whether windows are open or not.)

Max doesn't have to quit, but he'd have a better relationship with Kevin if he found ways to be sympathetic and cooperative.

I think Max has every right to use the front yard, including grilling out there.

However, I've been the ground floor tenant, with windows right by the front door, in a big old house that had been converted to apartments. With upstairs neighbors who would bring lawn chairs down to sit in the front yard, right in front of my big, beautiful floor to ceiling windows. About two feet away from the windows, in fact. And the other neighbors who didn't get cell phone reception in their apartment who sat on the front steps, about two feet from the big, beautiful, open in the summertime windows, to make all their phone calls.

The front yard was huge. The back yard was huge. The side yards were even bigger. There was no reason they had to be that close.

It's awkward when the neighbors are that close. In my living room, I could hear every word each one of them said. I worried that the neighbors would think I was eavesdropping, although all I was doing was sitting in my living room and reading. I tried spending more time in the kitchen and my bedroom, but the TV was in the living room, my computer was there, my comfy reading chair was there.

But I really didn't want to sit and listen to one couple fighting, or someone describing every last detail of her latest date. I felt uncomfortable sitting in my own living room. I felt almost as if I were being spied on, the neighbors were that close and could see that easily into my windows. I felt that if I wanted to listen to music or watch TV, I'd disturb them. Because they did have the right to sit outside in on the front lawn.

So I tried to nicely tell everyone exactly how much I could hear. And they got mad at me and complained to the landlord. But they did stop sitting right by my windows, when the landlord installed a bench further away from the house.

So, while I think Max has every right to grill in the front yard, and I think that the back yard is simply not an option for him, I do think he should try to minimize the impact on Kevin as much as possible. Can Max unchain the grill while he's using it, to move it further away from the windows? Can he try to be as quiet as possible with the several trips in and out?
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


wheeitsme

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4038
Re: Upstairs/Downstairs Neighbor Conflict (long)
« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2013, 09:11:30 PM »
<snip>
Can Max unchain the grill while he's using it, to move it further away from the windows? Can he try to be as quiet as possible with the several trips in and out?

My understanding is that according to the OP, Max does unchain the grill and move it further away from the windows when he actually uses it.


snowdragon

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2200
Re: Upstairs/Downstairs Neighbor Conflict (long)
« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2013, 12:32:03 AM »
So Kevin wants people to deal with his dog ( and they do) AND he wants to control what goes on in the front, too? And he wants Max not to have meat where Kevin can smell it( from the dead meat comment) - yeah, I have no sympathy.  Max is completely in the right and Kevin needs to solve it himself.  And I would not consider Max having to give notice that he wants to grill a fair solution, it gives Kevin far too much of an invasion into Max's life. 

Penguin_ar

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 163
Re: Upstairs/Downstairs Neighbor Conflict (long)
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2013, 07:56:39 AM »
Does your lease say anything about garden usage?  I used to live in a couple of similar properties and both of them mentioned yard usage (and maintenance) in the lase, usually the front yard for the 1st floor neighbour and the back for the 2nd floor, but with both having right of day through the other neighbour's yard for trash/ getting in the door etc.  Even if there is nothing specified, maybe you can suggest such an arrangement to Kevin- it may suit him to have use of the front yard only, and being able to let his dog roam there rather than chained to the backstep, and you'd have the backyard- a little more inconvenient, but then free of  dog poop and you can chain the bbq to the backstep where the dog is now chained.

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 31748
Re: Upstairs/Downstairs Neighbor Conflict (long)
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2013, 08:36:57 AM »
One problem with that is that the upstairs tenant does not have direct access to the backyard--they have to go around the entire building. And they'd have to walk through dog-poop territory (which is why they don't use the backyard now).

The other problem was a lack of bushes to shield the grill from nefarious eyes, because the chain wouldn't be enough to stop someone from stealing it--if I understood the OP correctly. That can be taken care of if anyone could make an enclosure from plywood or solid fencing panels, the way people sometimes make trash-can enclosures.

Mark can minimize the trips up and down (and the disruption that accompanies them) by planning better and by stashing some of the equipment, etc., in the downstairs hallway. He can get a larger container to use to take everything downstairs (we have a patio at our apt bldg that we like to eat in, and it's easier on US when we do these things).

And he can be sure not to let the door slam behind him on trips up and down.

And he should do any of these sorts of things that are *possible*--but given that the backyard is not that accessible, I believe he's fine to use the front as long as he moves the grill as far as he can out of view of the windows while he's working.

cheyne

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1078
Re: Upstairs/Downstairs Neighbor Conflict (long)
« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2013, 11:49:47 AM »
Kevin is a special snowflake.  He's been living there for 3 years and is only bringing this up now?  Unless Max is flinging blood soaked meat into the vestibule, Kevin is way out of line with the "dead meat" comment. 

I really can't see a way to compromise on this.  Max can't use the back yard due to Kevin's dog and nowhere to chain the grill.  Compounding this is that Max does all the yard work and has a right to enjoy the fruits of his labors.

Max has permission to cook meat on a grill if he so desires (the landlord has backed this up).  So I think that Kevin is going to have to suck it up and deal.  Perhaps Max could try and make fewer trips up and down the stairs? 

OP, how do you and Max get along with Kevin in general?  Would this issue be able to be resolved over a glass of wine?  Has there been some contention between the two of them on other issues in the past 3 years?

JoieGirl7

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7461
Re: Upstairs/Downstairs Neighbor Conflict (long)
« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2013, 05:59:36 PM »
I don't really see why Max would need to minimize his trips up and down the stairs.  That's the egress to his apartment and cooking out on the grill is a reasonable use of the property he has rented.

As far as whether or not his meat is covered, also, its no one else's business.  If Kevin doesn't like it he doesn't have to stand in the hallway while Max walks by.


camlan

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8778
Re: Upstairs/Downstairs Neighbor Conflict (long)
« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2013, 04:28:56 PM »
I don't really see why Max would need to minimize his trips up and down the stairs.  That's the egress to his apartment and cooking out on the grill is a reasonable use of the property he has rented.

As far as whether or not his meat is covered, also, its no one else's business.  If Kevin doesn't like it he doesn't have to stand in the hallway while Max walks by.

I don't think Max has to cut out his trips up and down the stairs, but I do think he should minimize the impact of those trips on Kevin.

There's necessary noises of daily living--people walk on their floors, flush the toilet, run the dishwasher, watch TV, talk, etc. You can't really complain about them, because there's nothing anyone can do about them. And there are the noises that can be controlled to some extent--slamming doors, loud volumes on TVs and stereos, yelling, wearing hardsoled shoes indoors. Those noises are far more irritating, because you know they can be controlled, but the other tenants simply don't care to.

It's possible that the stairs are carpeted and Kevin hears nothing when people are walking up and down stairs, and that the front door closes silently, instead of banging shut, and that Max never talks loudly enough to be heard in Kevin's apartment.

But I'll bet the reality is that Kevin can hear footsteps and the door shutting and Max talking on the stairs or out on the front lawn. In a shared living situation like this, I think the polite thing to do is to minimize the impact these normal noises of daily living have on the occupants of the other units in your building.

For example, due to some medical issues, I have to wear shoes all the time. I also have downstairs neighbors. So I wear Keds in the house, which don't make noise when I walk, and I have area rugs down over most of the floors. I use headphones when I watch TV, because I like to turn the volume up. I'm very careful how I shut the outside doors early in the morning or late in the evening, because someone could be asleep. I don't slam the doors, ever, unlike the downstairs people who slam, slam, slam all day long.

So if Max is disturbing Kevin with every trip up and down the stairs, while he doesn't *have* to do anything, it would be polite and neighborly to reduce the number of trips if possible, and to do everything else possible to reduce the noise associated with the trips.

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn