Author Topic: We don't want to play fetch.  (Read 6932 times)

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TheaterDiva1

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Re: We don't want to play fetch.
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2013, 10:15:51 PM »
I suggest not giving the toys back until they clean up the trash they threw in your yard as well.  Consequences for their actions...

PastryGoddess

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Re: We don't want to play fetch.
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2013, 10:28:19 PM »
Have you tried acousitic fencing material?  There is a sound reflective fabric out there.  I don't know the brand name, but if you have an offset wood slat fence you can insert the material on your side of the fence without touching their side.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: We don't want to play fetch.
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2013, 10:34:04 PM »
I'd clearly tell the boys:

- they are only to give one short ring. Not lean on the doorbell for 10 minutes.

- you and your family will only retrieve their toys once a day. If they throw their toys over the fence a second time, they won't be returned.

Re: the loud music, I'd actually call the police to complain, if the parents refuse to turn it down.

LeveeWoman

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Re: We don't want to play fetch.
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2013, 12:19:41 AM »
We don't have a good relationship with our next-door neighbors. The household includes two adults (man and woman) and three children (a girl who is 13, and two boys who are probably 8 and 6). Just by way of a bit of background, these neighbors have a swimming pool that is right next to the fence that adjoins our yards, and they have an outdoor speaker system that is aimed directly at our house. Swimming and music run every day, all summer from about 9:30 a.m. until about 10:30 p.m. and sometimes later. The music is very loud. We have attempted to speak with them about it, and they have proven themselves to be the most entitled, boorish, obnoxious people one might encounter. Please just trust me on that. They perceive they have the "right" to play their music however they prefer. We can hear it in our house with the doors and windows closed, if that gives you any idea what we're dealing with. It is nearly impossible for us to enjoy our own yard due to the volume of their music. During pool season, we frequently find their pool toys and trash in our yard (snack wrappers, chip bags, soda cans, drink bottles, etc.).

Once they close their pool for the season (thank goodness), we encounter a different problem: The two boys are unsupervised outside while they play. From that point on, we continue to find their trash, but the boys play in the area that adjoins the fence. They lose control over their toys (boomerangs, frisbees, various balls, etc.) and they fly over the fence into our yard. Here's what happens when a toy lands in our yard:

Two boys go to our front door. They ring the bell. If we are not immediately at the door in seconds, they commence with banging on the front door. They bang on the door and ring the doorbell constantly until someone answers. That could be a matter of 20-30 seconds. They peer into the side window right next to the front door. When we arrive at the door, typically, we see two foreheads pressed against the side window and two pairs of eyes staring at us. Open the door, and the boys say, "Our ball is in your yard. We need you to help us get it." They can't access our yard independently.

DH or DS will go outside, locate the ball, and return it to the boys. Within 10 minutes, two boys go back to our front door. They ring the bell. If we are not immediately at the door in seconds, they commence with banging on the door ... you get the picture. This may happen several evenings per week.

On some evenings DS has gone out more than twice to retrieve their errant toy. And yet again, the same situation repeats itself. If we decide not to answer the door, sometimes they will bang on it and ring the bell for 10 minutes until they decide to stop and go home. In some instances, they have tried to open the front door, which is always locked.

We think we need to institute some rules with these boys, who evidently have not figured out that they probably should be farther away from the fence when they play outside. We think that retrieving their toys for them every time they come to the door is not the way to reinforce the behavior we would prefer, which is that they should do a better job of being responsible for their toys. We also think that it could be helpful to help them learn some manners about ringing doorbells and knocking on doors.

So far, we have decided to stop answering the door after the first time we've helped them find a toy. If it happens again in the same evening, they are out of luck. DH or DS will go out at another time, find the toy, and toss it back over the fence into their yard. If it isn't convenient for us to help them at the exact moment they are at our door (e.g., we're eating dinner or watching a movie), we may choose to ignore them or we may tell them that it isn't a good time. In both circumstances, they have to wait until it is convenient for us to find the item, at which time we will toss it over the fence.

If they bang on the door repeatedly or ring the bell more than once, we will not answer the door. If we see their faces in the window by the door, we will not answer the door. We would plan to tell the boys about these rules so they know what to expect.

Does what I'm suggesting seem reasonable? I know it crosses the line into disciplining someone else's kids, but these two adults next door aren't supervising them and probably are clueless about what they're doing. We have no reason to believe that they would do anything about it given our previous interactions with them. Since the boys' behavior directly affects us, we think we have some standing to correct it. I do want to emphasize that we have no desire to "teach them a lesson" by keeping their toys.

Thoughts?

Have you thought of lodging charges--either civil or criminal--against these idiots?

Do you, or do you not, have the right to "quiet enjoyment" of your own property?


PastryGoddess

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Re: We don't want to play fetch.
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2013, 12:41:48 AM »
There is no legal right to "quiet enjoyment" of one's property. 

There are noise ordinances and certainly the police can be called.   But the neighbors also have the right to enjoy their property as they see fit as long as they are not breaking laws. 

Roses

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Re: We don't want to play fetch.
« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2013, 01:01:39 AM »
I'd find out what the noise laws were in my neighborhood and call the authorities the minute they were violated.

I would not return the toys to the kids and I would not answer the door when they knocked.   

There are laws that disallow people littering on your property,  and that's essentially what they are doing.

Raintree

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Re: We don't want to play fetch.
« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2013, 01:28:51 AM »
There is no legal right to "quiet enjoyment" of one's property. 

There are noise ordinances and certainly the police can be called.   But the neighbors also have the right to enjoy their property as they see fit as long as they are not breaking laws.

There is around here. And the neighbours are not "quietly" enjoying their property. If I had to be listening to loud music from morning well into the night every day, I'd be calling the police. As for the kids, they are harassing their neighbours and I think after one incident of leaning on the doorbell, I would tell them off; after the second or third time I would be marching them off home to deliver them onto their own doorstep and tell their vile parents to please tell their kids not to set foot on my property again. Toys tossed into my yard would be tossed back when it was convenient for me.

I'm generally a nice person but these neighbours sound horrible.

lady_disdain

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Re: We don't want to play fetch.
« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2013, 01:47:26 AM »
If you do decide to not return the toys until later (and I think you should do this), please be ready for the boys to try something more drastic (and boy-like) to get them back. I can easily see them trying to climb the fence or using an overhanging tree to get over. If they get hurt, it may have consequences for you.

JamFly

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Re: We don't want to play fetch.
« Reply #23 on: October 10, 2013, 02:52:20 AM »
How tall is your fence? Would a taller fence (preferably with the acoustic panels a PP mentioned) be an option?

PastryGoddess

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Re: We don't want to play fetch.
« Reply #24 on: October 10, 2013, 03:00:45 AM »
This is why I shouldn't type and run.

I also think that the neighbors are reprehensible and annoying and all sorts of other things.  If they are super loud, then yes, the police should be called every single time for a noise complaint. 

However, when posters are calling for filing civil and criminal lawsuits over noisy neighbors, that's when it gets a little iffy for me.  There are no laws that I know of that say that you (general) have the right to a quiet yard. And if your yard is not quiet, then you can file a lawsuit.  There are noise ordinances, and other laws that govern how to live among other people for everyone in town/city/whatever, but nothing that states that you have the right to a quiet yard and everyone else has to abide by it....or else.   


Just because it's rude, doesn't mean its illegal. Just because its illegal, doesn't mean that just anyone can file a lawsuit. 
« Last Edit: October 10, 2013, 03:02:39 AM by PastryGoddess »

sammycat

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Re: We don't want to play fetch.
« Reply #25 on: October 10, 2013, 06:36:17 AM »
I'd find out what the noise laws were in my neighborhood and call the authorities the minute they were violated.

I would not return the toys to the kids and I would not answer the door when they knocked.   

There are laws that disallow people littering on your property,  and that's essentially what they are doing.

POD!!

My normally low blood pressure almost went through the roof reading the OP. I was subjected to the noise part of that post by the absolute scum who lived next to us at one stage. I almost had a nervous breakdown.

I'd be telling this family to never, ever, step foot on my property again. Anything they lob over my fence (rubbish or toys) they can consider gone forever. Whatever toys, balls, etc that came onto my property would be put straight in the bin or donated, or whatever you wanted to do with them.

Coley

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Re: We don't want to play fetch.
« Reply #26 on: October 10, 2013, 07:45:39 AM »
OP here. Thanks everyone for the responses. First off, I have to say that I'm relieved to know DH and I aren't the only ones who find this situation to be ridiculous. To be honest, I have seriously considered telling those two boys that they won't get their stuff back unless the music is turned down and they keep their trash out of our yard. It's retaliatory, I know. It's just the icing on the cake that we have to be disturbed in the evenings by two boys looking for their lost toys when we've spent the previous five months disturbed by their loud music.

For those who asked about the music, fencing, etc.:

We do have noise ordinances here, and we've called the police when these people are in violation. Noise violations aren't a high priority, so they may or may not get attention. In several instances, the police have told them to turn the music down, and they have complied. However, they comply only for the moment and then they crank it back up again. It's useless to call the police. We've been told that our only recourse is to sue them in civil court.

About the fencing: At present, there are two fences dividing our property. They have a 4-foot picket fence on their property, which serves only to keep people out of their yard. It doesn't do anything for privacy. We have a partial 6-foot privacy fence in our yard, which we can only assume the previous owners put up to block the view of these people in their pool. (It's an above-ground pool.) Also, our houses are situated on a downhill slope, and their property is higher than ours. This means that they may be able to see into our yard regardless of the height of any fence we build. City codes allow fences up to 8 feet in height. Even with an 8-foot fence, given the slope of the yards, the way our houses are situated, and the location of their speakers (mounted high above their sliding glass door) I'm not confident that we'd be able to screen out sound. I've checked into soundproofing materials, and I just don't know if it would work. The speaker that is aimed at our house is probably 15 feet above the ground from our backyard.

We probably will put up an 8 foot fence just on that side of our property because we can. It's really the only option we have to screen out the view of them and their pool. It might be worth trying sound insulation on the fence. That might help us when we're on the deck. Not sure it would help overall though. We also have talked about planting bamboo along the higher fence for additional screening.

Or we could move. And we really don't want to move. We've only been here two years, and we love our house and the neighborhood overall.

that_one_girl

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Re: We don't want to play fetch.
« Reply #27 on: October 10, 2013, 08:04:12 AM »
I would make it even more simple, and tell them that once every weekend - at your convenience - you'll gather anything of theirs that made it over the fence and leave it on their front steps.  If there's anything they don't want to wait for, they'd best be careful to keep it in their side.

Yes. This. And if they come knocking on your door to retrieve their toys before that, it'll automatically be increased to every two weeks.

POD

Also, I would consider hiring the boys for a small sum of money to pick up the trash from your yard.  If they know they have to pick it up, they'll likely discourage it being thrown there in the first place.
Then if they come to ask for a toy, you can tell them, "Oh, you can get it when you come to work on Saturday." or "If you want me to get it now, that'll be a 50 cent reduction on your pay on Saturday, deal?"

Evil that_one_girl would like me to tell you to get a dog that likes to chew things up ... she is sure that returning several of their toys with tooth marks will make them think twice about tossing things over the fence.

lowspark

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Re: We don't want to play fetch.
« Reply #28 on: October 10, 2013, 09:06:33 AM »
Two boys go to our front door. They ring the bell. If we are not immediately at the door in seconds, they commence with banging on the front door. They bang on the door and ring the doorbell constantly until someone answers. That could be a matter of 20-30 seconds. They peer into the side window right next to the front door. When we arrive at the door, typically, we see two foreheads pressed against the side window and two pairs of eyes staring at us. Open the door, and the boys say, "Our ball is in your yard. We need you to help us get it." They can't access our yard independently.

The very first time these boys did this, I would have told them not to do any of that again. I think that's what you need to do, in addition to withholding the toys.

Boys, when you come to my door, you ring the bell once. You wait patiently. If no one answers, you leave. Do not ever again bang on the door or peer into our windows.

And I would repeat this every time until it sank in. This does not fall under the category of disciplining someone else's children. It falls under the category of setting rules for how people behave on your property. Sort of like putting up a "No Solicitors" sign. You aren't telling people what they can or can't do, just what they can or can't do on your property.

And yes, give them their toys back once a week. As soon as they come to your door, go out back and retreive whatever it is they're after and put it in your garage or whatever. Then gather all of that and all of the trash into a bag which you put on their doorstep every Saturday morning for example.

A couple of weeks of this and I'm guessing the frequency of them throwing their toys into your yard will be reduced. Every time you do what they want, you are condoning whatever behavior they displayed in order to get you to do it. You need to make it clear that you do not want them displaying that behavior on your property anymore.

bopper

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Re: We don't want to play fetch.
« Reply #29 on: October 10, 2013, 09:07:04 AM »
Growing up our neighbors had a fence. We were too scared to even ask for stuff back.

I agree with others, come up with a rule.

"Boys, the first time in a day (week?) I will get your ball.  After that I will bring it over on Saturday.
I understand you can make a mistake but if the ball keeps coming over the fence you are not learning.

or
"Boys, I thought you would have learned not to play near the fence by now.  You can stop coming over
and asking for your balls. If I see anything in the yard I will throw it back over."