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Country Discussion Topics
To add your comments to this topic, click on one of the 'Reply' links below.

New Neighbour, Bad Start
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Spence    Posted 11-16-2003 at 05:42:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
New neighbours moved in next door 3 weeks ago.
My wife met them previously and told me they were nice people. A teen daughter with father and mom.
My wife said they asked if their daughter could jump horses on our hay field as I don't use it except for that and she's trying out in the olympics.

They have 8 acres but it's all scrub bush and bottom land, which is one of the reasons I bought this place of 5 acres in 97, all clear. They were on sale at the same time.

I talked it over with my wife and I expressed my concern of liability and that I had enuff of a problem keeping the skidoos down let alone consent to a more riskier leisure activity. My insurance would have to be raised.

He came over last week, introduced himself and came right to the point. I stated my concern and he said he would sign a notarized waiver of liability for me. I said I was too nervous besides I said it wouldn't be for long as I'm ploughing it under soon which is true. He made an about face and walked off.

I allowed the previous owner to take the hay off my property for the last 4 years, although I was nervous about injury. But at least it was for a farming purpose and they got it free.

I was hoping he would talk a bit more so I can get a measure of the what type of guy he was. In my perspective he's still a stranger to this point. I like to know and work with good neighbours. So I was disappointed. Funny how some people quickly right off a situation without using some tact and forsight. I'm not saying I would be persuaded, but I would have felt a little more at ease. I did research on waivers and I discovered an owner once was liable in spite of it as he had changed the condition and created a dangerous environment by placing machinery on his place after the paper was signed, something he did constantly. He lost the fight. So I figure I would have to watch my back in spite of it, not something I want to worry about continuously.

The property has some old post holes I haven't got around to filling yet and I have an old tined
dump rake off wheels and hidden, baler and sickle mower also dangerous.

Right now my wife disagrees, so I'd like to have some thoughts on this.


Spence - Thanks for the s    Posted 11-17-2003 at 06:21:13       [Reply]  [No Email]
My wife finally agrees.

Paula    Posted 11-17-2003 at 05:28:56       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I think it would be reckless and foolish to allow his
daughter to use your property in that way WITHOUT a
waiver. Better yet, I'd have a contract that said that you
agreed to allow her the use of the property but that any
injury to her or her animal would be the sole
responsibility of her and her parents. In addition you do
not agree to any obligation to improve or make safe this
field for the purpose mentioned above.

Thing is horseback riding is fun but inherently
dangerous. I'd be less concerned if they just wanted to
run their dogs across your field. Then I'd be happy with
just a waiver of liability.

I watch judge Judy.


Brian-2N    Posted 11-16-2003 at 14:45:53       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Dittos. Drop the issue. If brought up again, do as Fawteen suggests.
Mike had a good point. If this putz starts to argue, ask him why the h*ll he bought such a crummy piece of property, if his daughter was to train for the Olympics?
Not that you want to do so, but why would this guy think you would let your property be used for nothing? If you had a horse farm and did training, would he expect that for free because he's your "neighbor?"
If you did decide to let him or someone else use your property, what happens when you finally decide to do something with it?
If this guy has a mad-on and stays away, I don't think you'll lose much.

Randy    Posted 11-16-2003 at 11:06:09       [Reply]  [No Email]
I think as a few others do, help him make his place ready for his daughter. Might be a good solution for all involved.

Dave Smith    Posted 11-16-2003 at 10:23:45       [Reply]  [Send Email]
It is said below. The problem is Lawyers. They write up the laws, sign them into law, for the benifit of Lawyers. Who takes responsibility for them? NOT lawyers. They have the Judicial system all screwed up.
Lawyers defy the laws of physics. For every action there is a reaction to hold it in check
There is nothing to hold lawyers in check. They will tell you there is the bar Ass. Yea right lawyers. Want to buy a bridge.
Dave <*)))><

Willy-N    Posted 11-16-2003 at 10:10:01       [Reply]  [No Email]
The answer is easy. Give them a phone mumber to a local contractor who has a Dozer and for around 250.00 to 350.00 they can have a place all leveled and clear so there daughter can train on. If she is going to the Olympics she will need a lot of training to make it. If they can't afford to have a space cleared the will not be able to get to the Olympics. I cleared a 350 X 100 area to bare dirt and level for 250.00 to build a arena for my daughter then she decided she wanted cows instead now it is a pasture full of cows and a Barn in the middle! Mark H. Mark H.

Spence    Posted 11-17-2003 at 06:12:03       [Reply]  [No Email]
Just what I told the wife. My dad did the same thing way back. The dozers did 2 jobs in one. Dad wanted all the old stone fences taken away to enlarge the pasture and at the same time fill in for a driveway to the house we were building.

You could drive a company of tanks across it.
Never sank.

Dave 2N    Posted 11-16-2003 at 09:13:45       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I agree with what Les said below. I just think it's better not to get involved in this situation. To me, it's more than just the liability issue;I can see it going from just the neighbor girl jumping her horse on your land to her and a bunch of her friends doing it. Then it's really too late to stop the whole situation in a nice way.
I just find that too many people today think that what's mine is theirs too. We let people hunt and don't post our land because I know that they would be there anyway and I'm not going to patrol my land and there are just too many deer too. But lettting the neighbor girl use the land for jumping her horse is not the same as hunting. Kind of like comparing horses to deer, I guess.

My $.02.

magpie    Posted 11-16-2003 at 08:52:39       [Reply]  [No Email]
It has been my experience, that in today's society, we are better off to not get involved. What I mean is, no borrowing and no lending. I have had some neighbor problems in the past. It seems that they ask small favors at first, then later they take it for granted they can do anything they want with your land. I don't loan or borrow tools or tractors either. I had the experience once of borrowing a hand crank seeder once with a missing handle on the crank, when I returned it the owner accused me of loosing it. I offered to buy him a new seeder, but he didn't want that, he really just wanted to be mad. He is still a friend, but if I need something I will buy my own or go without.

Les    Posted 11-16-2003 at 08:43:11       [Reply]  [No Email]
Let me add to what seems to be the majority opinion expressed below. We have always let people use our land to hunt on and will continue to do so, despite losing livestock in the past (not recently) to hunters. Most of the hunters are here without us even knowing it since our land borders the National Forest and people can be on it and not even be aware that's where they are.
But I would definitely draw the line at letting this activity take place. If she's training for the Olympics, there's a huge chance for bad things to happen and you could be SOL. I like Fawteen's ideer of helping to clean up his own land for her to use. He should have thought of that himself.

deadcarp    Posted 11-16-2003 at 07:57:02       [Reply]  [No Email]
id just let it go for awhile - so far your property and liabilities and her horseback riding are where you want them, so you have nuthin to gain by stirring it back up. btw, there's been situations where one adult can't talk the neighbor, but their spouses are still the best of friends. at least that way if something gets over the fence -- and some neighbors are probly as leery of you as you are of them :)

T.Sherman    Posted 11-16-2003 at 07:48:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
I usually only lurk and read the discussions but this issue is as close as a dagger to my heart. I live 100 miles west of metro DC-Baltimore area and am surrounded by development land. I have had more troubles with these rec-landowners than I want. In a registered letter I had to send to one of them I wrote that I cannot understand how they can buy 5 acres,post it every 20 ft. with no tresspassing signs and then question why we, the large landowners, get upset when they use our property as though it was a public recreation area. They buy their lots and then CHOOSE to become best friends to the large native landowners who have tractors to dig them out of snowstorms,land to rouge over with horses and &&^&%$###### four wheelers,places to hunt and hike or otherwise abuse and can't understand why we would object as we have so much land. I have some very interesting and wonderful friendships with some but that is the exception other than the rule. We the landowners never had to worry about the lawsuits and liability problems until people like you brought up the issues and made us aware how you people think. NOW we have to buy extra insurances, post every inch of our property and chase every D__m one of you off to the point we can;t even enjoy our own land. Deer season is coming next week and my son and I don't look forward to it any longer as most of the land around us is divided off into rec-land and these landowners will be wandering on our property as their lots are not big enough to hunt and WHAT POSSIBLY COULD BE WRONG IN HUNTING ON US AS WE OWN A WHOLE LOT OF LAND. My BLOOD PRESSURE is rising and I hear a four wheeler up in the pasture field. Got to go and CHASE the SOB away or I might have to defend myself in court next week rather than try to hunt.

Stan TN    Posted 11-16-2003 at 21:23:33       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Sounds like criminal tresspass charges are next. Choose the most blatant offender, maybe the rest will cool it.

Bob in CO.    Posted 11-16-2003 at 07:47:32       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Dear Spence - Agree with your concern about litigation. It is sad we are a society in fear of being sued all the time - but it IS the current reality. Also like the idea of helping your neighbor clear an area. Sometimes folks take a while to warm up to one another. I would give this a chance and not rule them out as users or whatever.

Our next door neighbor (one mile away) and my family didn't connect up for nearly a year of living here - not sure why, busy lives I guess. In any case now we are the best of friends and help one another out regularly as well as spend social time between our families. It is a very pleasant relationship and worth while. Good luck.

Gary Duff    Posted 11-16-2003 at 06:49:44       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Waivers do not mean anything in court,a person can not sign off on his personal rights.A few years ago I couched little league in our little community,we had a boy about 10 years old get a concussion from getting hit by a fly ball he missed trying to catch.His parents were going to sue the league,we talked to the local lawyuer and he said the waiver that we have them sign to take liability off the league for these type of things don't mean a thing in a court of law,they only mean something to the people that take responsability for there on actions.They were going to sue tha league and all the couches.Our lawyer came up witrh a settlalment,that the league was able to pay.For the last 5 or 6 years when I fill out my insurence papers for liability they ask if you are a politicion or couch or volunteer,this is because of liability.
I would not let er jump her horse or ride her horse on my property for this reason.

geo in MI    Posted 11-16-2003 at 06:21:28       [Reply]  [No Email]
Now you know why Robert Frost said "Good fences make good neighbors".

Three weeks isn't long enough to really get to know someone well enough to predict what they will be like, let alone trust them. There is a common misconception about country folks that just because someone lives beside you, you have to be neighborly to the point of giving them the shirt off your back or be their doormat. Generally, the opposite is true, folks are quite standoffish at first, then as time--and common experience goes by--they loosen up a bit. But only if that time and experience proves there is a mutual respect and trust of each other.

No one should feel apologetic for saying "No" to these kinds of requests: borrowed tools, borrowed tractor, borrowed use of your land.

Spence    Posted 11-17-2003 at 06:15:27       [Reply]  [No Email]
Just last year I called the county office asking for permission to go down to the landfill
to cut down some real nice ash trees they were going to plow under eventually. Not a chance.
The clerk said they couldn't allow it as they were
"not covered for liability".

So "protecting your butt" goes to the government level as well.

Fawteen    Posted 11-16-2003 at 06:09:49       [Reply]  [No Email]
You are doing the right thing. Insurance companies will use ANY excuse to avoid payment, and lawyers will suck you dry.

He might have the best of intentions, but once his daughter (or her horse) get hurt, some lawyer will turn his head and he'll be after everything including your shoelaces.

Stand your ground.

If you REALLY want to be a good neighbor, offer to help him clear a spot on his own patch.

Dave    Posted 11-16-2003 at 16:46:49       [Reply]  [No Email]
That's a great idea!

Spence    Posted 11-16-2003 at 06:18:50       [Reply]  [No Email]
Excellent idea!!!!

As a matter of fact he doesn't have a tractor yet so I can use mine to help him out.

Some people-    Posted 11-16-2003 at 06:09:03       [Reply]  [No Email]
Why didn't they buy an appropriate property for their daughter's horse riding activities? Funny how people without land buy horses, 4 wheelers, dirtbikes, and such- THEN- want to ride all over your place. I can understand your frustration. I bet he'll be back for another favor sometime. It appears as though he is the 'user' type. I hope I'm wrong. Good luck in the future with him, I hope you can't see his house from your place! Fences make good neighbors too. Mike D.

Spence    Posted 11-16-2003 at 06:23:29       [Reply]  [No Email]
It occured to me later that I would have to say good bye to getting him to share the cost in repairing our fence.

These disputes could happen in a flash, but in the country the memory lingers a long long time. Hope I'm wrong.

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