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    1. #1
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      Helping out the neighbor is getting tricky.

      I've been taking care of the neighbor's property while he lives at his other house. He's barely here. He always says "Do what you would do to your own property". I am always cautious and ask about taking down saplings and that kind of thing but he doesn't necessarily remember what we've talked about.

      This last season, in addition to mowing, I cleared the weeds and vines from the side of his house as we discussed and I went above and beyond to scrape and paint the trim on that newly exposed side. Took down a tree that was right up against his house (as discussed and such a bad thing). I scraped and painted his well house which looked so bad his insurance agency told him to do something about it. Spread some mulch around his hedge and started to paint his railing around his front door. There were some dead branches in the hedge beside his front door so I took them out. I've been taking off dead branches from his trees for years. I don't think he even noticed.

      He came home briefly yesterday and today my husband got a call about the branches I had taken out. It was not nice. He asked repeatedly to talk to me but I was lying down and my husband said no. The neighbor said he would call tonight.

      I left a message on his phone saying that the branches were dead and letting him know that there was rot on his house behind the hedge. He did not call back.

      I do believe that he has mild dementia. I get that and it's fine. I also know that this is going to escalate. It won't matter what I actually do on the property as he probably won't remember. My husband is irritated. I'm just cautious at this point.

      What would you do? The neighbors are rightfully upset that he is not taking care of his property and have been very grateful that I'm doing something about it. I have his permission to do the work. If I don't, the property looks like it's abandoned. He wants us to buy it but it's not worth it. I don't mind doing the work at all. It's kind of satisfying and when everyone else leaves town, I can make it look like someone is on it for security purposes.

      At what point though do I stop? If change is frustrating for him, is it worth it? What would you do?

    2. #2
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      Is he still driving?

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      janedoe (07-13-2018)

    4. #3
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      A catch 22 situation for sure.
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      janedoe (07-13-2018)

    6. #4
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      I think you are a saint for taking care of someone else's property......I can't even keep up with my own!

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      janedoe (07-13-2018)

    8. #5
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      Honestly? I'd let it go...he's been taking advantage of you.

      Once it gets dilapidated enough, invite Mikey over to take some pictures to share here.
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    10. #6
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      I'd stop doing any work on his property at this point. The possibility of him having dementia can work to your favor or detriment if he does't remember saying it was OK for you to do work on his property, whether one specific thing or everything. Unless you have it in writing that he gave you permission to do yard and house work on his property, from a time when he didn't show signs of dementia, I'd just stop. Yes, it will look terrible and we can tell you get satisfaction from caring for things over there but since it's not your property, long term I don't see anything good coming from continuing to do work on his yard except where it crosses the property line onto yours. Maybe once it gets bad enough your town or township will step in and do whatever they do with regard to abandoned properties. As long as you care for it, it won't meet anyone's criteria for looking abandoned.

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      janedoe (07-13-2018)

    12. #7
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      He called at 10 pm. Very reminiscent of my mother in law back in the day. I know how to talk people in that position down and it was all sweet in fairly short order but he can't handle change of any kind at this point so I need to dial it back.

      He is still driving but he has a son and sister in the area so that's something they need to address.

      That's too bad. It was starting to look OK.

    13. #8
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      Could you maybe talk to the son or sister? I agree I wouldn't do much more without written permission, from him with maybe his son or sister to witness the terms of agreement for you continuing to work on the property. It is after all in their best interest to keep the property up for re-sale value, safety, cost for the county to clean it up or tear it down if the property goes down fast.
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      janedoe (07-13-2018)

    15. #9
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      The work you have done is for your own satisfaction. If he will not have someone else ( a land management property company) take care of it, you can report the situation to your city hall and they should enforce the laws regarding property management.

      In my opinion, you are doing this out of the kindness of your heart (BLESS YOU) and some satisfaction that you don't have to look at the neglect all the time, but what if you were injured badly while doing the work. Then you would not be able to take care of your own property.

      As POPTOP said, it is a catch 22 situation, but there will be a time when you can/or should no longer do the work. I too love to do demolition type yard and house work, but you are trying to take care of two properties. Maybe you just love to play with your new tools ( I do also), but you should be realistic in the amount of work that you do for others.

      Maybe the long term solution would be to but the property (bet you could get it at a highly reduced price) and clean and fix enough that it is sellable to a responsible family. Maybe you could help them with it as part of the sales agreement.

      Just some thoughts for you to ponder while you are sweating and itching using your new chain saw!!!!!
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      janedoe (07-13-2018)

    17. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by Blackboy98 View Post
      The work you have done is for your own satisfaction. If he will not have someone else ( a land management property company) take care of it, you can report the situation to your city hall and they should enforce the laws regarding property management.

      In my opinion, you are doing this out of the kindness of your heart (BLESS YOU) and some satisfaction that you don't have to look at the neglect all the time, but what if you were injured badly while doing the work. Then you would not be able to take care of your own property.

      As POPTOP said, it is a catch 22 situation, but there will be a time when you can/or should no longer do the work. I too love to do demolition type yard and house work, but you are trying to take care of two properties. Maybe you just love to play with your new tools ( I do also), but you should be realistic in the amount of work that you do for others.

      Maybe the long term solution would be to but the property (bet you could get it at a highly reduced price) and clean and fix enough that it is sellable to a responsible family. Maybe you could help them with it as part of the sales agreement.

      Just some thoughts for you to ponder while you are sweating and itching using your new chain saw!!!!!
      I appreciate that.

      My biggest issue with this whole thing is that he can't do it and the neighbors don't help but they're ready to pounce. I'm constantly reminded of the fact that when my mother in law was having problems, it was like sharks smelling blood in the water. One woman got her to co-sign a car loan then defaulted and disappeared. Another wanted her property and thought she could get it cheap. Nobody helped. They just wanted to take advantage. It was the lowest of the low in my opinion. My husband has known this guy since he was twelve. Going after him isn't going to help. Writing letters and getting people who don't know him to sign doesn't help. Confronting him doesn't help. He can't do it. Keeping the property neat keeps the volume down. It's just more peaceful all around. Unfortunately, he can't handle change so there needs to be a compromise.

      The property is too much for us. The house is either a tear down or a gut. I'm guessing an easy $200K.

      And yes. I do like my toys. I have great toys.

      Edited to say: There's also a security issue involved. When the property looks bad, people kind of check it out and frequently wind up on our property which I do not like at all.
      Last edited by janedoe; 07-13-2018 at 08:49 PM.

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