View Full Version : received somewhat nasty letter from my neighbors.....

09-04-17, 10:07 AM
This is sort of vent, sort of advice seeking. It involves the relationship with my neighbors and I will include a photo to better explain what I mean.
We have lived next to my neighbors for 15 years. I used to babysit their son and my son and their son were friends and graduated the same year. Not best friends as they got older but a nice predictable friendship. When I went into labor with my third child and it turned out i was going to have her in the car(almost) they took my other two kids until the inlaws picked them up as I left for the hospital. There are always little oddities with neighbors that you just come to accept. Like their fence along my long back yard. Its aways leaning over and there are multiple slats weve repaired over the years. Sometimes they would say they were going to get to it eventually but never have. And thats ok, its expensive and I get it. Our dogs have always barked at them, I dont know why because they are friendly dogs and maybe thats annoying but they always said they didnt mind.

We just had a huge tree branch fall into their driveway right before we left for vacation and while they were at work my husband son and I worked a few hours to get it out of there. It was huge and we didnt have a chain saw yet so we worked at hand sawing and using power tools. It was so big and heavy we had to hook it up with chains to my husband's truck and drag it up their long driveway to our side yard. (

If you notice my husband's truck you will see that its pulled all the way up through our driveway to the side yard and that path is their stone driveway that goes all the way up to their house which is pretty far back from the road.
We have four cars plus vistors now so we have to use the side yard for parking.
We have always turned into the end of their driveway to get up into the side yard and they have never said anything. EVER. Maybe its because we have so many cars coming and going it upset them.

Never knew it bothered them and they have alwaysn chit chatted with us outside. The wife, Sharon came out to thank my husband for getting the branch out of the yard in the beginning of the month so even though we were still using the end of their driveway, they still never said anything.

Well Thursday we got a letter in the mail box. They said we had taken advantage of them, that we were messing with the end of their driveway and that it was making the end stone part wear out. They said that they are sorry about us having all the cars but we will have to move them around and to the street if we need parking or whatever. It was not written nicely and I was told the husband walt was very upset. He is not the friendly one, barely talks to us so we have always known he was grumpy and he is ten yearsn older than Sharon so he has a bit of grumpy old man syndrome.
I got so mad, we have never demanded that they fix their fence or cut back their awful rooty prickle bush that has deep roots and grows up from the ground into our garden. When the dogs have gotten out we dont point out its their fence that caused it. We dont complain that their flood lights are always on and shine right into our bathroom. I believe good relationships with neighbors are worth more than a fight or animosity. (

Im hoping you all can read the letter.
So now I need to write back. I know its their property and their is nothing I can do about it, and I know I need to eat some humble pie.
Do you think I can get away with referencing some of their issues in sort of a non accusatory way to make a point? Not by any means in a way that would spark a fight but sort of like a reminder of how approachable we have been and will continue to be. Not sure why they say they never see us, cause I dont work and am always here. Or they could have knocked on the door.

I just dont want to have to grovel or suck it up without at least making some reference to things. Maybe I am wanting tit for tat, or passive aggressive but I just dont think my response should be all sorry's and shame and apologies.

What do you all think? Is it not worth it at all? I am not looking to make enemies but I just dont think it should be our fault like we have ruined a relationship.
Am I being stupid and is it useless? I am going to write something soon so any replies would be helpful.

Thanks and sorry for the length.

09-04-17, 10:13 AM
I'd say the only thing you can do is do what they are asking you to do, sarah. If you can word it nicely, you can maybe mention to them about their fence and their bush but only if you're sure it won't cause a fight between you - some fights are not worth having :grouphug:

09-04-17, 10:32 AM
Can you invite them over (or out) for dinner? I would think talking in person would be so much better than trying to do it via letter writing back and forth, however, I'd make a list of the things you all have done that was rightly their responsibility to have as a reference on hand, and to share with them, and perhaps ask for some clarification, if you think that would help.

Unfortunately, many view kindnesses via the actions you all have completed for them as the neighborly thing to do, until it's their turn to offer it up, then it's a chore that often comes with a hefty price tag, be it monetarily or energetically in some other form.

We share driveway space with a neighbor, but only have two vehicles and very few visitors, so there's never a "traffic jam" when it comes to them getting in and out of their driveway. The only time I ever see them is if they are stopped to check their mail as I'm coming in or going out. It's our land and they've been granted a right of way to use it, however that works. It was established with his parents who owned the property long before we moved into my hubby's home place.

Depending on how you respond and how they receive your response, it could very easily turn into a pi**ing contest. I'd approach it kindly yet very cautiously since you have to live side by side for who knows how long. Good luck!

09-04-17, 11:07 AM
I can't read the letter so don't want to offer an opinion. Could you type a copy
of it here for those who are vision impaired to read?

09-04-17, 11:26 AM
I can't read the letter so don't want to offer an opinion. Could you type a copy
of it here for those who are vision impaired to read?

I'll try and post what I can read of the letter, just give me a couple of minutes Funacie :grouphug:

09-04-17, 11:35 AM
This is what I was able to read of the letter Funacie:

I haven't seen you guys to tell you, so I am writing this to you. Please stop using our driveway for your family and friends. This is not a public driveway. I'm sorry that you don't have enough room for all of your cars. People will have to park across the street or on side streets and walk. At first we just ignored the few times you did it but now it seems to be excessive.

Permission was not even asked if anyone could do this and on a few occasions we were going out of our driveway and someone else was coming in or we were coming in and they were going out. This needs to stop now. I don't want an accident to happen.

I already have to replace all of the stone that has washed out from the water draining out of our driveway. Walt is very upset about this. I don't want any trouble or misunderstandings. I would have tried to work with you but you just took advantage and made assumptions that this would be okay.

Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

Little Missy
09-04-17, 12:48 PM
People get very weird about a shared driveway unless it has been previously stated in the plot plans for the lot(s) it would be an easement. No easement, no access.

I would refrain from blocking it ever again and apologize if it is indeed their property.

09-04-17, 02:44 PM
This is what I was able to read of the letter Funacie:

I would say "Sorry, I wish you'd have let us know before Walt got upset about it.
We'll let friends and family know not to do that from now on."

That puts it back on them that they didn't say anything until Walt was upset.

And ... what did you have to do with the water washing out the stones?
You weren't washing cars where the water ran down their driveway, were you?

09-04-17, 03:31 PM
I read the letter. Your neighbor messed up writing that sentence about taking advantage. That was rude.

I'm guessing her nasty husband was probably yelling and screaming at her to do something about it. And she handled things wrong. She does sound like she's trying to keep a good relationship with you.

In my opinion, How you respond really depends on how much you value keeping a good relationship with your neighbors. I'm strangers with mine and am perfrctly happy with that but listening to my coworkers with kids, seems like good neighbors can be really helpful so maybe you value your neighbors more than I do.

If you value your neighbors, i wouldnt apologize if you cant bear the thought of it but I would tell her, you read her message. Sure, you won't use their driveway anymore. You didn't realize it was an inconvenience to them or we wouldn't have used your driveway at all. If anything every bothers you guys again do please do talk to us and tell us before it upsets you cause we value the relationship we have with you and dont wish for you to ever be upset. If you are at any risk of sounding angry speaking to her in person about this, I'd just write a letter back.

Don't mention it now, but in a couple months, ask them in person if they can fix their fence cause your dog has been getting out and you are worried he might get hit or something like that. Sound truly worried for your dog.

Once you're calm, you might want to do something fun with them depending on how friendly you want to keep the relationship. If you do this, do it a month before mentioning the fence.

Yeah her letter was rude but it did sound like she was trying not to be but failed.

09-04-17, 04:38 PM
what a insulting way to confront a neighbor

that nice pine they have would definitely be my new peein tree

Little Missy
09-04-17, 04:50 PM
what a insulting way to confront a neighbor

that nice pine they have would definitely be my new peein tree


Little Missy
09-04-17, 06:18 PM
Hey, whip em' up a groovy jello mould and apologize with your big eyed smile Sarah.
Ancient history.

09-05-17, 06:08 AM
Hey, whip em' up a groovy jello mould and apologize with your big eyed smile Sarah.
Ancient history.

That's a really good idea. And your other post about people and driveways was spot on too.