Neighbor Mows Over Your Property Line? (Here's What You Can Do)
Uh-oh, it is one of the worst types of problems that homeowners could have – neighbors. And when we have a problem with a neighbor, like a neighbor who mows over the property line problem, it can create precarious situations. These aren’t only issues that we need to deal with, but these are people we must live near and around.
If a neighbor mows over property line borders, the first step is always a reasonable and friendly conversation. The next step, if that attempt proves fruitless, is to make a property line border. A border can be a designed cement strip or perhaps a row of flowers. Additionally, fencing could be a possibility. That option, however, will require checking city ordinances and with governing officials beforehand.
Many homeowners take pride in their homes and their yards. For many of us, our beautiful landscaping and well-manicured lawns are like a first impression, and the first greetings guests receive. And remember we only get one chance to make a first impression. So when a neighbor mows over property line borders, it is a near-offense.
Imagine someone taking a paintbrush, regardless of the color, and making one giant stroke across a painting from Monet, Picasso, or Van Gogh? Well, those beautiful yards are a work of art for many homeowners, and mowing over property lines is like defacing our masterpieces. So, we need to take action.
What to do When Neighbor Mows Over Property Line
It is easy to make all the wrong assumptions. The truth is though that we most often don’t know. We don’t know if the neighbor mowed over the property line intentionally or not. We don’t know if they are too stubborn, short-tempered, or unreasonable to work with until we try.
Look, we understand, when you walk out the morning after putting the final touches on the yard to see that it happened, again. Maybe for the how many-eth time? And yes, it can be glaring, and obvious.
Was it that drunken swerve that tears up the visual aesthetics of the yard? Or maybe it was the dag gone near dirt patches now intruding into your yard. All because the neighbor’s mower is set to “kill earthworms” level, and they can’t stay on their side of the property line.
We get it, the aggravation, and what about the wasted effort to make your lawn well – perfect? There is an adage, however, that simply states “cooler heads will prevail.” Don’t get angry, try a conversation first. That’s right, because believe it or not, talking and meaningful conversation (like please don’t mow over my property line) works.
Have a Neighborly Conversation
Studies, tests, surveys, and reports all suggest that conversation has many benefits on many levels. If the neighbor mows over the property line or is doing something aggravating, talk to them.
Some of the benefits of conversation include:
Conversation helps us to connect with people, and that connection can help bond people together. It is much easier to work with someone who isn’t a complete stranger. And people are also more naturally inclined to listen to and care about what others say when they are friends. We aren’t saying it is necessary to befriend every person in the neighborhood but a little social propriety can go a long way.
What if your neighbor is just one of those people who really doesn’t care about a manicured lawn? They aren’t lazy, it is just more like a chore to them, like taking out the trash – just get it done. In fact, what if the neighbor never even notices the glaring slices into your lawn made their mower?
What if they don’t even realize they are killing dirt with their blade deck set that low, and along with it huge chunks of your yard? And what if one day, someone decides to kindly point it out to them? What if that someone was you? And that, is the power of conversation, the ability to convey important thoughts, ideas, concepts, and concerns. Concerns like a neighbor who mows over our property line.
A conversation is one of the easiest ways to convey a sense of value to someone. If we move ahead without so much as a request and build that ten-foot wall to keep our neighbors from mowing over the property line – what does that say about us?
Not only does a lack of conversation fail to convey any sense of or appreciation for their ability to reason it also conveys a lack of value towards them. Conversation simply states that you value them, either as a neighbor, fellow human being, friend or at the very least as someone who shares my property line.
If conversation fails though, and it too often can, then there are other steps you can take. At this point, it is about saving the yard, and especially from the neighbors.
A Land Without Borders
To be fair, sometimes those property lines can become blurred, and that can mean literally when it comes to our yards. When a neighbor seems to lack certain basic mowing skills or knowledge though, those lines become considerably more evident.
It is a known fact, however, that a land without borders cannot be ruled. This is your lawn, your backyard, your beautifully manicured lot, this is your land. So it may be a good idea to make some type of border, right?
Here are a few ideas for how to set a border for your property line that will also help prevent the neighbors from crossing over.
One cosmetic idea for creating a property border is to use stepping stones or flat stones to create a stone border. These come in a variety of patterns and stone types and can make for an attractive yard border.
Ideally, these stones will want to sit even with the ground. This will not only enhance the border’s appearance but also make it easier and more practical for mowing purposes. Most importantly, however, it will be impossible for the neighbors to not see and avoid mowing over your property line.
To set the stone, it will require digging out about a 2-inch deep path wide enough to set your desired stone. Next, it is advised to use a liner to prevent weeds, before laying the block. Depending on the look, style, and stone, dirt, sand, or gravel can be used to fill in and firm the stone settings.
Shrubs, Flowers, Greenery
Another easy way to create a border to prevent those haphazard neighbors from mowing over the property line is to plant flowers, shrubbery, or some type of greenery. Although this is an easy way to prevent border crossers, it may also require a little more work on the homeowner’s behalf. Maintaining shrubs, flowers, and any type of greenery can require time, attention, and effort.
There is also one more popular but perhaps not so simple way to keep the neighbors from mowing over our property lines.
Arguably the most definitive way to keep neighbors from mowing over property lines, installing a fence will more than get the job done. There are a few considerations, however, that must be dealt with before putting up a fence.
The first thing to check is the permissibility of putting up a fence in your city, town, or municipality. If fencing is permitted, then it is also important to verify the regulations (height, type, material, etc) that govern fencing in your area.
Finally, there is the price to consider with fencing, as larger fencing needs can be thousands of dollars, while smaller jobs will cost around a few hundred dollars. Additionally, fencing will also require extra maintenance and upkeep (e.g. trimming, weather sealant application, painting).
The issue of property lines isn’t an uncommon one either. Here are a few other frequently asked questions regarding property lines and our neighbors.Can I Get In Trouble for Building a Fence Over the Property Line?
While the simple answer to this is, yes, it isn’t always as simple as it appears. In many states, it is possible to have someone take possession of a portion of a property via fencing ownership.
If these issues are addressed promptly, and by promptly the law typically means within five years, the fence perpetrators will be required to take the fence down. So if you are thinking about building a fence, make sure you know where the property lines are.How Much Does a Land Survey Cost?
The cost of a land survey ranges between $200 and $800, with a great deal of that price range being dependent on the size of the property. If there is ever a dispute about property lines, such as where one property ends and where another begins, a land survey can answer that question.
Land surveys are also necessary when it comes to land contracts or any purchase or transfer of property. Land contracts, however, will likely do very little to prevent your neighbor from mowing over the property line – regardless of where it is.
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