Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A crazy night!


Tuesdsay started normal enough: early PT appointment, back home after stopping at Aldi's for milk, ice cream for upcoming birthday celebration, 2 pkgs sliced cheese for sandwiches. Grabbed 2 kids and headed to the orthodontist. Made arrangements for last kid to finally get braces off in May. 5 of us have had orthodonture through this MD, it's the end of an era, to be sure! Back home again, leftovers for lunch, hung out a bit then left with one DS for late afternoon appointments. Meanwhile DS #1 and his GF came over for the afternoon, and to stay for supper, as I had a CP of homemade Italian meatballs in homemade sauce awaiting, I had made a loaf of Italian herbed garlic bread to accompany. Sides were to be salad and sauteed Swiss Chard.

DS and I returned home, to be greeted by my older 2, with DD telling me that she had a good story to tell me, oh, and the power had just gone out. Ugh. Turns out that the new neighbor had stopped over, only after having his crew of landscapers walk all over my portion of the property (including the deck???). Neighbor told the kids to tell their Mom that he got a quote for doing the entire property for plowing and landscaping services. Remember-this same new neighbor already told me of his plans to do all sorts of things to the landscape, to bring it up to speed/aka his standards. Note that this is a more rural town, surrounded by trees/forests and old, colonial stone walls. This isn't necessarily a town where one sees many pristine manicured lawns. I've re-read my lease, it is specific that I am required to do "lawn mowing" so that is all that I will be paying for. I had previously advised this guy that I am in a contract with a plow service. I would not have any interest in a plow quote. Bundling lawn services with this neighbor-no thanks. What happens is we end up moving? What services is he contracting for, expecting me to go 50% in for?

 What irked me more was that I had recently been talking to him, and  he mentioned that there were 2 cars in the driveway, he wasn't sure which was mine. I told him that the more beat up car is Dd's (DD is saving to have the body work done on her Honda, as a result of a crash in Dec)-typical college kid/young adult car IMO, and that I drive a Prius. Pretty different models. He knew that I wasn't home, yet felt the urge to approach the home anyway. The youngest are sometimes home alone for a short while, with instructions NEVER to open the door. He never asked if I was home, he would have been told that I was out, "do you want to leave a message?"

 Instead, he was almost forcing his way in, with DS #1 and DD physically blocking the doorway.  Luckily, DS is tall and has a strong presence about him. He stood his ground, alongside his sister. Neighbor initiated the conversation with the statement that his power was out and is there a breaker switch for his cottage, somewhere within this home. DS advised him that this house was also out of power, and no, there is no breaker. This neighbor has 2 older kids, he should "get it." Older DS sensed that if this guy could have, he would have entered the home and later gone down cellar to check for himself. Pushy, nervy and arrogant. None of us have had a good vibe from this guy. Don't get me wrong, I don't want any issues, and would be more than happy to do a good turn, accept/sign for mail/package for him, take in mail/newspaper should he be away, but that really is it.

With guests over for dinner, I had DS call for pizza and he went over to the next town and grabbed it, I paid for it. Naturally, within an hour, it was back on, the fire was going, it was toasty. : )
We had a "picnic" all the same, in the living room as one DS asked if we could. Fine. Leftovers for lunch the next day.

I was almost done with a carefully worded e-mail to the neighbor (going on record that I do NOT intend to bundle snow removal/lawn services with him), when the power quit AGAIN around 8:40 at night, not returning until 4:40 a.m. Wed. Remember: no power=no heat, no toilet, no water. Luckily (?) we're used to this. DS left shortly after the power quit and reported that he couldn't get down one end of our road, power crews, police, Fire Dept there-looked like someone ran into a pole or something.


cheryl soergel said...

I think I would also contact the landlord about this tenent. Hopefully he won't be a problem for your family.

CTMOM said...

I am being very guarded about any interactions with him. My carefully worded email (saved it as a word doc last night as well as an email draft, which I wasn't certain would be saved after power/Internet went out)was sent this morning to his business e-mail (he gave me his business card with contact info, after he officially moved in)which provides me written documentation of my communication to him. It's shy of 2 p.m. and I have yet to hear from him, expecting minimally an acknowledgement. Since it's his business email, I can safely assume that he has read it-what business person wouldn't have 5 hours into the work day? Sigh. I do not want any drama. We can co-exist quite well-just stay off my side of the property, thank you, and don't come over when I am not at home. That's creepy.
Frankly, I suspect that HIS lease stipulates lawn mowing and landscaping. Mine is lawn mowing only. The LL was sent photos of some concerns last year: Spring/Fall clean up, dead trees, no mulch in planting beds, large piles of brush stacked by her handyman, etc. She only paid her handyman 4 hours of labor to Spring clean. He groused that tenants are responsible for landscaping,so I advised him that my lease is quite clear-mowing.
: )
So I figure she wised up, and wanting to improve the property, she has him responsible for landscaping as well. I'm certainly not interested in those bills, thanks. I hope he just leaves us be-we move forward. If it continues, yes, I may* alert the landlord. Depends upon what, if anything, happens.

Anonymous said...

I would write this neighbor and cc the landlord. Also ask him to respect your privacy and that your children have been instructed that they aren't to let anyone come inside when you aren't there. I would be creeped out if my neighbors said they needed to come in to check something and I wasn't there. Sounds off to me

Mary Lou said...

I Certainly would not be happy with the new neighbor. It was a good thing that your older kids were there to handle the situation.

As far as landscaping, I'm surprised anyone would sign such a clause. I wouldn't be renting from anyone who expected me to improve their property. Keep it presentable, yes. Do their work for them, no.

Spring clean ups can get pricey, no wonder the new tenant wants you to contribute. Apparently, he doesn't understand that no means no. I hope your e-mail clarifies it for him.

I think you were smart to put it in writing to him so he can't get into the he said, she said type of a discussion.

Good luck with your future encounters with him.

CTMOM said...

A good suggestion. I did just receive a reply back, thanking me for the update (huh? My response isn't updated, it's restated!)and advising me that once he gets his written quote for lawn MAINTENANCE, he'll forward it to me. I've already decided that if my landscaper doesn't come back for some reason, I'll move on to someone else-just never bundled with a neighbor. I envision way too many problems with that.

CTMOM said...

I should have added, when I do write back, I'll toss in something like, "Please don't approach the home if I am not there," reminding him of which car I drive and that there may be kids at home, with instructions to keep the door shut.

CTMOM said...

Mary Lou,
Yes, luckily, my older 2 were here. New tenant really ticked older son off, as he commented that the place really looks bad, hasn't been taken care of in years. Note: it was DS who did a clean up for me, the Fall after we moved in, with the former tenant (where new guy now is) telling DS that my place hasn't looked so good for years! That former tenant was here for about 7 years, too. Once he left, there was another tenant for about 8 months, he did the lawn maybe twice. It usually looked like a meadow, never did the leaves or any pick up. So new tenant can complain all he wants about HIS side, frankly, mine looks pretty good, even tho it needs a Spring clean up, which I have asked DS to do, as he is looking for some $ and it won't take him long. I'll only have him rake out the front yard, and 2 sides near the house (planting beds), moving any leaves/debris to the woods in back.

CTMOM said...

Mary Lou
I should have added that I will continue to keep communication brief, but IN WRITING. He doesn't seem to get it that I am not commiting to hiring services to his level of expectation. We all felt (first impressions) that he is out to impress someone-we just can't figure out who that is!

Anonymous said...

Maybe DS1 should give this guy a quote unsolicited for a spring clean up ;-).

Tracy Hathcock said...

I agree the neighbor sounds creepy! Glad the older kids were there. I can not stand rude, pushy, arrogant people. Hope he gets the hint and leaves you alone!

CTMOM said...

Good one!

CTMOM said...

Yes, this guy just doesn't understand plain English. I have a plow contract, I am locked in, very happy with the service, so NO! I do not want to go in with plowing for you. Landscapers will soon return from Brasil, once they do, they will contact me, 'nough said. Email stated that I prefer to wait for their return, with the anticipation that I will continue to use their services for yet another year. I had 3 other people read my email before I sent it (was worried it wouldn't be clear or would sound rude). Got the green light, sent it.
Sigh. So his response tells me that he'll forward the bundled lawn maintenance quote once he gets it. @@