Im a bad neighbor

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  #1  
Old 07-03-14, 02:26 PM
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Im a bad neighbor

I think I am officially a bad neighbor.

Theres an outbuilding at the top of a gravel drive. My wife and I wanted to access the property behind it with my van for some maintence work. But there is only 2' of my property next to the building.... the neighbors weed/grass patch is next to it then his swimming pool...

I figured no problem I could sneak back there when the neighbor was at work. Once I got behind the structure, I figured I would drive the rest of the way completely on my land.

So I drove the vehicle down the embankment easily enough, but I underestimated the wetness and slope of the land and on the way up, I got stuck and made a deep long rut... My side got torn up pretty bad but fortunetly the majority is on my side right at the property line.... however, the problem is I also put a 3' long x 1' deep rut on the neighbors side.

So at this point as soon as the neighbor got home I knocked and explained what I did. I apologized many times. I also promptly went and purchased grass seed and topsoil. The following morning transferred dirt from my side to fill the rut, covered with soil and reseeded.

The guy accepted my apology but naturally I could sense different.

It looks pretty bad now, hopefully it will grow quickly.

How would you approach this situation as both the idiot (myself) and the neighbor?
 
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  #2  
Old 07-03-14, 02:33 PM
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I'm an understanding neighbor..... You screwed up..... you fix it !
 
  #3  
Old 07-03-14, 02:45 PM
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In the South it could have got you shot! You are lucky. Yeah, like Pete says, fix it all to the way it was before. Ask permission first. Groveling with your hat in your hand isn't the way to go.
 
  #4  
Old 07-03-14, 03:14 PM
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Groveling with your hat in your hand isn't the way to go.
Please elaborate on that because that is kind of what I feel I am doing. Ive fixed it to the best of my ability (and will continue to water and tend to it). I have also apologized on two occasions. But that is the thing... I don't know what to say to the guy now that I see him outside... I feel some tension and I am uncomfortable if I should continue "groveling" or saying sorry.
 
  #5  
Old 07-03-14, 03:16 PM
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Larry is saying you screwed up by asking forgiveness later rather than permission first.

Tread lightly and bend over backward; I'd be very upset if I were your neighbor.
 
  #6  
Old 07-03-14, 03:25 PM
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I think the point is that the grovelling could have been avoided. But it is what it is, we all make bad decisions. At some point you will not need to feel sorry over it but that will be when the grass has grown and no one can tell anything happened, which may be a while. If it's the "trust" that's been broken, well that isn't something that can be healed by a little grass seed. It will probably take time for that to be rebuilt. Certain boundaries shouldn't be crossed... property boundaries are one of them.

At some point, I'm sorry will need to turn into, "how's that grass growing". Its probably too soon to worry about it, but in a few weeks you might buy him a 12 pack of beer or some small gift. There is no way to know if there will be hard feelings, but I think once a few months go by it will all blow over. Inviting them for hot dogs and beer in a few months will give you a chance to try and make up for it, and if he accepts maybe then you can have some peace of mind. Getting a chance to laugh about it later and talk about how stupid it was would probably be good for the both of you. But if he's a crotchity guy there probably isn't anything you will be able to do to make amends. Some people don't forgive and forget.
 
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Old 07-03-14, 03:40 PM
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Some people don't forgive and forget.
You're right...... but life's too short.

Whatever you do...... don't trim any trees on the property line.
 
  #8  
Old 07-04-14, 12:07 AM
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No doubt about it you messed up big time and I agree maybe a gift at some time is in order to smooth things over. I wouldn't just hand him a beer though he might object to that if he is a recovering alcoholic or on religious grounds. If he is married and you are too then your wife might be able to help by asking the neighbors wife what he might like as a gift. If he isn't married then ask some friends of his who you have in common for gift advice. Good luck!
 
  #9  
Old 07-04-14, 04:21 AM
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You did the right thing by admitting and fixing it. Let it go and if you see the neighbor make a joke about it.

Years ago I rutted out a neighbors grass that bordered the drive. It was snow covered and I missed the drive. When spring arrived several months later I went over with dirt fill and grass seed and fixed it. The neighbor came out said that for years this was being rutted out every winter and I was the only one that ever came back to fix it.
 
  #10  
Old 07-04-14, 04:26 AM
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So much depends on the neighbor's personality. All you can do now is work to make sure the damage you caused is fixed to where it's as good or better than it was before you messed it up. For the most part, the rest depends on your neighbor ...... and you not messing up again
 
  #11  
Old 07-04-14, 04:26 AM
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I agree. Belaboring the point probably won't make it go away. Similarly I was looking out my farm's kitchen window once and noticed someone messing with my neighbor's mailbox. I approached him to see what he was doing. He told me he worked the night shift and on his way home he drifted and hit the mailbox. He was just replacing what he tore up......including the name and number decals an oddity to say the least!
 
  #12  
Old 07-05-14, 06:21 PM
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Let it ride. You messed up by not asking permission first. But what is done is done. You damaged his lawn, were honest about it and are fixing it. You may have damaged the relationship a bit, but you can't do much about it now. It was just a damaged lawn.
 
  #13  
Old 07-09-14, 06:52 AM
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Thx for the great advice. The grass is already sprouting, so the more green it gets the less I feel bad about it.

But I see a catch brewing.... the neighbor and the guy he hires to help him in the yard are coming real close to trampling the newly planted grass (on his property). I can almost guarantee they will mow right over the fresh seedlings this week.

If that occurs and he damages the seed obviously my obligation to tend to the grass ends right there? Is that fair?

So how do I deal with the guy screwing up my (his) newly planted grass?
 
  #14  
Old 07-09-14, 08:08 AM
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If they ruin it now, then that's on them. Your liability is over.
If you want, just mention that, that area shouldn't be mowed yet. If they listen or not, it's their problem.
I would take a couple of pics, if you can, just to show that you did repair it all, in case they try to come back at you.
 
  #15  
Old 07-09-14, 10:20 AM
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You might offer to maintain that little section until the grass is well established. As mentioned, it would be a good idea to take pics to document the repairs you made.
 
  #16  
Old 08-03-14, 11:01 PM
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I know nothing about grass but isn't it possible to transplant grass from your own lawn to his lawn? Then seed your own lawn and tend to it however you want.

...well, maybe you don't have a lawn. But they sell patches of grass, don't they?
 
  #17  
Old 08-04-14, 03:43 AM
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Yes, you can buy sod. Dependent on the region [soil type] it will either come in squares or rolls.
I have dug up sod out of my yard [or one of the kid's] and transplanted it to bare spots but it's difficult to dig up sod of any size with just a shovel ..... but since the grass in question was sowed a month ago, that should be a mute point.
 
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