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Mowing A Shared Lawn


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#1 PaintMyPast

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 11:04 AM

I have a question for my HC buds.... need your opinion and suggestions.

I live in a duplex with a small front yard and a slightly bigger but tortuous backyard (lots of random bush things and telephone poles and hills).

My landlady said that I am responsible for lawn care. Sweet, I'll buy mower and take care of it. The grass was slow-growing until just a couple weeks ago.

My neighbors (other half of the duplex) approached me and told me that I owe them $35 for my half of the lawn care. I balked, of course, because I don't have $35 a month to take care of the lawn. I told them I was getting a lawnmower and would take care of my half.

One of them piped up and said that if I got a lawn mower he wouldn't mind mowing. The other mentioned later that we could swap mowing duties.

What is the fair way to go about this? Here are the ways I can see splitting it up:

A.) Mow my half and leave the other half to them. The cons to this that our front yard may look kind of funny. But this would be the simplest for me.

B.) Split it up by week-- say, I mow every other week and they mow the opposite weeks. However... this would be wear and tear on MY mower and using MY gasoline.

C.) I supply the mower and gas, they do the mowing. Would be easy on my part and cost-free for them, so this would be a good set-up, I think.


What say you?? Previously, these people have taken advantage of me, my time, and my money, so I am leery of option B. But then again, I don't want them mad at me.
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#2 laramierose

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 11:10 AM

My first instinct is to take care of your side and leave it at that. Whatever you do, DON'T swap weeks. That is just setting yourself up to start mowing the WHOLE thing EVERY week because x,y,z happened in neighbors' lives. Especially as I remember previous posts about your neighbors.
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#3 PaintMyPast

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 12:37 PM

Gack. I have to talk to them after school. I REALLY would rather just do my half and never have to talk with them again. But I don't think that is going to be the case...
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#4 loopyhorse

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 12:45 PM

Knowing my husband we would end up mowing the whole thing every week or whatever just so it looks nice and know the mower is getting proper care lol. But that's no help. I like the idea of you provide the mower, gas, maintenance or whatever and THEY mow. :confused0024:
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#5 Choobiedoo

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 01:05 PM

I've had far too many people in my life destroy my stuff that I worked hard to pay for, so I'd politely opt for option A.

If they have a lawn service, you could ask them when their scheduled day for mowing is so you can coordinate so the yard doesn't look funny. (I'm assuming they use a lawn care - if they had their own mower they'd not be borrowing yours.)

It would peeve me to supply the mower and the gas and have it in someone else's care. Especially if you've had prior not so good experiences with them...

Only thing I can see as an issue with option A is if they can't agree with you on where the line is between your halves of the property.

Edited: My keyboard eats letters

Edited by Choobiedoo, 09 April 2012 - 01:06 PM.


#6 PaintMyPast

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 01:57 PM

Do you all think I am out of line by presenting any of the above options? I don't think I am, since it is my mower. I mean, they can't force me to mow their half, and they can't force me to let them use my mower. But I also don't want them to be mad.

They have already approached me about splitting the cost of grass seed and weed killer. The lawn has holes due to THEIR dog peeing in the lawn-- I don't walk my dogs on our lawn, I walk them in the big field across the road. I also hand-weed my flower bed. I told them as much and they haven't asked me again about it.

I am really uncomfortable with option B, since I am forking over all the money and would still have to mow. I wouldn't mind as much about the wear and tear on my mower if they were mowing all of it. That's why I like option C- I donate the gasoline and mower, they donate time. I especially like A- my mower, my gas, my time/labor, my lawn.

Edited by PaintMyPast, 09 April 2012 - 02:34 PM.

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#7 Serah Rose

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 02:29 PM

If you get a mower...it's YOUR mower, and ONLY you should use it, IMO. Do your half, let them worry about theirs.
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#8 VAQHMA

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 02:30 PM

Ditto to everyone else. If they want to mow their own lawn they can buy their OWN mower.


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#9 PaintMyPast

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 02:41 PM

I like you people :happy0203:

My only concern is what I've already agreed to do.... Which I don't remember. I tried to be as vague as possible with my answers when we were discussing the lawn because I KNOW they try to take advantage of me and I didn't want to agree to anything without talking to someone. But now I am worried they are going to be mad. I think I will just tell them that the lawn mower is my dad's and he only wants me to use it. Which is mostly true, because my dad did pay for it. (Side not-- my parents absolutely rock and have always told us kids that we can use them for excuses in any situation.)

I really need to learn to not be a pushover. This is a good exercise for me. I do feel like I should at least talk to them before I only mow half the yard.

I have no idea what they will do. We don't have a storage area, so I am buying a cover and a bicycle chain and chaining it to my porch. They said they never got a mower because they have no place to put it.
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#10 RailroadWoman

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 02:46 PM

Mow your own & don't worry how long or short it would be between the two. No different then neighboring houses that are not on the same mowing schedule. Worry about your own property.

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#11 Horsefeather

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 02:49 PM

how about option D. have them give you X amount every month even if its just to cover gas or whatever. and you take care of the whole lawn.

or talk to you landlord and ask them how you should handle it.

personally i like my mower, my yard. thier on thier own. but if you need to compromise...


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#12 Serah Rose

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 06:37 PM

hmmm...I like option D!!
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#13 PaintMyPast

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 06:53 PM

I REALLY thought about option D.... and liked it... but I am not sure if I want that responsibility. I have a pretty hectic schedule some weeks, and it's hard for me to find a chunk of time to mow the whole lawn. But the cash would be nice, too...

The landlady simply said "You all get together and the lawn is your responsibility."

I went ahead and mowed the whole front area. That way, their precious allergy-ridden bulldog can pee and burn holes in the lawn without having grass on his tummy. The front yard is all the same height and doesn't look like a jungle. I did NOT do either of the side stripes or the backyard. I didn't have time to do them and I don't care.

The lawn does look a bit......



well, I'm not the world's greatest mower. I'm learning. There were a few tall spots but I went over them again. Then the stripes were messed up. Oh well.
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#14 Blondyy

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 08:35 PM

Mow your own side.

Don't worry about theirs.

If you wanted to go the extra step, with landlord approval of course, fence on your side in front and back and then you'd never have to speak to them again.

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#15 Heidi n Q

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 10:27 PM

Haven't read replies.

Do NOT let them use YOUR mower. Period.

Tell them this is the deal:
You mow your half and let them worry about their half. If they would like for both yards to be done at the same time THEY can pay YOU to use your mower/gas to mow their portion of the yard at the same time you mow your own. They can not have access to your mower.

If they wish to mow, they can purchase their OWN mower or pay someone with a mower to do it for them.
Let them put wear/tear and bust-up their own mower, not yours.

Edited by Heidi n Q, 10 April 2012 - 01:58 PM.

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#16 Choobiedoo

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 06:59 AM

I have a quick thought for you to consider, IF you go with shared mowing or letting them do it: You went and bought a mower. Say you spent anywhere between $75-250 for a push mower (hey, I didn't know what kind B) ) and after a few times of them using it, they break it and it quits working or gets severely damaged? How comfortable would you feel asking them to fix it or buy another one? What if they don't do a thing about it and YOU end up having to spend more, on top of the money you've already spent. I'd feel like this: :twitch: :bang_head:

I went back and re-read this thread. I still think you should mow your own half. Option A is less BS. Don't ask their opinion. Don't hem and haw over it. Don't make it a long drawn out explanation. Politely state you want your own mower to do your half. Period.



...Previously, these people have taken advantage of me, my time, and my money...


The "grass isn't always greener" if someone has tried to manipulate you into thinking it would be the better deal to have them do it for you. If they've taken advantage of you before, screw 'em and let them worry about their own grass.

Oh! And what happens if they "get mad"? You've said that a few times and I'm curious to know what you think would happen. Icy stares? Cold shoulder? Loud music at inconvenient times? Car keyed? What would they do over a lawn?

By the way, there's NO ONE who can take advantage of you without you letting it happen... Part of living a happier life is to separate yourself from toxic people who try. :huggy:

Edited by Choobiedoo, 10 April 2012 - 07:06 AM.


#17 The Sugar Lady

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 03:11 PM

I agree with Heidi.

Also, if you don't want to be the badguy, just tell them that since your dad is paying for the lawn mower, he doesn't want anybody to use it, that way, there's no akward moments when something breaks, who's going to pay for it, who's fault.

I would choose whatever option that allows me to worry about my own area and THAT'S IT.

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#18 journeysgirl

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 03:46 PM

I like you people :happy0203:

My only concern is what I've already agreed to do.... Which I don't remember. I tried to be as vague as possible with my answers when we were discussing the lawn because I KNOW they try to take advantage of me and I didn't want to agree to anything without talking to someone. But now I am worried they are going to be mad. I think I will just tell them that the lawn mower is my dad's and he only wants me to use it. Which is mostly true, because my dad did pay for it. (Side not-- my parents absolutely rock and have always told us kids that we can use them for excuses in any situation.)

I really need to learn to not be a pushover. This is a good exercise for me. I do feel like I should at least talk to them before I only mow half the yard.

I have no idea what they will do. We don't have a storage area, so I am buying a cover and a bicycle chain and chaining it to my porch. They said they never got a mower because they have no place to put it.


Who cares if they are mad. You aren't married to them or dating them. I mean this in a loving way, it sounds like you need to grow a pair where they are concerned. Stop letting them walk all over you.

Edited by journeysgirl, 10 April 2012 - 03:47 PM.

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#19 VAQHMA

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 03:59 PM

With all due respect Journey, I can see why she might be concerned if they get mad, considering they share a wall and people can do all sorts of irrational vindictive crap. We had a psycho neighbor who was in love with our dog. When we said no, we didn't want her to walk our dog for us, she flipped out. While we were on vacation she tried to have our dog taken away from us by Animal Control, trying to say that we weren't caring for it, despite the fact that we had a friend coming over 4 times a day to walk him. Also caught her husband peering into our windows when they thought we weren't home (parked elsewhere.) We moved shortly thereafter!

Edited by VAQHMA, 10 April 2012 - 04:00 PM.


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#20 journeysgirl

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 04:03 PM

With all due respect Journey, I can see why she might be concerned if they get mad, considering they share a wall and people can do all sorts of irrational vindictive crap. We had a psycho neighbor who was in love with our dog. When we said no, we didn't want her to walk our dog for us, she flipped out. While we were on vacation she tried to have our dog taken away from us by Animal Control, trying to say that we weren't caring for it, despite the fact that we had a friend coming over 4 times a day to walk him. Also caught her husband peering into our windows when they thought we weren't home (parked elsewhere.) We moved shortly thereafter!


That is a valid point.

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#21 PaintMyPast

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 04:05 PM

Really, guys... thanks :huggy: :huggy:

I appreciate it.

They knocked on my door last night at about 10:15. I did not answer because I don't answer the door late at night. *shrug* Policy my momma taught me.

I do need to grow a pair and stopped getting walked on. I just HATE confronation, especially when "they" (generic they) twist the situation to look like I am in the wrong. But I am not in the wrong. It is my mower, my yard, and it doesn't matter what the previous tenants did.

As far as them getting mad, my only concern is that I do have a big barking dog. In instances before, they've sort-of-but-not-really used that as leverage. I don't want them complaining to the landlady. The situation is even more complicated than that... they were friends with the landlady before they ever moved in. She was in TX more often than not, and I guess all the previous tenants (before me, in my side) were helpless and asked for the guys next door to help them all the time. So they are used to working with the person over here...

Anyway, the landlady turned the duplex over to a management company, but the guys still go directly to her with issues. The last thing I need is for them to complain about my dog and get me kicked out. Although, that would solve most of my problems :questionicon: And start a whole new set.

As far as the barking dog-- I don't blame him one bit for barking. When I leave the house, everything stays on my walls like it is supposed to. When they leave their house, MY pictures and barn stars fall off of MY walls-- they slam their door that hard. They also stand outside MY front window and yell at each other and their dog. I did mention it to them and they have been better about it.


And now I've written a novel. At any rate, I agree with each and every one of you-- thank you for everything. Next time I see them, I'm going to let them talk themselves out, then just say "My dad would like ME to use his mower, so I'll be taking care of my half." And maybe just step back inside.
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#22 LoveMyDog

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 05:03 PM

Part of living on your own is being an adult. I can tell through your language and concerns that this is new to you. We've all had to start somewhere. The way to handle this is with nice but assertive directness. It isn't confrontation. It's just telling them what you plan to do with your business.

Worry about your responsibility and not theirs. Do not offer up the use of your stuff. You are neighbors. Just because you live in a duplex doesn't mean you owe them anything.

If you find being direct in person too hard, write a letter saying:

Hey X and Y,

Sorry I was unable to entertain you the other night but I wanted to finish our conversation about the lawn. I've decided that I am going to just worry about my half of the yard and let you guys do the same.

Take care,

Paintmypast

Stick it up on their door next time you know they are gone. No need for great detail. No need to make excuses. DO NOT tell them it is your Dad's mower. That does not establish ANY boundaries. It just makes them think you are okay with them using your stuff.

Just be to the point and polite. Smile/wave next time you see them. No big deal.

#23 rodeomom63

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 05:17 PM

Me? I woukld simply mow the whole dang yard just so I didn't have to squabble with them over it, and then let the landlord know what I was doing!!!!!!
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#24 laramierose

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 07:19 PM

LoveMyDog gave you most excellent advice, in my humble opinon. It doesn't have to be a confrontation at all. Like they say, you always catch more flys with honey....

Good luck!
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#25 SpiffyGrl

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 08:44 PM

If ya want hun, I can come over and mow your side. Heck I'll even weed eat it for ya and I won't even ask for much, maybe a few dollars. I know how to take care of other people's propety and if something goes wrong with the mower, my dad is a mechanic and can work on it for a discounted price. :winking: Ya know ya love me and I'm not that far from you. :smilie:
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#26 rattusrat

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 09:52 PM

Worry about your responsibility and not theirs.


Do you have a contract/lease that states each renter is responsible for the lawn?

Either way, the lawn that goes with the property you're renting is the only lawn that you are responsible for. Let them take care of their own side and don't worry about it.

As for the "we didn't get a mower because we didn't have a place to keep it" story, well boo hoo, seems you've figured out a way. Sounds to me like they're just looking for an easy out, don't let them bully you.
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#27 PaintMyPast

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 10:00 PM

LMD-- You are right, this is all very new to me. Growing up, I didn't have neighbors. No muss no fuss. I am not very assertive person when it comes to adult men. It is something I really must get over. I have no issue whatsover speaking in front of large groups, speaking one-on-one with strangers, etc. But this sort of situation... I tend to freak.

I like the idea of the note. I know I need to learn to stick up for myself in person and just get over my nervousness, but I don't trust myself to not agree to something just to smooth the situation.

This is good for me... this is good for me... this is good for me... I keep telling myself that this situation is NOT that big of a deal and that it builds character :smile:

Rodeomom, my parents feel sort of the same. You know, there is that point when it is far less trouble to just do it all yourself. However, I don't have time or finances to take care of the whole lawn.

Spiff :huggy: :huggy:
I appreciate your offer so, so much. I think I am going to take care of it myself for the time being-- however, once school picks back up in a couple of months (we're headed into a pretty chill block, according to the second years) I may take you up on that!! At any rate, we need to meet up sometime for lunch or something.
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"Animals are unpredictable things so our whole life is unpredictable. It's a long tale of little triumphs and disasters and you've got to really like it to stick it. One thing, you never get bored. Here, have more whiskey." --James Harriot


#28 sammi87

sammi87

    Advanced Member

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  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Western MA

Posted 10 April 2012 - 10:05 PM

DO NOT let them use YOUR mower!!!!! DH's cousin rent the inlay apartment in our basement from us, and since he is our tenant and family-he has been allowed to use our stuff from time to time. He's a nice guy, but clueless. So far he has broken the cycle selector dial off our NEW washing machine, destroyed the impeller on the pump by leaving change in his pockets, broken the shear pins on the snowblower the ONE time we let him use it, the list goes on. The grass was getting a little long in the front at one point and he offered to mow for us since I was sick, my answer was not just no but H*LL NO-the lawnmower is the one piece of equipment that still works perfectly and it is MINE!
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"Where are we going? And why am I in this hand basket?"

my "herd":
2 very naughty cats
5 Chickens
5 Ball Pythons
1 Leopard Gecko
Assorted Crested Geckos
29 gallon saltwater mini reef
several thousand Italian honeybees

#29 SpiffyGrl

SpiffyGrl

    Keeper of the Goober Horses!

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  • Gender:Female
  • Location:The Great State of Misery

Posted 10 April 2012 - 10:58 PM

Yes, yes we do! If you want just PM me and we can trade numbers. :happy0203:
SpiffyGrl
Gold Member Status of the 'I got Screwed Club & P.M.A. Member
I met a BB: robertbel1, SusieB & niece, palomino_overo & colormeahorse, HoofsInMotion & Son, Skippen & GrandSon, JustMe & Hubby, Vicklynn & Hubby, LoudAppy, MidMoPaints & Mom, docsgoldenbee & son
Pround owner of:
Spiffy - '01 APHA Sorrel Solid mare
Drifter - '07 APHA Dun Tobiano stallion
Dude - '09 PtHA Bay Tobiano gelding
K.C. - '04 Black RingTail Kitty
Missy - '09 AKC Pug
Evil Minion to mrs
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