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Be a good neighbour

Be a good neighbour

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You are choking up your neighbour’s drain with leaves. You were asked to prune your trees that are throwing up all the leaves on your neighbour’s property. Are you waiting for him to take you to court for you to understand that you cannot throw leaves on someone’s property? We cannot live a litigious life either, always going to court. We need to reason with one another. See the other person’s point of view. We have a conscience. We live by certain moral standards. Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you. The court is cumbersome and you continue to conduct all these illegal practices because no one has taken you to court. Shame on you! You are making your neighbour’s life miserable and causing him expenses.

Someone has to be paid to keep the drain flowing. When it comes back to you in some form it is called retribution. You should be sent the bill or made to pay the price for creating a nuisance.

You have a sheep/goat pen. Not only is it an eye sore, but it is also smelly. Flies and roaches abound because of these conditions. You are exposing other persons to diseases. Other persons must always be disinfecting using chemicals that could endanger lives or having to close up their houses. The quality of life is vastly reduced because of the selfish practices of persons in the neighborhood. Am I not entitled to a decent life?

The law allows me peaceful enjoyment of my hard earned property, yet I cannot have a restful night. I must suffer the consequences of unreasonable others. There are things that we have no control over, like the weather, but man-made actions, negligence and lack of consideration for others continue to plague us. They are our worst enemies.

In many countries there are covenants and corresponding responsibilities attached to owning and occupying a property. In addition, there are homeowners associations that take pride in keeping their neighborhoods in good condition. They issue warnings and then impose fines on those who break the rules.

You must keep your property in the same conditions as when you bought it. You cannot allow weeds to grow in your lawn, much less huge trees that throw stuff on your neighbour’s property. There are many rules that some would find restrictive. These rules are designed and accepted by the homeowners themselves, not only for the ecstatic value, but also for the usefulness. One cannot be an outcast by breaking the covenants that were agreed to.

Oh, I have heard those empty excuses, those cries, about being poor, but poverty is not untidiness or squalor. Even though one is poor a lot could be accomplished through self-help. You cannot be so poor that you cannot keep your property clean and not impose on your neighbour’s space. You can keep your property neat and clean without unnecessary expense. It is good exercise for you and at no burdensome cost. If every day you do a little work, by the end of the week you would have accomplished quite a bit. The American Heart Association urges 10,000 foot steps per day.

Collect the leaves from the trees in your yard, put them in garbage bags with the waste from your kitchen to make your own compost. Make a vegetable bed with the compost you make. You can grow cucumbers, flavour and hot peppers, lettuce, cabbage, or any vegetable you may choose. You can use flowerpots if you do not have yard space. Be a good neighbour. Join the many with well kept yards.

Ada Johnson is a
solicitor and
barrister-at-law.
E-mail address is:
exploringthelaw@yahoo.com

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