Property Lines and Neighbor Disputes – One Creative Solution

4 million years ago, there were no property lines. There was no distinction of where this Caveman’s territory began and where others’ ended. Sure we used lake banks and tree lines as indicators, but if any neighboring facial-haired savages dared step foot anywhere this side of Lake Halomalopalo (named after my wife), we would spar- and I didn’t lose a sparring match. Ever.

Not much has changed in humans over the last 4 million years. We’ve become cleaner and a little more sophisticated, but we still fight for land, for law, for love. One thing that has done a complete 180 is property line disputes.

A few months ago, I had a property line dispute with my neighbor. He wanted to pour concrete between his side yard and house for a walk way, but needed a certain amount of distance from his house to meet city code. Because we were part of the curve of our cul-de-sac, our homes sit in an odd position and I made it clear I didn’t want part of his new side walk way taking up my lawn space. Ignoring my wishes, he chose to pour on my property line anyway. Was it the end of the world? No. But I must say- it’s pretty slimy to go against your neighbor’s wishes and he made sure the concrete truck showed up while I was at work.

I could’ve lost my cool. I could’ve called the cops. I could’ve done a lot of things to get in his face and make my point. Instead, I got creative. Because of the strange caddy-corner positioning of our house, I always figured the property line was skewed and our fences were built despite it. After doing some research, my theory was proved true. The fence in his backyard stuck in to my backyard 7 more feet than it should have. 7 feet! And wouldn’t you like to know what I did with this in my back pocket.

One of the top selling perimeter protectors in the home security industry is the BBA-2500 Dakota Alert Solar Powered Wireless Break Beam System. Basically, you set the two transmitters up evenly on posts up to 300 feet apart from each other. Then, they shoot out an invisible and infrared beam of light. When the beam is broken, a signal is sent to the receiver inside your home and the receiver begins to chime. Guess what I did with mine.

I went in to my neighbor’s backyard one day while he was at work and installed the transmitters right on my property line. When dark begins to fall, the BBA-2500 is near impossible to see. At dusk every day, my neighbor would come in to his backyard and water his garden, which, unfortunately for him- was actually on my property according to the city planning schematics. Then, I rigged up a huge speaker and microphone next to the BBA-2500’s receiver- cranking up the speaker volume and pointing it directly at his home.

The first night he triggered it was HILARIOUS. He takes his hose towards his garden, begins to water his roses and “WAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!” The alarm goes off. This dude was scared brainless. He fell on his back, yelped like a Chihauhau and judging by his very slow bodily movement afterwards- he might’ve had a mild heart attack. Then there was the puppy dog experimentation phase. He’d cross the beam line, get startled, do it again- over and over. He just could not figure it out.

After being in fear of watering his own garden for 2 days, he finally knocks on my door. I open it and get an ear full of this: “I know you’re setting off some kind of alarm when I go to garden and it needs to stop!”

I’m not setting off some kind of alarm” I reply in a sly tone. He goes to speak again and I hand him the manual for the BBA-2500. He reads through it quickly and looks back at me. “YOU INSTALLED SECURITY IN MY BACKYAR—“ I hand him a copy of the property line schematics. His face drops. It’s perfect.

I’m not the rub-it-in-your-face type, so I kindly explain that I’ll take down the BBA-2500 and use it for more meaningful perimeter protection in my backyard and that I’m not angry about the concrete, but now Chihauhau Man knows that he needs to obey my wishes next time. Cause next time, I won’t use a Wireless Break Beam System. Next time, we’ll spar. And this Caveman doesn’t lose in a sparring match.

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