Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Words On Wednesday: Derelict Neighbors Part 2

You may not remember the post I did a year ago about our derelict neighbors. Here is a link to it to refresh your memory. A year has passed since that post and still no one has been to the house. That makes it ten years of abandonment. If you don't go to the linked post, here's a photo of the roof their house from last year.
When I was writing about this last year, I was writing about the amazingly overgrown blackberry vines in the yard and up over the windows. This year I'm writing about what I saw when I opened the blinds Saturday morning and looked out the window.
Uh-oh. Something made quite a mess up there. So, I actually found a way to contact the owner whom we have never met. She lives in the bay area and has not been here since we moved next door five years ago.  I sent her this photo. She thanked me and said she would get someone to fix it. She apologized for being so derelict about the house.
She called someone to come and take a look. He came, looked around, and attached this tarp to the roof. The repair person said it was damage done by a critter. I photographed the tarp and sent the pic to the owner. She was very grateful and happy. Then I opened the blinds on Tuesday morning and saw this.
Uh-oh, that is one ambitious, busy little critter. So, what do you think, was it trapped inside and ripped its way out, or was it outside and ripped its way back in?

I haven't sent the follow-up photo yet. Maybe I'm just wondering what is the point? And maybe I'm starting to feel bad for the critter. I could easily argue for its adverse possession, otherwise known as squatter's rights.




32 comments:

  1. With the amount of homelessness around it seems criminal that someone should be able to sit on a property like this while it deteriorates. A quiet neighbour to have though.

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    1. John-- Definitely a quiet neighbor. It's a good thing we can't actually hear all the critters that have made their home there.

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  2. I watched what was a historical homestead across from our house rot away over a 25 year period. It was sad to see it finally demolished, but it was the right thing to do. The owner waited way too long to try to address it. She died and left the property to the Town. The town turned it over to a regional Conservancy and voila, I have my own nature preserve of 11 acres right across the road. I have mixed feelings though. I was probably the last person in town who had known the owner well. My mom called her the Princess. I always smile when I think of the irony in that as my mother was raised in the Bay area out west as a member of one of the Bay area's power families.

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    1. MRMacrum-- It just surprises me that families let houses rot away like this. I wish it were a lovely old house, but this one is just a suburban house on the one suburban street in our little town. I would love to see photos of the nature preserve and hear more about your mom's family.

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  3. Critters are persistent. Something nested in my daughter's car engine. It was so large, it looked like an eagle's nest. We cleaned it all out, and the very next day there was another nest - almost the same size! I'm guessing the roof critter wanted back in not out.

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    1. Sharon-- Wow! I wonder what was nesting in your daughter's car. I would love to have seen what that critter was.

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  4. I would not like to live beside such a property. Maybe you should phone the local Govt. as they should have bylaws that do not allow places to become derelict.

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    1. Red-- It does not make us happy that this house has been abandoned for so long. I think I may have called the city once about it, and that's when the owner had yard work done once a few years ago. I may have to call again.

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  5. That's bad but then if they cannot be f=bothered I would not either, I'd just watch the critter for a few days to see what it was. Throw some food up there and see if it goes

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    1. Billy-- You made me laugh out loud. I love your idea of throwing food up there and see what happens. I just don't want to see those critters coming in to our yard when they're hungry.

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  6. It could be that the critter has babies in there - either a rat or racoon. They love attics. I'm with Red on this one, have you called City Hall?

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    1. Tara-- I was wondering if there might be a nest of some sort. I feel bad for the critter. It probably looked like such a safe space. Maybe I'll wait to let the neighbor know until fall. Mmmm?

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  7. I guess you're already involved now, so a follow-up of the recent photo to the owner might at least give her the choice of an exterminator visit. That way you've been a good neighbor, even if she isn't. Sadly enough, I doubt that any civil authority would be able to do anything.

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    1. Barbara-- I haven't contacted her yet. I'm still thinking about it. I think I'll probably let her know soon. It's true about the civil authority, they really have no power in this situation. That's why houses rot the way they do. Only if they become an attractive nuisance, if people gather there and get hurt or do drugs or something, can they get involved.

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  8. Closing it up could lock whatever did the damage inside, no?

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    1. Sabine-- Yes, that's why I have such mixed feelings about it. Mmmm?

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  9. That is a huge amount of damage. I was thinking the same thing as Tara that it had babies inside. Probably no what they do it will come back. Hey it's found a home.

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    1. Patti-- I think there probably are babies in there. Maybe rats, mice, or even some starlings. Unless someone comes to exterminate them, this cycle will continue.

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  10. Yeah, you know, that owner needs to get on the ball and take care of that problem. Either put the house on the market or take care of it. It's that simple.

    I imagine the critter was stuck inside and clawed its way out -- or, as others have suggested, it has a nest in there with babies.

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    1. Steve-- The woman inherited the place ten years ago and has literally done nothing in all that time. It's really pretty crazy. I think the critter was probably stuck inside and clawed its way out to get food to feed its babies. We'll keep our eyes on the place and see what happens.

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  11. I was starting to wonder if there might be a body or bodies inside that house.

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    1. Catalyst-- You made me laugh. The owner told me her cousin stopped by to look at the roof and looked inside as well. It's untouched in there for ten years. She didn't report any bodies. LOL!

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  12. As goes the roof, so goes the building. The house will be totally destroyed if the roof is not fixed. I think you should call the owner and tell her you cannot be responsible for watching and reporting on her house. (Except for us, of course.) Mention that you have contacted the authorities of what you consider to be a dangerous situation so she should expect a call from them. Talk with the authorities and ask what plan has been made. Call them again if no action has been taken.

    You should not have to live next to this.

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    1. NCmountainwoman-- Well, I wrote the owner and have not heard back yet. We'll see what happens. The story is that she inherited the house many years ago and that there is some stipulation by the will what can be done with the house (as in who is allowed to buy it). Not sure if that's simply a neighborhood rumor. Still, nothing explains such derelict behavior.

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  13. Abandoned and/or derelict homes were pretty much the norm on some back roads and we would see them on drives. SOme were in fairly decent shape and others not so much. Is there any regulation n your area about letting houses just go as those weeds look to be taking over as well as the critters inside the property. Even though the woman has thanked you, it seems she is very neglectful in taking care of the property

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    1. Beatrice-- I will probably do more research about city laws regarding abandoned properties once this pandemic crisis is over. The owner has alienated most of the neighbors here over the years. Neglect has its price.

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  14. Seems like such a nice home to let it go like that.

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  15. why doesn't the owner rent it? even for a small sum, it would keep in much better condition, as the renter would like keep up the yard and keep out critters. of course now she will have to do some repairs first. my mom was in real estate, and she always said an empty home deteriorates faster than a home that gets hard human use.

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    1. 37paddington-- The owner inherited the property from a family member. The rumor is that there is some stipulation in the will about what she can do with the property. Interesting about empty houses deteriorating. I'm seeing first hand how true that is.

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  16. I'd forgotten about critters. The all-purpose hole-filler for those who aren't too well informed about mammals with sharp teeth. Occasionally refers to humans provided they're small and bad tempered.

    A long time since I heard the word or saw it in permanent form. But since I left the US it's cropped up in a slightly different spelling, pronunciation and meaning. Comes from Ireland, is spelt craytur, pronounced however you wish (because nothing I say will satisfy the Irish in this matter), and - with definite article attached - forms a generic label for whisky.

    I realise that stuff like this can be intensely boring. Does it become slightly more interesting if I add that the person I heard use it was my father's second wife, a whipper-in with the Airedale Beagles. Two minutes with Google and you'll have all the answers.

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    1. Roderick-- We always refer to the little furry beasts of the rodent persuasion as critters. Well, to be honest, we also call opossums and raccoons critters. It's our way of being silly. We have noticed all four of those beasts in our derelict neighbor's yard.

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