When the Original Poster (OP) and her spouse move into a seemingly friendly suburban neighborhood with a private pool, they become embroiled in an intense battle of boundaries with their intrusive neighbors. The tension rises when the neighbors persistently pressure them for pool access and install surveillance cameras, leading to an unexpected legal face-off. The climax will leave readers on the edge of their seats, wondering if justice will be served and peace restored.
Settling into Suburbia
OP and her spouse, in their mid-40s with no children, bought a non-HOA single-family home with a swimming pool and an automated safety cover. The yard is completely fenced and has tall privacy hedges as an additional barrier.
The Couple Who Entertains
The couple enjoys having occasional gatherings with friends, especially now that the weather permits pool parties. They believed they had integrated well into the neighborhood until summer rolls around, and they start to be harassed by the neighbors.
Pool Privilege Presumptions
Neighbors from three surrounding homes expressed an unusual expectation – they wanted access to OP’s swimming pool for weekend and holiday parties. It turns out that the previous owners had kids and were friendly with other neighborhood children.
A Community’s Pool
The previous neighbors were very generous and carefree, allowing their neighbors to use the pool whenever they wanted. The neighbors kept their inflatables nearby, even contributing to the pool’s maintenance costs.
Invasion of Privacy
OP and her husband told the neighbors they are quiet people who value their privacy and don’t want neighbors to have open access to their backyard. Despite their wishes, each time OP was outside, the neighbors would repeatedly try to convince her to grant them access.
Offer To Help
The neighbors said they understood the added inconvenience of allowing public access to their private pool and offered money in exchange. They even went so far as to propose sharing the maintenance costs and labor of the pool.
While gardening, OP was cornered again by the neighbors discussing pool access. Irritated, OP firmly told the neighbors to stop bringing up the pool and walked away. As she retreated towards her house, the neighbors followed, incessantly arguing their case.
One neighbor, a mother to three school-aged children desperate to go swimming, continued to badger OP about pool access despite being asked to stop. Despite offering to contribute to the pool’s maintenance costs, she couldn’t understand OP’s reluctance.
OP couldn’t take the harassment anymore. Would she ever be allowed to be unbothered on her own property so that she could enjoy the simple pleasures of gardening alone? OP asked the intrusive neighbor to leave and refrain from following her onto her property again.
OP and her husband consistently declined the neighbors’ requests, growing increasingly weary of the constant nagging. The neighbors seemed only interested in the pool, and their conversations were solely centered around it. There was no mutual bond or connection beyond this contentious issue.
At a party OP hosted, a neighbor showed up uninvited while OP was showing a friend the front yard. The neighbor commented about how nice it must be to get an invitation to the pool. Frustrated, OP asked her to leave as she was entertaining guests.
OP is left questioning whether her stance on her neighbors’ pool access is justified. Her patience is waning due to the neighbors’ persistence and perceived entitlement. OP wonders if she is the one at fault in this situation.
Legal Line of Defense
OP consults with a lawyer about the neighbors’ persistent requests for pool access. She is informed that she and her husband have the right to refuse access and advised to serve the neighbors cease and desist orders in writing to make it abundantly clear they are unwelcome on the property. Emboldened, OP decides to stand her ground against the intrusive neighbors.
During a confrontation, a neighbor reacts aggressively. Tensions escalate, with threats of legal action from OP met with vehement denials of wrongdoing from the neighbor. The growing dispute shatters the neighborhood’s peaceful facade.
Was The Couple’s Behavior Appropriate?
OP posts her story online for feedback and validation. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter. Here are some of their responses:
One reader said, “Those are some entitled, persistent neighbors. Also, the liability of having an open gate for everyone’s access. What if a kid wandered and drowned? That will be on you.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote, “OP needs to consider a lock on the gate if there isn’t one already and cameras near the gate and pool just in case. Maybe even a nice no-trespassing sign.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person stated, “OP definitely needs to install some security cameras around the house, especially in the backyard.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another reader commented, “This is not a public pool, and you are not insured to run one. These neighbors are awful.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.