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Dear PoP – Neighbor Question

Just a random shed not the shed in question.

“Dear PoP,

I was wondering if you could help me out with a dilemma though about neighbors. I seem to have met everyone on my block but the people a house down from me, who happen to have the most dilapidated shed ever. It reeks of cat pee, has no door, and the windows are broken out. It creeps me out a little but there’s nothing I can do about creepiness. What is bothering me though is the roof. It’s corrugated metal and the wind has pulled up one of the panels near the breaking point. I’m a little worried it’s going to fly off and hit something, like the cable and telephone lines or my car. I really don’t want to be ‘that’ neighbor, but do you have any suggestions about the legality of keeping a horrible shed in case I can’t convince them to do anything about it?”

It’s a good question because in addition to the issues you raised – broken sheds can be used by crews for drug dealing and bathrooms by drunkards. Unfortunately these sorts of conversations can be very awkward. I would talk to the neighbors you have already met and ask them what they think, assuming they know the specific neighbor. It might be as easy as simply sharing your concerns. If that doesn’t work – and this is the awkward part – you could alert the city. I’m pretty sure the city monitors alleys to make sure trees aren’t overgrown etc. They give out fines when folks don’t comply. I think you could probably call 311. Obviously if you talk to the neighbor first and that doesn’t work, and then you call 311 the neighbor will know it was you who probably called 311. Ah nothing is easy. Hmm, alright, I’m sticking with asking your neighbors that you’ve already met before doing anything – what do you guys think?

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