I live in a condex which is trend around this area. People are breaking up multi-family houses and selling them piece by piece. Mine is a side by side two family house. I own one half and someone else owns the other. Sure a single family house would have been ideal but this was much more affordable and I’ve lived in a multi family for my entire life. I grew up in a more traditional two family, my parents owned the house. We lived in the larger part of the house and a series of renters lived in the other. My last apartment was the top floor, penthouse, of a three family. Despite my lack of fondness for neighbors, I do like the idea of communal living.
Part of the draw to to the home that I bought is the “exclusive use” property breakdown. The house itself is on a good sized lot, almost all of which is behind the house, and we each are responsible for about half of the lot maintenance which is mostly lawn and divided in the back my a row of shrubs that I had planted when I moved in. Despite my fondness for communal living, there’s no doubt that good fences or shrubs make good neighbors. I have planted some flowers on my half, dug out some beds and generally keep a nice yard. The man mows the back lawn once a week. We are good suburbanites. The front of the house has a little patch of lawn which also technically split in half but small enough that the man mows it all. It only takes a couple extra passes with the mower. He has mowed the whole patch since day one. It’s one of the little things you do when you live in shared space and never thought twice about it.
The neighbor who lives in the adjoining unit, is less than regular with the lawn maintenance. So far their half of the lawn has been mowed once this year and by the next neighbor down who got tired of seeing it almost waist high. Yesterday the negligent neighbor mowed half of the front lawn. Yes half of the front lawn which must have taken three minutes. The mowing stopped at the center point of the shared stairs to the shared front hall. That was one of the rudest things I have ever seen. Ever. And what to do? Technically the neighbor is only responsible for what was owed. Morally though? And how as a neighbor do I respond to that? My gut response was to paint half of the house but I didn’t. After thinking about it for a bit I decided to do something even better. I put them on the Christmas cookie list. People like that hate good deeds. The best revenge. Maybe I’ll even bump them to the peach jam list in the late summer….I make great jam.