Having a new home is meant to be an exciting experience, especially when it includes everything you ever wanted or thought you’d never have.
But bad neighbors have a terrible way of ruining the whole experience, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Commercial_Motor394 was already tired of her new neighbors and having to run their kids out of their backyard and pool, even though she’d already made it clear they were not welcome.
When the issue continued and the neighbors completely disagreed with her wishes, the Original Poster (OP) wasn’t totally sure what else she could do.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for not letting the neighbor’s kids use my pool?”
The OP was happily living in a home she’d purchased with her wife.
“I’m a 32-year-old woman, and my wife who is a 33-year-old woman and I finally bought our own home instead of renting.”
“It took a lot of work but we got to do it, and it’s a home we both love and plan to spend the rest of our lives in.”
“It even has a pool, which is just amazing and something I’d always wanted but never thought I’d have.”
But their new neighbors were already souring their experience as homeowners.
“The issue is our next-door neighbors. I keep finding their kids using our pool after having hopped our fence and I keep getting them to leave.”
“I’ve spoken to their parents about this issue and they have told me that the elderly couple we bought the house from would let the kids use the pool in exchange for cleaning it, so they’re just used to being able to use it.”
“I told them that was fine when it was the last neighbor, but it’s something my wife and I are not comfortable with. We don’t know them well enough, plus if the kids were hurt, we’d feel awful about it.”
“They insisted their kids wouldn’t get hurt and asked if it’d be ok if the kids used it whenever we weren’t as they’re ‘just kids’ and spoke about how it’s getting hotter now.”
“I was getting annoyed at this point and told them they should get their own pool then, and I’d already told them we weren’t comfortable with this.”
The neighbors didn’t take that well.
“Ever since then, I’ve had to chase the kids away a couple more times and their parents are constantly sending me dirty looks whenever they see me.”
“I’ve since posted a sign stating it’s a private pool and can only be used with permission.”
“Am I really being unfair here?”
“Yes, it sucks the kids had an arrangement with the last owners, but it’s our pool now.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some were angry about the entitled parents next door.
“NTA. Putting aside the astronomical implications of liability, simply put, it’s your f**king house. Not theirs, and not the old owners. What you say goes on your own property.”
“They are total a**holes for treating you horribly and not corralling their own children.”
“I would be LIVID if my new neighbors asked me to keep my kids away from their pool and my kids didn’t listen. That is some seriously poor parenting. If they are hopping a fence and swimming, they are certainly old enough to understand no means no.” – pryzzlicious
“Did they even have the decency to introduce themselves?”
“Like, a ‘Hi, I’m Karen, these are my kids Braedyn and Jaedyn, we wanted to welcome you to the neighborhood. We’d like to ask, are you in need of pool cleaning? We had an agreement with the previous owners that we’d clean the pool in exchange for being able to use it from time to time, and we were wondering if maybe you would be interested in continuing this arrangement?’ might have gone a long way, instead of having random kids just turn up in your f**king pool.”
“Funnily enough, people don’t tend to want to share when you act entitled to their stuff, but if you ask nicely at the outset, sometimes you can come to a compromise.” – Latvian_Goatherd
“Given that these parents seem to want a free, built-in babysitter, I’m not sure their word is gold. I would be inclined to disbelieve they had an arrangement with the previous owners. In fact, if it were me, I’d contact those owners and ask them if that’s true.” – The_Original_JLaw
“Tell them if you find their kids in your pool again you are going to file trespassing against them with the police.”
“They are not entitled to use your pool whenever they want, plain and simple, and yes, I would also be worried that if something bad did happen, they would blame you, so it’s just not worth for you.”
“The agreement they had with the prior neighbor does not automatically transfer to you.” – Etenial
“They say they have a fence, that the kids are hopping it because they used to have permission. Sounds to me like it’s the parents telling the kids to keep it up.”
“Just ring the guards for trespassing next time and they won’t hop it again. A warning from the police might knock some logic into their brains.” – alaynamul
Others urged the OP to think about the possible liability.
“You have to understand that if those children get hurt in your pool or one of them drowns you are legally responsible.”
“There’s a magic word you can use. Tell the parents that the next time anyone comes in your yard, you were going to charge them with trespassing. What you have told them this they cannot legally come back into your yard.”
“Follow through with calling the police if they do this again. You could lose your home and never be able to own anything again if their children get hurt in your pool.” – milliebarnes
“Call the police for trespassing.”
“Do this every time, and keep a log of the calls yourself, in case the police are careless.”
“Check with an attorney and your home owner’s insurance, also, to find out about legal actions you could take, and to make sure that you are well covered.” – SwedishPunsch
“NTA – The arrangement was with the previous owner, not you. You could be liable if the kids get hurt or worse. They are trespassing. The parents can now learn to tell their kids no and how to respect others’ property.”
“Also, put up a camera on the pool and get video evidence of them trespassing as you may need to go to court if they decide to continue their course of asshole-dome.” – HistoricalInaccurate
“They need a cover. One of the ones that help prevent small animals and children from drowning in it. My parents have had two different houses with pools, each had this type of cover, and each were motor operated and you had to use a key to get it open.”
“So simple solution you close it and pull the key. You’ve locked the pool and you also protect wildlife and children from drowning.” – kawaeri
“Regardless, the police may be able to help the OP out.”
“I had a teenager jumping my fence and the police said due to his age, they can’t really do anything. If we pressed charges, the judge would just throw it out because it’s a kid.”
“They then said they were happy to come to talk to the kid and his parents. I never took them up on it but the offer was there.” – kiwigirlie
“Frankly, if for any reason those kids did actually get hurt they could still sue you for not ensuring the pool is properly secured! Basically, they’d say OP should have known they were able to access it.”
“So you either let them use it (which is absurd, don’t do that, it’s your property and you owe no one an explanation for why they can’t mooch off of your property) and they sue you.”
“Or you say no but don’t reinforce fencing that prevents them from accessing the pool and they still sue you if anything happened.”
“Get a secure fence and gate. PUT UP A NO TRESPASSING SIGN. Then call the police when they trespass.”
“You must TELL them they are trespassing and you want them off your property and/or you just put up a sign (check your local laws).”
“You being meek or trying to be diplomatic is actually making this harder.”
“Once they’ve trespassed (which is when you call the police and they cite them for trespassing) – then if they still break into your pool or property and get hurt, it protects you.”
“NTA” – Philstwin
Pools are meant to be fun, but there’s a time and a place to use them, and more often than not, one of the places not to expect to enjoy one is the one in the neighbor’s backyard.
Not only would the OP, in this case, be potentially liable for anything that happened to the children while trespassing, but it was their pool, which meant they needed to use it in a way that made them feel comfortable.