Wedding Woes

Don't you have a landlord?

Dear Prudence,

I share a duplex and a front yard with an elderly Jesus freak. He takes any opportunity to proselytize to me, whether in person or over text. I very politely respond that I hope he is having a wonderful day and that I do not practice any religion, but the proselytizing does not stop. I find this generally annoying but easy enough to ignore. However, every Easter he has taken to putting up a tacky cardboard cross with “He is Risen!” emblazoned across the front. Normally I am OK with it, because he takes it down around late April, but this thing is still up, and I have to see it several times a day. He has simply decided that this is now a permanent fixture in the front yard. Beyond getting my own gigantic statue of Baphomet to offset this thing, is there any way to gently ask this otherwise sweet old man to please remove his Jesus junk? Should I just be the bigger person and continue to ignore these somewhat overbearing missionary tactics? I really want to keep the peace with my neighbors. But it’s my yard too, for Chrissakes!

—Cross to Bear

Re: Don't you have a landlord?

  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    member
    It's possible they both own the houses... and there may not be a landlord to go to.  I would think, if someone had an eyesore on their lawn, they could contact the city officials and have them take action? That way the guy doesn't know it's directly LW complaining.  Could be anyone. 

    mrsconn23ahoywedding
  • kerbohlkerbohl
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    member

    I don't know where this is geographically, but it's cardboard. How long will it last in the outdoor elements?

    Maybe LW could suggest the neighbor puts up a nice cement angel figurine or celtic cross in place of the sign? Still overtly religious, but less blaring like a sign? I've seen those in gardens (I've got a cute angel in my own garden), and they look a lot nicer than a cheap looking cardboard sign.  Then for Easter he can put a little "He is Risen" sign on the figurine.

    Someone in my neighborhood has a little gorilla figurine, and for all the seasons they dress it up in seasonal garb. For upcoming Canada Day, he's wearing red and white. It's adorable.  Sort of unrelated to this, but I love what some people do in their gardens!

    imageimage
    short+sassy
  • It's annoying, but unless he's violating the lease agreement I don't think there is much you can do about the decorations. If it's shared space, it's shared space and unless it's offensive, dangerous, or otherwise a health/physical hazard there isn't much to do. 

    STARMOON44short+sassy
  • I see this more as a "yet another Prudie LW who can't use their words", lol.

    She should just tell the guy something like, "Neighbor, I certainly don't mind when you put your cardboard cross up around Easter.  But we are a couple months past that now.  To be blunt, long term cardboard on the lawn is trashy looking and I would like for you to take it down."

    If this is a rental situation, there really isn't much a landlord can do except make the same request.  Assuming there are no issues with this tenant, the LL isn't going to evict and/or give them a 30-day notice to vacate (if the lease is month-to-month) over a cardboard cross in the yard.  They probably couldn't evict them over that anyway, even if they wanted to.

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    charlotte989875mrsconn23
  • I see this more as a "yet another Prudie LW who can't use their words", lol.

    She should just tell the guy something like, "Neighbor, I certainly don't mind when you put your cardboard cross up around Easter.  But we are a couple months past that now.  To be blunt, long term cardboard on the lawn is trashy looking and I would like for you to take it down."

    If this is a rental situation, there really isn't much a landlord can do except make the same request.  Assuming there are no issues with this tenant, the LL isn't going to evict and/or give them a 30-day notice to vacate (if the lease is month-to-month) over a cardboard cross in the yard.  They probably couldn't evict them over that anyway, even if they wanted to.

    I think we just have no idea what the actual rules are here. Sure, LW should just ask. But maybe the land lord can do something. Mine bans all outside displays or decorations of any kind, which is totally permissible under my state law. 
  • I see this more as a "yet another Prudie LW who can't use their words", lol.

    She should just tell the guy something like, "Neighbor, I certainly don't mind when you put your cardboard cross up around Easter.  But we are a couple months past that now.  To be blunt, long term cardboard on the lawn is trashy looking and I would like for you to take it down."

    If this is a rental situation, there really isn't much a landlord can do except make the same request.  Assuming there are no issues with this tenant, the LL isn't going to evict and/or give them a 30-day notice to vacate (if the lease is month-to-month) over a cardboard cross in the yard.  They probably couldn't evict them over that anyway, even if they wanted to.

    I think we just have no idea what the actual rules are here. Sure, LW should just ask. But maybe the land lord can do something. Mine bans all outside displays or decorations of any kind, which is totally permissible under my state law. 

    That is true if it is specifically in the lease.  It often isn't.  When I was a tenant, I never had a lease with that in it.  My own leases refers to something like not having anything other than outdoor items or decorations on the lawn.  But even that is a recent addition to it.  After I had a ridiculous tenant who parked his broken down car on the lawn, along with a broken dryer (he was an appliance repairman).  I repeatedly asked him to remove those items, but he never did.  His one-year lease was finally over and I was contemplating issuing a 30-day notice to vacate, there were also other issues.  But then he couldn't pay his rent and refused to move.  So I evicted him over that.  It's actually the only true eviction, that went all the way through to court, I've ever had to do.

    Honestly, though.  Even if it is in the lease, it's a lot of trouble (time and money) to evict someone.  Then you have a vacancy to fill that will, on average, cost at least one month's rent and be even more time.  I doubt most landlords would go to all that trouble over a cardboard sign.  I wouldn't.

    Also, just because it is permissible under the lease under state law, doesn't mean a judge will issue an eviction order over that in a tenant-friendly state.  There are quite a few areas of the country where even a smooth eviction takes 3-6 months.  And that's even for blatant things like not paying any rent.  Hello NYC, MA, and CA.

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