When work was being done to fix up a house on Chelsea Street two years ago, the crew on the job used the alley way on the right side to set up their ladders and to pass from the street to the back yard. The problem was that the alley is the property of my aunt, who lives next door to the building that was being worked on, and no one asked her for permission. Eventually the wooden gate was broken and one of the screens on my aunt's house was torn by a ladder.
Several people, myself included, spoke to the guys doing the work, but communication was difficult as they only spoke Spanish. An Internet search yielded the out-of-town owner of the house, but my messages were not returned. Eventually we made some headway and the gate was replaced. Still, the alley was used as a throughway until I put a lock on it with a "No Tresspassing" sign. Two years later the garbage from the house next door is still occasionally piled in front of the gate in anticipation of pick-up day.
How does one deal with situations where one party is unclear of property boundaries -- or just insists on ignoring them? Today I spoke with friends of mine who are dealing with a similar situation. They own a coffee shop on Meridian Street and their neighbors -- a music store -- has been dumping trash in the coffee shop's backyard for a while. Now the music store had a compressor built in the alley that is property of the coffee shop.
The owner of the music store has been unresponsive, according to my friends, and calls to the Boston Police have not been helpful either. The responding officers have told them to call the city's electrical inspectors. The city has said to call the police. Is there no recourse besides legal action -- which is a slow and expensive process. Any thoughts?