Q: For 27 years, we've used the vacant lot (50-by-150 feet) behind our house as a recreation area, with permission of the owner. Years ago, my husband and I spent three weeks clearing this lot of trees, sticker bushes, poison ivy and rocks. Our next-door neighbors did the same with respect to the vacant lot behind their house. However, they sold their house some months ago. The new owners bought the lot behind their house and are using it for farming. He's plowing into our recreation lot (which has badmiton and basketball courts and a horseshoe pitch). He also sprays an insecticide while we're playing badmiton. This makes us sick. Is there anything we can do to (1) stop our new neighbor's plowing into our recreation area, and (2) spraying insecticide?
A -- You can insist that he not farm or plow the lot that is your recreation area. The owner of the lot would, in effect, probably be held to have given you a license, all these years, to use the lot.
Your rights with respect to your new neighbor's spraying insecticide are not so crystal clear. If the insecticide is actually harmful to human beings, then you can probably enjoin its use . . . at least in a way to prevent harm to you.
But if the insecticide can be shown not to be harmful to human beings and your new neighbor sprays it with due care (not negligently) and reasonably, and the effect on you is peculiar to you, my opinion is that you cannot enjoin its use by him.
Consult a local attorney to see what your rights are in your particular situation. Then you can decide what to do.
Q: I have a serious problem that is affecting my health and family life. My husband is 67 years old and is retired. I'm 46 years old and work for the state government. We have three children at home. Our home needs extensive repairs, but we don't have the money to make them. The home improvement program of our city government can't help us sooner than a year from now. I'm told. Is there any way I can get money to make repairs on our home? Would it be better to sell our home, pay off the mortgage ($13,500 balance) and hopefully have enough to buy another home?
A: Call the nearest Federal Housing Administration office or visit your bank and see if you qualify for a Title I Home Improvement Loan. If you do, you can determine whether it will allow you to make the needed repairs and how long it will take to accomplish this. As to selling your home and buying another, you'll want to check the market and see what you might be able to buy that will fit your needs and what it will cost. Then you'll want to determine the market for the sale of your present home.