Thinking She Was Right
It wasn’t their pool; it was Hailey and Jane’s. The couple wasn’t going just to sit back and allow themselves to be legally blamed if one of the kids got hurt. She had to do something to make them understand.
She soon learned that the neighbor kids had been accustomed to using the pool. She tried explaining herself in the hope that this would prove to be a deterrent. She was wrong, and now she was being taught a lesson.
After Hailey and Jane Winstead tied the knot, the couple’s next ambition was to own a house together. Finding a place to call home was the final step in completing their magical time together so far.
They had been together for over a decade. The wedding was perfect, a ceremony of dreams held in beautiful Hawaii. Both had careers that were blossoming and owning a home was finally within reach. Unfortunately, neither had a clue just how much trouble came with being a homeowner.
Hailey and Jane met in their first year of college. Hailey had been a literature buff majoring in creative writing while Jane was an engineering student.
The two hit it off immediately, realizing they completed each other in many ways. It’s not every day a person finds and falls in love with their soulmate. But for Hailey and Jane, this was precisely the case.
Hailey and Jane ha always harbored an ambition to move to Hawaii one day. Though both were in grad school, Hailey had cruised through her Ph.D. and Jane would soon be too. The couple was ecstatic when their dream move became a reality.
The wedding was spectacular, taking place amid the backdrop of one of Hawaii’s most idyllic beaches. When the couple spotted a beautiful house during their time there, they knew that the time was right to complete the move they’d always spoken off.
A Dream Home
Using a realtor, the pair set to work scouring the best neighborhoods Hawaii had to offer. It didn’t take long before one of their viewings left an indelible impression.
The old couple that owned the place was taken with Hailey and Jane and even dropped their asking price a little. The couple was giddy with joy when they applied to buy the house, unaware of the trouble that lived just next door.
The house was perfect. It was a Spanish-styled hacienda with two stories and large, open spaces. Between the beautiful gardens, lush lawn, ornate architecture, and the gorgeous pool outside, the couple could not have been happier.
Moving in was fun and after setting into the place, the couple slowly began adjusting to their new lives and routines. Things were going well and everything seemed perfect to the women until the trouble began.
Hailey had been putting her literature knowledge to use as an aspiring novelist. She was alone at home when she heard some noises outside. She was afraid and reached for a baseball bat to investigate.
She peered through a crack in the curtain. It took a moment for her to register what she was looking at and became confused by the entire scene. She had no idea what was going on.
There was a group of teenage kids playing around in her pool. It seemed to be a kind of pool party as they had set up a stereo system and had a bunch of drinks out. Hailey and Jane were new to the area, so she hid her annoyance and decided to approach them in a friendly manner.
The kids were obviously familiar with the place, and she wondered if the previous owners had probably allowed it. All Hailey saw was potential legal trouble, and she did not want to be held accountable for anything these kids got up to while there. She had to do something.
Hailey’s mind was troubled by the entire affair as she approached. Politely asking why they were playing in her pool, one of the teens explained that the old owners were usually okay with it.
She soon learned that they were the neighbor kids and asked them to leave. They refused, and their lack of respect infuriated Hailey. She called Jane and explained what was happening. Jane told her to sit tight, and the couple agreed to confront their neighbors later that afternoon.
Calling On The Neighbors
Hailey and Jane met up that evening and went over to the neighbor’s place. They introduced themselves and explained that the kids had been using their pool. To their surprise, the kids’ parents defended them and kept up the opinion that they had a right to since the old owners had allowed it.
The kids’ mom tried to diffuse the situation and then asked if they could keep using it. Her reasoning was that they were “just kids” and “weren’t causing any trouble”.
Talking To Their Parents
Hailey and Jane aired their fears about the kids using their pool, stating that they would be legally responsible if any of the children were to get hurt or, worse, drown on their property.
Such a scandal could strip them of their dream home and any future opportunities to own property. But there was an even bigger reason why the two couldn’t allow the kids to use their pool anymore.
“We didn’t know them that well for them to be coming into our place and using our pool,” a frustrated Hailey shared. She hoped the neighbors would hear them out and bar their kids from using the pool, but the following Friday gave them the shock of their lives.
Hailey and Jane were in their house that afternoon, enjoying the peace of knowing life was terrific. But then they heard a loud splash in their backyard accompanied by some chuckles.
The two hurried into the kitchen, seeing the neighbor’s kids alongside a few friends swimming in their pool. The teenagers had jumped the fence, disregarding the trespassing signs that Hailey and Jane placed near the pool.
The couple marched out, chased the kids, and then went over to talk to their parents. But the glares they received from the neighbors told them everything they needed to know about the situation.
Hailey and Jane returned home that afternoon dejected. They’d only wanted to find a place they could call their own, a place where the neighbors would respect them as much as they did them.
Of course, the two would allow the kids to use their pool once they were at a level where they trusted each other enough. But since the neighbors treated them like dirt, Hailey and Jane would have their revenge.
Taking It To Reddit
Hailey, now at the end of her tether and tired of the dirty looks the kids’ parents gave her every time she saw them, decided to take her issue to Reddit to find out who was in the wrong in the situation and seek advice.
Before she knew it, the post had blown up – with more than 900 comments from other Redditors. So, were she and her wife really being unreasonable?
Of course, most of the commenters were on Hailey and Jane’s side. “Your pool, your property, your privacy, your liability, your decision,” one wrote. “The arrangements they may have had with the previous owners are totally irrelevant.”
Clearly, everyone else could see that the neighbors were the ones in the wrong. But the more comments Hailey read, the more infuriated she became.
Pointing Something Out
Hailey mentioned in her post that the neighbors had said the kids were allowed to use the pool when the previous homeowners had lived there and cleaned it in return. One Reddit user wasn’t buying it, and their comment opened up a whole other can of worms.
“I like knowing when someone is lying to me. It just sounded fishy, this story of swapping pool cleaning for swimming. Did they clean the pool for the new homeowners? That doesn’t sound like it,” the commenter pointed out.
“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?” someone else commented.
“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.” The thread got heated when some users shared similar stories of their unbelievably entitled neighbors as cautionary tales.
Not As Uncommon As You’d Think
“The next-door neighbors to my parents were just like what OP is dealing with. The way these people took ownership of our other neighbor’s pool was nothing short of intrusive,” one user wrote.
“It was the reason why my parents refrained from buying a trampoline because the next-door neighbors would have been inviting themselves over, chiefly when nobody was home.”
A Cautionary Tale
“The neighbors with the pool needed to enclose the pool in a room so that the next door neighbor wasn’t constantly unlocking the fence,” the user continued.
“They ended up moving and left the pool with the chain link fence. Imagine the surprise of the new homeowners when said next-door neighbor showed up to use the pool and was escorted off of the property!” The issue that worried Hailey the most came up, too.
A Giant Liability
“Your pool is a giant liability waiting for an accident: if one of their kids had an accident (slipped on the wet pool deck and fell, broke a bone, drowned in your pool), you would be liable for damages because it happened at your pool,” a user wrote.
“What the former owners did or didn’t do is absolutely irrelevant. Never let anyone use your pool without proper supervision.”
“But, OP, do not bring up supervision,” another user quipped, “They will use that against you to put their greasy, trespassing butts in your pool as well.”
“You have to understand that if those children get hurt in your pool or one of them drowns, you are legally responsible,” another Redditor pointed out, “There’s a magic word you can use….”
Tell the parents that the next time anyone comes in your yard, you are going to charge them with trespassing. What you have told them this they cannot legally come back in your yard,” the commenter advised.
“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.” But is this true? Would Hailey and Jane be held responsible if something happened?
Is The Law On Their Side?
“OP should tell the neighbors next them they catch the kids, they will call the cops. And if they don’t take the warning seriously, actually call the cops. OP already has signed up and everything. And the law is on OPs side.”
Since Hailey and Jane had put up “No Trespassing” signs, most people naturally assumed the couple would be covered by the law if something happened to the kids. But they were wrong.
“The law is not on OP’s side. A pool is an Attractive Nuisance & regardless of signs, fence, etc., OP is liable. Check out Attractions Nuisance Doctrine in your area,” one user warned.
“I had all the stuff: fence, alarm, etc. & lost a lawsuit when a know neighborhood nuisance hopper the fence, was drunk & dry drowned a few days later.”
The Attractive Nuisance Law
“The attractive nuisance doctrine in the US applies specifically to children/youths in cases where the property owner could have reasonably foreseen an injury (broad strokes, the details vary by jurisdiction),” another user confirmed.
Another user added: “It’s just the same in Australia. A burglar who falls and breaks their ankle climbing through your window can claim against your home insurance. It’s insane.”
She Was Right To Worry
Now, Hailey was even more worried. She had been worried about the liability of having teenagers on her property, but now Redditors were reaffirming that she was right to be concerned and were sharing their own horror stories.
Now, people were telling her that putting up signs wasn’t going to be enough to protect everything she and her wife had worked so hard for. She had to do something.
More Helpful Advice
In addition to the ‘No Trespassing signs, Redditors suggested that she put a fence around her pool and lock it. But surely they shouldn’t have to go to such extremes just to keep some kids out of their pool? This was becoming ridiculous.
Then, someone suggested something that could solve the whole problem. Hailey and Jane had to draw the line and come down hard to make sure the kids didn’t trespass again.
Hailey was furious after reading the comments on her post. She came up with a plan and shared it with her wife. They bought what they needed and set it all up.
It was beyond infuriating that they had to spend money just to keep some teenagers off their property, but they knew they had to solve the problem once and for all.
You’re On Camera
A week passed before the kids sneaked into Hailey and Jane’s property again. They had no clue they were on camera while Hailey was calling the police. She reported the kids for trespassing, and the police didn’t waste time coming to pick them up.
Hailey dropped the charges with her wife by her side, promising her neighbors she wouldn’t be as lenient the next time. The two families would grow to be great friends, but their friendship would be built out of mutual respect.
In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.