Neighbors having a backyard party during SIP

Young neighbors moved in recently.

They have had friends over and hang out. They go our for a run, go to stores, etc. Today, they decided to have a jolly gathering in the backyard with about 8 or 9 people, shoulder to shoulder, laughing, drinking, chairs right next to each other. We have a fence but their congregation is just on the other side of the fence and their walkway is about 4 ft from our windows. The fence has gaps and holes. We are very exposed to them. It’s hot. Our windows are open with a clear view of their party. If the virus can be carried upwind and if one of them have it, we have been exposed. 

I am upset. We have existing conditions that put us in a high risk category. What can I do? Should I let the landlord know?

We are sheltering in and taking every precaution.  We miss our friends. Kids cry because they miss their friends. They see our neighbors having a party and ask why we can’t see our friends. 

Parent Replies

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Speaking with the landlord is probably a good idea.

I would contact either the city health department if you’re in Berkeley or county health department if not in Berkeley and ask what enforcement actions can be taken. If you don’t get anywhere with health departments I would contact your city council member or county supervisor that represents your neighborhood. This is what local elected officials are for - finding solutions to these types of problems. Good luck!

Report them. Report them to their landlord and/ or to the police (please use non emergency line). I HATE inconsiderate irresponsible people. So if you are up for it, maybe you should shame them as well. Take their pics and post them around the neighborhood.

The risk to you of them hanging out in their backyard is no different then the risk of someone passing by your house or kids playing on street near your house on the other side.  I would assume that the distance between you and them is way more than 6' unless you are standing right by your window and even then it is low risk, so as long as you are not socializing with them it is very low risk.   Yes, you can complain to them or to the landlord or to authorities, but think for yourself if you really want to kill any chance at a good relationship with new neighbors.  If you complain and they find out (and they likely will) you will become "that troublesome neighbor" who complained about them and the next time you have a request, or need a favor, or just want them to change something small to make your life easier they would likely say no to spite you because you complained.  We have a good relationship with our neighbors (even though we are not friends) partially by letting things go and making it work even when we did not like their loud music at night, their parties, or violation of spare the air days and now we have someone to get our mail on vacation, keep an eye on the house when we are gone, and our kids know the two next door neighbors they can go to if they are home alone and there is an emergency.  Yes, you can complain, but as those are your new neighbors, just think whether complaining about this is worth a very bad relationship with your next door neighbors and them closing the door in your face if you need something from them in the future. 

Hi there, I feel your pain. Our neighbors in back also had a party last weekend - same story - unbelievable! I don't think there's much one can do but close the windows and take a deep breath. I know it's hard to see folks congregate, especially with kids - it happens here a lot - I wonder if they have friends, relatives who are nurses, elderly. It's tough. Mostly I'm just writing to sympathize. People behave badly all the time, all you can do is control what you can, and you are doing the right thing by taking care of your family and helping to keep the world safer.

I'd call the cops; it's illegal. Call during the illegal activity, not after.