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  • Christmas 2017 countdown has begun. Most people reveal their displays the day after Thanksgiving. Will you be ready???
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  • The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on that day.
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Seth Hartley

Frustrated With Absent Neighbor

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Keeping this as short as possible: Our yard is very deep and skinny. Our house sits 15 feet from the sidewalk, no real front yard. Our side yard has a privacy fence that starts at the back of our house. We have a large pine tree in the side yard as well. So basically not much usable/visible yard. When I started expanding the display years ago I struck a deal with the neighbor who owns the empty lot next door (and she lives 1000 miles away). I helped keep it clean, stop illegal dumping, and they let me use the lot for our display, as long as I clear it by spring.

Last year she suddenly started getting really antsy, wanted me to wait to put anything up, started dropping words like "Liability". She finally let me put things up a couple weeks late. This past spring she told me I could no longer put my mega trees in her lot because her insurance agent threatened to drop her if they weren't removed. I was very upset by this, but obviously complied without complaint.

Now this year she is saying the same thing - that she has to make sure through her agent that it's okay for me to even put up inflatables or blow molds. I can't understand why those wouldn't be okay. Millions of Americans put them up every year. If Insurance companies had a problem with manufactured decorations, wouldn't everyone in america who put something out in the yard lose their coverage? She keeps rambling about liability again. She sincerely thinks someone is going to get electrocuted and sue HER. Is she trying to blow me off because she doesn't want me to do it anymore?

To make it more heartbreaking, the guy with the empty lot on the other side of hers gave me complete use of his lot. But without the use of hers, I really can't do anything since I couldn't string electrical wires across her property, I wish there was some way to remedy this situation!

Her husband won't sell the property either. He says it was a gift and he is emotionally attached to it. (What???) It's in a floodplain and by our city law, can't have any structures built on it.

I am SOOOOOOOOOOOO frustrated. I normally start Halloween today, and I can't because she keeps putting me off again!

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Liability issues are real. My mother has been putting on a gospel music concert series for 14 years on family land owned by her brother. They had to create a LLC and get a large insurance policy just to protect themselves. I understand that it is just a holiday display, but there is still the danger of someone getting injured. They could possibly sue both you (setting up the display) and her (owner of the land). Since she doesn't live on the lot, her homeowner's policy probably would not cover anything. Since you don't own the lot, your homeowners policy would probably not cover it either. With our lawsuit crazy society, I can understand her fear. Sorry to say it, but she might have a valid point. The only real way to be safe would be to get a liability insurance policy, and it's probably not worth the expense.

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Liability might be an issue, but not realstically. To ease her mind, why not lease the surface of the lot for display use? Offer $10 per year and release her from any liability related to that use.

That ought to make her insurance agent happy. May also allow for coverage under your homeowners policy.

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I also use ajoining lots and property for my display, I take out a million dollar liability policy with my homeowners to cover me during display time. Last year it cost me $125.00 for the 45 days it also covers anyone who might show up to help setup and take down. You might want to check with your homeowners, it may cover you without the addition, some do and some don't.

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I also use ajoining lots and property for my display, I take out a million dollar liability policy with my homeowners to cover me during display time. Last year it cost me $125.00 for the 45 days it also covers anyone who might show up to help setup and take down. You might want to check with your homeowners, it may cover you without the addition, some do and some don't.

I never even thought about something like this! Thanks for the heads up! I definitely need to talk to my agent about this.

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Yes! Roger, thank you for that idea! I had called my insurance agent once last year to inquire about options, but never did hear back from them.

Robcat, thanks for the reply, I am looking for honest opinions here, if I am being unreasonable I want to know that too. :)

I guess my frustration stems mostly from the fact that we don't let anyone in the yard/lot to walk through the display. There is a fence around part of it, and the rest is all roped off with lights, no walk through stuff. No one should be getting hurt/ suing because no one should be on the property in the first place. :/

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