(WSVN) - He likes parties. She likes peace and quiet. No problem — except they are next-door neighbors. When he rented his house out for others to have a party there, their dispute erupted — and Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser got the call.
They say the rich are different than the rest of us. That might be true.
But we all have one thing in common. We have neighbors.
Robert Swedroe: “I like most people. I can’t think of another person that I dislike other than her. She is just a vindictive Wicked Witch of the West!”
Terry Cohen: “No, I don’t speak to him.”
Terry Cohen built a beautiful home on the bay in Surfside.
Terry Cohen: “I wanted to be in peace and quiet and enjoy my house with my family and friends.”
Her next-door neighbor, Robert Swedroe, is an accomplished artist who has a gorgeous home as well.
Forget peace and quiet. He likes parties.
Robert Swedroe: “We just have a lot of fun. We like to utilize our house.”
And Terry complains, not only does Robert throw parties for his family and friends. He rents his house out for others to have a party.
Robert Swedroe: “We have had people here from Italy, France, Sweden. Wonderful, fun meeting these people.”
The parties are entertaining for Robert. Infuriating for Terry.
Terry Cohen: “With diving mermaids, with the music and cars coming and busing people here. He had almost 150 people. They blocked the whole side of the street, and this is a one way in and one way out.”
Terry can’t believe Robert is allowed to rent his house out for $3,000 a night for parties.
Robert says he doesn’t need the money, but he adds, it does give Terry something else to complain about.
Robert Swedroe: “She complains about everything: the flag pole, the cleats on the flag boat, the boat, the music, the chimes.”
Terry does call the police when Robert upsets her — time and time and time again.
Terry Cohen: “The police comes but there is nothing to do. This is a civil matter, they tell me.”
Terry and Robert obviously don’t talk, but after she called police one night, Robert sent her a message on his garbage cans — writing her initials with the letters “f. u.”
Robert Swedroe: “I thought it would be quite amusing for me and my neighbors, and the whole purpose was to piss her off, which I apparently did.”
Yep. It did.
Terry Cohen: “And the police said it was freedom of expression.”
By now its clear Terry and Robert do have one thing in common: They irritate each other.
Terry Cohen: “My question is, where do his rights end and mine start?”
Well, Howard, one neighbor wants peace. One wants to rent their house out for parties. Legally, can a city stop you?
Howard Finkelstein: “This is the age-old question. Can the government tell you what you can do with your private property, and how far can you go without infringing on your neighbors rights? In this case, you can have all the parties you want — unless you are renting your house out to someone else to have a party. In Surfside, you cannot rent your house out for a commercial event because the city has an ordinance prohibiting it.”
Meaning Robert cannot rent his house out for commercials or parties. He plans to fight it.
Robert Swedroe: “We hope to get it overturned. You should be allowed to use your house any way you want.”
Howard Finkelstein: “And Surfside is not alone. Because of Airbnb renting homes for a night, the laws are being challenged across the country. Eventually, it will take the Supreme Court to determine how much power the city has to regulate what you can do with your home.”
Back in Surfside, two interesting people, fun to talk to, unless they are talking about each other.
Terry Cohen: “I’m very close to calling God to help me with this matter.”
Robert Swedroe: “I’ll find ways to aggravate her like she wants to continue to find ways to aggravate me.”
What are the odds they live side by side? Now, every city is different. Some allow commercials or movies to be shot at your home, or you can rent your house out for a party, so check with your city to see. It might be a way to make a few extra bucks.
A problem become a real party pooper for you? Ready to move away from it? Invite us over. We have a wealth of legal information, and like a good neighbor, we will be happy to share it.
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