• 48°

Mark McCown: Senior fighting with kids over yard work

Dear Lawyer Mark: I’ve got a problem with some neighborhood kids, and I need some advice.


I’m an older gentleman, and it’s hard for me to get around anymore.


One of the things I still try to do, however, is keep my yard neat. It’s getting harder and harder to do that with my age, and now some kids are making it even more difficult.


They’re always running around in my yard and tearing up what little garden I have.


I’ve tried talking to them, but it doesn’t seem to help. Lawyer Mark, I don’t want to get them into trouble because they’re pretty good kids, but what can I do?


Thank you for answering in the paper. I read your column every week. — IRKED IN IRONTON


Dear Irked: I’m assuming you’ve already contacted the parents of the children and spoken to them about your problem. Legal actions that you could take include filing a police report for trespassing. If you want to pursue an action against them, they could find themselves in front of Judge Payne in juvenile court.


If you “don’t want them to get into trouble,” you may want to try an alternative approach: hire one of them to help you with the yard work… If one of them is made responsible for the appearance of your yard, he would most likely discourage his friends from tearing it up.


Most news reports always talk about the negative effects of peer pressure, but it can be used towards positive goals as well.


Dear Lawyer Mark: I’m going to buy some property in the country, and was wondering about something.


The people that own it want to sell it on a land contract, but I’m afraid to buy it now because I heard that if you miss a payment they can just come in and take the land back.


Now don’t get me wrong, I’m going to make all the payments, but sometimes bad things happen, and I’m afraid that if I accidentally miss a payment, I will lose the house.


Is what I heard true? — PEDRO PURCHASER


Dear Purchaser: Buying property on a land contract means that the sellers don’t give you a deed until after you have made all the payments.


If you default on any provision of the contract (don’t make the payments on time, or break some other rule in the contract), the sellers can get the property back, but must follow the laws outlined in R.C. Section 5313.


Once a provision has been broken, the buyer has 30 days to correct the problem.


If the buyer does not, the seller must serve a written notice on the buyer to correct the problem within 10 days or leave the premises.


After the 10 days have passed, the buyer must leave if the problem is not corrected.


There is one other catch to this: if the buyer has paid more than 20 percent of the purchase price or has made payments for more than five years, the seller must foreclose on the property instead of using the process outlined above.


The foreclosure proceedings are started by a lawsuit and handled the same as if a bank were foreclosing on a mortgage.


THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave. – Calvin Coolidge


It’s The Law is written by attorney Mark K. McCown in response to legal questions received by him. If you have a question, please forward it to Mark K. McCown, 311 Park Avenue, Ironton, Ohio 45638, or e-mail it to him at LawyerMark@yahoo.com. The right to condense and/or edit all questions is reserved.