The Problem With Friends and Neighbours

Going to the cottage?  Vacation?  Extended business trip?  Leaving your home vacant often creates  and uneasy feeling.  You have done your due diligence, turned off the water, stopped the paper, set up automatic lights, notified the alarm company and cancelled services.  And just to provide some reassurance, you have asked a friend or neighbour to pick up any mail and flyers and do a periodic check of the premises.

But think for a moment the responsibility you have off loaded onto your friend or neighbour.  When you made the request they likely agreed because they are generally really nice people, particularly if they are Winnipeggers.  You have left them guarding your most prized asset. Regardless  of their enthusiasm to accede to your request, let’s face it – it can be a burden or at least an annoyance.  What if something comes up and they wish to go away for a period of time.  What if something serious happens?  What if they fail in some duty or fall short of your  expectations.  What if your friend or neighbour simply tires of the responsibility, especially if they have been asked on multiple occasions.

Sometimes the request is simply picking up the mail and flyers.  This leaves the interior vulnerable to a multitude of issues if the home will be vacant for an extended period of time. But often the request is subject to “expansion”.  Can you also water the plants?  Feed the fish?  Make sure lawn care or snow removal shows up as required?    It’s  asking a great deal from a loyal friend or neighbour that may jeopardize your special relationship.  You may not hear their growing annoyance because (as I mentioned) Winnipeggers are generally nice people.  Maybe you should just give your friend or neighbour a break.  Hire a responsible professional to check your home while you are away and set up as many specific requests as you deem necessary.  Don’t burden others; transfer the responsibility to Winnipeg Home Check.