DEAR ABBY: We moved my elderly parents into an adult assisted-living center last year because they were no longer able to safely care for themselves or their home. They have now decided to put their house up for sale. Our problem is that sometimes when we have driven by the house to check that everything's OK, we have found some of the neighbors enjoying the afternoon sitting on my parents' front porch.
The house has been shown three times, and one of the times another neighbor was in the backyard sitting on the deck. Another time, a neighbor walked into the house during a private showing. We have been as polite as possible in requesting them to please not do this. We finally told them plainly to stay off the property. But it continues.
We would hate to post "No Trespassing" signs for fear that a prospective buyer may think there are problems with the neighborhood, and I don't think a sign would deter these perpetrators. Any ideas on how to get them to stay in their own homes? My sisters and I are starting to think the neighbors don't want the house to sell so they can enjoy it themselves. -- FED UP IN TENNESSEE
DEAR FED UP: Because of the long relationship your parents may have had with these neighbors, ask them once more, firmly and politely, to stop using the property as an extension of theirs. If the request is ignored, it will be time to involve your lawyer, who will have to write these nervy people a strong letter on your behalf. Not only is what they are doing illegal, but if an accident should happen while they are on your property, your family would be liable.