Born To Be A Bad Neighbor
“I grew up in a rural area on a fairly big property. It had been a large farm that got parceled out as the owner aged. So there were 4 3/4 acre lots and my parent’s 10 acres behind them. The house was relatively far away from our neighbors.
One neighbor was an absolute piece of crap. When I was 8, I remember seeing the cop lights at his door. Found out when I was a little older that he had tried to murder his father over his oxy prescription (father owned the house, 30-year-old kid lived there rent free). He did a few years in jail, then moved back in with his father who he had tried to kill. He grew pot on our land, then threatened to kill my mother when my father and I tore it down (but didn’t call the cops). Frequently threatened to assault/kill my mother. I can remember multiple times when I was younger, him banging on our door and screaming threats at my mom. Other times I can remember thinking about the weapon in my father’s office, in case our neighbor actually got inside the house. This occurred 8-10 times a year from ages 8-14.
He has calmed down a little after a second arrest and some anger management classes. Nowadays, he just has massive bonfires with tons of loud music and leaves empties on our property, which is still an inconsiderate move, but better than physical intimidation and death threats.”
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
“We had a party for all the neighbors when we moved in. I like to barbecue, and my wife is vegetarian, so we have two separate barbecues. We invited everyone on the street.
One neighbor declines ‘because we’re vegetarian.’
‘Not to worry,’ I said. ‘So’s my wife. We have two barbecues going, one for meat and one for veggies.’ I could see them searching for another reason. They look at the invite.
‘Oh, the 6th? We’re out of town then. Sorry.’
That’s cool. They don’t want to come for whatever reason. They’re not just going to say that. We’re British, after all.
The day of the party comes. Our garden is quite big, so everyone can fit in happily. We’ve got the barbecues going on the opposite side of the garden to the aforementioned neighbors’ house. It’s only about 4 hours into the party at around 5 pm that we notice the upstairs windows in their house are open. ‘Weird, I thought they were out of town?’
As I’m looking at the windows with some of the other neighbors, we see the wife with a camera, taking photos of us!
We go round and ring the bell to explain this is the party they were invited to, and they’re still welcome to join. No answer. Curtains twitching upstairs. So we go back to the party and just ignore them.
Later into the evening, the parents and kids have gone home, just a mix of older and younger neighbours left, and I’m now making mixed drinks at the outside bar (honestly, this house was amazing. I have no idea how it was in our budget, but anyway…) and then the police walk in through the (open) back gate.
‘Someone’ has lodged a complaint. It’s only about 9 pm (noise complaints in the UK are typically not followed up until it goes past 11 pm) but apparently not only are we having the biggest party known to man, but we’re ‘setting things on fire’ and ‘forcing adult beverages onto children.’
Of course, the Police can see we’re having a fairly civilized adult get-together, and congratulate us on moving to the area, and for getting to know our neighbours in such a friendly way.
Monday, we’re off to unpack. Knock on the door. The Police now have photographs of the alleged ‘forcing adult beverages onto children’ and ‘setting fire to things.’ It’s one of the neighborhood kids bringing two brews from the fridge to me and his dad at the barbecue. They’re not even open.
The ‘setting fire to things?’ Yeah. Using a blowtorch to light my barbecue. Apparently, that’s endangering their property, which is a good 100 yards away from the contained fire within my oil drum barbecue.
The police can see this is a non-issue. They just need me to make a statement explaining. So I do.
For the whole two years that we lived there, they avoided us. So weird, so unnecessary.”
Sometimes, You Have To Fight Fire With Fire
“My sister was only 20 when she got this flat, and some old guy (in his 50s) across the way would shout things like ‘Suck my balls’ or ‘I’d do you, come here’ to her whenever she left her flat and he was outside.
My sister had called the police and landlord and told them about his harassment, and basically, they said it was his word against hers and since nothing had happened, they couldn’t really do anything. The landlord even said he had lived there for years and never had complaints about him before.
My sister got scared to leave her place and often asked friends to walk her home from work, but of course, the tricky little prick would never say anything when someone else was there.
My mother had visited her one day and had shouted at him to leave her alone, but he had given her a puzzled look and just shook his head as if he didn’t know what was going on.
So I’m visiting her one day, and she’s putting out the bins when he comes out and starts shouting; he’s standing on his doorstep grabbing his balls through his pants saying, ‘Come here I have a present for you, little girl.’ He obviously didn’t see me arrive with her or thought I’d gone, I’m unsure.
Well, I’m standing in her hallway just out of sight when I hear this, so I bolt out the door, and before you know it, I’ve got the old pervert by the short and curlies. I put one hand on his throat and pin him against the doorframe squeezing his neck hard—and take into account, this guy is some 5-foot, Danny Devito looking guy if Devito had been on crack and lost 100 pounds, and I’m 6’2″ and 19 stone. The red mist descends and I’m really resisting the urge to knock him out, so I lean over and whisper in his ear:
‘Next time I hear you shout at my sister, I’m going to kick this door down and give you a beating you won’t forget, understand?’ He nods, and I literally throw him back into his flat and just leave him there crumpled in the doorway.
My sister looks at me shocked, and I sat with her for the next couple of hours expecting a visit from the police, but they never arrived.
After that my sister said she rarely even saw him again, and when she did, he would scurry into his flat. She only stayed there another 12 months before moving on to another place nearer home, but I always remember that rat and for years expected to see his name in our local press for some reason, but never did.”
When I moved in, he seemed eccentric, but harmless. Apparently, my landlord had a conversation with him and told him to leave me alone. This upset Jerry greatly. He cornered me one day while I was unlocking my door and asked me to come to sit with him in his apartment. I don’t think the place had ever been cleaned and he had hoarder mentalities. He drank a bottle of Chianti in about 30 minutes, commenting on all the sad things in his life. Luckily, he passed out so I could leave.
A couple weeks later, he got into a 3 a.m. fight with his boyfriend, which resulted in his boyfriend trying to get into my apartment for safety and eventually breaking into an empty unit down the hall. Cops were called and Jerry was taken to jail.
About a week after that, same boyfriend was over and a fight ensued. This time it ended in very loud make-up bang sesh.
Jerry would flush things you’re not supposed to flush down the toilet and would back up sewage into mine and my neighbor’s bathtubs and bathroom sinks. Eventually, he clogged his toilet so badly that he just ripped it from the wall and left it there.
The cops came twice to my door to ask if I had seen Jerry lately and asked to search my apartment to make sure I wasn’t hiding him.
One day, while I was getting ready for work, he came into my apartment with another guy and tried to measure my walls for the ‘renovation’ he was going to do to combine his and my apartments into one unit. But, don’t worry, I could just live with him when it was all finished.
Eventually, Jerry got evicted, but would still convince people to let him into the building. For months his mugshot was posted on all entrances saying to not let him in.”
“We had horrible neighbors at our previous residence. As first-time homeowners, my wife and I wanted to make a good impression on the neighborhood and decided after we had settled in that we would introduce ourselves to a few of the people in our new neighborhood. Most were nice and struck up conversations, but the neighbors next door to us were god awful. When we knock at their door, a lady opened it and immediately told us that she was not interested in what we were selling and slammed the door on us. We knocked again and let her know we were just introducing ourselves, and she yelled, ‘What’s so special about you?’ So we left.
Where we lived, everyone had a driveway that could fit one car and then public on-street parking was used for additional cars. The unwritten rule of the neighborhood was not to park in front of some else’s house unless you had permission. Most of my neighbors would ask if they could park additional cars in front of our house for parties and things like that. It was never an issue. Except for my next door neighbor. At the time, I worked the night shift, so when I got home, I wanted the parking space in front of my house (my wife used the driveway) so that I could get in quick and get to bed. However, she would have her many ‘lovers’ park in my space, so I would have to park, sometimes, up to 3 blocks away. I confronted her one day about the unwritten rule, and she told me to ‘get bent’ and that ‘I don’t own the street.’ I figured I would use her logic against her one day, and I parked my car in front of her house. I woke up to find my car missing. After contacting the police, I found she had it towed because she stated she was getting her sidewalk repaired and it was in the way of the workers (she never actually was getting her sidewalk repaired).
I ended up just using my wife’s car most nights afterward so I didn’t lose my spot. My neighbor combated this by parking in my backyard. When I called the cops on her to have her vehicles towed, she stated that my backyard was her property and that I had no right to move her vehicles. Because I didn’t have any proof of the property line, the cop stated it was pretty much my word against hers and there was really nothing that he could do until we had property line proof. Next day, I went to the town’s municipal building to get proof of the property line. It was out of date, so I could not use it, and I couldn’t afford the $3,000 fee that the surveyors wanted. So she won that one too.
Among other things, she attempted to sue us because she warped her siding while grilling too close to her house. She tried to blame it on our windows reflecting sunlight and heat onto her siding. She lost that one. She tried to sue us for a tree on her property that fell down during a storm and crushed a small storage shed she had. She lost. She blamed us for going through her mail. Never happened.
Finally, we moved and had our house on the market. One day, I get a call from the police. The house was broken into. We lived 3 hours away, and not all of our stuff was moved out. Police stated that another neighbor took pictures of the burglars and that they knew who it was and asked for me to come to the station to identify my property. I took a day off and traveled back to the house to assess the damage and claim my belongings. The deadbolt on the door looked like someone tried to hammer it off and the window that they used to get in was shattered. I went to the station and got my property. When the officer showed me the pictures of the robbers, it was my terrible neighbor’s son and his 4 friends. All they stole was an Xbox 360, 10 games, and a bunch of my wife’s costume jewelry. I was so happy to put him and his friends away. Funny enough, my neighbor pleaded with me not to press charges, and she promised to pay for everything. When I told her to ‘get bent,’ it was one of the best feelings I have ever had.”
“When I was 10, my neighbor—an 80-something-year-old man—shot and killed one of my dogs.
When I went looking for my dog, I asked my neighbor if he had seen him.
He told me that he shot a dog like that this morning.
Frozen, I asked where he was so I could bury him. The old man told me that his body was in the dumpster and that he would shoot me too if I didn’t get off his land.
I ran through the woods back to my house, screaming out loud in anger and punching trees until my knuckles were torn and bloody.
When I got home, I called the police and the K9 unit came out to my neighbor’s house. He retrieved my dog’s body, and I buried him.
The worst part was that my dog was very sweet. My neighbor had tied him up and broken all of his legs, then shot him point blank in the chest.
I have never felt more rage in my life. My mom took the man to court, and he was charged with animal cruelty. The judge asked how much money I thought the dog was worth. I was dumbfounded and croaked out that I didn’t want money—I wanted my dog.
The neighbor was fined $500, and I made him pay it to the local humane society.
The man had the ten commandments posted all around his house, so the next night, I took a red sharpie and circled ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’ on all of his signs. My dog’s name was Hershey, he was a mutt that was born in my bedroom — he was only 2 years old and such a good boy.
It’s Like A Speed Bump, But More Annoying
“I moved onto a dirt road with several houses on it. My friend has lived down the road his whole life. The people next to my house only come up for the summer and are never there in the winter. When summer comes, however, there are multiple potholes on the road. Curious, I asked my friend. He said the neighbors come up in the summer and dig the holes themselves in order to ‘slow down’ traffic. They literally go out in the dead of night, like ninjas, and use shovels to dig a few good holes. There’s never any holes elsewhere except right in front of their house, which also happens to be right in front of my house. And it’s a terrible, awful road in its own right already.
The thing is their driveway is all rocks. So I just took their rocks and used them to fill in the holes when they were away.
Though I volunteered over the winter to foster rescue dogs. Guess who’s lawn was used as the potty?
That’s a good boy! laughs maniacally.”
Sweet, Sweet Revenge
“He had 2 access roads to his property (he didn’t live there, he just had livestock there) and insisted on using the one that cut through our property, despite the fact that it was the longer route and it was a literal unpaved road through the woods. He didn’t have an easement or anything, just assumed that since he had to drive through our property to get to that crappy lane road, he was allowed to do so. He was a total prick to us for no reason, never said hi, got upset if we were too close to his property despite the fact that he literally drove through our property every day.
Revenge came when lightning struck a tree in the woods and it fell right across the access to the lane road… on OUR property. He hired a service to chop the tree up and told them they could have the wood as part of the payment (it was nice walnut). My dad wasn’t having any of that. He walked down there with a copy of the sale documents, pointed out the marker that clearly separated our land from our butthole neighbor’s land, got the neighbor to admit that the tree in question was both from our land and currently laying on our land, not his, and then my dad sent the crew packing and told them if they took so much as a branch from that tree, it was theft and he (a lawyer) would see them in court for it. It’s been over 15 years and that tree is still laying across the access to the lane road. He can still access his property via the other road, so he didn’t have a leg to stand on to force an easement. Forget you, Jim.”
Her Tiny “Infraction” Caused Them Months Of Headaches
“He used to stand on the footpath wasted every afternoon and yell to my husband about what a horrible woman I was. Once my husband told him to go home and he shaped up to try and punch my husband, who was around 50 years younger than the neighbour.
My infraction? He rang one day to be nosy check why my husband’s car was home on a workday. I politely thanked him for his call and let him know my husband was sleeping and had a cold, nothing to worry about.
Apparently, I was meant to praise him profusely for being such a caring neighbour, and my husband was meant to follow up with a call once he was awake and also lavish him with praise for caring. Because we didn’t, we got to hear about it loudly every afternoon until we moved several months later.”
Don’t Get A Big Head
“The guy who lives three houses down from me is the grand wizard of the HOA and is a massive jerk, so he’s always fining people for the dumbest stuff. He has quite the long list of offenses.
1: He fined my parents $100 for having one tire of a car parked on our lawn. The HOA rules are no tires can be touching the grass at any time. He then goes about parking his van dead in the middle of his lawn for sometimes days on end while he does various garage renovations.
2: HOA states you can only have a basketball hoop if it’s cemented into the ground. We had a water base basketball hoop so he threatened to fine us if we didn’t get rid of it or cement it in. My parents said forget this and donated it to someone. He then put the same exact type of hoop in his front yard so his nieces and nephews could play with it.
3: We lost some roof tiles when hurricane Wilma hit, and he threatened to fine my parents $50 for not replacing the tiles 2 days after the storm had cleared up. 90% of the city was still without power or phone service. It was literally impossible to get them put back on that quickly.
4: He followed me to my house when I was walking home then stood about 20 feet from my front door with his arms crossed as I was walking inside. I asked him if I could help him and he asked if I was driving on the main road outside our neighborhood a few minutes prior. I told him, ‘yes,’ and he started complaining about how my car was loud and he could hear me driving on the public roads that are in no way, shape, or form associated with our neighborhood. I asked if he had any proof that the loud car was mine and not another loud car. He said no; he was just somehow positive it was me. I just walked inside without saying a word.
5: This one is absurd. My neighborhood is split into two halves: One with the HOA (my half) and the other without an HOA. There are no gates or walls or signs or anything separating the two halves. It’s weird and I’m still not entirely sure why it’s laid out like this. A buddy of mine who lives in the non-HOA plagued half has a really loud blowoff valve on his car. Obviously, it makes it’s loud sounds whenever he drives down my street towards his house. Buddy boy comes over one day while I’m mowing the lawn and tells me that if my friend down the street doesn’t do something to make his car stop hissing (that’s how he described the blow-off valve) then there would be repercussions. I asked how that was any of my business, and he said since I knew him, I could make him stop.
At that point, I had already been hating this guy and his crap for years, so I wasn’t in any mood to pander to him. I told him that if he had a problem with my friend’s car, which I had zero ownership or part of, then he could go talk to him himself. We got into an argument, and after a few minutes of arguing, I said ‘Whatever dude,’ put my earphones back in and kept mowing my lawn. He kept saying I would pay for this and that I didn’t know who I was disrespecting. Nothing ever came of it and nobody got fined or anything like that. I still hate that guy though.”
A Change Of Heart
“Lived next door to ‘Bob’ for 10 years with no issues. He’s a retired prison guard, cop, military, about 70 or so. I was 25. We share views on many of life’s situations; political, legal, etc. We always got along swimmingly.
We share tools, chat now and then, but we’re not really ‘buds.’ He spends 6.8 days a week at his girlfriend’s house, so we never really see each other more than 2 hours a year seems like.
At the 10 year mark, a policeman walks into my backyard where I’m raking leaves. He’s there about the complaint from Bob. Huh?
We go to speak with Bob, and when I ask him what’s going on, he interrupts, yelling about my kids on his lawn, me riding motorcycles on his lawn, and more. He’s livid, spit flying, and he looks like he’ll have a stroke. I just looked at the cop and shrugged. We’ve all heard or read stories of neighbor spats escalating into retribution or violence, but all of his accusations are false. Completely baseless and out of the blue.
Cop says he has to give me a criminal trespass warning, so if I ever step foot on his property again, I can be arrested. I told him that’s like telling me I can’t sleep with his sister anymore. Never happened, never will. I spoke with him privately, and the best we can come up with is some mental illness, or he’s off his medication. It really was the strangest thing.
What annoyed me the most was two days later, as I’m driving away, he’s on his lawnmower, and waves and smiles at me like nothing ever happened. We’ve never determined if that was genuinely because he’s crazy, or if he was taunting me.
That was nearly 15 years ago, and I have never spoken to him since. I keep my family away, and we leave if we ever see him. Oh, and he’s moved back home this year from his girlfriend’s place, so he’s baaack!”
A Novel Sales Tactic
“I just moved into my new apartment in Chicago and was woken up at 3 am to some loud knocking on my door. Given that it’s Chicago, I thought the worst and assumed someone with a loaded weapon was on the other side of that door. A moment passes and I sit silently in my bed running through self-defense scenarios in my head. I then hear a woman yell something through my door that had me on tilt… This lady says, ‘This is your neighbor, I was just wondering if you’d like to buy some girl scout cookies.’ Naturally, I ignored her offer and proceeded to go back to sleep angry and confused. Either my neighbor was high or trying to rob me.”
Rock Me All Night Long
“My neighbor (above me) was trying to force me to move out, so she put her speakers on her floor pointing straight down and blared them at full volume. The instant it started, I leapt up in outrage at her audacity, but after a few seconds, I realized… I really, really like this song. So I give it one song, and as it’s winding down, I prepare my outrage once again, only to be surprised when the next song is also a perennial favorite. I didn’t even bother getting upset before realizing that I liked the third song, too. She stopped at midnight when she was legally required to. Apparently, she realized she wasn’t getting much ‘bang’ for her buck as far as irritating me/effort on her part, so she didn’t try it anymore.”