You ever move into a new place and can just tell that the neighbors are going to be awful? Well, ditto for the folks in these stories. These people share the worst first impressions they've ever gotten from their neighbors.
Jane Is An Absolute Creep
“My husband and I found a beautiful house in the process of being built in a town closer to friends and family. We were thrilled to make it our home. We immediately had the builders, who were finishing the basement for us and building our deck, also build us a fence to keep our dogs and very small children safely in our yard.
One day while visiting another neighbour we notice a figure lurking in the bushes along the visiting neighbour’s property. We realized it was our newest neighbour from behind our properties. Her house is easily a hundred yards from our fence and property line, and yet here she was creeping along the property line. We called her over and had a brief chat.
A few days later we came outside and the same weird neighbour was swinging on a swing, three feet from our fence looking into our backyard. We were approximately twenty-five feet from the fence. We were unnerved to say the least. She never spoke, just sat swinging, staring at us as we sat on our deck.
Later in the week, Jane, the neighbour, called me over to the fence we had built. She was concerned that our dog, unfamiliar with herself and her dog would bark when she would stalk the property line. She then asked if she could board up the back of our fence. This is someone we didn’t know, who had just moved in and now she was expecting to modify the fence we had built and paid for. We immediately said no. The fence was on our side of the property. We later heard from our friend that she had attempted to hire him to go ahead and board up the rest of our fence, despite it being on our property. He said no.
Jane then built a huge shed as close to the property line as she was allowed and proceeded to sleep in it. Although completely within her right, this mid-30s something woman lived in a large home ALONE, and yet decided to sleep meters from where we were hanging out as a family.
Jane then began planting vines on our fence. We had seen first hand what vines can do to a fence as it had ruined the fence at our old home. After asking her not to plant vines because of this, she planted them across the entire back of our fence. My husband ensured that they came out. She nailed things to our fence, pushing nails three to four inches through the boards and left them sticking dangerously out on our side of the fence.
Jane then crafted a farm-size compost box. Instead of keeping it on her property she stuck it at the back of our neighbour’s house, a few trees down.
When Jane’s nephews and nieces came to visit they would taunt our dog, running back and forth teasing him. They’d climb the tree and look over the fence, threatening our kids that they were going to come in when we weren’t home.
The last straw came when I noticed what appeared to be new boards on our fence. Sure enough Jane had boarded up the back of the fence. In an email she stated that she had begun that months before, and when it went unnoticed she decided to continue on with it. When we threatened civil action she once again retaliated by building a nine-foot fence that hovers over our six-foot one. It is made with barn steel and wood. The bad side facing us. The kicker, there are no bylaws in this town preventing it from happening.
She is now threatening us with harassment because our children sat in their treehouse and could see into her yard, because our dog barked at her, although she admitted yelling at him through the fence. If this woman ever moves out it can’t come too soon.”
‘When I bought my home, we were unloading the truck: six very tired people, who were just trying to get the job done. The front door is standing open as we carry in boxes. I look up as a woman walked in, with two little boys in tow, and says ‘Hi, I am your new neighbor.’ I have a house full of tired cranky people, and she thinks I have time for a social call? Really?
She followed me around for about an hour telling me she had heard that a disabled person (me) had bought the house, and how her friend used to own it, yadda, yadda, and I finally turned to her and said, ‘Please, we have work to get done and I will be glad to sit down over coffee, and get to know you, but today is not the day.’ She gathered up her two little boys, and as she walks out my from door, she says over her shoulder, that she and her husband will be by tomorrow ‘to discuss the rent.’ I looked at her and said stupidly ‘huh?’. She then proceeds to tell me that although I bought my manufactured home through the bank, that she and her husband owned the land it was on, and they would come down and discuss the rental amount, etc.! I looked her straight in the eye and told her that I did not buy the house through a bank; I bought it straight out right for cash, for the house, buildings and the land they are on! There is no bank involved. She gives me a dirty look, and says ‘my husband will have something to say about that!’ Turns around and walks out the door.
The following day, I saw her husband coming home from work, so I stepped outside and asked him if he wanted to speak to me as his wife said. He looked at me, kind of embarrassed, put his head down, and said ‘yeah, I am sorry about that, but when she heard a disabled lady bought the house, she figured she could scam you for some cash. I am really sorry, but she just does these things…’
Grrrrr…! She figured she could rip off a disabled person and get away with it? Nope! Needless to say I rejected all offers of friendship until she sold her house and moved. Buh bye!’
All This Over Three Inches?!
“Many years ago, when I was still living with my parents, we bought a house in an established neighborhood. One evening, we were finally done bringing boxes in and were getting ready for bed when my father decided to park his car in the side yard because the garage was full of moving stuff.
All of a sudden, the neighbor woman comes out in a rage saying that he could not do that because the previous owner had stolen 3 inches from her side yard and the car was technically on her property. When my mother came out to see what the problem was, she flung insults at her telling her that my father was cheating on her because she was an old hag. She threatened to call the police on us because of trespassing.
For the next few weeks, she would wait for my mother to come out of the house to insult her and threaten the police because she wanted her 3 inches back.
One day my mother was watering the front garden when she came at her threateningly because she was going to trespass on her 3 inches. When the neighbor came a little too close for comfort, my mother turned the watering hose on her. Of course, she called the police. There was nothing to be charged for and they left.
This went on for a few months and it died down, but everyone in our family tried to avoid her.
Thirty years go by…
The house on that neighbor’s other side, whose owner was a widow with 5 daughters and a friend to everyone on the street, left to go shopping while the girls were in school. My mother was at home and she noticed a burning smell in the air. She walks out of the house and notices smoke in the air. As she looks around, she finds that the house where the mother of 5 daughters’ lived was on fire. She calls the fire department because the flames are coming out of the windows. Luckily, there was no one home at the time. Then my mother notices that her next-door neighbor (3 inches) is probably home and has not noticed that there is a fire next door to her, so she bangs on her door and windows until the woman walks out. She had been taking a nap and did not see that the flames were spreading and had had the potential of jumping into her house while she had been sleeping.
She quickly got out and … hugged my mother for ‘saving her life’. From then on, she showered my mother with gifts, home-cooked meals, and acts of kindness. She even had an event at her house in which her daughter and granddaughter, plus her two sisters, honored my mother with a cake and presents…
Update on the fire: The house burned down with all their belongings so my sister let them live in a property she owned rent-free until they could rebuild and get themselves back up.”
Sometimes The Nicest Neighborhoods Are The Roughest
“Hmm, so most of my neighbors have been okay but there is this one block that kind of generated a few stories. (I’m changing people’s names by the way for anonymity). I’m also black by the way for context.
So, I just graduated college from the State University of NY in Albany with two degrees, BAs in Political Science, History and a minor in Mathematics. I got hired as a Logistics Analyst for an international shipping company headquartered in Danville VA which is where I had to move, so technically I was the new neighbor.
I moved into this nice hamlet and my roommate was another analyst at the company. This was a ritzy neighborhood called Forest Hills (actual name) and we lived in one of the bigger houses. It was actually one of the prettiest neighborhoods I’d ever lived in because I come from a low-income background. So, I remember looking around and just feeling really proud and happy to live there. I think I was the only black person in the whole complex, even my roommate was white. (Not that I minded, I’ve mainly lived with and around white people).
Well by the fourth day there I started to feel differently. The doorbell rings and George, our neighbor from two houses down introduces himself. He says, ‘We noticed you moved in a few days ago, welcome to Forest Hills, I wanted to ask you, for the last few days we haven’t been getting our newspaper and we were curious if perhaps you’ve seen them?’
I politely but aggressively said ‘No I haven’t.’ His face got red he said okay and walked off. I’m in my head thinking ‘does this guy really think I stole his newspaper, like who even reads newspapers anymore.’ I’ve lived in some trap neighborhoods before so I remember chuckling to myself as he walked away thinking ‘all the nice stuff they have sitting on their yard, and they really think that’s what I would steal a newspaper’… Jesus. This was the first red flag.
A week or so after that I was jogging after work in a black hoodie and sweatpants, a cop pulls me over. I explain politely that I’m new to the neighborhood and work downtown, but he asks for my IDs because one of the neighbors called in a complaint that there was a stranger they thought was checking out properties. My IDs still said NY so I guess he didn’t believe me because it takes him about 20 mins to run my information. Surprise surprise I’ve got no criminal record so he let me go and told me to be careful.
I like to jog so I switched to light gray sweats so I would look less scary. Still, I got pulled over like that several times, usually at least once a week. Always the same reason a neighbor reported a suspicious-looking person, and I’ll admit after the first few months I got kind of aggravated. I felt like the whole police force knew me by now. One time, in particular, I forgot my wallet and the cop said he couldn’t let me go until I produced identification. I started to get rude with him and he puts his hand down on his weapon like he’s preparing to draw it. I’m like, ‘What the heck.’ I ended up having to call my roommate, he brought me my wallet and vouched for me living there, so they let me go.
I eventually decided I was going to have to move after I’m cleaning out my car in front of my house after work, (and I drove a BMW at the time). I’m reaching under the seat for some trash and I hear a car pulling up. I turn around to a cop with a Glock in my face telling me to put my hands up. I do, he comes over aggressively, turns me around, and puts cuffs on me. I’m like, ‘What’s going on?’ he said ‘You’re being arrested for breaking into the property.’ I’m like ‘Whaaat? Officer this is my car!’
He angrily says ‘Sure it is, you have some proof,’ my roommate saw the sirens and came out explaining that it was. The cop took the cuffs off and I showed him my ID, which matched the registration on the car. The officer apologized and said that you guessed it, a neighbor reported that someone’s car was being broken into.
Considering that’s the first and only time I’ve ever had a weapon pointed at me I decided to move. I relocated to the other side of Danville, a kind of lousier mainly black neighborhood, but cheaper rent my neighbors kept to themselves and no more run-ins with the police. Now I’m not sure which neighbors in Forest Hills were actually calling the police on me. They would never tell me who, but it doesn’t matter. I moved back to NY a few months after and started Law School. I definitely think it’s important to know your rights now.
If you’re black do not move to Forest Hills.”
He Gave His Neighbor A Piece Of His Mind Alright
“I didn’t even get a chance to move in next door to my new neighbor!
At 11:00 am, my new neighbor stormed out of her door while I was carrying a heavy box of clothing and she said ‘stop all that F-N noise, I’m sleeping.’ Well, being new in the building, I apologized and took my brothers to IHOP. We drove around reminiscing about our childhood hang-outs and so on.
We returned to the new apartment at about 3:30 pm and began again to move my things in.
Then BAM, here she comes again yelling ‘can’t anybody get any sleep when you’re [meaning me] around here?’ I dropped my lamp and it broke. That’s all it took, being Irish, Indian and Scott’s and a redhead on top of it, I looked up into her face with a huge smile and said ‘GET USED TO IT, I’m moving in!’”
Avoid That Fat Donkey
“Many, many, many years ago when my daughters were young, we had moved into our new home on a military base. I walk for exercise every evening. One night, as I walked, there was a group of ladies gathered at one house on our street. They were obviously friends and were just visiting. As I walked by, I responded as they all spoke to me. They then invited me to join them so I could get to know my neighbors.
We sat and visited for about an hour and had a great time. Then, one of the ladies turned to me and said ‘Let me tell you. Avoid the woman that lives down there,’ and pointed toward the end of the street. I asked why and she said ‘She is a snooty donkey. She’s really hateful and just glares at everyone. I went down when she first moved in and tried to visit with her, but, she is just rude, rude, rude.’
She then made some really hateful remarks about how that ‘Fat donkey could just go suck lemons’ and other nasty comments. I asked which house specifically she lived in and the woman said ‘That yellow house with the yellow storage shed on the end.’
As I stood to leave and said my good-nights to everyone, she turned to me and said ‘You never said where you live. Which unit is yours?’
I pointed down the street and replied ‘The yellow house with the yellow storage shed on the end,’ and turned and walked away.
Never had to deal with her again. And, none of the other ladies in the neighborhood would either. Obviously, it wasn’t the first time she’d done something like that.”
Well, That’s Not How You Treat A Widow
“Following the unexpected death of my husband, I was forced to sell the house we had lived in for 20+ years and move to a new town. We were self-employed as auctioneers, and I could not continue our company without him. So, in addition to losing my house, I had also lost our business. My teenage children wanted to live in a modern house in a gated community, where many of their friends lived. I was fortunate to find a house within my price range on a dead-end street. The entire liquidation of my home and subsequent move were very traumatic. I knew that once I was settled into my new place, I could breathe a sigh of relief and figure out how to move forward. We had two lovely dogs that I kept in the fenced yard. I made sure not to let them run around loose. They were older dogs and well-mannered. Their names were Katie and Johnny, and they were a source of great comfort to me.
Three days after I moved in, there was a knock at my door. I saw that it was the next-door neighbor, and she had something in her hands. I thought she was there to welcome me to the neighborhood and was bringing me a small gift. I knew that she was part of the welcoming committee.
I eagerly answered the door, and to my dismay, she was holding a small shovel and a plastic bag. She told me that one of my dogs had pooped in her front yard and that she wanted me to pick it up immediately. She also said that she would file a complaint with the HOA if it happened again. She informed me that she was going back into her house because she had no interest in watching me clean it up. I tried to tell her that it was not my dog, but she would not listen. I was shocked beyond belief. I was terribly hurt. I fell apart, crying right there in the entryway, and realized that I had made a mistake by purchasing this house.
Not knowing what else to do, I went to pick up the poop. I knew that it was not one of my dogs, because they make big turds, and these were small ones. By then, she had already gone back into her house and closed the door. I left her shovel, along with a note,near her garage. I saw her come outside and pick it up as soon as I went into my house. She had obviously been watching me.
The next morning, I noticed a Boston terrier roaming the neighborhood. I got out my camera and took several photos. A few days, later the same dog was pooping in her yard. I was able to get a photo of this activity, as well as the turds the dog left behind, which I did not pick up.
I sent her the photos, along with a note. She never responded and avoided me. I later found out that the Boston terrier belonged to some visiting relatives in the neighborhood. I also discovered that her husband had had an affair with the woman that had lived in the house I had just purchased. Apparently, she felt threatened by my widowhood and thought that I might try to steal her man.
I missed my husband and our life immensely that summer. The camaraderie of living in that community never came to fruition. People would open their garage doors to leave in the morning, and at night, they would close the doors behind them. I felt isolated. I was unable to sell the house for several years, due to the economy. I ended up moving away and renting the house out. The neighbor was never friendly to my tenant, either. I was quite relieved the day I sold that house.
Recently, I ran into that same neighbor and she was all smiles and friendly. Her questions felt like an interrogation. I mumbled something about being in a hurry and got away as quickly as I could. I had a lot of hindsight about things I could have said to her. Mostly, I wanted her to know the pain I felt that day when I thought I was being welcomed by her to the neighborhood.”
Why Are All HOAs Like This?
“This happened WHILE I was moving in. I’d purchased a condo in a 3 story building with 75 suites. There were rules about moving in, such as that you had to notify the management company of the day and approximate time you’d be moving in, where the moving truck could park, where and how to pick up the elevator pads and where to return them, etc etc. Assorted rules, a bit fussy but none was unreasonable.
I hired a moving company to move me in. I followed and ensured that they followed every single rule that was laid out in the 3 page document MOVING IN that the management company had provided.
Halfway into the move, the chairperson of the Strata Council showed up and buttonholed me in front of the elevator. She actually put herself in front of the open elevator doors, blocking my and the movers’ access. She introduced herself and I introduced myself. She then proceeded to recite the move-in rules to me.
I said that thanks, but I was aware of the rules and that it was nice to meet her but I’d like to continue with the move-in unless there was something urgent she needed to discuss with me that simply couldn’t wait.
She looked taken aback and then started talking about the importance of the elevator pads and how I really should have made sure I got the elevator pads.
‘If you look behind you,’ I said. ‘You can see that the elevator door is open and the elevator pads are right there, hanging correctly.’
‘Well then,’ she said brightly. ‘You’re doing everything perfectly!’
She continued to stand in the way. ‘Yes, I am!’ I said. ‘Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for you. I’m paying these movers by the hour, so how about getting out of their way and letting me get on with the move in that I’m already doing perfectly. Unless you’d like to pay them instead.’
For the next 3 years that I lived there, she gave me filthy looks every time she encountered me in the hallway or foyer.
Strata Councils, like HOAs seem to attract petty tyrants.”
He Thought The Neighborhood Was His Playground
“He wasn’t a new neighbor and we hadn’t just moved in, but he was the rudest neighbor we had ever encountered.
During the 1990s, the stock market picked up, and people who never had money before decided to ‘move up in the world.’ Our neighbor was one of them.
He held a position at a non-profit, yet he bought any toy you could imagine. A boat was ‘moored’ in his dry backyard. Cars lined his driveway. He washed and waxed his John Deere riding mower weekly. He was loud and so was his family.
But, those were not the rude thing that he did.
While his money was flowing, he had joined a local failing country club. When his money flow slowed down in the 2000s, he gave up his country club membership and used his backyard and all of the neighboring backyards as his golf course.
Ha ha. Good fun for him. All of the neighbors, including us, tolerated his brutish behavior.
Now, we had a dog. We submitted HOA plans for approval of a lovely Hunter green aluminum fence to enclose part of our backyard. The plans were approved. We began construction. He vehemently objected to our fence and called every neighbor but us to complain about us.
We offered to landscape extensively so he would not see our fence. He objected because he would have greater difficulty retrieving his golf balls that landed in our yard. We offered to leave the gates unlocked. He said that was not good enough unless we gave up our dog.
So, he had no problem asking his neighbor to give up a living being so he could retrieve his errant golf balls. The nerve.
We kept our dog.
The neighbor argued with the HOA board President to the point that the President told him he could do whatever he wanted when he was President. He then started a campaign to remove the current President, installed himself, and promptly sued us to remove the fence. Using HOA money, of course.
Five years later, when the HOA was bankrupt, the lawsuit was settled. The fence is still there.
The family that bought the house from us said that he knocked on their door as they were moving in to tell them they had to take down the fence. I faxed over a copy of the time and date stamped Court document that confirmed their rights to keep the fence.
They tired of him within the year. Turns out he lost his job and became even more aggravating when he had all day to irritate his neighbors.”