It's a sad fact of life, even the most peaceful of homes can be ruined by terrible neighbors. Just ask these poor people!
People on Reddit and Quora share the abnormal things their neighbors have done. Content has been edited for clarity.
How Did Joan Know?
“When my son was young, I had many babysitters in the neighborhood who helped me when I had to work. I also went away for the weekends often, and these same neighbors would feed and water my cats and scoop the litter for me. I appreciated not having to worry, and it made the house look lived in for people to be coming and going, even though my neighborhood is pretty crime-free (you never know).
Well, at some point, my son got old enough to get himself on and off the bus if I couldn’t. I also decided it was cheaper to get some self-feeders and self-waterers and a few extra litter boxes than pay someone to do it. I would turn on music and have lights on timers so the cats wouldn’t feel so alone, and the house looked lived in. I didn’t want to bother these lovely neighbors of mine, who often had their own vacations or times when they couldn’t come by.
I didn’t ask for my keys back because I trusted them, and again, you never know.
As time went on, I would swear someone had been inside the house when I would return to it. It was only occasionally, and there wasn’t a pattern, but something felt off. My house is not always neat even though it is always clean, in like to vacuum and dust, the dishes are never in the sink, the counters are wiped. But, there are often papers I’m working on left out, mail piles up, projects I’m working on on a table. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but things seemed disturbed somehow. No one had any reason to be inside my home. What would they be doing?
I wasn’t happy, I had banking papers that come in, IEPs (Individual Education Plans) for my son, things that aren’t anyone’s business, and besides, it’s my home. But I wondered if I was imagining it. Could my cats have jumped up and displaced those papers? Did my son take that last iced tea and just forgot he did? Did I forget to turn off that light myself and I didn’t notice because I left in the daytime?
Then, I took my son on a picnic to watch the fourth of July fireworks. We walked to the beach, threw out a blanket, pulled out food and drinks, and sat down to watch the show. Then we gathered everything up as all the masses of others who came passed us. When I got home, my keys were gone. We retrace our steps, but no luck.
My spare keys were inside. I didn’t want to bother any of my kind neighbors, and it was very late now. I called a 24-hour locksmith with my cell phone. He punched out the doorknob lock and replaced it. I put one key on the spare set’s key ring and give the other to my parents. Then I promptly forgot all about this incident. It happens, right?
It’s probably two years later and I was coming home. I realized as I approach the house, I’d lent someone my car, and they weren’t back yet. The house key was on the same ring as the car key. I walked to the closest neighbor’s house who babysat for me and knocked on the door. They didn’t answer. So I walked to the next nearest neighbor who used to help me out. She answered.
‘Hi, Joan (not her real name), I’ve locked myself out of my house. Can I borrow your key?’ I asked.
‘My key doesn’t work anymore,’ she said.
‘Huh? What do you mean?’ I questioned.
‘You must have changed the locks. My key doesn’t work anymore,’ she replied.
‘No, I haven’t changed the locks. Are you sure you tried the right key? I need to get in.’ I answered, still confused.
‘Well,’ she said, ‘here’s the key. You’re welcome to give it a try.’
Sure enough, there was a little tag on it that says ‘Lisa’s house’ so it must be the right key. I walked to my house, put the key in, and sure enough, it didn’t turn. Huh, I thought, and I walked back to her house and told her she’s right.
Soon, my friend returned with my car and handed me the keys. As I go to turn the lock and it opens, the memory of me losing my keys that Fourth of July popped back up in my head with force.
How did Joan know her key didn’t work any more unless she had tried it?”
Everyone Knows Who She Is
“My friends used to live in a gentrifying neighborhood near the beach in my city. They had a regular apartment, but someone bought the building in front of them (beach adjacent), knocked it down, and put up a few luxury homes.
This crazy woman bought one. She had a two-car garage, and a driveway, and best we could tell, she had one car. But no one was allowed to park on the street in front of her house, which was clearly marked as a public street and where people had been parking forever to go to the beach or because their building didn’t have parking. We could see this street from their apartment.
She went out and keyed any cars parked there. It took a while to figure out it was her, but eventually, people saw her doing it. All the neighbors warned their friends not to park there, and people started putting up cameras to get evidence of it. Some dude with an ugly truck started parking directly in front of her house every day just to mess with her, because he didn’t care if she scratched it up. So she slashed his tires. It got to the point where every time she opened her door to walk outside, neighbors would cuss her out through their windows.
One night, she went out in the middle of the night and painted the entire curb on that street red. Someone got it on video, several neighbors called the city. I think she got a talking to and a fine, and she had several insurance claims pending against her from damage to cars, and she finally stopped. Everyone still hates her, though, even new neighbors, who are told the story of her from older residents.”
At Least Karma Got Her In The End
“My neighbor changed the locks on our communal door, which only allowed access to our flat and her flat, yet refused to inform us that she changed the locks. She then refused to answer the phone or let us in, then called the police on my partner when he broke in for breaking and entering. Also tried to get us to pay for the new keys.
The same neighbor called the police on me when I was in the bath. I don’t know what she said to the police, but answering the door to armed police whilst in a towel was not fun. Her reasoning for calling the police is that she thought I was being attacked and wouldn’t answer the door when she knocked. I didn’t hear her knock and I was in the bath the whole time so unsure what exactly she heard.
The same neighbor also called the fire brigade to our property twice claiming, we had purposely started a fire in our flat, both times my partner and I were at work and had to come home to check that there was in fact no fire.
We couldn’t get Wi-Fi installed in our flat (top floor) but our neighbor (bottom floor could) could, so we shared our Wi-Fi bill 50/50. The neighbor would turn the Wi-Fi off if we upset her in any way, or if she went away for a few days if she wanted to spite us. She would change the password and then demand more money from us to change it back. When she moved out we cleared out her flat and found letters from the internet company. She literally took our money but never paid the actual bill. I don’t know why they let her have internet for so long but alas.
The same neighbor filled up our own outside bin, then called the council to complain we were overflowing our bin. The council believed her and provided an enforcement notice for causing waste in a communal area.
Also, not petty but proves how much of a bully she was: my partner asked our landlord for a private postbox as our post and takeaways kept getting stolen (from the building with only two flats in). The landlord said no because only we and the neighbor live here. The neighbor denied ever stealing our post and takeaways. Said neighbor was then arrested a week later for selling fraudulent tarot readings online. But when the police arrested her they also found my partner’s bank card which we assumed just never got delivered and many other items that were addressed to us. Police did not prosecute because apparently could not prove that she actually stole them even though they were in her flat.”
She Had Evil Intentions
“When we first married, we had some problems finding an apartment. We got married at 19, so we were looking when we were 18. People would look at us and laugh, like were we crazy? We found a third-floor walk-up in a less than good part of town.
Then one day, while walking to the store, I saw a little house for sale two blocks from the apartment building.
The rent was only 65 bucks per month. It was tiny, had coal heat, the basement with the furnace could only be reached by going outside.
None of our neighbors were particularly interested in knowing us. We listened to music all the time, and it was probably louder than it should have been.
One day this elderly neighbor came over and was apologetic about having never met us. She said she had just baked a cake, and would we come over and have a piece of it with her and her son? That was so sweet of her.
We sat and talked for an hour and when we went back, our stereo system was gone, also a leather jacket I had bought for my husband for his birthday.
I was so naive at the time, that I never put the timing together to realize it was more than likely the neighbors who took it.
We soon moved to another part of town where everyone was listening to music and no doubt smoking, and lived there happily for 17 years with our own kind.”
Dad Immediately Stopped It
“When I was in elementary school, the woman next door had some serious medical condition. She survived but was never the same. She became obsessed with me because I had cut through her yard one time on the way home from the school bus. She would wait for me in the street on the way home and yell at me and threaten me for an hour. I was rather terrified to come home on the bus because I had to walk on the street past her house. For months, she was still fixated on the time I had cut through her yard. The worst part was, I never knew when she would be waiting to accost me. Her child and I had played in our backyards together for a decade before that.
One day we were having some landscaping done. We had a steep hill that was truly dangerous to mow, so we had the grass taken out and bushes put in. The landscapers accidentally went over the line and took out some of her grass (Our family had them sod and replace it as soon as we found out). She proceeded to take bucket after bucket and fill it up with dirt then water, and completely layered both of our cars which we parked in the street with a thick coating of mud. She was hysterical and just kept going at it in a crazed sort of way. Looking back on it now, she did a rather nice job getting both cars fully coated, but at the time it was truly bizarre.
When she wouldn’t stop harassing me, my Dad met her husband walking home from the bus one day. He said we would get an injunction against her if the behavior didn’t stop. My Dad, always my hero. The behavior stopped immediately.”
This Is Just Inconsiderate
“I live in a townhouse that has an adjacent townhouse on either side. The neighbors on one side are absolutely fantastic.
About two years ago, there were renters on the other side, where the adult male living there was some sort of tradesman who regularly left for work at 4.40 am. Whenever he left, he would slam his front (metal) gate closed, which would regularly wake me and my four-year-old daughter. (The gate was only about 10 meters from our bedroom windows.)
I wrote a very polite note, explaining how his slamming the gate it was a problem and asking them if they could please close their gate quietly. To his credit, his started leaving via the other exit.
About a month later, it was becoming clear my front lawn was increasingly covered in dog poo, so I set up a webcam to see where it was coming from. Very quickly it became clear these neighbors were regularly opening their gate, letting the dog out to do its business, and then return home, with no attempt to clear it up.
I approached him one early evening as the dog returned home from its defecation excursion, and (again very politely) asked him and his wife to stop letting the dog leave its business on my front lawn. They denied it, despite the fact I had just caught the dog in the act, and told them I had video evidence of what their dog was doing.
That absolute nightmare of a person decided every morning he left for work thereafter, he would literally slam his front gate using all his strength. Some people are human garbage. Thankfully they moved out only a couple of months later.”
Don’t Mess With His Kids
“When we bought our place, my husband went next door to introduce himself to the new neighbor.
‘Mr. C’ led with. ‘I don’t like dogs or children, y’all better be quiet!’ and it didn’t get better from there.(He also took down the no trespassing sign that the previous owners had put up. That sign only faced Mr. C’s property.
The pettiest thing he did was probably the day he cut our cable because he thought the provider didn’t bury it quickly enough. Mind you, it was entirely on our land.
Or maybe the day he had a complete fit because the movers took down a fence post to get their truck in, and inadvertently left it on Mr. C’s lawn for about three to four hours until they got the truck back out.
Perhaps it was the morning he came banging on the door at 7:30 am, like there was some emergency, and had the gall to yell at my husband because he answered the door shirtless. The ’emergency’ was the children walked to the bus stop on the right of way in front of his house. It’s a dirt road, no sidewalk, and the other side of the road has a ditch and woods – not suitable for pedestrians. Mr. C made threatening noises about ‘teaching the girls a lesson,’ about staying out of his yard.
At that moment, my husband lost his cool. Informed the old fart that the right of way extends 40 feet from the center of the road, per Georgia law, and the old man better never ever, ever mess with his children.
The only other time he ever spoke to me was to complain about the noise from a cookout we’d had. I told him that if he continued, I would have my timber cut, but only that between his house and the highway. Then we’d talk about noise.”
It’s Pretty Obvious Who Called Them
“I had a weird neighbor. Friendly at first, but slowly got colder and colder. They had the same landlord as us.
We were going to have a neighbors’ backyard party with us, the neighbors on both sides, and the neighbors across the alley. Only the weird neighbor declined. Everyone was bringing something, drinks from across the alley, sides from most of the others. We were hosting, so it was our job to grill some brats and host in the backyard. Had the charcoal grill fired up and put some store-bought wood chips on at the end to give the sausages a smokey flavor. I was stepping out of the kitchen with a big tray of raw meat when a firefighter poked his head over the back gate.
Firefighter: ‘Hi, we’ve had a smoke complaint that you are burning trash or yard waste?’
Me: ‘Wow, I hope not, I’m not that bad of a cook.’
Firefighter: ‘May I come in and look at your fire?’
Me: ‘Uh, ok, let me put down this tray.’
I let the guy in, he looked at our charcoal grill.
Firefighter: ‘Did you put anything other than charcoal and lighter fluid in this?’
Me: ‘Yeah, some of these wood chips from the grocery store.’
Firefighter: ‘I hate to say this, but the city has an ordinance against any organic matter other than charcoal in grills.’
Firefighter: ‘Yeah, it’s a dumb law and almost never comes up unless you are really burning yard waste or if you have a neighbor who has it in for you. I won’t give you a citation, but I do have to stand here and watch to make sure the fire is completely extinguished before I go.’
Me: ‘So I can’t grill these dogs?’
Firefighter: ‘I’m afraid not.’
I proceeded to take the tray of raw meat into the house, popped them in the oven to broil, and came out to hose down my grill until the whole thing was cold and wet. The firefighter left with an apology and thanked me for not getting mad at him for the bad news. Only one person within six houses wasn’t there, and I don’t think any of my guests called the fire department on our own party.”
Ma’am, It’s Just A Driveway
“We downsized a few months and moved into an old, cozy two-bedroom, one-bath on an undersized lot. There’s a tiny, one-car garage tucked in the backyard, but it uses a driveway shared with the neighbor. She owns the driveway and we have an easement to use it to access our outbuilding.
The previous homeowners told us at closing there had never been a problem in their 20 years of living there.
Turns out, Driveway Lady has a reputation around the neighborhood. After we moved in and started taking walks about the block, every other neighbor along the way asked, ‘How’s it going with Mary?’ while cringing.
Apparently, she’s screamed at the previous owners’ children for drawing with chalk on the driveway, she’s re-piled snow on their parking pad after they’d cleared it, and she’s flung grass on their vehicles while mowing.
She watches us from her kitchen window whenever we’re in the backyard. She’s verbally accosted every contractor we have working on the house, from the mason repairing the chimney, painters putting on the new color, and worst, the roofer.
In an unfortunate moment of timing, the roofer’s boom truck was blocking the driveway as she came home for lunch. She berated him so harshly, he told me he moved his accounts from the bank she works at to a new one and said he won’t come back unless she’s out of town.
But she never leaves! She goes to work at eight, home for a half-hour lunch at 12, gone again from 12:30 until six, Monday through Friday.
When she does go, she leaves a garbage bag of lawn debris, a pink bucket, and sometimes her garbage bin out to cordon the parts of the driveway not included in the easement.
She left a minute and a half voicemail about which parts of the driveway we can use and which we can’t. She actually chased my in-laws back down the driveway to our parking pad as they were trying to leave, and told them they couldn’t block it.
I gave her a heads-up once plumbers would be walking up and down the driveway to get to the basement door.
She responded, ‘My driveway.’
She throws snow, pebbles, leaves, grass clippings over our fence. It’s not the stuff, it’s the disrespect and damages her shovel has done to the fence.
We actually have enough room on the other side of the house to put in our own driveway, so we’ll be doing that this summer. She’s going to hate every minute of it.
I’m more fascinated than frustrated. Like, it’s a driveway. Everyone wants to get in and get out. Just be normal!”
Proceeded By Their Reputation
“I used to rent the basement apt of the neighborhood crazy lady.
Her car was decorated with thousands of rocks that she glued all over it. The property was incredibly overgrown. She had five unlicensed dogs, two cats, turtles that lived in her bathtub, pigeons, chickens, a rooster, and more animals I can’t specifically remember. But I do remember counting them all up; she had something like 17 animals upstairs. She’d regularly practice the saxophone while the dogs howled along with her.
She didn’t have a job and spent every day going on Craigslist free and picking things up. There was a room in the basement where she kept all of the stuff that was three to four feet deep and completely packed. I remember a cardboard stand-up of Captain Kirk and one of the Statue of Liberty sticking out of the horde.
I desperately took a job as a door-to-door solicitor for a short time and was randomly assigned to my neighborhood. When I introduced myself to the next-door neighbor and said what house I lived in, they were about ready to wring my neck.
I told them, ‘Yeah it probably sucks living next to her but I actually live there so yeah, no sympathy.'”
What Was The Point?
“It’s calling the police on me when I get home from work and just sit in my car in front of my house. I do this because I am usually eating something and don’t want to move. The other is I live with my mom and Grandmom, so I like to make as little noise as possible after they go to sleep.
The first time this happened, I was sitting in my car eating some Chinese food at around 11 at night. I have been living here since March. My car has been sitting out front for the street to see for a while now. I also come home late often because of my work. My neighbors know who I am and know I live here. On this specific night, I was sitting in my car when my neighbor’s black truck pulled up. He got out and started walking to his house. He and I locked eyes. We just stared at each other. He stopped, looked at me. Walks to his front door, turned around to stare at me, then goes inside.
About five minutes later, a police car turned the corner and started shining a spotlight on me and my car. I started talking to the cop, he asked why I was sitting in my car. I told him I was eating dinner and watching YouTube videos. He asked why here specifically.
I said, ‘Well, this is my house. I just haven’t gone in yet because I was eating my dinner.’
Right away, I could tell the cop did an internal sigh and changed his entire mood. He said someone called the police saying there was a shady figure outside his house. Mom woke up, came outside, and confirmed I am her son that lives here. He said no worries, just head inside so everyone can be at peace. It was such an odd thing for me. I’ve never been so paranoid of someone outside my house that I’ve called the police. At 11 at night. Especially someone who has been your neighbor for months now.
I’m usually better about parking and then going straight inside. But I have come home and a few minutes after going inside a cop car will drive by. I don’t get it.”