Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Linda writes:

Love your site. Want to share a bad neighbor story with you.

Many years ago, when I was first married, my husband and I bought a nice 3-bedroom ranch house in a neighborhood of ranch houses. To the left of us were some neighbors who knew just about everything about the neighborhood. They were nice older folks, but they knew all about everyone. Us being the new neigobors in the neighborhood and being newlyweds, they wanted to be sure they kept an eye on our house and gave us advice now and then.

There was a house across the street that was owned by a landlord who rented it out frequently. A young couple moved in who had a couple of small children.

One summer, I had left my car outside because I was refinishing furniture in my garage. I could not put the car in the garage until the project was done so I expected to have it outside for a few more days.

One night during that summer, the neighbors across the street were having a big party, charcoal grill, fireworks, beer, you name it! One big loud obnoxious party.

It was loud for quite a while, but we did not complain. About 11:30 that night, my next door neighbor calls us on the phone. They said they saw someone from the house across the street sneak over to our house and steal the battery out of my car.

Can you believe that! We were flabbergasted, and we didn't know who to believe. So my husband and I went outside in our robes, etc. We asked the good neighbor and the bad neighbor to tell their side of the story. When the arguing was finally over, no one came up with the battery. My husband finally told the bad neighbor to get off our property and keep the hell out of our yard or he'd call the police in the future.

Then when we went to get back into our house, I found out that I had accidentally locked the screen door. Of course, my husband could not look like a wimp now, so he had to proceed to bust the screen door in front of the bad neighbor.

Anyway, these idiots lived across the street from us for about 6 months. I always gave them dirty looks when I saw them drive by, and always cursed at them whenever I saw them. I never gave in. They finally moved away, and I was pleased to see the day that it happened.

Ca1v1n Replies:

I totally understand how frustrating it can be when your buy a nice house in a nice neighbourhood only to discover that there is a "rental" just across the street or next door. You can almost always count on these houses to have been "let go" to some extent, not have as nice a yard, etc. When I lived in Kitchener, Ontario there was such a house two doors down. During the three years I lived there a stream of about 6 different tenents rented the place.

One day I got home from work and was suprised to discover my garbage can was missing. I looked up and down the street (thinking the wind had blown it away after it had been emptied that morning) but was never able to find out. The next day I noticed the neighbours two doors down had moved out. About a week later I noticed my garbage can was right next to the front door of this now empty house. It had probably been there all the time but I had just noticed it.

I went to grab it and it was as heavy as a bag of cement. I opened it up. The bastards who had moved out and emptied the contents of their fridge into the garbage can. It was stacked to the rim with various jars of food, salad dressing, ketchup, etc. It had been rotting for about a week and reeked to high heaven. I couldn't exactly just drag it to the curb because the garbage pickup would not even take it since everything was just thrown in loose and not even in a plastic bag.

I actually had to empty each item by hand into 3 separate plastic garbage bags and then clean out the can in a feeble attempt to get rid of the smell. Now I admit my "cleaning" involved leaving it out in the rain for a few days then letting it dry and spraying it with Lysol (then repeating).

Thankfully the folks who moved in the next weekend were very good neighbours (for renters). They actually did alot of landscaping and really cleaned up the lot.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Henrik writes:

In desperate need to let off some steam I found this site! I'm renting an apartment and the owner lives in Egypt, so I have to deal with annoying neighbours myself.

At first my boyfriend and I thought we had a family living upstairs, since we heard a lot of noise from children, a hyperactive cat running about, and someone snoring so loudly we could hear it clearly. Accepting that we are young people and might be a bit noisy in the weekend we let it pass by, after all people are allowed to have kids and they do make some sound.

I was suprised to realize the upstairs neighbour was a single woman in her 60's. Apparantly the grandchildren come around a lot. We ask her politely if she could keep her visitors quiet after 11pm since we have to get up early for our studies and work. It didn't help.

Then she started having her son renovate the kitchen it was quite nice, because she moved in with her son while he was doing the work for her. Unfortunately we have gotten involved. The idiot managed to work his way all the way down through the floor leaving a gigantic hole in our walk-in closet / storage room.

I noticed next day, since I didn't came home until late the night before. I found a note with a number saying to call and wondered why there was rubble everywhere. I looked up and noticed the hole. I called the number and was told "Oh, by the way I made a hole in your ceiling. I'll fix it when I get around." The son said it would take one or two weeks, but apparantly gotdistracted and it was still unfinished three weeks later.

I wrote a complaint, trying to be pleasant, that our ceiling still wasn't fixed. She told us they would get working and call an electrician to fix the light which they had ruined while working on the ceiling. The ceiling was finaly being finished, but nothing happened with the electricity. I wrote another letter, since a month had passed by now. She replied that everything has worked out fine and that we're a pair of sour pots.

So basicly 2 and a half months of waiting for a hole in the ceiling tobe repaired, that should never have been our problem to start with and our wardrobe in heaps in the living room. I've just called my friend who is an electrician and talked him in to do a bit of work for me.

I think I'l have a very loud party soon...

Adam for the UK writes:

For 7 years we lived in a block of flats. In those 7 years, every night (from the neighbour above) was filled with drug taking, domestic violence and loud music.

We eventually moved in to a really nice street where everyone knows each other and says hello and I really thought I could spend the rest of my life there.

Our new neighbour owns a house but is married to a lady 20 miles away and basically lives there with her most of the time. In fact I haven’t seen him in about 6 or 7 months. He decided that he would leave his 15 year old son in the house. The 15 year old then decided that he would have one of his friends move in. Every night they would be in their back garden taking drugs, smoking weed and getting drunk. This would go on through the night. You can imagine how irate I was to discover that I am living next to the same type of people I had been trying to get away from for 7 years.

In the UK we have environmental health. I called them out and they monitored the noise, took notes etc. The 15 year old boy (the owners son) was served with an antisocial behavior order. This meant that any further noise witnessed by environmental heath would result in prosecution. I was happy that I finally got one over on the little bastard.

All went quiet for a week or so, it was great. Then the music came on. It was bearable and I was happy to take into account that they are young with no adults around so I put up with it. Then Jason (the owners son) met a girl and started spending most of his time at her house, leaving all his drug taking friends in the house. The music started to increase in volume, so once again, I called environmental heath. They took notes and took Jason to court but nothing changed.

Last week I had enough and I went down to my local sports equipment store. I purchased a baseball bat. I waited until I could see that they were all in the same room. I walked up to the house and entered though the back door with my nice new baseball bat. I walked in to the room and I saw 10 jaws hit the floor. I casually walked over to the stereo and turned it off. Every on was silent. I asked if anyone had a comment for me as I couldn’t quite hear what was said. Of course I got the childlike reply of “I don’t know”, “it wasn’t me” etc. They were shaking. I had absolutely no intention of using the bat but it felt good that they thought I had come round to use it. I asked who was first. They were unsure as to what I meant so I said who would like there leg broken first. One of them started crying. It was great to know that I had so much power over them. I walked out with “I’m watching you” comment and went home.

There has been no noise at all since. In hindsight, they could have easily jumped me and kicked the crap out of me but they think that I am a head case and are quite frightened of me. Now when anyone leaves the house, they are quite polite to me, checking that I cannot hear the music. My other idea was to have a friend stand outside in a raincoat staring at the house for hours on end. (He would have done it too with a little cash he said). My point is that if you have noisy neighbours, they don’t know who you are or who you know. The trick is to frighten them psychologically. Trust me it works! You don’t have to go as far as I have but simple things like make sure they over hear a conversation on the phone about how you are going to take someone out , have then buried etc.

Thanks for listening or reading and take care,

Ca1v1n Replies:

WOW! I would never have the balls to walk into someones house, baseball bat or not. I guess in the UK you don't have to worry so much about folks having guns. Now I did once turn around in a movie theatre and warn a group of teenagers that if their one friend didn't shut up that 15 minutes after the movie ended they would be driving him to the hospital. I don't know if they thought I was crazy but a few others around starting clapping so I knew I had some backup.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Mark writes:

My domestic partner and I recently bought our first home. It is in a 1970's development that is well maintained, perfectly manicured yards, well kept modest ranches and ramblers, the occasional boat or camper in the driveway.... the American dream.

On the first day we met Susan. She asked if we were renting the house we informed her that we had purchased it and that she didnt have to worry about bad renters next door anymore. We had heard that the previous tenants had several very loud dogs who alienated the neighborhood. We told her that we have three dogs, but that they were all well trained and that she would never hear a peep out of them. She waved her hand and said that dogs don't bother her and that she was thinking of getting a puppy herself.

It was the next morning at 5:30 that the whining and yelping began. My dogs all awoke and started pacing around unsure what was the matter. There was a puppy in her yard, running in circles and yelping incessantly. This did not stop until around 2:30 in the afternoon when the poor puppy collapsed from exhaustion. That evening when Susan got home she was cooing over her puppy in the yard. My partner and I were grilling on the deck. She yelled to us to look at her new puppy. She said that this was the nicest, quietest dog ever. I laughed and said that the dog had been loud all day, that I was wondering if someone was hurting it! She seemed surprised to learn that there was any noise and asked the homeowners on either side of her who confirmed the puppy had been yelping all day.

After several more days of this I left her a note that stated that I would be contacting animal control if the noise happened one more time. 5:30 am is too early for me to listen to incessant yelping. I copied the local ordinance that outlines the elements of animal cruelty and pointed out that she was not only mean to her dog, but also disrespectful to her neighbors. Then I asked where she was raised. Which I admit was rude but in my defense it was after several hours of hiding my head under the pillow to try to drown out the dreadful sounds from her puppy.

Tonight all hell broke loose. My partner and I were peacefully enjoying our deck when they started howling out the window at us. We at first figured that they were playing a game with the kids who were there then we started to "overhear" conversations about the note on the door and that the police should be called for harassment. Then I went inside I heard more howling and realized that they were howling out of their window. I peeked out the window myself, and one of the adults said that she could see me. She then said that she was going to call the police unless I stopped peeping into their house. I finally asked "What is your problem?" She told me that her mother had lived there for thirty years and that my little note was outrageous. That they had seen people come and go and that nobody ever had a problem with her. I then said that I simply did not want to hear the animal abuse every day. Susan came unglued, she started waving her arms wildly and shrieking at me that she loves her dog, that she would be the worst neighbor from hell I had ever had, and that I should move out of her neighborhood.

At this point her daughter started making lude comments about my being gay. She started talking about me taking it in the *ss, among other such derogatory remarks. She started yelling that God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve! My partner was mortified and he blames me for starting this whole thing.

How can I stop this war from making our lives miserable? I have told you both sides of the story here and I firmly beleive that the woman loves her dog but has NO CLUE what being a responsible dog owner is. Do I have to suffer for that?

Ca1v1n Replies:

I've got alot of folks post since this blog started but your the first person to ask for my advice. So here we go. You own 3 dogs, and probably know more about dogs then your neighbour. Perhaps the answer here was not threatening her with a note about bylaws and ordinances but offering to help her train her dog? It is just a thought and perhaps you did try this already. Personally if I were you I would start by apologizing (blame it on being stressed out from work NOT being up all night due to a barking dog even if that is a little white lie). Then offer to help her train the dog. Teach it some simple tricks, recommend good puppy training books, etc. Perhaps recommend crate training?.

If you do all this and she still cops an attitude then to hell with her. I also recommend you invite her shopping.

Sandi writes:

I came across your website after many frustrating weeks of dealing with a neighbor behaving badly. My fiance and I bought a townhouse in a beautiful location over a year ago. This townhouse is absolutely what people would envy us for ...only if they knew!!!

When we first moved in, all the neighbors came to us to welcome us, especially a middle aged couple who we quickly bonded with. We would share a beer with them, our kids would play with their son and we noticed after about a month they were bad-mouthing alot of other neighbors, including the ones that they have known since the development was built.

They complained about how people wouldn't mow their grass, how lazy this one was, etc. Of course, my fiance and I were suckered into it, because we were naive and started to speak our opinions about neighbors also. The kids played non-stop with them and my children called their son "their adopted brother".

I started to notice in the spring that when I would talk to the wife, she would be staring at my fiance and when I was outside, she wouldn't come over but when my fiance was out, she would. When I mentioned something to him, he thought I was crazy and it brought about alot fighting in our house, needless to say.

However, we were putting a patio in the back of our house (we should have gotten a permit but did not - we were too anxious to start the project) and we needed to use the common ground in back of the houses to transport materials. The husband told us that it was ok for them it is common space we don't need anyone's permission to walk on common ground. Knowing that we didn't have a permit, we were nice and thanked them.

Over time, my fiance was taking things back and forth when the wife copped an attitude and would stand in his way, claiming that it was "matting down her grass". My fiance offered to fix it and she barked "that's not the point" in front of my son who picked up on her attitude. From that point on, we knew something was going on. On the final day of the project, she stood in his way and actually put the sprinkler in his direction so that my fiance couldn't get through.

A few days later, when my fiance confronted her husband about the tension with his wife, he stated that she was just having a bad week. When pushed for an answer, he said that his wife said we hit her fence when working on the project which is an absolute lie!

Then when my fiance asked her husband about why she is copping an attitude with me, when I never did a single thing to that woman, the husband stated that his wife didn't like the fact that I chased kids off my property with a hose (another lie) and that she doesn't like the fact that I won't let all the neighborhood kids (10 of them to be exact) in my house at one time. Her husband suggested to my fiance that I talk to her to straighten things out. In my opinion there is nothing to straighten out. All of her claims are lies and I, nor my fiance, will defend ourselves against lies.

I have been advised by legal counsel to stay away from the woman to avoid anything that this woman is capable of claiming. A few days after this, the wife speaks to another neighbor who we had previously complained about and tells her what we said and the other neighbor, because of being furious about what was said, calls the township to report the patio that we put in without a permit.

The ones who get hurt the most in this ugly situation is the kids. Why people, especially neighbors, act this way is beyond me. All I want to do is live my life in the manner I have always lived. I have learned one very important lesson through all of this: neighbors are just that neighbors and I will no longer have any communication with them other than the civil "hello".

Thanks for letting me vent.