What Constitutes Harassment from a Neighbor?
Neighbor harassment is a somewhat broad category of behavior that is usually defined based on two factors: the intent of the person doing the harassing, and the effects of that behavior on others. In most places the term has both a legal definition and a more common understanding. In the law, true harassment is often very difficult to prove. It usually requires a sustained pattern of behavior or speech that is intentionally designed to harm another person or cause some sort of pronounced distress, plus some sort of actual damages that result.
In a neighborhood setting this could include things like repeated damage to property, intentionally violating noise ordinances, trespassing, or putting things like garbage on a specific neighbor’s property; slander and vicious speech to others in the neighborhood or community might also qualify. People often talk about harassment among neighbors more informally, too, which can blur the definition. Simply being a “bad” neighbor — not returning borrowed items, using vulgar language, or being unfriendly — can fall under this label in casual conversation, but these sorts of behaviors don’t usually meet the threshold when thinking about things from a legal perspective.
In most places, “harassment” is a legal term of art that applies to behavior that is sustained, repeated, and targeted. These characteristics usually apply to neighbor harassment, too. As such, the behavior that can be said to constitute this sort of harassment usually has to have been going on for a long time and must be directed specifically at certain people in a neighborhood or residential community. It can be somewhat difficult to put a fixed definition on what exactly constitutes harassment in these settings since so much of it depends on the circumstances. Most of the time, though, it’s behavior that’s more than just annoying — it’s something that actually makes the target feel unsafe, unwelcome, or otherwise vulnerable in and around his home.
Importance of Intent
In most cases the offender’s intent is also essential. If the harm that’s caused isn’t intentional, the law won’t usually consider it to be true harassment. This means that simply being bothered or annoyed by a neighbor’s behavior, even consistent behavior, isn’t usually enough to meet the threshold.
Neighbor harassment isn’t usually something that is illegal, at least not at a specific level. The laws do vary from place to place, of course, but most of the time even true problems between neighbors rarely rise to the level of being illegal. In most cases, the biggest legal question concerns actual damages. In order to have a strong or even a viable case, a party will usually have to prove, in court, that he or she has suffered some sort of definable economic or emotional damage. Monetary loss and property damage are some of the most obvious. On the emotional side of things, simply being annoyed or bothered isn’t usually enough — the harassment typically has to rise to the level of extreme distress, like anxiety or some other diagnosed mental health condition that has been confirmed by a medical expert.
Even if the harassment itself isn’t punishable, affected neighbors often have some legal remedies. Many local authorities and courts will issue no-contact orders and restraining orders that prohibit certain individuals from contacting or even coming close to named others. These take a lot less effort, and certainly cost a lot less, than going to trial or taking an issue to court; in many cases, they can end the problem, too.
Issues of Free Speech
Harassment that centers on speech, like calling a neighbor names or “trashing” his or her reputation in the community, can be especially problematic, particularly in places that put a lot of value on free speech. For the most part, courts agree that an opinion differs from fact, no matter how vicious the opinion. A person can be legally allowed to express an opinion, but misrepresenting facts or lying about facts regarding a neighbor might be considered harassment.
Two of the primary exceptions to free speech are libel and slander, which are types of speech that are typically intended to misrepresent the truth, either in print or speech. It can be very difficult to prove in a court of law that a neighbor has committed either of these sorts of harassment since the legal requirements tend to be really high, but the effects can be very obvious and damaging. For example, if a person tells others in the community that a neighbor cooks diseased food that has been served to others, this can lead to the community shunning the neighbor or could even have an effect on the neighbor's professional life. If these economic and emotional damages can be proved, there may be a case and the law may be able to solve the problem — or at least put a stop to the harmful commentary.
How to Document Neighbor Harassment
While interactions with a neighbor who is harassing you can leave you feeling shaken and upset, it is important to act fast and stay organized in your documentation of the event. Harassment can take many forms, and if something a neighbor is doing is making you feel unsafe, you should write down the details, such as when it happened, and what was done. Keep a record of all the times you speak or interact in any way with the neighbor in question.
What Is Harassment?
If you're dealing with a neighbor that makes you feel uncomfortable, you may be wondering if what they are doing actually constitutes harassment or not. There are many types of unwelcome behavior that fall into the category of harassment. This includes threatening behavior, such as being yelled at or unwelcomely disturbed on your property. An example of serious harassment is a neighbor repeatedly entering your property to cause damages or pound on doors.
Harassment can also be behaviors that are more offensive or derogatory than threatening. Constant name calling or rude behavior on your property can be equally serious to threats and damages. You have the right to feel safe and comfortable in your home, and if a neighbor is preventing that, there are actions you can take.
Recording Conversations and Interactions
When documenting harassment, you can keep all of the information typed in a digital format, which should include timestamps of when it happened. Emails to yourself can be a good way to do this, as they will always include accurate timestamps. You should take pictures of any damages caused by the neighbor and add them to your documentation. It can be tempting to audio-record conversations as they happen, but laws on this can vary from state to state and are something you should look into first.
What to Do If You Feel Threatened by a Neighbor
If you feel threatened by a neighbor, your safety should be your top priority. It can be a good idea to invest in good home security, such as cameras and video doorbells that allow you to see who is at the door before you answer. If you feel you are in physical danger, calling the police is the best course of action. Add notes on any incidents involving the police to your documentation on the harassment for use in future legal action. Depending on the state where you live, you may be able to get a protective order that prevents a neighbor from legally entering your property.
Can I Sue My Neighbor for Harassment?
There are neighbor harassment laws that can be used to your advantage to protect you. Whether your neighbor is making you feel threatened or acting offensively, there are legal actions you can take. With proper documentation of the events that have occurred, you will be much better prepared to present a court case against the offending neighbor.
Steps to Taking Legal Action
If you decide that it is time to take action against a harmful or offensive neighbor, there are a few steps you should take to ensure that you have the best chances for success. Firstly, as long as you don't feel like you are in physical danger, it can be a good idea to try and solve the problem through conversation with the neighbor. This can be done via emails, so that you have a paper trail to refer back to should things remain unresolved. Try to remain civil and see if there is a compromise of some form that can alleviate tensions.
Sometimes there is no reasoning with people who harass you. In these cases, it may be time to get aid from someone in an authority position. If you are a renter, you may want to let the landlord know what is going on to see if they can help resolve things. If your neighbor is unwilling to talk one on one with you, you may consider hiring a professional mediator to help sort things out between you.
Taking Legal Action
The final action you can take is to hire an attorney to help you with your case. If you have been keeping track of evidence, and have tried other measures to stop the harassment, a lawyer may be able to help pursue your case. Generally, the goal of these cases is to get the neighbor to stay away from you through a court-mandated protective order or restraining order. Lawsuits to recover the financial costs of any damages caused by the neighbor may also be something to consider.
Frequently Asked Questions
What constitutes harassment by a neighbor?
Neighbor harassment can take many forms, such as verbal abuse, threats, physical intimidation, or activities that interfere with a person's enjoyment of their property. Harassment can involve playing loud music continuously, making disparaging comments, or participating in stalking behavior. The important factor in assessing whether a person's behavior constitutes harassment is if it creates a hostile or intimidating environment that interferes with their capacity to live peacefully in their home.
What should I do if my neighbor is bothering me?
If you suspect you are being harassed by a neighbor, you should document the incident and contact a legal practitioner or law enforcement authorities. You may be able to seek a restraining order or file a lawsuit for damages, depending on the severity of the harassment. Mediation or other dispute resolution strategies may be helpful in some instances.
What if my neighbor is harassing me in a nonverbal way?
A neighbor's harassment can take various forms other than verbal assault, such as constantly dropping garbage on your property, spraying pesticides near your home, or parking in front of your driveway.In such cases, it is critical to preserve a record of the alleged activity and consult with an experienced legal practitioner about your alternatives. You may be able to get a restraining order or an injunction to prevent further harassment.
Can I report my next-door neighbor for harassing me to the authorities?
If you believe you are in imminent danger or that your neighbor is violating the law, you should contact the authorities. Authorities may be able to investigate and charge your neighbor with harassment or other criminal offenses. Save documentation of the action, such as video or audio recordings, to back up your allegation.
Can I submit a complaint about neighbor harassment to my homeowner's association (HOA)?
Yes, if you reside in a HOA-managed neighborhood, you may be allowed to submit a complaint with the HOA if your neighbor's behavior breaches community regulations or covenants. The HOA may be able to arbitrate or take action against the neighbor, such as issuing fines or even eviction. It's critical to read through your community's bylaws and standards to understand what measures the HOA can take and what proof you'll need to offer to back up your complaint.
The mother of our next door neighbor moved into complex six months ago. She claims to be a "counselor." She had her neighbor committed to a mental institution. A few doors down, she had a woman's boyfriend arrested and thrown in jail. The female resident became homeless living on the street. She tried several times to have my husband arrested back in June 2019. When my husband leaves the parking lot, she walks, out and toward her son's unit, who lives next door to me.
Every time I sit outside our unit for whatever reason, she points her arm or hand and laughs at me. I have been told she is proudly spreading extremely ugly remarks about me to everyone in the building, the store across the street, and the store around the corner. She has cussed me out. Her son has cussed at me. One of the groundskeepers insults me when he is drunk. Her son and her grandson and the groundskeeper have kicked my cat. They all laugh about this.
Everyone in the building is related to her or her son. They all have cameras in their windows. When I walk outside to protect my cat from being kicked they all laugh at me. I think all of them need to be in a mental institution. Their behavior is uncalled for. This woman has complete control over this complex. I am tired of being laughed at by her when I am not doing anything wrong.
I walked outside the other day and announced that it was not okay to abuse my cat. They all laughed at me. Now I have to keep my cat inside, my cat is getting depressed, and I am trying to find another place to move. This is absolutely ridiculous. The landlord told me the safety of my cat was petty. The landlord listens to them. He gets $2,100 a month from that family.
I believe that my safety and my cat's safety are important and I should be able to walk outside without this crazy woman laughing at me. What is the humor? Does this neighbor have a right to do this every day nonstop for no reason?
I have a neighbor that keeps calling the county saying we have too many machines in our yard. We take them apart and scrap them so we can make more money. She is a problem neighbor. She was stalking my husband for a while and telling lies and even called the police on him for something he wasn't even doing. The police wound up having to have a talk with her.
She has no job and I guess nothing else to do but harass our landlord. She has always did this even to people who lived here before us. I wish she would move or we are going to have to move 10 years and it is overdue. I wish there was some legal way to make her stop.
I am older, female and live alone, with very few visitors. It seems like this has "bully target" all over it. The neighbor got a dog, and it liked to come over and play with mine - but it is much bigger and too rough with my dog. Mine pays for 5 minutes and tried to get away. I asked nicely for them to not let it come over, then firmly. Then I put up a fence on that side (that I couldn't afford) and they just let the dog come over all the time, going around it - staying for hours sometimes.
I put up cameras (another thing I couldn't afford) to get proof and went to animal control with several weeks worth of video and stills. They were spoken to. Oh that started the lady constantly yelling expletives over the fence any time we were outside. I, of course, clammed up and would run inside. They continued to let their dog out loose and coming over.
Finally I lost it this last time and started screaming and crying for them to please just leave us alone (which now, makes me look like the crazy lady). The woman followed me, screaming I had lied to animal control, etc., and made many threats. I drove straight to animal control and I guess she had called there already. Animal control pretty much blew me off. The police offered to go over there and speak with her, but I opted not to poke the bear that day. They said to document and record going forward. Now they have constructed a fence up against and touching mine in the back, and a shorter one way over the property line in the front - blocking my central air unit, took off my downspout etc.
When I came home, the woman accosted my saying basically "Haha, look what we did - we know you can't afford a lawyer to fight it - I told you that you'd be sorry". The police say it's civil matter. I don't have $$ for a lawyer to get their fence moved. If I ever need central air replaced, I won't be able to. I've been told the a/c won't even function right with what they have done. The gutter downspout, I don't know what I'm going to do. All of this done maliciously, and nothing I can do about it because of money. That is sad that there is nothing you can do as the "little guy". We are a very small town without most official city positions you see in big cities, so I don't even have recourse there.
I too have been harassed by a neighbor across the street from me. She is using her black cat and a German Shepard dog to mess up my landscaping. I have called animal control and they are trying to work with me. She has also poured animal waste on the wall of my garage and it has damaged one of my newly planted shrubs. The police department won't do anything even though it is destroying my property.
I am a 72 year old retired lady living alone and I am new to the neighborhood. She has turned all my neighborhood against me by telling lies. It seems like the criminals are being protected while people who abide the law have no rights. I sympathize with you and know how you feel.
I live in an apartment building on the third floor and for the past two years now I have had a problem with the neighbor right below me. On the hottest of days (and I am talking about 85 to 98 degree days) he will go into the hallway and open the windows has wide as he can. I understand that the hallway is considered community territory, but when he does this the heat soars right up to my apartment door and it causes my air conditioning to run nonstop for hours without dropping to the setting I have it at.
We sweat so bad and my electric bills have soared because of this neighbor for the past two summers now. I have tried to ask him to please stop it and explain to him that it is causing my bills to go higher because of his actions, but he just laughs it off when I tell him that when he opens them on days like that it makes the heat more intense at my door since "heat rises". He says he has to open them to make his apartment get cooler. OMG. I tell him that is why he has his own windows in his apartment to help with that.
I can't afford another summer of this with my electric bill and we have been on a payment program still paying off the bill from that he made rise last summer. The thing is, he has lived below us for over three years now and it has been two years now that he has been intentionally doing this to us. I also have a heart and lung condition and I gasp for air coming up the stairways when he does this. Can we file a legal complaint against him to get this to stop?
I live in an apartment building on the 3rd floor and for the past 2 years now I have had a problem with the neighbor right below me. On the hottest of days and I am talking about 85 to 98 degree days he will go into the hallway and open the windows has wide as he can and I understand that the hallway is considered community territory but when he does this the heat soars right up to my apartment door and it causes my air conditioning to run nonstop for hours without dropping to the setting I have it at... We sweat so bad and my Electric bills have soared because of this neighbor for the past 2 summers now. I have tried to ask him to please stop it and explain to him that it is causing my Bills to go higher because of his actions but he just laughs it off when I tell him that when he opens them on days like that it makes the heat more intense at my door since "heat rises"..... He says he has to open them to make his apartment get cooler.... OMG ..... I tell him that is why he has his own windows in his apartment to help with that ... I can't afford another summer of this with my electric bill and we have been on a payment program still paying off the bill from that he made rise last summer.... The thing is he has lived below us for over 3 years now and it has been 2 years now that he has been intentionally doing this to us... I also have a heart and lung condition and I gasp for air coming up the stairways when he does this. Can we file a legal complaint against him to get this to stop?
I moved into the property I am now the owner of 10 years ago. About seven years ago, a woman moved in two lots away from mine. At first it seemed that we got along well. But then her true self began to emerge. On several occasions she told me that she was going to be me and I was going to teach her how to be me! I distanced myself from her without being mean or totally rude. I didn't want to trigger any negative reactions. I wasn't sure what to expect from her at this point! Wow! Was I in for a surprise!
That comment was nothing compared to the long road of hell and insanity that has only continued to escalate over the years! She now believes that she owns my property! She has become obsessed with me, she talks about me constantly to everyone she encounters! False accusations – actually everything she does to me she claims I do to her! She has stolen, damaged, rummaged, lied, just to brush the surface of a few of the ongoing things she does and outright admits to me she does! She will harass anyone who tries to stay with me or visit. Even a locked gate and fence over 6 ft high won't stop her from entering my property whenever she wants to and start rummaging and trashing it, taking anything she wants to. I have had witnesses and called the cops, but they constantly say there isn't anything they can do. She has made threats even sent threats to me via text messages while the cops were here taking a report! They still claimed they couldn't do anything because they couldn't enter her property due to her locked gate. I could see my things on her property, pointed them out to the cops, and they said they didn't have probable cause, so they did nothing!
She drives by or walks by my property and yells, cusses, accuses, or threatens me almost daily. She knows everything I do, who comes and goes, and has tried to even stop the water delivery truck from delivering to me by standing in the way while it was backing up! I stopped the driver from running her over or she'd have been a pancake! (We haul in our water because we have no well- live in rural area). She made false accusations against my husband recently claiming he tried to run her over when he finally snapped and took down her gate with his truck (I was not aware of this until a little while later), since the gate was what always stopped the cops from "being able to do anything", and she claimed he tried to run her over. Even though, as he was driving away, she came out. shot at my husband and put a bullet into his back tire!
Shortly after this is when I woke up and while getting my first cup of coffee, my dogs starting barking like they wanted to attack out my window, I looked out to see why, and this crazy female with her "man" were in my yard again with my wheelbarrow, loading up my stuff! Of course I opened the door and started to tell them to stop! But I was stopped mid-sentence when he pointed a gun at me telling me to get back in the house where I belonged (expletive deleted)!" I called 911 and still no result, but my husband had to post bond for felony charges because he hit her gate! What? Really? The report didn't even mention the gun until I pushed for a week and went up the chain of command! They still have not been charged almost a month later! The cop actually asked me if I had any proof like "Did (I) take a picture of them robbing me and pointing a gun at me? I asked the cop if he was serious! If texting threats and the cops witnessed it in the act wasn't enough proof other witnesses not acceptable, my stuff in her yard not enough, and past pics are not acceptable, and now the fact that I didn't take a pic while I was being robbed at gunpoint, their reasons as to why they would not do anything were because I lacked necessary evidence, what in God's name is? And then why was her verbal claim against my husband enough and acceptable? Now, what other option is left for me here? My mind is blown! (This really is the short summarized version.)
I am so sorry for all your stories of pain and emotional upset, but oh God. I’m not alone in this nasty, horrific, thing that has been being "done" to me.
I am in my mid 50's and have lived alone in a nice subdivision for the past 12 years (and this has been going on since I moved in here). I own the home, and cannot afford to move unfortunately, or I would. I am disabled, and have my beloved little dogs as my only "real" family. I do have local and somewhat wealthy family members, but I am not treated well by them either, and have been ousted by my own family most of my life, for whatever reasons they could come up with to treat me poorly and get me away from the family business).
So, I mind my own business, for the most part, and I try to be a good neighbor, but, my home has been being broken into on almost a monthly basis, since I moved into this subdivision 12 long years ago. My belongings are being removed, bedding, towels, storage items, or all kinds of things -- anything that I might not notice right away as being gone is what is constantly being taken. What's in my storage rooms and closets, clothes, shoes, etc. jewelry, bathroom items, and makeup, etc. and my personal bills and financial files are disappearing as well, all the time.
I don't seem to be having any identity theft issues, but what I am going through is extremely difficult. I have had five of my beloved pets murdered in my own yard, (my yorkies) and four years ago, my cat. I was terrified and did make a video out of the cat’s parts being strewed all over my lawn, but, like any and all evidence I have ever been able to obtain, it always disappears not long after I have gotten it, and hidden it. It's so very upsetting, and unnerving. I've even woken up with a diet Pepsi can sitting half drank on my nightstand before. I drink Diet Coke and never purchase Pepsi, ever. It's simply a mental and emotional harassment against me that is the hardest thing I have ever been forced to deal with in my entire life.
I have spoken to my parents, who have never offered help or showed worry or concern about this harassment toward me. I had a drug problem throughout most of my earlier life, and have done my very best to get it under control, and to live a clean and sober existence, but my parents seem to use this nasty harassment against me whenever I am not doing what they want me to do.
I have told every person and friend that I have had over the years, and it has not seemed to help me, or cause any big cessation of the events. Actually, most of my friends over the years at first would be very open and concerned, but soon, they seemed to be not interested in what was going on, and eventually, they would just stop being my friend, and tell me I have a very screwed up family to have to deal with, and they pity me. They would never go into any further detail about what they were talking about, or they would just hint around, which has also been so very difficult for me to handle.
Yes, I smoke cigarettes still, and they (my very controlling parents and family members) simply hate that. I love my dogs, and they seem to not like me owning or having something to love me in return as well, or my pets either. I am very clean and care deeply for my beloved pets, keep them well groomed, vetted, and they are well and deeply loved by me. I keep the yard fairly clean throughout the seasons from their pooping, etc. I try to never let them be a barking problem, although, it gets very difficult with three little yorkies, and neighbors that seem to do all they can possibly do to make the dogs bark and become aggressive, day and night along my back fenceline.
I have to lock them in completely some weeks and only let them out when I go out with them to keep them safe and quietly doing their outside business. I’ve tried to talk to the police about this problem, with no help from them whatsoever, it seems and I’ve done everything I could possibly do to try and stop this horrible treatment. It just never seems to really go away. I get a few months reprieve from the severity of the harassment each year, but, it never goes away for good, and I am never allowed to just relax and enjoy my life.
Like I said, I am disabled from a spinal injury in the 90's, and have not worked. My parents have given me a trust fund to care for my monetary needs that will take care of me for the rest of my life, and I also receive my deceased husband’s monthly Social Security benefits, which is all that I get. I do not take food stamps, nor do I get any other type of help from the government. I basically take pretty good care of myself with the means I have been given, but I have found on several occasions, microphones and tiny strange looking "camera type" devices in my home. Once, one of my little dogs chewed on the doorway rubber seal that goes around the front door to seal it tightly from the air. The dog had chewed the rubber into pieces and upon returning home with my good female friend, we found a microphone hanging from a long wire, hanging from the chewed areas. I questioned my parents about this, but they seemed to just blow it off like I was "being overly upset over nothing" and my good friend, after hanging out with me for over 10 years, and actually seeing the truth about all the disappearing belongings, and the way the neighbors seem to act around me, and eventually toward her in the later years, began to realize I truly was enduring all the harassment I was telling her about from the beginning.
She had told me she thought that maybe, I had suffered from a bout of severe paranoia due to my past drug use, and the horrible losses I had endured by the death of my husband, but over the last few years of hanging out with me, she too, was seeing the real truth in the facts I was telling her about almost on a daily to weekly basis. She has since moved to another city in this state, and I don't get to see her very often any longer, but she did know that the constant burglarizing and home invasion problems I was talking about all the time were really, truly happening, and I was not making any of the stories up.
I do not attend church, and that also seems to be a problem for my parents. They tell me if I would start going to their church with them every week, and getting involved with people that go there, maybe my problems would go away. All this does, is enrage me! As a middle aged woman who has gone through so very much, and still kept my senses, and behavioral control about me for the most part, I simply cannot agree with that kind of Nazi thinking, nor will I ever cave into that type of "forced" personal behavioral change. I simply will not cave in, no matter what.
As I said at the beginning of this, I am so very sorry for the pain and suffering all of any of you before me are enduring from this type of nasty and illegal treatments that you are all seemingly being put through, but I must say, It is finally good to know I am not the only one being done this way by the so called "good-citizens" of this country.
I wish you all much luck and personal thoughts and prayers go out to you from my heart and soul for relief from the mean people who are hurting you all. Sincerely, D. in Colorado. Namaste
P.S. I love the Buddha ways of teaching, again, not something that is liked by my family or neighbors apparently, either.
I hope this helps somebody: The twisted-minded people do not function on reason or common sense, so it's nearly impossible to resolve the matter by talking with them. Commonly, they're cowards. And very probably, they've picked on you because they thought you don't have many people with you defending you.
In this situation, to have some visitors drop by your place as often as possible helps tremendously. If you wait a few weeks, or a month, you'll see a remarkable change of the situation.
I understand that some of you may not have too many friends or relatives to come by your place. I recommend you make some acquaintances, explain the situation to them, and ask them to drop by your place as much as they can. You don't have to become intimate friends. Just as far as they share their sympathy for you. It can be that couple you get to see at the park once or twice a month. or the friendly part-time worker teenagers down at the drug store, or anybody. And they don't need to stay at your place for hours. Fifteen minutes, ten minutes, even. Make an effort to befriend them. You'll be surprised that how they can be of help to you this way.
I have an elderly lady in family who's been living alone for 30 years in a large apartment complex. In the past, when her children could not visit her because they lived far away, she got harassed a lot, even though she was not a weak type, but an intelligent person with a sense of fairness and knew how to defend herself. But now that her children live near and visit her often, the harassment stopped, and nobody messes with her anymore. I know it will work for you too.
Our neighbor is the town drunk and a town commissioner. He routinely harasses after we asked him nicely to tone down the noise and yelling and not to swim in our pool when we are not home or not invited over.
These requests made him so angry that now he proves he is entitled to do whatever he wants; play loud music for extended periods, leave loud music playing while away from his property for extended periods, yelling incoherent rants for hours on end, building 'cobbled together' structures on his property without permits nor paying taxes on these structures, drive around with open containers in his car after drinking alcohol for extended periods in town at a local bar or in his yard, tells other neighbors we are Jewish, throw parties with loud music WAY PAST the noise ordinance. The list goes on and on. The police won't do anything because he must have pictures of other town officials having sex with animals.
He cobbled a fence to hide his actions from us so we don't video him and erected a screen of garden flags on 2x4's above the fence line. There is no pride. We could never sell our home. We have to wait until he dies. Luckily for us, he is 70 and a full blown alcoholic that smokes cigarettes. Every day I'm alive is one day closer to his death.
I am living in a condo residence with three toxic neighbors on the side of me. The first neighbor has a grandma, older lady, and her boyfriend or whatever. The second neighbor has a older wife, husband and two kids. The third neighbor has a dog, older wife, husband, and daughter. All these three neighbors are grown adults. Ever since I moved here, these three neighbors have made it into some type of stupid game where they shout out degrading names towards me like ugly chick, slut, that slut -- mostly slut and ugly chick. Mind you, these are grown adults who are older than I am. It's mostly the older wives who do the shouting and then the husbands who have to join in.
I don't know why they do this, but it is childish and pathetic. I have tried to ignore their shouting insults but sometimes it is unbearable. Any advice?
Neighbors talk about me across a walkie talkie to harass me. I feel one just plain hates me. I listen to music/videos all day but I keep the volume down and my apartment is one house apart. They can hear everything.
I didn't know I was bothering them so much and they also hate me for anything I do for myself and want to control my life and discuss what to do with my life with a minister of a nearby church. They ask her when they should see me and she tells them when she thinks they should see me, however she doesn't like religious folk harassing her. It is an old couple (the neighbors).
I am in my middle 20s. She thinks I work. Most of what I do is studying. Also, her husband seems to hate me and is distancing himself from me. She hates me because of what I said I like to do for hobbies (yelled about it several times to her husband) and calls people and tells them fake stories about me, like I believe that she saw me walking home from the bar (I don't drink) and I don't leave the house unless I have to.
I was given written permission to enter a house that had been abandoned for seven months. The previous owner asked me to feed a 5-year old lab mix that had been left behind. The daughter of the owner came back to the house and started accusing me of theft of property. I don't have any proof that I have the items in question. Now she wants people to beat me up, she wants to put me in jail. I've gone to the police, but they don't do anything until someone gets hurt!
We moved here a year ago to the countryside here in Virginia and we live near a water reservoir on five acres. There is a tree line on our property that goes down by the water, which we share with the county.
I work from home and we have two daughters and our back deck overlooks the water and the woods. It's absolutely beautiful. A lot people fish and go canoeing, along with trespassers from across the street who like to wander over to fish, etc. It wouldn't be a problem, but the problem is they have a problem with me working outside or sitting on our deck or being out in our yard with our dogs.
It seems the trespassers are paranoid they may get caught because they know they shouldn't be there. They get nasty. Ridiculous, I know. At first I didn't mind as we know it's nice down there to sit or fish. As long as they didn't throw a raver,we were pretty chill. We have even had night time fisherman who are supposed to be off the water at 7 p.m. out there at all hours of the night. I had to let my dogs out the other night and had turned the back light on and you could hear them out there pitching a fit because of it. The audacity of me turning my back light on, on my property while they are breaking the law. It's nuts.
Lately it's gotten to the point where it's really uncomfortable just to be outside. These people seem to be really territorial and I find it rather odd. I've never experienced anything like this before. Even when we moved here, none of the neighbors took a minute to say hi or introduce themselves, not one. It was kind of condescending. I shrugged it off. I get people keeping to themselves, but if you're going to trespass on a regular basis you might just take a minute to introduce yourself. Otherwise it seems creepy. It is also best to not be rude.
People take a lot of liberties nowadays because they feel entitled even when they are breaking the law by trespassing. It completely baffles me. There is no common sense whatsoever.
We built a new custom home in a country neighborhood in North Carolina and moved in about a year and half ago. We bought our lot from the original developer of the property. His house faces ours across a pond. His house is outside of the neighborhood development. The day we moved in, he erected a large sign on his property which faces our property. The sign reads “shame,” which was obviously meant to intimidate and harass us. Apparently, he didn’t like the builder we chose (they had a prior dispute) for our house and felt we should have chosen one of his associates (we gleaned this information from a neighbor). We knocked on his door twice to try to have a discussion but he slammed the door in our face.
We chose to ignore his behavior, hoping he would have a change of heart and take the sign down. This has not happened. We feel that the sign not only affects our well being and peace of mind but it is also affecting our property values. No one in the allotment has been able to sell their home. You can see the sign from the street and it has become something of an “attraction.” We feel like prisoners in our own home because there is no way we will be able to sell our home under the current circumstances.
It’s been very distressing and upsetting for us and to family and friends who visit. Is there any legal action we can take? The sign is on his property and there has been no other threatening action. Thank you.
A very troubled neighbor who tried to park commercial trucks on his property against a city ordinance got caught and blamed me as the complainant. I was not.
He told me that I had begun the mother of all wars and warned me of trespass and placed signs, even though I never had a reason to cross his property. My wife’s cat of 15 years disappeared shortly after a huge search turned up nothing. A few days later, the police asked me if I was involved in the theft of an animal trap the neighbor reported stolen. It was bought the same day of the missing kitty. I was not aware he had a trap and that ends the mystery. He was told he could not trap any animals, but would not admit to the missing cat.
My father had walked his dog in the neighborhood four times a day for 20 years like clockwork. He died several days ago and my wife took over the dog walks. We are frightened by the neighbor’s prior actions and avoid interaction at all costs. He called the police and accused my wife of trespassing, based on his statement and his son’s. There is absolutely no truth to this and he did it for no other reason than to distress us and dishonor the passing of my father and continue retaliation for the city enforcing an ordinance I have no control over.
I told the officer that there was no truth to his allegations and that he had a history of actions intending to harm us for the ordinance enforcement. There was no intent to trespass in the area. He told the officer it was the city right of way since there are no sidewalks and recent survey markers are still visible. He knows that is not his property. And two self serving witnesses amounts to a lawsuit. He threatened to arrest and jail my wife. The officer said the neighbor insisted my wife be arrested, and I said our two witnesses strongly insist that you don’t take any serious action based on the facts. He wrote a citation for first degree criminal trespass.
I have had it, I want counsel to have the criminal case dismissed with prejudice and lay the grounds for a civil action. The court date is early November, and at that proceeding I want the neighbor and his witness served with separate civil actions for abuse of process or whatever they call it here. I am seeking the maximum general and punitive damages and admonishment by the court that any further harassment threats, libel or slander by him will result in felony charges being filed by the district attorney.
There was a case where a neighbor was told his neighbor of 20 years was the complainant in a violation of a city ordinance. The neighbor in violation killed his adult neighbors and three children hours later. The family’s relatives and estate sued, claiming the disclosure of the murdered family’s identity to the violator was the sole single act that caused and precipitated the murders.
I asked someone if, in fact, the city still had the ordinance and how and when do violators get found. I made no formal complaint or even a phone call to request the police. I found out that the police department under the insistence and demands of this nut offered my name as the complainant, setting this nut after my family. I was angry and asked the chief of police why did he disclose my name as the complainant. He said the constitution provides your right to know and face your accusers.
I have a lot of money and counsel representing me will do nothing less than I have laid out. I will not be terrorized and end up like those poor people. We have already moved but left a paid for no mortgage situation. A preliminary asset search is a must to see how much I might recover back after I pay all costs win or lose, but let no counsel return alive if not victorious.
I have been watched by a female neighbor for over four years. She watches everything I do via her window or another neighbor's porch. If I am talking to someone outside, then here she comes. She is extremely nosy. Like, she needs to get a life nosy.
I bought a new car and right after that, she bought a car too. Three weeks ago, she followed me in her car until I quickly turned down a street. I am a keep to myself woman who stays in my backyard when I am home and minds my own business.
She used to stop my family and asked personal questions until I told her not to do that anymore, but then she started getting with other neighbors to stare at me. I am trying very hard to not punch her in the face but she's pushing her luck with me. I don't want to get myself in any legal trouble. Please help.
My neighbor has called the city on us at least six times since she moved in three long years ago. I've been here for over 15 years. I own one side of a duplex and she purchased the other.
We've always gotten along well with everyone else here. We have people here whom we consider family and vice versa. This crazy women thinks she lives in an upscale, free standing house for heaven's sake! She's called in the weeds on the easement twice. I keep them mowed and they were only about 4 inches at the time and they can get to 8 inches before being a violation. Then she called about my shed that is very far from her house. I have a very large back yard. I have also always had a pool out back and when she moved in, she had a small son so I went to discuss the pool with here so she would be at ease. But that didn't help. She called about my pool.
This year, she asked if it was OK if she cut a small tree down that was growing in the shared fence that I had purchased and I said as long as it doesn't ruin the fence. I discovered a 2-foot hole in the fence. When I asked her about it, she proceeded to tell me what a piece of crap it was anyway so it shouldn't matter.
I'm a single mother of two and have been for all my time here and that fence may not have been perfect, but it was the best I could do and for someone to swoop in and call my best, crap and then make it worse really doesn't sit well. Then she called and made sure that I had to paint the front of my house whether I could afford it or not.
Again a call to the city, with the added bonus that I also have to repair a concrete step. Did I mention that I'm disabled, and an only child and my father is in his 70s? None of these things affect her. She needs to learn she bought a duplex and she only owns her side and to leave me alone. I can't believe the city allows her to force me into things that have no direct effect on her.
I live at the end of the road in the country, our neighbors house is close to a half a mile away. Over the past 22 years, he has called 10-15 different surveying companies to fight our boundary lines, but every time, our lines were correct. Also throughout the years, he has caused multiple issues with drunks who camp on his property and fire their guns off down the road in front of our house. He has approached me and told me that I cannot put my garden on "our" property because he thinks that he owns that section of our farm. He continues to make comments on and off about turning around or the garden and also all this property that he says is his is on our proven property.
After he makes a comment he tends to apologize to my husband, saying he wants no trouble, but why does he continue to push issues that he has no right to? He and his wife walk up the road. The county road ends at the beginning of our property, but he walks onto our road and lets their dogs run without leads. One time, the dogs chased my cat and came on our porch. My husband told me to stay calm and I told them that it was time to go.
Just this morning, my husband was getting ready for work and noticed our 5 month old dog barking on the porch. He went out in his T-shirt and underwear to check on her and the neighbor's wife was walking in front of our house. My husband smiled and apologized, (not exactly sure why, as I wouldn't waste my breath) but he was trying to be nice I suppose and she replied, "For what? Flashing me?" Can someone please give me some advice because I am not going to tolerate this any longer, but I'm not sure what I can do legally.
I have neighbors who have called the police on me twice, to check on the welfare of my children because they said we were living in deplorable conditions. Our home is well lived in because they are autistic. Their needs are met to the best of my ability. They always have food, shelter and clothes.
The other time they called was because of my adult son being outside swinging because of his autism. He does this on the same schedule every day. They said I must be locking him out because he goes outside every day when it's warm out. They said he was making autism noises. The police apologized and left.
I have caught them spying on us The creepy old husband was weed whacking the vacant lot by our home and staring at our home until he saw me shaking my head. Good times at the "crazy cove trailer park." Not. I wish I could afford to move.
I live in Philadelphia and my husband and I just purchased our first car. Well, one of our neighbor's children flattened our tire.
My husband had to go to work at 3 in the morning and this made him late for work. Then I have neighbors on my block who stay up from 8 a.m.-1 a.m. daily with their door open and they watch everything everybody does, I have a couple of months to leave. Should I ride it out or call the cops? I need help!
I sadly can relate to your pain. I moved into my father-in-law's old house and my neighbors next to us are landlocked, so they have an easement to use our driveway. No problem, except the fact that these neighbors have been growing pot in their garden by my house right by my 11 and 12 year old daughters’ room and the people who come to buy their drugs have actually almost hit me in my own driveway with their recklessness.
One day, I was loading up my kids after the bus dropped them off and one of their buyers nearly took my van door off. I went and said something to my neighbor and called the police. They said they couldn't do anything because it was on private property. What? They have already hit my daughter's cat and sadly she found him lying right there in the driveway.
And another sad factor here is that they have guardianship of a 7 year old little boy whom I refuse to let my kids play with because he is physically violent to my kids, shows his penis and has done other things. Every time I have tried to talk to this aunt who has guardianship of this boy, she gets pissed at me. She has called me obscene names in front of my children, harasses my kids by yelling at them calling them obscene names.
I’m afraid to call the police on her because she will know it was me and she also brags about having 17 felonies on her record and she knows dangerous thugs. What can I do? I don’t want to move, but I can’t deal with this anymore.
My husband and I live in an apartment complex community, and the four buildings on our “street” allow cats and small dogs. Our neighbors are nice enough, especially those in our building, save one woman in her 60s who is apparently mentally deteriorating.
In early February, while I was trying to coax my dog into peeing on the only clear square of snowdrift-covered sidewalk at 5a.m., this older woman came out on her patio in a nightgown during a blizzard and accused me of not picking up my Chihuahua’s poop. She also insisted that I couldn’t let my dog urinate in the area next to her side of the building, which is ridiculous -- anyone on our street can walk their dogs anywhere around the buildings (we’re next to a woods and there is a lot of grass/yard space), as long as the dog is leashed and their poop is immediately removed. She demanded my name and my apartment number, said she was going to report me to the complex manager and get me evicted and on and on, but I said I wouldn’t because I wasn’t doing anything wrong and that she was welcome to complain to the manager, who lived right in our building.
A month later, she did it again, this time swooping down on me and getting right up in my face while I was just walking my dog down the sidewalk, and she was even more vile. She peppers her accusations with threats and personal insults, won’t listen to calm reasoning, talks over anything you say anyway, and just gets more abusive if you defend yourself by matching her voice in tone and volume. This time I called the manager to complain and was told that other tenants had been harassed by her, and yet she had not been evicted. Unbelievable. Luckily, I had detailed info for both incidents, because I’d texted my husband in hysterics both times it happened, so I typed up a complaint letter for the manager (who requested it from everyone involved), and that was that.
She hasn’t really bothered me again so far, but just this week, I was in the manager’s office discussing something minor and unrelated, and who do you think walked in? She recognized me and looked like she would have killed me right then and there if she could. Pure evil -- creeped me right the hell out. When
I was done and went to leave, she literally blocked the door and wouldn’t move until I said, “Excuse me!” very forcefully, twice. When I got outside, I saw that she had also blocked my car by parking hers lengthwise directly behind it, basically pinning me into my parking space, although there were five empty spaces next to me she could have used. It’s a tiny parking lot with about 10 spaces, and you can’t turn your car around unless you pull into a space anyway, so I know her actions were deliberate. I just managed to squeeze out without hitting her car.
It seems silly to be intimidated by an old lady, but she’s bigger and taller than I am and her crazy isn’t just the irrational ranting of a befuddled senior citizen; she’s flat out scary. The really sad part is that I initially met her just a few months before the first attack, and we’d had a nice conversation during which she was perfectly normal and friendly. She lost her senses very quickly. We’re finally buying a house this year, for which I’m immeasurably grateful, and I cannot wait to leave the stress of this suffocating place behind. I just hope we get out before she becomes physically violent.
I owe a neighbor 100.00 dollars and now she is demanding the money back, even though I have told her repeatedly that I am going through a financial hardship right now.
She continues to ask and demand her money, coming over at inappropriate times and says things like, "I will make your life miserable if you do not pay me back." Is this considered a form of harassment? I should have never borrowed money from her.
I have lived on my cul de sac for 18 years. We all got along on the street until these new people moved in and they have done nothing but cause trouble. First, all the cats in the neighborhood disappeared; they were setting traps. Then they called the city and the cops on everyone repeatedly. Now they are coming up to my kids and talking crap.
Let me say this: my kids are teenagers and these people have two young kids. I have never spoken to them in the year they lived here, however they both have records. He’s been arrested for heroin possession and robbery and she’s been arrested for heroin and writing bad checks and she was found with a bunch of false IDs.
I have told my kids not to say a word to them. They have cameras all over their property and are constantly just standing there. They don’t work, but drive brand new cars. I have had to leave work because of her making comments and yelling at my kids, then when I call the cops, I’m told, “Oh she doesn’t feel comfortable” and that my kids are the ones harassing her kids. It is so untrue. If it were just me, I would be OK, whatever, but it is the whole block they mess with. It is so unfortunate because it was a quiet street before.
I've had a male in my building harass me since late last year because I informed him I wasn't interested in a romantic relationship. It's been one thing after the other. At first it was sending threatening text messages and calling using different phone numbers (apparently there are iphone and smartphone apps that enable this). I changed my phone number after dealing with it for about a month.
Then, he somehow knew what time I arrived to the apartment and would follow me into common areas of the building. Now, he's yelling derogatory names and statements when he sees me (without provocation). I live alone and have no time to second guess myself or think that this will "go away." My safety comes first. Yesterday, I went to my local police station to report what has been happening and to get assistance in the matter.
My neighbor recently rented out the house adjacent to ours to a tenant. Immediately, his tenant began parking commercial vehicles in front of my home 24/7 as well as four other vehicles! The tenant's trucks have torn up the grass in the cul-de-sac, and have repeatedly parked in front of my driveway, preventing me from either leaving or entering my own home!
I have tried talking to my neighbor about his tenant but he only shrugs and tells me to talk to the guy about it. I am scared to talk to the guy since the neighbor's wife told me the tenant was a gun nut and a recluse. It's getting worse and worse every single day and I'm frankly horrified at how badly and quickly this is escalating.
I have been in the direct line of fire from my neighbor's harassment for five years. She has rallied others by slandering us and telling lies, although I am unsure as to what she could have possibly said to affect the three in our immediate cul de sac. She has also befriended a couple of others in the neighborhood to gang up and intimidate and continuously harass us. It started with subtle things such as every morning we would come out to get in our car and leave for work on our driveway (her two upstairs bedroom windows face my driveway) and she would bang (like knocking) on the window and she would just rush away?
This continued for weeks. Every morning she would startle us with this behavior. My husband finally said, “I am going to talk to her and see what is she doing?” He went to talk to her and she was very polite, sweet and friendly. She said, "Oh no. I am not knocking on the window. It's the blinds I am pulling up and that's the sound they make!" So he had to accept that as her answer although we knew better. There are no blinds in her bedrooms. She has fabric shades and curtains. O.K., whatever. He figured she knows we know and she'll stop.
Well, fast forward to the following day, which is garbage pickup day in my neighborhood and guess what? You guessed it. We came home late from work and our driveway was completely blocked by her garbage can and recycle bin. We got out and moved them and thought OK, this is psychotic behavior. Is it because we are ethnic? Why is she doing this to us? We never even spoke to her and her husband more than twice since we moved in to our home.
Anyway, the next incident happened the next day. My husband and I again left the house together for work and she had all these traffic cones lined from my driveway with a twisty curve all the way to the middle of the street and her four children and next door neighbor/co-conspirator with her four children and another one who she has as comrades from our community down the road with her two children all riding bikes trikes and pushing little scooters in an obstacle course manner. Of course, they all face their backs to my driveway as if to say, “Oh, we didn't see anyone on the driveway” and I guess they are all hard of hearing, too.
When we put my toddler in the car and closed the door and my husband and I got in the car and closed the door, and slowly started to back out of our driveway, one Mom turned around and gave a shriek and said, "Oh my God! We didn't see you behind us!” They slowly moved their cones, children, trikes, bikes and all else. It was always one thing or another and always innocently placed in front of my driveway.
Anyway, last summer it all came to a head when she had a contractor relative come to work at her house and he completely blocked my driveway with his truck.
I went out and took photos. In an empty cul de sac, he parked directly and horizontally blocking my driveway. It was the craziest thing.
So, I started documenting all her actions and attacks towards me and my family. Numerous other incidents were recorded too, and I went to civil court and got a temporary order against her. The judge was so understanding and called her out on all the incidents and asked her why is this happening, and whether she has an underlying reason for all that she sees in this case.
I couldn't believe my ears. I think they probably see this type of thing all the time and know people very well. Long story short, I am in a lawsuit at this time since she only stopped temporarily while the order was in place.
I feel like a prisoner in my house. I can't even walk to my mailbox and the strange thing is, when so many gang up against you it makes you wonder if something is wrong with me or maybe they are right.
There are a couple of annoying kids outside in the park of my apartment I rented. The kids throw rocks and kick balls at my windows. Does this count as harassment? There is also security dispatched in my neighborhood. Should I contact them?
Our neighbours hate students and have forced the last tenants to move through intimidation. So, far they have called the police for noise complaints nine times. Each time the police come into the flat, say nothing is wrong and leave. We've even had police at our door at seven in the morning when we were sleeping.
They have openly threatened us with being stabbed, ripped my birthday banner of my wall and this weekend had the son in the family destroy our car with a brick and ran off before we ran down the stairs.
I thought I was the only one going through this, but so many of the stories here describe what is happening to me.
I, too, feel like a prisoner in my home. I am disabled and live in an apartment building for 55+ or disabled. There is a "gang" of seniors who have made my life a nightmare. I have a no-contact order on one of them and this person's trial for harassment is coming up. But, still it continues.
I will never understand why some people live to make others' lives miserable. The management does nothing about it, citing that these people have the right to free speech.
This has turned me into a recluse in my own home. Believe me, it is no way to live. I cannot afford to move.
@anon347279: Yeah, document, document, document. If you have a phone with video capabilities, get her on tape if she crosses the property line.
Now, if you want to get under her skin in a way that cannot be construed as threatening, any time you leave or come in, if she's watching, turn, wave at her, *big* smile, and say, "Hi there! Isn't it a gorgeous day? Isn't life *wonderful*?" and watch her vamoose from in front of the window.
A friend in high school had a nosy neighbor, who used to watch her come and go from the house, and would call her mom to yell about her having her kids "running in the yard all the time." When I would visit, when we would come in, if she was watching, I'd wave and say "Hi! How are you today?" and when we would leave, I'd say, "Goodbye! So nice to see you again!" That door slammed in a big hurry and after two or three times, she stopped watching if I was with her, anyway. Might be a good idea to only do it if someone's with you, and have them video you doing it so she can't say you were yelling obscenities or something. It might just work.
As for the rest, getting things notarized is an excellent idea. Really puts her on notice that you're not putting up with her foolishness.
If she ever threatens you with harm, just pick up the phone, call the police and tell them she's threatening to harm herself and other people. They're obligated to come out and check on her, then.
In the meantime, keep documenting and definitely talk to an attorney.
I feel all of your pain. I have a neighbor who has called the pound to try and have my puppy taken from me, saying she has no tags, but she does. This woman also had our car towed because it sat in our driveway too long, and what was amazing, the cop had it towed without informing us. How does that happen?
She has told us to cut down all our trees because she has pine needles on her deck. Ummm, no. We are not going to do that. She wanted us to pay for her fence. Ummm, no to that too, and now she has called the health department because our decks need to be replaced, and we have a dog pool on the backyard and she fears for *her* safety. What? The department of health is out there right now with my husband.
I am going to take all of your advice, and start a paper trail for a lawsuit. The next thing she asks us, we are telling her to put it in writing and have it notarized. Enough is enough. Like most of you, I hate to even go to my car because she stands in her picture window, that she put in to face our house, and stares. Whether we're coming or going, there she is. She is crazy. She even had the cops patrolling the area for months because she thought someone was out to get her. If she thinks she can force me out of my home, she is crazier than I thought. I am not going anywhere. I will try the headphones as I come and go, and start the paper trail. Thanks everyone.
@anon345543: It's easier said then done to ignore the jerk, especially when he's always harassing you every day for nothing. I put ear plugs in my ears to listen to my music when I take my dog for a walk and mow my front lawn and what really scares me is that he gets really ticked off when you do ignore him, especially when I'm mowing my ditch and he drives by.
@amypollick: Thanks for the info about this. I have already filed the harassment order on him and have court date all set and ready to go. I have about three or more years of documents on his harassment. I'm starting to get writers cramp.
The same day I filed, I talked to a lawyer's receptionist. My son had an appointment with a lawyer about a car accident (that's a different story) and she gave me some advice and said that the judge should give me the harassment order. I'm still taking all my documents and the officer who took my report and the case number that she gave me when I handed her all my documents that I had to begin with on this jerk. Hopefully, the judge will look it all over. I don't have time to get the reports of how many false police reports he has called on us. Court is in the morning, so I hope it works.
These are sick people and the best thing to do is ignore them.
@anno123456: O.K. You're going to have to pull what they call a "10-13" on this dude. Call your local department of children's services. They handle adult intake, also. Get an adult intake worker on the phone and tell them this man's name and that he is a danger to himself and to others. And he is a danger to himself. One of these days, he's going to get under someone's skin, and that person is going to have a gun and that will be the end of it. Anyway, the office may send out a social worker and they will open a case file on him. If they think he's really mental, they can bring his case before a judge and have a judge put him on a 72-hour hold in a mental hospital for evaluation.
Even if the police won't do anything, you should still be able to go to the courthouse and swear out a warrant for his arrest, for him threatening to kill you. At least he would have to go before a judge and tell why he's harassing you.
Keep documenting everything.
What happened to serve and protect (yeah right)? Sometimes I think the laws have changed to serve and protect the criminals and not the innocent people.
I also feel like a prisoner in my own home and why should we? We have every right to open our doors and go outside and breathe the same air as anyone. We have a neighbor who has been harassing us since day one and that was seven years ago. We have lived in our neighborhood for over 15 years and this jerk just bought his home seven years ago and thinks he owns the neighborhood. He’s in his late 60's and has called the police on us multiple times for what? Nothing. We have asked the officer what could be done about what he has done to us and they said nothing could be done because he is on his own property. Then we asked the police to tell him to leave us alone. They did, but he never did stop, so I started writing down everything he has said, including the dirty name calling, threatening to kill us and anything else you can think of. He has been a blister on our butts that won’t go away. His son has told us they always had to move all the time because he would harass other neighbors. Now this jerk has decided to get a bright light and tries to shine it in our window. Well, if he thinks he can try to blind me while I'm sitting in my living room, I can play that game too. I have a brighter light that can light up the whole neighborhood and blind him out, but I won’t stoop to his level.
The police are useless. The last time I called the police and reported his actions, they kept telling me they can't do anything unless he is off his property. Well, one day, he followed us into a parking lot and waited for us to get out of our car and started the dirty name calling. He has also tried to run me over while I was walking my dog in a parking lot and took off. I called the police and got the same answer every time: they can't do anything.
I told them he was following us and he was not on his property but still get the same answer. The officer I spoke to said the neighbor has a mental issue. I told the officer he has some kind of an issue, but the officer told us to get a harassment order going on him, and then they will be able to do something. Yeah, right!
I have neighbors behind me who refuse to leash a 70 pound boxer. I have complained to management. This is a mobile park and we have rules. They send letters, but these people fight with everyone and don't like rules.
I place a battery operated night motion light in our window. When they saw it go off at night, they called the park management, said I pointed it at their house and are suing me for harassment. It was pointed at my back yard. They have threatened to sue my other neighbor as well. I took the light down. I really don't think this case has merit. Anyone?
update from 340441 @amypollick: Thank you very much. I have tried contacting many attorneys in my area. I don't have the money for it. I did find one from St. Louis who is at least willing to listen to what is going on. We spoke on the phone and she wants to see what I have for evidence. Hopefully, with witnesses - including caseworkers, this woman's posts on Facebook about us, and her admitting to the police she's doing it will be enough.
As far as the neighbors, they're all in a group. She's just the leader and the loudest. It's like a middle school mean girl club only they are in their 30s and 40s.
@anon340441: You need an attorney. Badly. You at least need someone who is paid to advocate for you.
I will say the other neighbors probably feel very sorry for you. It's highly unlikely they're unaware of how this woman acts, or that they believe anything she tells them. They've probably been her targets too, at one time or another. Could you find this out? If you can get other neighbors to go to the complex owners with you, there's strength in numbers, and if more than one person complains, it gives your problem credibility.
Of course, if you want to fight fire with fire, call children's services on her for making her grandson stand at the door to take photos of you. That could be construed as abuse of a child. Do you have a social worker who helps with you taking care of your granddaughter? If you do, tell the social worker about this woman and tell her it's having a detrimental effect on your granddaughter's mental health and see if she has any suggestions.
I'm sorry you're having to deal with this. This woman sounds like she's as crazy as an outhouse rat. Good luck.
Update from anon339785. I have tried to be nice and I am to the point of ignoring her completely. Nothing works. I have contacted everyone I can think of. It's gotten worse.
Now she has her nine or 10 year old son taking pictures and videos of us (my granddaughter and me) when we walk to the car. He stands at their open window. He looks so uneasy. I feel sorry for him. When he told her that we saw him taking pictures, she told him to take more. We could hear everything she was saying through her open window. None of it was good and the language was very offensive. I just kept walking and told my granddaughter not to pay attention to it.
According to Missouri law, as long as she doesn't say anything directly to our faces, it's not harassment. She acts like she's talking on her cell, says it to a friend, or just to the open air. Believe me, she has a set of lungs. Again, we were told by the police as long as she's not looking in our faces, it's legal for her to do so.
My son is serving in Afghanistan and I have his son for a week. My blinds were closed and I took a picture of my three year old grandson sitting in a chair by the window. (She sits on the steps outside constantly. They can't be seen through my window.) She saw the flash and started screaming I was stalking her and taking pictures. I have a cheap camera and even so, I don't know of any camera that can take a picture through blinds and around a corner. This is her reasoning for having her son take pictures and videos of us. Since he's a minor, nothing is being done.
My neighbor is still telling people I'm not disabled. I guess Wal-Mart now sells the disabled placards to anyone. That came out of her mouth. My vehicle has even been keyed again. I was told there was no proof who did it.
The police act like I'm overreacting to it all. With what I posted previously, things are spiraling downhill with her. When I contacted the agency that owns the units, they acted like I'm a troublemaker for trying to get help. I can't afford to move, and I can't stand being here. I rarely leave my apartment and when I do, it's straight to my car without speaking or looking at anyone. The same happens coming home. One lady walking by waved at me and my neighbor started yelling that I was a drug dealer and more. But it's still not harassment since it was not being said directly to me.
For small petty issues, kill 'em with kindness. Do not react to their shenanigans. If they accuse you of something, profusely apologize with a smile and say "By the way, I don't think we've met, I'm _____." It disarms them and it is fun to watch them getting annoyed and squirming when they're not getting the reaction they want; you're gaining the upper hand. Some of them will see the error of their ways and back off, even becoming friendly. Others will simply disappear and get on with (or get a) life.
I too live in a large apartment complex and am on housing. I have lived here with no problems until February and then boom! I am being harassed by a whole group.
I am not writing this to tell my story so much as to tell you all my heart just breaks when I read your posts. Is there anything to be done? Have any of you tried calling the HUD office in San Francisco or the discrimination hotline? It's worth a try. I would love to form some kind of online group and stand together and be strong and compare notes or at least not feel so alone in this.
If I see anyone who feels the same I will get in touch. I also feel like a prisoner in my own apartment and I am miserable all the time now. Stay strong and I know that is hard to do. I feel like I get Tourette's syndrome whenever I am here now, with no disrespect to anyone who has Tourette's. Please do not take offense. That is what happens to me. It is a becoming a sad, crazy world we now live in.
I live in HUD housing also. I have custody of my 13 year old grand daughter. I suffer from depression, among other things, and my granddaughter has depression problems also. They have worsened in the few months we have lived here.
The neighbor across from us has called us derogatory names (including the female dog and another word for prostitute), talks to others in her group and other neighbors about us, she has yelled and complained when we walk outside, saying we have no right to be there -- this is when we are walking to the car or my granddaughter has a friend over. She has tried to refuse my granddaughter access to the stairs. She's a bigger woman and has puffed her body up to intimidate my granddaughter. She has turned me in on false violations, which I had to deal with the main office to get rid of. She has complained about the social workers who visit, and has even gone as far as calling the office and complaining they were parked in an unassigned spot. She has even posted derogatory stuff on the internet which she admitted to the police was about us. This is only a small portion of stuff we've been through in mere months. She is also friends with the manager who runs the apartments. I was trying to relay a message about a patient in ICU critical care to her daughter, she had her kids bang on the stair railing with their scooters and was laughing. I couldn't be heard because of this.
I'm now basically a prisoner in my own apartment. I have to keep the windows and door shut or she will start in, even to the point of saying I'm spying, on her or she will blow cigarette smoke in my window. I can't even have my blinds open or she will do things.
I have tried to get help from the police. I was first told I had enough to press charges and then she wanted to mediate. All I wanted was to be left alone and I agreed. We mediated with the police officer. However, she's continued this behavior and the officer now says there is nothing he can do. I was told all the situations before the mediation no longer apply, even though it hasn't even been a full month since the mediation itself.
I was also told as long as she didn't look at me and wasn't directly talking to me, this stuff doesn't constitute harassment. I feel as though I'm losing my sanity more and more each day. I can't find help anywhere.
My nightmare in my gated community where my husband and I have lived for over 33 years has just begun with a new neighbor who moved in on the same street, but on the other side of our circle drive. First, a year ago, she falsely accused our nine month old puppy of being "dangerous" and not having tags. Neither was true! It escalated into several false police reports and false reports to Animal Control. I rectified the problem with Animal Control but did nothing about the police incident reports.
Now a year later to date exactly, she has now targeted me with false police reports of running her off the our circle drive, which is not true at all and now this has escalated into another false police report stating she fears for her life?
This person is very unstable and I do not know what the motivation is, unless she hopes to file some sort of false civil suit against my husband and me. My husband is a retired successful business man who is elderly and I have had to take him to two doctors since this incident occurred, as the stress has taken a toll on him and on me.
To top off all this drama, I just found out this woman even carried it further by trying to get a temporary restraining order against me, but since there was "no crime" as per the police officer's statements, the judge threw it out!
Now I would like to know if anyone out there could relate to a situation like this and tell me your recourse? I hear there really isn't any such thing as a harassment case that you could file?
Now I am afraid to go out of my house as I see this woman and her husband trying to bait us, armed with a video camera!
I just moved into HUD housing for senior and disabled people and the neighbors have been rude and intrusive since day one, have gossiped about me, stand and stare if I step outside my door. Just going to the car and back is stressful, doing such a simple thing as laundry. I've even caught a couple of people outside my window eavesdropping on phone calls. I am 60 years old and without family. I don't know how to handle this.
If you are being harassed with loud noise such as leaf blowers or lawn mowers, get on your mobile devices, go online and loudly play videos featuring the same sounds. They hate when you use their own tactics back on them but I guarantee it helps neutralize them.
I am currently being harassed or retaliated against in my apartment. My neighbors were having party after party, four weeks in a row. I got angry and stomped on the floor once and then reported them to management. Two neighbors heard me stomp and are now mad at me and keep having me get written up for things I am not doing and are against the lease. They are moving out at the end of the month, but they could do more write ups in that time.
I too am on HUD and you can get kicked off pretty easily. Why the hell would I do things to get me kicked out, I ask? Seriously! Why can't they see this is retaliation? If I get one more, I will be out of here. Homeless. I am scared! I am an older woman and I will have to live in my car, after years of care giving to my husband who died two years ago. I never did anything to deserve this.
I need advice. Should I get a lawyer? Should I file an anti-harassment order? Call the police? They will retaliate more. I know they will, because they have proven it. I am terrified in my home! All because I stomped on the floor. Wow.
What can a person do when they are in this situation? It's their word against mine.
I leave everyone alone, I don't talk to anyone, I am quiet! I even tiptoe in my home as to not bother the neighbors, but they are saying I am stomping, slamming doors, and more. It amazes me how two neighbors can come together and make life hell for another with lies and they don't seem to care. Not only do they not seem to care, they get a sick joy out of hurting others. It makes no sense to me.
I have neighbors who don't seem to like me and try to intimidate me by making me feel like they are constantly watching me. One of my windows faces their yard and every time I approach that room there's something moving, trying to let me know that they are watching. I know this sounds a little wacko, but we do have some beef over them throwing cigarette butts in my yard and holding parties late at night.
I contacted the authorities and a community liaison talked to them, so I didn't have to intervene. Now they do that since they know that they cannot make the noise they used to and they can't throw garbage to my yard.
They also try to intimidate me by showing up every time I am in my yard. I just started saying hi and they disappeared. Now is that kind of settled harassment.
I had to put up a surveillance system to document my neighbor's harassment. He has received several citations, and we are considering a lawsuit.
I feel your pain. I live in public housing and have people who have nothing better to do than to make life hell for other people. Their target is my 13 year old son. They have made false reports about my son and the roving manager just writes me up without talking to me. It's been causing a great deal of emotional stress.
I don't know these people but I believe it's discrimination. They hate his friend, so therefore, they hate him too. They vowed to get them kicked out by any means necessary, they did, and now we are their target. I have lived here for eight years, with no huge problems, then in April, bam! Three stupid write-ups.
I live in HUD housing and I am disabled. Also there are seniors living here and two I know of are angry that disabled people are moving in.
I have been harassed in the hallway, with hit and run verbal harassment as I'm walking down the hallway. They are making untrue statements complaints about me.
I have been written up by my apartment management over gossip. Not to mention the "so called" harassment is knocking on a door and asking for a cigarette, which isn't true, but what happened was I asked to borrow a cup of sugar. I have no problem lending a cup of sugar, etc. As silly as this is, I have been written up two times and given no specifics other than I asked for a cigarette.
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