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Readers Respond: How Bad Neighbors Can Banish Backyard Serenity

Responses: 284


Malice Towards Cats, Horses

My bad neighbor is angry over not allowing him to flood my house by water from the hillside by putting in a trench up the hill for water to his house, of which he will not take responsibility -- he has access to another area away from my house. We share an easement (I bought and paid for it in 1969). He threatened my cat colony, then burned plastic and rubber, as well as insecticide containers from his gully, which set a viral environment in the air for my animals and of which I had to have vet treat them. He has allowed hunters to shoot toward my barns and across my paddock with horses therein. He is trouble, so now, after 30 years, I am going to put a property fence in and law requires him to pay half -- due to his actions. I have never had them to pay before. I am tired, the attempt to hurt the animals, the trash in the gully, the debris placed in floodway, weeds in pasture are other issues that can be dealt with as well as the fence. Time to take a stand.
—Guest HorseLady76

Plant Theft in Australia

I have been in my rental property for the last twelve months. When I moved in, the front yard was a disgrace! The lawn nothing but weeds, garden beds overgrown. Since I moved, I have worked on making it a beautiful space. I had never had a chance before, so this was my first foray into gardening. I love it! To the point where I would devote hours to my new passion and a lot of cash too! It was looking beautiful, full bloom, tomatoes the works. Then someone stole my two potted mini roses, and last night someone ripped two pretty pink flowering bushes straight from the ground! Not to mention I have yet to taste a fresh tomato from the bush, just as they ripen they are ripped from the plant! I have put a motion sensor owl out front now and hope this will deter scum, but I am so angry! Wanna finish the job and move them all out back, but there isn't enough room.Advice?
—Guest Sara

Thieving Neighbours

We live in the northern suburbs and have indigenous neighbors a few houses down that steal. Before you call me racist, they have broken in multiple times both day and night and are constantly in my yard saying, "I'm looking for my football." The last time they broke in, they stole all our electronics and games and went through all our containers looking for valuables. We know where they live but it's such a sensitive matter and we can't just say they live there, go get our stuff back. Any ideas?

Bad Neighbors: No Common Sense

I should have known that all people do not have common sense. Loud music, a child screaming, stomping and an unwilllingness to change. My neighbor is all this. So bad that I am trying to move. If people just used common sense on what's appropriate and what's annoying, things would be better. Good luck to all... next time I will do my research before I move.
—Guest What is going on

The Devil Next Door

The devil has now put up closed-circuit cameras on my house. He said I will run off. He does not want us here. He shoots a gun outside his window and stares at us. Real creepy. He is here to do the devil's bidding, I know it. He wants us out so bad. Doesn't the goof realize someone can't just pack up and move? I have tried to fight back but it makes me feel bad. I'm not that kind of person: I like to keep the peace.
—Guest enough

How Neighborhoods Should Be, Ideally

Neighborhoods should provide a feeling of belonging. Home should be a safe harbor. It seems like neighborhoods are becoming odder with people that seem to want to lead and "run" them while dismissing those who don't quite fit. No way this is right.
—Guest Nora Win

Floodlight Fiend

I have the same problem with a crazy neighbor. He puts floodlights on my house. They're crazy, evil people with no life.
—Guest anonymous

The Devil Next-Door

My neighbors block our mailbox, call the dog warden (and I have house dog). They block our driveway, post false pictures in their truck of my husband and son. come to my work. They call the police all the time. They yell and cuss at us and have a spotlight and camera on my house. They drive me nuts. I know they are the devil himself.
—Guest enough

Crazy Cat-Killer

A few days ago my neighbor swore my cats were in his windowsill "taunting" his dogs and "caused" his dogs to break his window. The cats were, in fact, in bed with me at the time he listed. He also said that at 4 a.m. they wake up his dogs. They are never out of my house after dark. Ever. I explained this and he starts screaming I have the only cats in the neighborhood. I point out that isn't true and he proceeds to tell me he is going to "shoot my cats" and "throw them on" my porch. I ask him to describe the cat bothering him and he tells me, "No law says I have to describe the cat." I am now terrified of finding someone's cat on my porch because this fruitcake shot it and threw it on my porch.

Neighbor Complains, Steals

You haven't heard anything yet. When I moved into my home I had a sprinkler system installed. My neighbor started complaining about the water on his driveway. I had a fence put up, and ever since, forget it. He steals my ornamental rocks, handfuls at a time. cuts flowers one stem at a time, takes sections of garden fences. I am trying to stop him but can't. I put up security cameras but he knows where they are pointing. I don't always go and check the tape. I want to put something in the ornamental rocks so he won't take them. Like barbed wire or thorns? I did that on one of my flowers last year. The last flower on the plant I taped a thorn branch on it and he must have felt it cause it is still there. Got any suggestions?
—Guest Ginger

For a New Neighbor TV-Show

I'm an LA-based casting director doing preliminary research for a new TV pilot that aims to solve neighborly conflicts in a neighborly way. I'm hoping you could help me get in touch with anyone interested in this topic, so they can reach me directly. You can check out our website www.metalflowersmedia.com to review our casting credits and e-mail at ivette@metalflowersmedia.com if interested. Many thanks, Ivette

Very Bad Neighbor

Heck my neighbor was so bad I wrote a book about it www.verybadneighbor.com
—Guest Thomas Smith

Bad Neighbors All Around Us

I guess nobody is trying to kill us or yelling at my husband and me when we go to the mailbox, but we have some real winners. We live in a town house with a shared back yard area. The new people behind us have started leaving their bright-as-the-sun porch light on all night long and basically making it impossible for people who live across the way from them to sleep. Then the weirdos next door have an 18 year old son who blasts TV and stereo in his room at top decibel levels and actually wakes up our infant daughter in her nursery. When my husband tried asking them nicely to turn it down and offered to buy the kid some headphones to solve the problem, his mother (I kid you not) said we were being unreasonable and he could listen at any level he likes. At which point my husband said "there goes the neighborhood" and now we don't speak with them. We've had to call the cops twice now. *Sigh.* Why can't people just grow the heck up and stop being jerks?!
—Guest WJS

Mr. Angry

Try living next door to someone who is always angry and sauced. He stomps around his yard, stopping only to glare at me with hands on hips if I am outside. He has challenged me to fight while holding a wrench...and called me names for no apparent reason. If inside, he sharply raps on walls to let me know he is always watching. A new privacy fence has helped. Too bad I cannot put one in the front yard.
—Guest Rev

Begging Turns Into Vandalism

New neighbors moved in 3 years ago, started begging for jobs to get spare money, then started just begging. When I finally figured out that they were wrecking things on my property to get those jobs, I stopped giving them money and stopped talking to them, and they then started a reign of intimidation, vandalism, and sheer creepiness. Protection from harassment should be better protected by the law, but apparently it is hard to prove. These miserable people have no ethics or integrity.

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