Crazy Neighbor Harassment and How to Deal With It

Updated on February 15, 2019
Teeuwynn Woodruff profile image

Teeuwynn has experience with neighborhood harassment. She hopes sharing her experiences can help others.

Everyone wants their neighborhood to be a pleasant place where everyone gets along, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. Sometimes you end up with either a crazy neighbor or one who harasses you in another way, like leaving their dogs barking outside all night or claiming part of your property is theirs. When you have problems like that, they can be very stressful, even scary, to deal with.

I am not a lawyer and cannot give legal advice, but I have been dealing with a crazy neighbor from hell and have some experience in dealing with some of the choices you have to make along the way in these situations. Using my situation, I’ll go over some of the ways you can try to handle a situation when you feel harassed or endangered in your own neighborhood.

Our Situation

Here is a brief description of what we have gone through with our neighbors. We have a set of neighbors with three kids, the youngest a boy in middle school with one of my children. This boy had already been banned from our house a couple of years ago for theft and attempting to pay our younger daughter to expose herself.

I was approached on my property by his guardian, who proceeded to scream and tell me my child and his friend were being mean and hitting this child and my child was bothering him on the bus and I must have heard from it from the vice principal (not really) and that it better stop “or else.” Also, she knew her child had kicked mine between the legs, but that was okay. This was news to me. She also said my child bothered her child on the bus.

I was shaken by the verbal attack. We checked with the bus driver. Our son sat at the front of the bus and nothing ever happened. The school informed us they forgot to tell us when her child kicked our son between the legs (on video), which is illegal. They then tracked all the video and found the “assault” claim against my son and his friend was a false report as they were never near the other child. He just wanted to go home early.

Unfortunately, the family is unstable and now seem to be fixated on us. So, this is one particular harassment situation.

So, what to do about it?

Document Problems with Neighbors

It is important to document the problems you are having with your neighbors. Even if you just email yourself and maybe one other person on the subject you will begin documenting what is happening in the neighborhood. In our case, I have kept an email chain for myself and also kept one going with the school, following up on email after each meeting.

Talking to Your Neighbors

If you think your neighbors are reasonable and safe, try talking to them calmly about the problem and see if you can work out a mutually acceptable solution. For example, in the case of dogs being left out all night to bark, maybe the neighbors would agree to take them in after 10:00 at night. In our situation, our neighbors are too unstable to take this option, but it can definitely work with more reasonable people.

Writing a Letter

You can also try writing a polite, but firm, letter, illustrating your concerns with the situation and what you think could be a possible solution, or solutions, to the problem. If you want proof your neighbors received the letter, you can have it sent through certified mail.


If you feel it may help, you can hire a mediator to work between your two families. This is a step you might take if you think your situation might be close to bad enough to hire an attorney, but not quite that bad. Mediators are third party individuals who can objectively try to come up with a solution between the two parties. Given our situation with personal animosities, this doesn’t seem right for our particular situation.

Personal Safety

If you are concerned about personal safety, you can consider a variety of other options. You can get cameras placed around your property that upload to the internet and you can also get alerts on the phone. This can make you feel more safe about who is approaching your house, and if you are at home, if you want to answer the door. You can also consider a security system. We have placed Nest cameras around our house which has given me a bit more peace of mind.

Ring Floodlight Camera Motion-Activated HD Security Cam Two-Way Talk and Siren Alarm, White
Ring Floodlight Camera Motion-Activated HD Security Cam Two-Way Talk and Siren Alarm, White

This is one of the cameras we put in around our house to make sure we know who is approaching our house at all times. Since it uploads to the cloud, we also have proof of any incursions onto our property.


Protective Orders

If your neighbor is entering your property a lot, threatening you, being physically violent or the like, you may be able to get a protective order against them. In some areas, the neighbor has to be arrested first, while in other areas you can go to your local courthouse, write down your evidence, and get an order for them to stay off your property. We have not yet pursued this option.

If you need to find out your neighbors’ names, you can go to your local Assessor and Property Tax Records office and give them your neighbors’ address. You should be able to get their names through that method.

Call 911!

If you ever get a gut feeling you are in serious danger or see a neighbor (or anyone) coming toward you belligerantly or with a weapon, get as safe as you can and call 911. Don't risk your own safety in a confrontation where you feel you might get hurt or worse.

The Police

If your neighbor does something that makes you feel immediately threatened, call the police and have them deal with it. Additionally, if you think another neighbor is in trouble, call the police. Also, if the neighbors are engaging in active, disorderly conduct you can call the police as well. The same goes for if they are breaking local noise ordinances.

You can also call the local non-emergency number if you are not sure if your neighbor’s actions qualify for police intervention. A local officer will come by and talk to you.

Hiring a Lawyer

If things just get too out of hand with your property line differences or other neighborly actions, you can consult a lawyer. Often you can have a brief consult for little money just to get an idea if you have a case.

Make sure any lawyer you hire is familiar with local harassment laws and has tried these kind of cases before.

A lawyer can:

Gather Evidence for You. This is invaluable in court. You need evidence to prove your neighbor’s wrongdoing in court.

File a Complaint. Who you need to file the complaint with and how the process runs is something your lawyer will know and be able to do for you.

Go to Court. You will have a much better chance of winning your case against your neighbor if you have a lawyer by your side.

Demand Letter

You can also have your lawyer write a demand letter. This letter officially lays out what your neighbors must do to clear up the problems before being taken to court. The letter has a specific date by which the matter must be settled. This works best for property issues, noise issues, and the like. A lot of times, a demand letter can be enough to get your neighbors to fix the situation.

Keep Taking Deep Breaths

Stress between neighbors is very difficult to deal with. Your home is supposed to be a place of safety in the world, and when you feel that is endangered in any way it can add a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety to your life. Talk to your friends, look at this article, get help from outside sources if you feel like you need them. Don't be afraid to reach out if necessary. You deserve to feel safe and secure in your own home.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2018 Teeuwynn Woodruff


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    • Teeuwynn Woodruff profile imageAUTHOR

      Teeuwynn Woodruff 

      6 weeks ago from Washington State

      That is horrendous. Your neighbor sounds truly dangerous. Keep documenting when you can. Do you have any cameras that can catch them if they try to sabotage your car or other property again? Have you filed police reports yourself? It's a real shame your house isn't selling, as this person sounds like a serious criminal.

    • Teeuwynn Woodruff profile imageAUTHOR

      Teeuwynn Woodruff 

      6 weeks ago from Washington State

      So true! When you have someone next to you who is crazy the stress invades your entire life! So sorry you have to move. Hopefully, your next neighborhood will be better.

    • profile image


      6 weeks ago

      We (me 55 and mom 78) moved in here (Vilonia, Arkansas) 13 years ago (May 2006). Ronnie (age 58) moves in across street (Oct 2016). He puts up his mailbox smoking his "stuff" (we think it was marijuana). We believe he grows his own and uses it. Neighborhood Boy (age 16) tells us one day, everyone loves his "stuff". We are guessing, his family and other neighbors. His mother (Lady) asked Boy to check in on Ronnie as he was an older man. They have been getting along very well, Boy even setup computer and connected him to internet for Ronnie. We looked up some info about Ronnie at Truthfinder, it said he has 3 arrest records. We did not spend money to see what they were. He also tells us he owns a gun. After 18 months, we hear from 1 neighbor that Ronnie paid off his house in full ($80,000) and his parole officer will no longer have to check up on him.

      Lady from down block (age 30-40) orders cable for her house (Dec 2016). There are lines under ground for all cable lines to every house. New cable guy is sent out to install it. He puts a cable across our front yard and cement driveway from 1 cable box to another. He claims he will come back to bury the lines. We told him to remove them and install it correctly. 3 days later nothing is done, on the way to the store we back out of driveway and the lines get cut. Lady who works for lawyer claims we harassed her, by cutting her cable lines. She came over to our house and publicly shamed my mom in front of all people passing by on highway. I was inside working on computer at the time. For a week after the Lady walked in front of our house back and forth swinging her weights and talking with a Girl who lived near her. I made a video of them harassing my mom, because she only came by to do it, when mom was out working in the front yard.

      This is how it partly started. The other part - Girl from down block came over looking for yard work job from my mom. Mom said no as she did the lawn to keep in shape. During her chat she also was talking about other things like neighbors. Mom told her the neighbor across street (Ronnie) is harassing us, and uses people to get things he wants done, like fixing his van. Mom said predator, and the Girl tells Lady that mom said Pedophile. She lied to get even with mom. That is when they came marching down here to harass us. In the mail, we got a letter from the lawyer she works for, claiming they are filing harassment charges on mom.

      Months later, (we believe) Ronnie sent Boy (tall and thin) over to vandalize our van. The fuel injection cord was pulled out from making the connection to start up the van. The tires were also damaged with slow leaks that did not show up for a week. We called the car repair man from town, he sent someone to start it as we thought the battery was dead since the van did not start. As they changed the battery, and could not start it, they had to tow it in. As they were towing the van from our driveway, the Boy and Ronnie were laughing their heads off across the street. The tow truck guy was wondering what was so funny. It cost us $400 for the fix as they had to move the gas tank to reconnect the fuel line.

      Since that day they have been adding friends and growing in the amount of things they do. We get drive-byes during all hours of the day and even late at night when most are sleeping. They player their noisy radios to excessive at max volume BOOM, BOOM, or they cut holes in their mufflers to max out the noise as they zoom up the hill and wake us at all hours. They recently started cutting off our internet, and adding fake charges to our credit reports. We have had the house up for sale for many years, no one buying in this area.

    • profile image

      The Vigil Family 

      6 weeks ago

      We have a horrible neighbor. This lady is off her rocker crazy! We have put our house up for sale and cannot wait to be away from her! I pray for anyone dealing with horrible neighbors. It’s a dark world we live in!

    • Teeuwynn Woodruff profile imageAUTHOR

      Teeuwynn Woodruff 

      2 months ago from Washington State

      That sounds like a horrible situation. Given just how bad your neighbors are, it seems like moving probably is the best solution. But it's unfair you have to go to such extremes to get away from such people.

    • profile image


      2 months ago

      I have the worst neighbors of all they are liers and stalkers they went as far as to call town hall and put a plane together to make up a lie to have me arrested on fake lies and she had originally said to cops I threaten her with a gun Wich of I don't own one to begin but anyway I was asrested and charged with disturbing the peace I went to court I had 6 witness and all proof but some how judge believed her lie and I'm on 6 months probation while this was happening my dad passed away and now I'm dealing with her still harassment and my loos of my dad I can't even go outside with out someone with me just to walk the dog or cut the grass shovel snow I'm 52 yes old and can't go out side to sit or baraque a burger because her and her husband stalk me and harassing me cops in this town won't do anything and mayor is just as cruked I'm so depressed and have a ton of anxiety I'm even in coulsing now because of all this stuff a big lie anyone have any advice I'm moving out of my home I've lived in for 52 yes all my life I have no privacy they have lites and cameras pointed at my house and if I go anywhere with family and friends they fallow me stalking me is really bad sometime I think if I wasn't here they can't fallow me there right but I have my wife to worry about and my dog he is my heart I'm lost and don't see the lite at the end of the tunnel I'm hopping I can possibly move and they don't fallow me maybe I should move out of state to get away from these syco people anyway thanks for listening hope you read this and don't ever cross there paths if you want to email me it's good luck hope you all don't have sycos like me harassing you it's not fun at all cost me over 2500 dollars and we all know justice system don't work for insonant people only liers and bad people win it use to be insonant until proven guilty but now your guilty to proven insonant or why would you be in hand cuffs and why would you need a layer not justice anymore

    • profile image


      4 months ago

      Thank you for your insight. Your rational voice is helpful!

    • Teeuwynn Woodruff profile imageAUTHOR

      Teeuwynn Woodruff 

      5 months ago from Washington State

      I hope she has stopped landscaping your yard, as that is illegal. The driving issue is difficult as there is nothing illegal about it. It is just mean and rude. She sounds like she has some sort of weird control issues that I doubt are going to get fixed at her age. I assume there's no other way you can go to double around her when she does this. It must be incredibly frustrating to deal with such petty behavior.

    • profile image


      5 months ago

      My neighbor was never really a bother until his girlfriend moved in around 15 years ago. The girlfriend immediately started landscaping parts of our property and wouldn't stop after being confronted multiple times. Although she has admittedly received multiple speeding tickets, she seems to enjoy driving exceptionally slow when I'm behind her; especially when I'm trying to get to work on time. Since she is driving to work too; I suspect her start time isn't as early as mine or she enjoys harassing me enough that she doesn't care if she is late too. Typically I leave much sooner than her so it is not usually a problem, but when she leaves slightly before me, she races to leave her driveway first and to make sure that she drives fast enough to cut me off when I try to take a short cut. If she is able to cut me off, she will drive slowly again. If I pull out before she does, I at least drive at a decent speed. I would never rush to leave first if I planned to drive much slower. She has to be pushing 60 years of age, so there doesn't seem to be any hope of her growing up. I'm in my 40s and don't have the time or patience for childish games; I just want to get to where I need to go on time. We have hardly spoken to our neighbor over that last 15 years because of his live in girlfriend.

    • profile image

      Cindy McMahon 

      7 months ago

      These neighbors from hell are probably criminals. The ones I have living around me are. They are part of a burglary ring AND vehicle theft ring!

    • Teeuwynn Woodruff profile imageAUTHOR

      Teeuwynn Woodruff 

      7 months ago from Washington State

      I'm glad the camera worked for you. They can definitely be very helpful.

    • profile image

      Middy May 

      7 months ago

      I have neighbors from hell and the police will do nothing. They try at first then they roll their eyes and dub u a nut case. I put up a security camera and didn't mention it to any of them and then gathered evidence and THEN told them. Boy they stopped doing their crap real fast especially when they realized I had what i needed to hang them.

    • Teeuwynn Woodruff profile imageAUTHOR

      Teeuwynn Woodruff 

      10 months ago from Washington State


      This sounds like a terrible situation and the police aren't helping you. You sound like you are suffering targeted harassment. Do you have any other neighbors who are witnesses or who are also being harassed? Or are you on your own?

      Have you called the local city hall or prosecutor's office to see if there is a place to go for free legal advice or possible representation. You may be able to get help filing a restraining order that way. It's not a complicated legal procedure. It could be a first step.

      I'm so sorry this is happening to you. It's never right for people to treat each other like this.


    • Teeuwynn Woodruff profile imageAUTHOR

      Teeuwynn Woodruff 

      10 months ago from Washington State


      That sounds like a very serious situation. I'm so sorry you are going through this! Is is possible for you to put any cameras where they can monitor your yard so you can get actual proof of your neighbor on your yard?

      Also, if your neighbor puts garbage on your yard and any of it has their name on it make sure to take pictures and call the police immediately without moving it. (Take pictures and call the police regardless.)

      You may want to call your city hall and see if there is a unit or group that works with neighbor rights.

      Have any of your neighbors seen this abuse or unlawful behavior or also been attacked? If so, that might strengthen your case.

      Again, I'm very sorry to hear about your situation. It's terrible not to feel safe in your home.

    • profile image

      Linda C. 

      10 months ago

      I am currently going through neighbors from the 7th Ring of Dante's Inferno... the neighbors don't mess with my Children because both of mine are adults and moved on to their own homes. It's just 'me' & my two Tibetans (one a Service Dog the other is a Companion to her & me). They've Cut half my Front yard tree off, Thrown huge kids balls at my house at the crack of dawn, rocks at my house, Trespassed by jumping of a Seatrain in their yard into my backyard 'to look for their cat' which they won't keep all 6-7 cats in their own home, (they're only allowed 3 by County Laws); vandalized my 3 cars by puncturing the tires on one, and letting the air out thru the tire stems on the other two, after being told by the Police to put security cameras up to 'film them' running past my windows shining flashlights & infrared lights into my windows they began throwing rocks & glass & metal connectors at the 'cameras & windows & outdoor lights' ruining the window screens & breaking the outdoor light bulbs & brackets. Then started throwing trash in the back yard & shining a floodlight into my upstairs bedroom window! All the while this is going on... Cursing, swearing, giving me the finger, and indecently exposing himself! So Police 'haven't helped' except to say, "you need to file a restraining order' or 'get a lawyer'... which I can't afford. And it just goes on and on.

      Yes, I am scared to bits every night I go to bed!

    • profile image

      Annette Hellingrath 

      10 months ago

      I've lived in my house for almost 24 years. About six or seven years ago a new neighbor moved in behind me. At first he was very nice and polite and talked to me about my dog, etc. Then one day he started throwing garbage into my yard. I caught him at it once and wrote him a letter asking him to stop. After that he came into my yard whenever he felt like it, rearranged my furniture and other garden stuff. I put up No Trespassing signs which he took down while trespassing. I then wrote No Trespassing on a door which I nailed to a tree. He took the door down several times after I put it back up and eventually just stole it. I called the police several times but they believe his lies which are backed up by his wife and son. I live alone. He then tried to run me and my dog over while we were crossing the street one night. No witnesses of course. Later in the year he sped up while I was crossing the street from my house to the sidewalk. He came so close that I felt part of the car on my leg. He stopped the car to smile at me before driving away. I didn't bother calling the police those times. He also talks to neighbors about me and they tell me the awful lies he tells them about me. They know better. Today I decided to quickly walk my dog around the block to dry him off. I had just shampooed him and didn't want a wet dog in my house. Unfortunately I decided to walk past this neighbor's house after I failed to see him outside. The first I knew he was on his driveway was when he started yelling. He had been on his hands and knees working on bricking in his driveway and had tied his dog to a lawn chair beside him. The dog had started to come towards us dragging the chair behind it. My neighbor had tried to grab the chair and fallen on his stomach. He starts yelling that my dog is stupid and nothing but trouble and to keep him away from him. I yelled back that my dog had done nothing wrong that he might consider tying his dog to something more solid. He then called me a stupid asshole, a fatso, a f---ing bitch and a disgrace to the neighborhood. (by the way, I'm not fat, he is) I called him a few choice names and kept walking. By the time I was at the end of the s street he was still yelling. What can I do about this constant abuse?

    • Teeuwynn Woodruff profile imageAUTHOR

      Teeuwynn Woodruff 

      12 months ago from Washington State

      Thank you. This is certainly not a subject I wanted to learn about!

    • Larry Fish profile image

      Larry W Fish 

      12 months ago from Raleigh

      I am so sorry that you have neighbors from hell. I have lived various places in my lifetime and I had great neighbors and bad neighbors. I never had any as bad as what you are going through.

    • Teeuwynn Woodruff profile imageAUTHOR

      Teeuwynn Woodruff 

      12 months ago from Washington State

      Thank you! Your friend sounds like she had a good idea. That's one of the reasons we put the cameras around our house.

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 

      12 months ago from Norfolk, England

      I'm sorry to hear about the problems you've been having with your neigbours, and you've given some good advice. Thankfully, I've always had good neigbours, and hope this continues. A friend of mine has recently been having problems with her neighbours, and she took a secret video of an altercation she had with them the other day - in case she needs to use it as evidence!


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