Crazy Neighbor Harassment and How to Deal With It

Updated on April 23, 2018
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 harrasses you in another way, like leaving their dogs barking outside all night or claiming part of their property is yours. 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

For an example, here is a brief description of what we have gone through. 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.

Mediator

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

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.

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Teeuwynn Woodruff

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • Teeuwynn Woodruff profile imageAUTHOR

        Teeuwynn Woodruff 

        2 months ago from Washington State

        Linda,

        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

      • Teeuwynn Woodruff profile imageAUTHOR

        Teeuwynn Woodruff 

        2 months ago from Washington State

        Annette,

        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. 

        2 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 

        2 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 

        4 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 

        4 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 

        4 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 

        4 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!

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, toughnickel.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://toughnickel.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)