In a perfect world, we would all love our neighbors and would always get along with everyone in our neighborhood. Unfortunately, personalities clash, expectations of one another get impossibly high, or you might get plain unlucky with who ends up in the house next to yours.
Here, residents who had terrible neighbors share their story.
(Comments have been edited for clarity)
"We have a beautiful pit bull/boxer mix that was stolen out of our backyard by our neighbors and given to a shelter for pit bulls. We looked for our dog for WEEKS, all day and night. Just as we were about to give up, my mom checked local adoption ads and found our dog. The shelter she was given to was literally a block away from our house and they informed us of the people who brought her there, who turned out to be our neighbors. So we got our dog back and the neighbors continued to try to get our dog taken away from us by calling the police for animal abuse multiple times, even when we were playing with her in our own backyard and very obviously loved her."
"When I was a kid, we lived next door to an awesome dude and his wife. One day, they moved out due to losing the house to the bank. Next thing we know, a skeezy trucker moved in who would routinely fight with his wife in the front yard. They built a fence all the way around the property immediately. Fast forward a few years (full of antics and shenanigans caused by these people), and we get a knock on the door. My father was arrested for destruction of private property because they said we hit their fence and destroyed it.
Now, this is where it gets good. In court, they presented blatant pictures of a completely different fence as evidence. My father had pictures of their fence, and the judge sent the sheriff out to take his own pictures. Our neighbors were found in contempt of court for cussing in front of the judge and falsifying evidence. They got arrested on the spot for threatening the judge. Dad immediately sold the house and we moved out, but he got the last laugh as he sold the house to the bailiff of the court they'd attended. So, now his next door neighbor is the man who arrested him. The guy died of an overdose shortly thereafter, and they lost the house to the bank after he was gone."
"Our neighbor stalked my roommate and me.
From the get-go, on day one, when he first moved in and we met him, both of us had super bad vibes. No reason for it at the time, but our gut feeling said he was no good. And then literally over the course of an entire year, almost every time we went out the door, he'd come out to our house to try to 'hang out.' We couldn't even walk across the road to check for our mail in peace. He'd walk up the road and stand in front of our house staring, or pace in front of it, on the road. Then he started knocking on our door in the middle of the night. We never answered, as we in no way wanted him in our house ever, but especially not at midnight. We knew it was him because we confronted him about it later and he admitted it. We'd go out together and get home and he'd be sitting in a chair in our yard like it was his house. And then he started showing up at stores and other places we were at in town to try to follow us around there as well.
It was totally ridiculous and we went through that for over a year, until it got to the point that we hated even going outside and couldn't hang out in our own yard because we just felt like we were being watched and were just counting down the seconds until he appeared because he always popped up. We complained to our landlord multiple times, and the landlord warned our neighbor multiple times, but it still continued and probably would still be continuing even now if the dude hadn't gotten behind in his rent and been kicked out, which happened late last year.
He messed up the house he was renting so much that it's been getting renovated for months (there were holes in the walls, the floors were torn up, and according to the landlord, there were hundreds of empty bottles, burnt foil, used needles, and all sorts of trash left in the house). We're supposed to be getting our next neighbor moving in sometime soon and we're just dreading it so much. This guy was the worst but even before him, we'd had a string of terrible neighbors. We've both agreed that if this next one turns out to be just as awful or worse, we're moving."
Juan David Ferrando/Shutterstock
"Our neighbor was just completely nuts. We built our houses around the same time (I was about 10 or 12 at the time) and everything started out alright. Her husband and kids were awesome, but then things started to go wrong. It started with the fence. They wanted the paneling on their side, and we said that was fine. Having the supports on our side meant that my siblings and I could climb the fence. They wanted a more expensive fence, so we said whatever, since we'd come in under budget with the rest of the house. They wanted the fence moved one meter onto our property. No way. Man, did we ever pay for that.
It only started happening when my mum and I were home, and everything started slow. We'd get pebbles thrown over the fence when my mum was in the garden, or the wife would knock on the fence and pretend it wasn't her.
It started escalating when she'd yell abuse at us. It would be directed at everyone except my step-dad, who of course didn't believe us. When we came home from school, we'd have to wait for the garage door to close fully before we could get out of the car, or she'd be out in the front of our house screaming at us, holding a broom or a rake. She was nuts!
Finally, my step-dad caught her when she was poking a hole in the fence (so she could watch us). She was whispering abuse and insults through the fence, thinking my step-dad was my mum. She freaked out when he smacked the fence right over where she was making the hole. We got out of that neighborhood quick, which sucked because that was the house of our dreams.
There were also missing potted plants, mysteriously pulled-out flowers, and fronds missing from our palm trees."
"I had a neighbor about six years ago who lived across the street from me and my boyfriend. We lived on one of the only rental properties on the street, and the neighbor made a point of asking us who our landlord was and getting his contact info when we introduced ourselves to him. He hated us from the moment we said hello. You could feel it. We were young, but very friendly and approachable, and we had our lives together. We had the occasional party, but kept it respectful. This guy was in his late fifties, was running for city council, kept an immaculate lawn, had hair plugs, a bad fake tan, and basically just emanated pure ego. His wife was a female version of him, with slightly more hair and a more orange tan.
It started in the fall. He called the bylaw enforcement to complain about the leaves on our lawn. We know it was him because he confessed to it after the officers told him they couldn't do anything since there isn't a leaf bylaw. He said he was trying to keep the neighborhood looking 'first class' and like 'a place for families.' As if the leaves on our lawn were going to start beating up small children passing by. The situation only plummeted from there. He knocked on our door at 7 or 8 am several mornings to ask us whose car was parked on the street after we had a party the night before. He said it was an issue of neighborhood security. He would make little offside comments during these early morning visits, about how it must be nice to have so much spare time and be able to party with your friends. Then he'd bring up how apparently we had no time to mow the lawn. He would frame it as a joke. It would be 7 am and you could see he had been waiting since 5, all dressed in his freshly pressed Ralph Lauren polo just waiting to come to our door.
I accumulated over $500 in parking fines from him calling bylaw enforcement anytime I left my car parked outside MY OWN HOME during street cleaning or light winter snowfall. I caught the city worker giving me a ticket once, and he apologized and said he was doing his job, but he recommended I move away from my 'insane neighbor.' We were fined hundreds of dollars over the winter because he called bylaw enforcement on us the MOMENT a snowflake touched our sidewalk and we didn't shovel it.
He called our landlord after I planted a rock garden in the backyard, to tell him we had altered the property and wanted them to know in case we hadn't asked his permission. He lobbied against our landlords to have a fence built in our backyard because there was a slight incline near the sidewalk and he didn't want children to fall down. He confronted our friends outside our home late one night to ask them if we were using illegal substances.
The breaking point: He called bylaw enforcement to have a tree in our yard cut down because he thought it was infringing on the sidewalk (it wasn't, and it was a beautiful crab apple tree). I was there doing yard work when they showed up to look at it, and by that point (this was the spring), I had completely lost my mind. I was downright furious. It had gotten to the point where I was literally having dreams about burning his house down. He had cost me so much money, and caused me so much stress, I can honestly say I wanted him to die. My kitchen window faced his, and sometimes I would see him in it and I would just stare at him. I would stare at him like I had laser beams in my eyes and I was trying to burn him to death. He would accidentally make eye contact with me and immediately look away.
I felt so helpless. He was playing the bylaw system like a fiddle and was such an arrogant old jerk that there was just no use in fighting him. I took comfort in picking out the subscription cards of every magazine when I waited in line at supermarkets and filling them out with his address and 'bill me later' checked off. I went to a bookstore once for that sole purpose and picked the weirdest magazines I could find. Chickens Monthly, for example. And I sent him so many adult magazines, oh my god. It helped me feel better.
My boyfriend and I broke up that year but otherwise would have moved anyway (100% because of this neighbor). I will never forget him for as long as I live. His face is burned into my brain. His stupid orange face."
"The neighbors next door have their own karaoke machine.
When they play it, the base thumps all through our house. None of them seem to be able to stay on key. It is generally horrible, but the deal with noise complaints is that they have to be called in after ten.
One night it was really bad. We knock on the door, they tell us it's the Lunar New Year so they're having a party. That's very nice, but it's also after 1 AM, and even night owl neighbors such as ourselves need sleep. After about an hour, they finally tone it down.
Next month, they do it again. It's after midnight, we go over, we knock, we ask nicely, they tone it down an hour later and try to explain to us that it is a party. We tell them that we know. We knew from inside our house, but everyone is still polite.
Next month, it all happens again. So, we called in the cops at around 1 AM. The cops come and go, but afterward, we hear the patriarch of the house outside in the street, screaming a combination of inquiries as to who called the police on them, combined with general drunken obscenities, directed at the whole neighborhood, in broken and heavily-accented English.
We called the police again. I think they tucked him into bed somewhere. Possibly even his own.
The next month after that, those same neighbors came around in the late afternoon with cake and those deep fried rolls and gave us a heads up about the party they were going to have.
I think that one went on until about 2 AM, but my sound-sensitive roommate was gone, and I and the other roommate were pacified by cake so nobody called the cops.
Next time they fire that karaoke machine up, who knows? I'll have moved out."
DiamondBack Truck Covers/Shutterstock
"We have a neighbor who likes to overcompensate for...something by having a huge, flashy truck. He treats it like a baby. He washes it weekly, has it detailed, etcetera.
Anyway, he comes to our house one day and says that our cat scratched his truck. We had lived there for over seven years, and the cat has never been on any of our vehicles and we have never had a neighbor say so either. This guy had moved in about three months prior. I wasn't home at the time, but my husband went over to look at the car with him, and the guy said he even had a picture of our cat on his truck. We live in a tightly-packed subdivision and there are at least six other indoor/outdoor cats on our street alone, not to mention the streets on either side of us. For whatever reason, my husband agreed to pay for a scratch repair kit and the neighbor agreed that would be fine. The scratches were very fine and only in the clear coat. My husband tells our neighbor to buy the scratch kit and we will pay him back. He finally texts us the picture and it's a very grainy night shot of a gray tabby cat jumping off the hood of his truck. There are three gray tabby cats that live in the immediate area near us, and it doesn't even look like our cat because our cat is quite plump and can't even climb stairs well.
A few days go by, then a week, then two and we haven't heard from the neighbor. One day the neighbor texts my husband and says he doesn't think a scratch kit will be good enough and he's going to take the truck to a body shop and send us the bill for the repair. Not asking - just telling us that's how it's going to go down. We text him back that that is not what we agreed on and we won't be paying for it. Our neighbor goes ballistic. He's texting my husband every few minutes, calling him every name under the sun, and when we don't reply to him (because we know not to feed the troll), it makes him even angrier. He starts threatening us and our cat. He says he's going to trap the cat and drown it in the river. The cat hasn't even been at our house for two weeks at that point (we'd sent him to live with grandma) but our neighbor hadn't noticed. Each time he threatens us or yells at us from his yard and we refuse to respond, the harassment gets worse. It finally comes to a head when he posts our names, address, phone number, workplaces, and pictures of our cars with license plates visible on Facebook and encourages his friends to 'show [us] what happens to dirty hippie liberals in the south.' I am a public school teacher and he is threatening my job because my behavior is watched very closely as an educator. Teachers can't even get away with drinking in public without getting fired. I had to call my boss and explain what was happening and so on.
So we finally get my lawyer friend involved. He tells us to draft up a cease and desist letter and send it via certified mail. He also does some digging and finds the neighbor has a history of suing people when he doesn't get his way, and that neighbor has lost all of these cases. He was arrested for refusing to leave the premises of a business that wouldn't refund his money on a t-shirt order he had actually approved right before it was printed. We also found several Facebook reviews for restaurants and car dealerships where he had pitched a fit about not getting his way. He even has Facebook pictures of him taking the truck mud-digging and using it to haul stuff around the construction sites he works on. So, it seems like he doesn't really care that his truck was scratched because we haven't heard from him since. We think he was just trying to squeeze us for more money. None of his friends ever did harass us either, because apparently, they are not also idiots."
"My husband's ex-wife became our worst neighbor...
It had been six years since their divorce, and out of the blue, she called him up at his work. You know, just to chat, catch up, whatever. Fine, fine, he isn't going to be a jerk or anything, but he definitely isn't interested in talking to his ex at length. Then, she started showing up at his store, repeatedly. She talked to everyone in the store, and shared her 'story about the two of them' to all his employees. Claimed she was just showing up at the store to hang out with 'her new friends.' Asked his assistant manager out on a date. Moved into the same apartment complex as us. Started showing up at our door. Left little notes and letters on his car, or on our door. We moved as soon as our lease was up."
"We had a large fenced-in backyard. My dog wasn't terribly loud. She wasn't aggressive at all. She was just the size of a lab and my neighbors, specifically the wife, thought that made her evil. They called the cops more than once, saying that my dog was terrorizing the neighborhood. The cops came, met the dog, and we explained that she was always in her yard. They left, telling us to just make sure our dog stays in the yard. Well, the neighbor called two more times to complain, and eventually, they went and spoke to her about her ludicrous complaints.
Then she started taking matters into her own hands. We noticed our dog was getting sick a lot. Like, really sick. We took her to the vet and the vet said we needed to stop feeding her human food that could be bad for dogs. We had NO CLUE what she was talking about. We went back home and decided to keep a closer eye on what she was eating. Turns out our neighbor had been dumping all manner of vile things over our fence. Food scraps, mop water, and goodness knows what else. We went and spoke to her about this and she denied it. Finally, we caught her on video and made sure she saw us recording her.
Later that night, the husband comes over and apologizes for his wife and begs us not to call the cops. He promises he'll ensure our dog is left alone. We agreed, but said if anything happened to our dog again, we would press charges.
Thankfully, she stopped coming after our dog. She moved on to our landscaping. She climbed over the fence more than once to trim (or rather, hack and destroy) our hedges and a few saplings. She even went and pulled all the flowers out of our flower bed that we had just planted. We went and spoke with her husband, as he was the more sane of the two. It was the same conversation as with the dog issue.
There were more random shenanigans that we could never prove. Eventually, she fell very ill and passed. Her husband was like a different person. He invited us over for barbecues and everything. He eventually even got himself a little dog."
"We lived in what seemed to be a mansion style of house, rented out to three different families. My family lived on the bottom floor, and a family of six lived above us; a mother, father, and four daughters ranging in age from 4 to 13. Every morning they would stomp around the house like little elephants and make as much noise as possible to wake each other up so they could prepare for school. After they were ready, more often than not, they would refuse to actually go out the door to go to school, screeching as loud as they could until the parents decided to let them stay home.
Since we were on the bottom floor of the place, we had free reign of the backyard whereas the other two families barely bothered to use it. They would frequently dump garbage and other random stuff off of a balcony into the yard and never bothered to clean it up, which we'd have to tend to daily since we had two dogs and an outdoor cat at the time. It was all a nightmare. When they were eventually kicked out by the landlord, she asked my mother to clean out the rooms/floor they were living in. She told me there were over a hundred two-liter soda bottles scattered throughout their place as well as mold growing in multiple rooms, with foul odors permeating everywhere. The oldest daughter was the same age as me and I had a huge crush on her (she was a very polite and clean girl, which is saying a lot considering what her family was like). We talked with her family about letting her move in with us while the rest of them left, because I felt like it would've been better for everyone if she had stayed with us but it never happened. I really hope she doesn't live with her disgusting family anymore. I truly felt horrible for her."
"My parents and I lived next to an addict and his addict girlfriend for a couple of years.
He seemed decently normal at first, but then he started blasting Motley Crue, Poison, and other crummy 80s rock at 2 AM, multiple times a week and acting really strange.
The dude decided to try to start a beverage-selling business out of his basement, in an old industrial cylinder that was used previously to store chemicals. He invited my folks over to sample his goods, basically trying to poison them with his chemical-ridden drinks.
I also witnessed him beating his girlfriend in the driveway very badly one day. My dad tried to intervene, but the dude pulled a knife out and threatened to break my dad's neck.
He would also beat his teenage sons and kick them out in the middle of the night so they had to go to my neighbors at like 3 AM for help.
Over the span of four months, the cops were at his house seven times. Once they barricaded our entire neighborhood off because they weren't sure exactly what this guy was capable of. He would never come out of the house though - he'd just sit inside and scream at them."