Something about owning a home just makes some people lose their minds. From psychotic neighbors to power-tripping HOAs, these homeowners are seriously off their rockers.
1. Koo-Koo Karen
I own a bunch of rentals in a bunch of communities. I’m no stranger to HOAs and court battles. In fact, I have a company attorney on retainer. I just moved into a community and finally bought myself a house I plan to stay in for a while. Well, a Karen recently got elected to the board and she immediately hated me. Why? Well it all started when I requested the following:
1: HOA financial documents—which two months in they have still not produced. 2: A temporary reasonable accommodation after a major surgery. Finally, I asked her husband not to change his oil in the parking lot. She hit back hard. So far I’ve received four notices for: speeding in the parking lot, a political sign (who was an opponent to her political sign in her front yard), a construction noise complaint, and destruction of community property for washing my car with a hose.
So my attorney goes to work on the upcoming fight. My attorney BCCs me on all emails to the association and the management company. I wish I was making the next part up. Karen is so stupid she replied all on an email meant for just the property manager: A few snippets: “I’m going to keep fining him and make his life horrible.” “He is a nightmare and a punk kid with too much money.”
“We are going to drown him in lawyers’ fees and send him the bill until he finally submits to me.” “This is now personal, I’m on a mission to show that punk kid with his parents’ money that I’m president and he will do as I say.” My lawyer called me six times at 10:30 last night and said “check your email.” At 9 am, my attorney sent a cease and desist to the entire board and included a copy of the email.
Mine and his phone have been blowing up non-stop from the four other board members and their attorney trying to just talk. This woman may be the stupidest person on Earth. I honestly cannot wait to see the fallout from this.
2. Counting Down The Days
My new neighbors moved in three days ago. Day 1: My husband and I get back from a food run, and we go to pull up in our driveway and their small children are riding bikes in our driveway. It is not shared. It’s 100% ours. Not a huge issue, we just asked them to move and pulled in. Day 2: The kids are riding bikes/power wheels/dirt bikes down our street.
We live in a huge family-oriented neighborhood, and I have four kids myself. I just called my kids out to go introduce themselves to the neighbors’ kids so they could get to know each other. My kiddos go talk to the new kids, and, ten minutes later, they come back saying that the kids were rude and they’d rather not play with them. Fair. Not everyone will get along.
Day 3: I’m sitting on my couch watching television and notice someone walking in my backyard. We have a six-foot privacy fence with a gate, so to get in our yard he would’ve had to purposefully open our gate. I walk out to my back patio to ask who he is and what he’s doing. He says that they were playing ball, it went over the fence, and he was coming to get it.
I told him that he needed to knock on our door, not just come into my yard. I asked if his mom was at home. At this point, my dogs come out of the dog door and make a bee-line to the gate that the kid left open. As soon as I made it to the front yard, I get the privilege of witnessing my dog getting hit by a car. She’s fine, just bruised (big dog, low speed limit, we were lucky).
Obviously, at this point, I’m concerned about my dog, forget to speak to the mom, take the dog to the vet, and finally get back home two hours later. The mom wasn’t home when I got back so I took the time to find a padlock to lock our gate. When I noticed her at home, I went to speak to her. Yeah. Didn’t go well. Before I could express my concerns over her son coming into my yard, she just started screaming at me to “not ever speak to my freaking son again”.
It’s only day 3. I can’t wait to see what happens on Day 4.
3. Ha! Nice Try!
I live in Florida and have the pleasure of living in an HOA neighborhood while not being a part of it. Apparently, there are a total of three houses in my neighborhood not part of the HOA, and I was fortunate enough to have bought one of them. Every previous owner refused to sign into the HOA, and I have continued this tradition.
The best part is getting all sorts of fines, letters, and people knocking on my door informing me of a stupid trivial violation. I just get to laugh at them while I explain I’m not a member of their stupid little club and therefore not beholden to its rules. At one point, they had my truck towed out of my driveway because of the HOA’s no truck policy. But they weren’t prepared for my response.
I simply called the authorities and reported it stolen. It was found at a local impound lot and returned to me free of charge. The HOA ended up having to pay for the tow and impound fees, and tried on several occasions to pass those on to me through fines. I finally had a lawyer write up a cease-and-desist letter telling them to leave me alone or I’ll press charges for the theft of my truck and harassment.
That was six months ago, and I think they finally figured out they have no authority to tell me squat because I haven’t heard from them since.
4. We’re Older Than You
My old house’s backyard bordered an HOA community. Our house was built 30 years before the community was built so we weren’t part of it. We used to get notices about violations and fines if we didn’t correct them. We never did correct them. They finally sent papers to repossess our house. We went to court with a tax map that showed our property was NOT part of the HOA community.
The judge dismissed their suit against us and found them guilty of harassment. We didn’t get awarded much, but I made sure to break every rule of theirs I could until we moved.
5. The Truth Will Come Out
My uncle bought a piece of land and built his house on it several years later. In the meantime, several houses were made around him and an HOA was formed. He never joined it because he hated the idea of HOAs. The whole problem started when my uncle saw several kids playing in his backyard. Now, my uncle has seven dogs—two are Bloodhounds, one was a Pitbull, and the rest were mutts.
Naturally, he was worried that the kids might get bitten by a dog so he built a fence around the border of his land. It took him three days to finish. The very next day, he got a surprise. He finished he gets a fine from the HOA for building the fence without their permission. He ignores it since he is not part of the HOA and the fence is on his land.
A week later, someone from the HOA comes to talk to him about the fence. He says he is not paying the fine because he is not part of the HOA and he then explains why he built the fence (the HOA apparently thought he had one dog and not seven). My uncle says goodbye at that point, thinking they had come to an agreement that the fence was fine but my uncle would paint it.
He already planned to do that, he had just not gotten around to it. The next day, however, he now gets several fines, one of which was for his dogs and another was for the fence. He again ignored it. Several days later, he buys two white paint cans and starts to paint the fence. While he is doing it, several people that live there walked by. Things began to get odder.
While some said hi, others just glared at him as they walked by. He paid them no mind and after a while, several people from the HOA came by to complain about the color he chose. He didn’t understand what was wrong, after all it was white, so he asks what was wrong with it. Their answer was outrageous. They said they didn’t approve of him building the fence let alone painting it.
They proceeded to say that he has to tear down the whole fence by the end of the week and then request for permission to build the fence again. He refuses and says again that he was not part of the HOA. This turns into an argument where his dogs are brought up, and by the end of it they were threatening his dogs. By this point, there was a small crowd gathering and watching.
My uncle calms himself down, picks up his paint, and goes back home. Three days later while he was walking around the inside of the fence, he finds several pieces of bacon covered in a white powder. When he picked them up, they smelled like chemicals. He came to a terrifying realization. Someone was trying to poison his dogs at this point.
He’s now incensed. He installs several cameras around the fence to find out who it was and he actually gets them on camera one night. He goes to the HOA meeting that was happening next month, but when he gets there it turned out that the person trying to poison his dogs was the HOAs president, of all people. He still showed the video and even brought some of the bacon as proof.
He said that if it continued, he would contact the authorities. After that, the bacon stopped being thrown into his yard and the president was voted out. She later moved somewhere else. It wasn’t until a month after the former president moved that he was told the kids he saw playing in his yard were her kids, and that since he built the fence they had been complaining non-stop for months that they could no longer play there.
6. Mr. Untouchable
About 25 years ago, my aunt and uncle moved into a new construction single-family home neighborhood on a half-acre. About six months after they moved in, my uncle was informed that his neighborhood was being taken over by an HOA. He disregarded his HOA application as he did not wish to join. Not long after this, random neighbors began complaining to him directly.
They whined about his boat and cars in his driveway violating HOA rules. He just informed the often rude people that he was not a member, and they would argue with him that everyone was a member. One of the major issues is that his driveway, garage, and front yard was on the main level of his home and the backyard dropped down a cliff to level with his basement and backyard.
So he had no way to back his boat around the side of the home into the backyard. It escalated quickly. Eventually, the HOA began harassing him with threats if he didn’t move his boat to the backyard. His backyard had been closed off by a vinyl fence the HOA installed and lined another road back there. So one day my uncle decided to compromise by trying to take down a section of his back fence so he could make a gate for boat parking access.
The HOA called the authorities on him for destruction of property. The officer left my uncle with a warning and said the fence needed to be returned to proper condition by the end of the day. My uncle put the fence back up and placed his boat back in his front driveway. Now the fines started coming. Week after week, month after month. When the fines reached $10k, the HOA filed a lawsuit against him.
He countersued for the harassment and street access to his backyard. In court, the HOA showed the HOA boundary and showed my uncle’s house was in the middle of the HOA, explained the violations, and the report filed over the back fence. My uncle explained that he never signed up for the HOA, moved into the neighborhood before the HOA existed, never gave them permission to fence in his back yard, provided all mortgage documentation, and a blank HOA application with the HOA’s security stamp and date.
The HOA argued that it didn’t matter if he didn’t turn in his application because he was within the HOA borders. It didn’t go well for them. The judge declared my uncle’s property was grandfathered as private property and not part of the HOA. The HOA was to immediately take down their fence on the back border of my uncle’s lot. Since the HOA had fined my uncle $10+k in fines, my uncle was owed $10+k in damages for the harassment.
Then he really got revenge. My uncle rebuilt his yard fence in see-through chain link with a gate where he parks all his toys in full view. He moved the boat from the driveway to his front lawn, let the lawn go to seed and then paved it over—all 10 feet from his front door to the sidewalk. HOA neighbors in the decades since still approach him to complain and he just tells them to take a walk knowing there is nothing they can do to him.
7. Mind Your Own Business
This happened years ago when I was in elementary school. I was living in Florida at the time. Anyone who lives in Florida knows how often new gated communities just pop up. So our neighborhood was established and had been before I even moved into the house. The house once belonged to my uncle. We had a neighborhood watch, but no HOA.
The gated community was finally built and people were moving in. Now, we don’t have a bad neighborhood, but we had some strange colored houses. Lime green and magenta with giant metal lizards hanging all over it, for example. Our house was simple, hand brick and half concrete painted white. It stood out compared to some of the other houses.
The new gated community is an HOA community, and they thought they ruled over ALL of us. Soon people in our neighborhood were receiving fines for their house color choices, their “unsightly” cars, not approved mailboxes, and other nit-picky things. My parents received some for my dad’s boat being in the driveway and even our unruly yard.
We had a bougainvillea, which grows like crazy, and we were constantly trimming it. We even got a fine for our fence. The old fence was chain-link and the new fence was a wooden privacy fence, don’t ask why we had two different fences, my uncle only fenced-in part of the house, it was still a good fence so my dad didn’t want to rip it out.
Well, my mom and dad would just pitch anything they saw coming from that gated community, as they had fancy stationary that was easy to spot. This went on for maybe four or five months, we would receive “fines” for not meeting HOA standards and other violations. We talked to our neighbors and they received them too. They tried to call and complain.
Still, they were given the run-around and decided to pitch the mail as well. Then it all came crashing down. My mom received a phone call from her bank, and they started to question her about the lien on the house that just appeared in the system. My parents had less than a year left on their payments for the house, and they always paid extra every month for the house loan and were always on time.
My mom was super confused and said there shouldn’t be a lien, we don’t have a reason for there to be a lien. Turns out the gated community filed liens on almost every house in my neighborhood. My mom told the bank the situation and called a lawyer. At that point, a lot of the members of that HOA faced charges and it was a just huge mess with a pretty big lawsuit against the HOA board.
We were able to pay off the house after the lawsuit. We even had a big celebration on one of the roads, a huge cookout, and we met people we didn’t know before. I even made new friends with some kids that I didn’t know existed. People moved out of the gated community due to bad press and a lot of the houses stood empty for a long time. When I moved away, there were still a lot of houses empty and it was like a ghost town.
Last I heard, the name of the community changed and the houses were being filled up. So I guess the lesson is, leave our bright houses alone and mind your own business.
8. The Woman In The Window
I’m a woman in my early 30s, living alone. My next-door neighbor is also a woman in her early 30s, living alone. We live in a typical suburban neighborhood. Long story short, I noticed pretty early on that she’s OBSESSED with her property lines, as I witnessed her yell at another neighbor about it roughly a month or so after she moved in.
At that time, I thought to myself, “Okay, this woman is nuts, but she’s not gonna become my problem, because I never go anywhere near the property line”. I don’t even spend time outside in my own backyard, because I still have to build myself a patio. So I figured I’ll just be friendly with her, and she’ll see how chill and easy-going I am, and we’ll be cool with each other. Well, I was wrong.
Come December (after our first big snowstorm), my plow truck driver plowed my driveway. She flipped out, telling me that some of the snow that was moved during the plow job had rolled over onto her property. Then she actually said, “I’m going to draw a line in the snow, and if anything goes over that line, we’re gonna have a problem”. Oh boy, here we go.
After that, I tried to explain to her (in a stern but polite manner) that the snow was not on her land, and that I was on a work call (we both work from home). Then came the terror. She reacted to that by marching over onto my property and screaming at me on my own front porch. She screamed in my face, in a manner I had never seen before.
She demanded that I “take a walk” with her to examine the snow so that she could prove some of it was on her land. I was feeling pretty threatened at this point, so I said, “I’m not walking anywhere with you”. Then she screamed, “then we’re going to have a problem! Do you understand me”? I said nothing, because I was in a state of complete shock.
I just stared at her, in amazement. And then she leaned in and screamed this blood-curdling scream: “DOOO YOOUUU UNDERSTAND MEEEE”??!! So I slammed the door in her face and decided to avoid her at all costs from then on. She was just getting started. In the days that followed, she proceeded to shovel her driveway, and the sidewalk in front of her house screaming at me and my house the entire time she’s shoveling.
She can see me through my window, as the desk I work from faces the window. Come spring, I go for walks with my friends in the neighborhood when the weather is nice. She ran at us with a weed whacker as we passed in front of her house, screaming, “you start your walks when you think I’m inside?! You can’t avoid me”! I filed a report after this incident.
On her more calm days, when she’s not doing one of those screaming episodes, she’ll go outside whenever I go outside and pretend to work on a bush that’s on our property line. I hired a landscaper to cut my grass, just because I don’t feel comfortable in my own yard. She went outside on my landscaper’s first day on the job and talked to him about me.
Basically, I can’t do anything at my house without her reacting to it or somehow finding a way to insert herself into the situation. She makes everything her business. On her best days, she’s just behaving in a nosey, annoying manner, but on her worst days, she’s screaming at me and making me feel threatened. And there’s a kicker. She also never leaves her house to go anywhere, EVER.
She has her groceries (and anything else she needs) delivered to her house. She literally never gets into her car to drive anywhere. She is ALWAYS home. Waiting, watching. And before you say it, no, I’m not selling my house. I was here first, and I put so much money into renovating it to make it into my dream house. I refuse to be run out of my own neighborhood.
Oh, and, I’m getting a privacy fence put up next month. I don’t really like the look of fences, but I don’t think I’ll be comfortable going into my own yard until I get one.
9. The Strata Council
When I was a kid, my mom moved to a townhouse complex, which had a Strata Council, basically an HOA. I often keep late hours, so I like to keep my windows blacked out so I can sleep in. So, I tin foiled my windows, which were recessed basement windows.
You could not see these windows without being on our property. She got a notice to remove them, because no window coverings are allowed unless they are white or beige. She passes this along to me. I take the tinfoil down, put white paper over the windows, and then tinfoil behind that. And to further improve things, I then add a layer of black construction paper.
No light is getting through, and it’s all white from the outside, which is allowed. They then drop off a note. The contents were utterly ridiculous. It’s asking what time they can come by to inspect to make sure there’s no tin foil on the inside of the window.
My mom and I had a good laugh over this and ignored the letter. They sent a follow-up; a more demanding, angrier letter. We ignored that too. Eventually they sent one threatening fines, and my mom sent a letter back that lied and said they had already inspected our windows, and they needed to figure their stuff out themselves.
She got an apology and no further hassling on this issue because the Strata Council was full of busybodies who hated each other, and no one wanted to admit that they were out of the loop.
10. Reading The Fine Print
I love reading contracts and agreements, so when a friend of mine told me about his HOA troubles and not letting him keep his boat behind his house I jumped on the opportunity. After reading, sourcing, and finding a few rulings, I learned that they have very little power to enforce what they can’t see from the road, because only those affect property value.
He took my documentation to the HOA and requested that they remove his fines. They refused, saying “the agreement says blah blah blah,” and after a few months, he finally paid a real estate lawyer $2,000 to talk circles around the HOA. After that, they finally backed down removed his fines and allowed him to keep his boat. But they regretted the day they messed with us.
Out of pure spite and with my design we built a 40’ tall “temporary” structure, conforming to both the HOA agreement and building code to fly a flag on a further 25’ pole. We took it down and put it back up every three months for a year. You could see it from almost anywhere in the neighborhood. It was a real triumph and IT WAS HIDEOUS!!
11. Back And Forth Again
My HOA lost paperwork for change of ownership when we bought our house. They sent us letters saying there would be a lien placed on our home if we didn’t pay the overdue amounts plus over $200 of late fees. I had to call them three times to even get someone on the phone who knew how to help me.
Then, I contacted escrow, who said they had already not only sent all the paperwork but turns out we had already paid the fees. I called the HOA again, and they were insistent that we hadn’t paid or sent over paperwork. Called escrow again and requested they contact the HOA themselves to sort this out and HOA still insisted we owed a late fee.
I started losing my mind until escrow said they would pay the late fee. A month later we got a letter in the mail saying we were being fined for leaving our trash bins out longer than necessary.
12. See No Evil, Hear No Barking
I have never had an issue with a neighbor. I’ve been lucky up until now. I moved into a new home at the end of February 2020. I introduced myself and my family to the new neighbors. Like usual, some were more receptive and friendly than others. Within 30 days of buying the home and moving in, one of my next door neighbors started construction on a large, concrete block building.
The building is really close to the property line as well as really close to his back porch and another building in his backyard. I went to speak to him. I had a bad feeling, and was proven right. He indeed told me that it was not permitted and agreed that it was probably too close to the property line. He said he’d stop construction on it but didn’t know why I had such a big deal with it as it’s just a shed.
As soon as I mentioned construction and fire codes, he walks off and stated again he’d stop construction on it. Two days later, he continues construction. I tried to talk to him again and he just says “whatever buddy” and walks off. So I checked with the city and the zoning in our area requires a 12-foot setback for any structure, more depending on the height.
This was less than four feet from the common wall between our yards. That wall is the property line. So I call the city. While describing my complaint, the operator pulls up recent aerial photographs of his property. It opened the flood gates. She says that he has no permits on file with the city for any of the three other buildings in his backyard, the porch added to his home, the wall around his property, the structure he built in his front yard, etc.
She also says that he has very obviously overbuilt his property and there are guidelines to what percentage of his property he can fill with buildings. The guy has A LOT of unpermitted, uninspected buildings and construction on his property. The city went out and gave him a notice for work without permits. He has been asked by the city, multiple times, for information on his property and has not replied.
That was April 2020 when he got the notice. He has a couple of dogs. When I first met him, he told me to come meet his dogs so that they won’t bark at me too much. I did and it didn’t seem like the dogs were barking that much. After he got the notice from the city, though, he would just leave his dogs outside for hours on end and let them bark and bark the whole time.
It is just about mind-numbing. The way his yard is set up, he has a driveway on one side that goes from the street out front to his back yard. The other side of his house borders mine, and that is where the dogs are most of the time. It seriously sounds like it is right outside. With the TV and home theater on, AC running, kids making noise and all of the other household noises, I can still hear his dogs barking.
5 am to 11pm, those dogs will bark. Lately, he has started keeping one dog at a time on his back porch but is confining them to some kind of kennel. It is only about 4ft x 6ft. The dog(s) will whine, yip and bark for hours on end and it is right on the other side of the wall from me. I feel bad for the poor dog, being confined for hours at a time.
Summer temps are now going over 100 degrees, will get up to 115+ regularly during the summer, and I also worry for the safety of the dog being confined when temps are extreme and it is confined in an area with no ventilation. So, I go over to talk to him about his dogs and their barking. This was December 2020. He has a large block wall surrounding his front yard.
It’s about 7 or 8 feet tall. There is no way to access his front door or his yard without going through a gate, which has barking/snarling dogs on the other side. No doorbell, intercom. Nothing. So, I knock on the side of his house, that is facing the street. I’m standing in his driveway. Both him and his wife come out to meet me.
I asked him if he could do something about his dogs and their constant barking. His reply was blood-boiling. He said to me, with a smirk on his face, that he doesn’t know what I’m talking about and that his dogs never bark. This whole time, his dogs are barking so much that we can barely hear each other. “You know what buddy, you already cost me way too much money. Get off my property” he then said to me.
I take two steps and I’m now on a city-owned sidewalk and near the street. His wife climbs on something from his front yard and is screaming and cussing at me from inside the yard, leaning over their wall. He comes out of his gate and takes his shirt off, trying to get me to fight him in the street. I just walked home. I didn’t laugh, argue, yell, talk, nothing.
At that point, I just walked home to avoid the violent confrontation that they were wanting. His dogs have continued to bark almost all day, every day since that interaction. But karma came for him. I was contacted by a city inspector recently about the complaint. The inspector told me that they have been asking him for information for over a year and he has yet to comply so his notice has officially been turned into a citation and he will have to go before a judge.
The problem that the inspector has had is that he has been unable to make contact with my neighbor, as he cannot get to the front door. He said that he has to issue the citation in person and also has to take pictures of the property when he serves the individual. The city inspector said that he is most likely going to have to get an officer to take him onto the property.
I’ve been debating calling the city about the animal noise. If I do, I’ll probably bring up the issue of the confined dog on the back porch. They handle animal noise separately than normal noise and disturbing the peace calls. He’ll get fined between $50 and $500 per occurrence, as I’ll be required to complete a log of when I hear the dogs. He has clearly shown that he is unable to have a conversation about it and resolve it between the two of us.
I know he’s in trouble with the city already but does he seriously think he can just continue to be a jerk without any repercussions? I’m 40. I’ve had plenty of neighbors through the years and have never had any issue with any of them until this guy. He’s in big trouble already and I feel like it might be too much under the circumstances but I’d also like to be able to get a full night of sleep without having to listen to the dang dogs.
13. Drawing A Line In The Sand
Our next-door neighbors seemed very friendly at first. Weird, but friendly. The first time I met her she made it clear by mentioning 5-8 times that her house was a little bigger than ours, but still no problems. But then it started to get creepy. She also told me she could see that we removed a wall and she could see it from her bathroom window.
We just moved in in the spring after closing in February. Right away, we applied for a fence permit and the township needed us to clear something up. They sent a map of our lot with the surveyor stamp. My neighbor told me that the previous owner of our house told them, for the last 17 years, that the lot line followed a few bushes on the property.
Turns out that according to the township, my property extends about 20 feet over from what they originally thought. Our property is on a curved street so the section that we are gaining is shaped like a slice of pie. The neighbor’s wife has made it clear she isn’t happy. She mentioned 10 times that it’s new information and for 17 years that’s the way it was.
She said, “You have to understand that after 17 years this is a shock to us and this is how it’s always been”. She also was telling me how my fence should look and that she wanted the fence more than 6-10 feet off the property line. The township said it can be one inch off. I decided to have enough room for a mower; about two feet. Then it got simply ridiculous.
Finally, she said, “That window over there is my teenage daughter’s and we don’t want her looking out and feeling like someone is on top of her”. Says the woman who looked into my house from her bathroom window. I get you thought your property was bigger, but it’s not my fault you got your information from an unreliable source. I pay the property tax on that piece of land and I want to be able to use it.
My property is only .31 acres and my backyard is small but my side yard is big-ish. So then, the township told me to use a metal detector to find the property pin and I was out there. She came over and started yelling at me. She said the property line isn’t contested and that what I was doing “was inappropriate and my daughter is right upstairs studying in that room”.
She kept yelling but I walked away. We just had the surveyor out the other day. What he told me made me grin like a maniac. It turns out my property extends another 10 feet beyond where I thought, so that’s 30 feet they didn’t expect. Well, the surveyor came up to me and said “what’s wrong with your neighbor? She was yelling at me saying I’m digging up her lawn and that it’s her property, not theirs”.
Apparently, her husband was on the phone with the township. Here is a text conversation we had. Him: Hi, I’m from next door. We saw that your surveyor was out today. Are you and your wife both available to talk with us for a few minutes sometime today or tomorrow? Me: Hi. Yes the surveyor was out today. No offense, but at this time we are not comfortable having a conversation.
Me: We went through the proper channels to ensure we are putting the fence on our property. We spent additional money to insure this was correct based off of your recommendation for it. Our son and our dog having their space is our main priority. Not to do anything out of spite. We feel like there is some hostility, as evidenced by things that were said to myself and the surveyors today. Just looking to avoid confrontation. Hope you understand.
Him: There’s no hostility. We’re not seeking confrontation either. We would just like to have a neighborly discussion about your plans for the fence. Any projects done along that property line have a significant impact on our daily lives due to the close proximity to our primary living and working space in our home, including our teenage daughter. We are not nor have we ever been opposed to you installing a fence.
Basically, they want to tell me where to put my fence. Eventually, I installed it three feet off the property line and I was thinking of planting greenery in that space. But they weren’t finished. They are now demanding I move my ring spotlight. The husband texted me, stating that the light shines in his daughter’s bedroom (on the second floor) and into his kitchen.
There is no way this is true. I’m not the only neighbor that has issues with them. I no longer communicate with them because last time I did I was yelled at for being on my own lawn. They continue to bring up their daughter, even though I’ve never seen evidence that she even exists. They’ve also recently reached out to me saying my dog was outside all morning barking.
I looked back at my ring camera and not only was she not out all morning, but when she was barking it was at him slowly walking his dog in front of my fence then yelling at her multiple times. Oh, and his dog pooped on my lawn and he didn’t pick it up.
14. The Sound Of Silence
Our horrible next-door neighbor, an old man, has been routinely fighting with his old girlfriend for years, but from January to March, it ramped up to once a week. From March to mid-May it was every other day. We had a blessed week or two, but this last week it’s been EVERY DAY. They scream and throw stuff, with ALL the windows open, going in and out of the house, EVERY TIME THEY FIGHT.
Usually, this only lasts a couple of hours. We live in a small complex, and everyone else hates them. But then they outdid themselves. Yesterday they carried on for FIVE HOURS. A few of us got together to decide whether to call the authorities, but they kept stopping and starting, and the last time we called them, they didn’t do anything. Tonight, I’m relaxing after a long day, it’s 11 pm, and I hear this woman start screaming again.
I lost it. I ripped back the curtains and screamed at them out the window to shut up. We are NOT doing this tonight. Shut UP. I am not the only one. YOU DON’T EVEN LIVE HERE! It’s summer! It’s HOT! We all have our windows open, we can all hear you! We’re sick of listening to your fights SHUT UP. I’ll be darned, it went silent and they left quietly within 10 minutes. WIN.
15. After The Storm
I lived in an HOA with my parents for seven years down in Northern Texas. We had a small tornado come through our backyard one night while I was at work, and it knocked down both the fence dividing the front yard from the back yard as well as the fence between us and our neighbors behind us.
The HOA agreement included coverage for natural disasters, but when my parents and our neighbors went to the HOA to get the fences fixed, the HOA kept denying them. Three months later and the threat of a lawsuit for breach of contract and they finally fixed the fence.
I will NEVER live in an HOA because it’s too much hassle. I don’t want to have a bunch of entitled people tell me what my house can look like or fine me for not cutting my grass to a specific measurement and other annoyances like that.
16. A Family Affair
I am a combat veteran and a school teacher at the time of this story, and my wife was a school teacher as well. So, I bought my first house 12 years ago. It was in a low-middle-class neighborhood with a lot of working-class families. My house had a pool in the backyard and my parents bought me and my wife a hot tub as a wedding/housewarming gift.
Two weeks after moving in, we came home to an unsettling sight. We found a stranger and six teenage kids swimming in our pool when we got home. We will call them Entitled Mom, the Entitled Daughter, the Entitled Son, and the others I assume to be their friends and/or boyfriend. The daughter was about 18 or 19 years old and her brother was about 17.
When we told them to get out and get off our property, the mother told me that the previous owner gave them permission to come over whenever they wanted to swim. I explained to her that I was the new owner and that I was not ok with it. I told her that not only do I not know them, but there is a liability for me if they got hurt. I couldn’t believe her response.
She yelled and faked cried, saying I was being a bad neighbor, selfish, and forcing her kids to sweat in the summer heat. She told me that if they got heatstroke, it was my fault for not letting them swim in my pool. I told her to get the heck off my property and never return. Fast forward two weeks. I had put up a “No Trespassing” sign on my property in multiple spots and had gotten to know many of the not-entitled neighbors.
They were great and told me to ignore the mom and her kids. They told us she was already badmouthing us, but no one ever believed her. This is when it took a strange turn. Now I start to notice when I wake up in the morning that there is evidence of people using my pool and hot tub at night when we are asleep or away. Like, I find cans and other stuff.
I figure it has to be the mother and/or her brats. So I install cameras on the grounds and start video-taping. Sure enough, I catch the daughter and a few others hanging out in my pool on Friday nights when my wife and I are out. I figure they must have been waiting for us to leave and then threw a mini-party or were quietly swimming while we slept.
So I discussed it with my wife. We decided to teach the mother and her brats a lesson. So the next Friday night, I park my car a street over and my wife does the same. We wait in the dark house to see if any of them come over. The daughter and I assume her boyfriend, the son and I assume his girlfriend, and four other teen couples come right over and start getting in my pool and hot tub.
I wait 45 minutes for them to get really into their fun. And let me tell you, it was getting hot and heavy out there; they were all undressed. I then spring my trap. I go out with my piece, pointed at the ground but at the ready. When I reach the pool, my wife flips on the backlights and I yell for them to freeze or I’ll shoot. Meanwhile, my wife calls the authorities.
They all have the deer in the headlights look on their faces and not one of them tries to speak for a good minute. The daughter then starts to tell us that she has permission to be there and that we need to let them get dressed. I tell them that if they move towards me or their property, that I would consider them to be charging me or reaching for a weapon and I’d shoot.
They must have believed me because they froze. One girl begged me to give her her clothing. Not being a total jerk, I say that I will throw them all their clothing. But there was a twist. I then walk over to their piles of clothing, phones, and purses and throw EVERYTHING into the pool. They freak out trying to save their phones and other goods.
After ten minutes officers show up and they have the kids climb out of the pool wearing their soaked clothes and trying to shake their phones dry. I show the officers the videos from our cameras, the No Trespassing signs, and explain to them that I had told them and their mother they were persona non grata. The kids were detained for trespassing and a bunch of other charges.
The officers recommended that next time, I leave my piece in the safe and let them just come and get them. I told them that I thought they may attack my wife and had to “stand my ground.” I proved that I never pointed it at them with the videos, so I couldn’t be charged with anything. Then came the very best part. As the kids are being loaded into the cruisers, the mother shows up yelling at the officer, my wife, and me.
She demands they let them go and even tries to open the door on one of the cruisers. The officers threaten her with being detained if she doesn’t back off and leave my wife and me alone. I later found out that the charges against the teens were reduced and they all got plea deals. They all got community service, fines, and were put on probation. We got a restraining order against the mother and her brats so they couldn’t bother us again.
I then sent a bill to the mother for the cost of draining, disinfecting, and refilling my pool and having a professional cleaning service clean up the kids’ mess. The bill was for about $400. I had my parents’ attorney send it to her with a letter stating that if it was not paid in 30 days, then we would sue her for a larger amount. She sent a check to my attorney and thankfully it did not bounce.
About a year later, the entire entitled family moved away and we never heard from them again.
17. Lights Out
My mother-in-law was fighting stage 4 ovarian cancer a few years ago, and we had no desire to take down our Christmas lights. We were constantly visiting the hospital, and it was very touch and go. I also had a child under one-year-old. It was a very emotional time.
The HOA compliance officer constantly would stop at our house at all hours of the day. We had security cameras so finally after reviewing the footage we called the guard shack to see what the emergency was. What he told us made me want to scream. We were told that Christmas has been over for three weeks and we need to have our lights down before the end of the month or he would fine us $25 a day for the first week, then $50 each day after that.
We explained the situation, and the guy said well it’s not my problem, take your lights down. My wife exploded on the jerk. She then went to the next board meeting and let loose on the board and general manager. Turns out it wasn’t even an HOA policy.
The guy worked for the security company that was hired to work the main entrance guard shack, and would get a bonus if he would patrol and hand out fines for HOA violations. This jerk would just drive around and make up his own rules and fines. By the next meeting he was fired, and a new security company was hired when the contract was up in the summer.
Everything worked out in the end. Jerk fired, and my mother-in-law cancer free for over a year.
18. Nice To Naughty
This is how I handled my problem neighbor: Throughout my entire adulthood I’ve owned my own home, except for a two-year period when my son was born and shortly after until we bought another house. During my time as a renter in a bigger town I had very rude neighbors, middle 50’s couple, fairly well-to-do, who would spy and sneer and stare constantly.
Their adult children and grandkids did it too. They would stare and once they saw you looking back, they would slowly shake their heads before turning away. They lived to my immediate right. If you so much as coughed outside, they’d literally seek you out to stare at you for a minute, mutter something under their breath, then shake their head and turn away.
Three months of this and I had enough of it. Mind you, I’m quite big (6’4 1/2″, 295 lbs) and very imposing and had a long biker beard at the time. My size didn’t seem to intimidate them, at first. So I decided on a much different plan. It would have to be all mental. Since they were always so pissy, I decided the best attack was kindness, mind you OVER THE TOP kindness.
Whenever I saw either of them looking at me, or both at the same time for that matter, I would walk/run right towards them with a loud jovial HI!!!! Get very close to them and forcefully initiate small talk. The moment they would try to respond, I would cut them right off and talk over them. Everything they said, I would laugh extremely loud at before they were even finished talking.
It was to the point where they would start backing up and I would wave my arms around and act like an idiot. This was an almost daily occurrence for a couple weeks. They seemed to give me more space and weren’t outside staring at me nearly as often after that. Until one day it changed again. That day, a close friend drove by while I was in my front yard.
It took me a second to realize it was him because he wasn’t in his own car; it was a rental because his was in the shop. The neighbors were on their front porch at the time. He beeped the horn and I looked and saw it was him and he promptly gave me the middle finger and yelled “Screw You!” out the window, which is something we often did to each other.
Then it hit me! The neighbors saw the whole thing! I sprang into action. I yelled back “You’re done!” to my friend in the car as he kept going down the street, ran inside, grabbed my gun, threw it on the front seat of my truck, then ran next door and up on the neighbors’ porch where they were quite startled. I yelled at them “Who was that!? Did you send him!?”
They were too frightened to respond. I then ran over, jumped in my truck, and lit up the rubber, pulling out of the driveway and flying down the street. I caught up to my friend a little ways down the street and got him to pull over. I shared the story with him about what I’d just done (he had been well informed as to what the neighbors were doing) and he almost peed his pants laughing. Then we planned the next step.
It went like this. I returned 20 minutes later to the neighbors still on their porch, staring at me but trying to make out that they weren’t. I pretended I didn’t notice them. I went inside, got a large beach towel, and went outside with it. Knowing they were watching me, I pulled my piece out of the truck and started wiping it down with the towel. After clumsily and purposely looking over both shoulders in a fake attempt to check if anyone was watching, I wrapped it in the towel and ran around to the back of the house.
I brought the weapon inside and put it away quickly. I grabbed one of my baseball bats and wrapped it in the towel and went into the backyard. I then very loudly opened the shed and got a shovel. Making quite a racket the whole time. I could see when I came out that they were looking at me from an upstairs window in their house to see what I was doing.
I dug a small hole and threw the towel-wrapped bat in the hole and promptly buried it. The neighbors never spoke to me or stared at me again.
19. The Garden Of Eden
So. My cat didn’t come home for dinner. Very strange. He’s usually the one (we have two) demanding I get to opening the tins. So I look in the usual spots, is he stuck in a closet or the garage? Nothing. I eat dinner, thinking he’ll be around meowing any minute. Well, no sign of Frank (the cat). He’s mostly an indoor lazy guy who wanders a bit around outside.
Anyway, my neighbor previously (a month ago or so) had yelled at my wife about the cat “pooping” in his garden. Okay that’s not cool, he has a litter box, we have a garden. I get that’s a bit annoying. So anyway I go over to his place and knock on his door. Said I understand my cat has been bothering you. I gave him my business card, said if he ever bugs you again please call or text me.
I said I’ll deal with whatever mess or whatever. Meanwhile, I’ll try to improve the situation. I bought some dirt, catnip, made an outdoorsy litter area for my guy, showed it to him a few times. We made an effort to keep him inside more. But I’ll be honest, eight years as an indoor/outdoor cat and he gets antsy and crafty about getting outside sometimes.
Anyhow, I’m wandering around the roads near my place hoping not to find a tire print over my cat. No sign. He doesn’t come home so now it’s worry time. I kind of know in the back of my mind what happened. I sense that the neighbor did something. So I’m wandering around outside and I approach his driveway, calling for Frank—and I hear him.
He’s meowing for me. Okay I follow the sounds and yep, he’s trapped in buddy’s garage. So I tried the door, figured he could have wandered in and got stuck. Darn, he’s gotten stuck in mine before. Door is locked. Knocked on buddy’s door. Said I hear my cat stuck in your garage. I couldn’t believe his response. He says, verbatim, “Yep! Bye” and goes to close the door.
I knock again, bit louder. Now this guy is a boomer, probably 65 years old. And he says, “What?” and I said, “Man, you got my cat in there. Just let him out thanks”.
And he says “No”. At this point I’m at the front door and as he’s closing it I put my foot in there. I’m like bud, let him out. He says no again. I said should I break this window to get him out? He pulls out his phone and starts recording and says “You’re threatening me!” and I’m like “Bro you took my cat let him out” and he says no again. Goes to close the door and I knocked hard as it closed and it popped open. Guess it didn’t latch. It hit a breaking point.
He tells his wife to call 9-1-1. And she does. He slams the door with his shoulder and locks it. I hear them literally on emergency calling the authorities. I’m like, ok, he took my cat. He can’t keep him, that’s not a thing. So I dialed the non-emergency line and told my end—the neighbor threatened my cat before, now he has him captive. And she tells me a squad car will be there soon talk to him.
Like five seconds later, the first car pulls up. I give him my ID, tell him my cat is in there. He says how do I know. I said I can hear him. Well, does he have a cat? No I’m pretty sure he hates cats. I show him a picture and say he’s in the garage here. Two more cars pull up, four more officers. I’m like wow, this is really something. First officer talking to buddy, watching the video.
But then two more! Five total, one guy is like in SWAT gear ready to take somebody down. They talk to him. Cat is meowing like crazy beside us in the garage. The SWAT guy is like “did you take his cat?” the other guy says “he says he did, says that’s this guy’s (me) cat in there…” “He poops on my property! Right there”! He points to a little dirt patch behind a bush.
I’m like, I’m sorry man I didn’t tell my cat to come over here and find a good litter box. I’m working on it. It really devolved at this point. SWAT guy is like, we drove 90 mph up here because… Cat poop? Neighbor says “He was threatening me!” At that point I said I just asked how I should go about getting my cat out of the garage.
SWAT guy tells buddy he’s called a break-and-enter to 9-1-1 because I was “sneaking around his garage” and the first cop is like “this guy took his cat”. SWAT guy is like “why did you call a break-and-enter?” Neighbor says “I didn’t” and the officer is like “should we go down to the shop and pull the tape”? Neighbor starts pulling a “do you know who I am? Don’t talk down to me”.
The guy is like it’s a crime to call emergency for a non-emergency. Like down to the station kind of deal. First officer is like “let the cat out now” and he finally does. Frank runs out and home. The officer is like this is stupidly unreasonable that you called 9-1-1 over cat poop. Guy finally apologizes. Shakes my hand and says sorry to me. I knew just what to do.
I say “do you still have my number? I’ll literally come fix whatever he messes up while I try to get him trained up to stop using your garden there”. The officer says to me to do what I can to keep the cat indoors. I’m like “I do try, but my niece and five-year-old live with us and sometimes he’s crafty”. Anyway—now I’m not sure what is going to happen to my cat if he gets out again.
20. People Are Trash
I bought a beautiful house with a long driveway several months ago. Our next-door neighbors’ house is right up on the street and they have a trailer behind the house. Since moving in, we noticed the girl living in the trailer will use our driveway to pull in and out because they have piles of trash and scrap metal all-around their own property which makes it difficult for them to drive on their own property.
The repeated use is causing a large pothole to form in my driveway. We never really cared that she used the driveway, but seeing the pothole get worse we made note of it and planned to speak to them about it. On an initially unrelated note, we recently had a survey done so we could fence in our yard for our dog (this part of the yard is not near these neighbors).
The neighbors seem to take issue with this and have been screaming at and harassing the survey crew, and told us that our driveway is a “public road” and we have no right to have boundary stakes along it because according to them, our driveway doesn’t belong to us. Except it does because it’s in our deed and plot plan. My husband attempted to speak with them twice regarding the pothole and ask them if they would repair it.
He also wanted to see if they would split snow plow costs since they want to regularly use the driveway. They shocked him in response. The owner of the house, along with the girl living in the trailer and her boyfriend, began screaming and swearing at my husband. He said they aren’t paying for anything, made violent threats against him, and then began insulting my three-year-old.
The boyfriend is now stalking us and any time we have a guest over outside, he comes out and starts screaming about the boundary stakes, saying we need to lawyer up (even though the stakes match their own plan). We’ve consulted with the survey company and an attorney, who all are in agreement that these people have no right to use our driveway without our permission and they all advise us to not speak to or respond to them in any way going forward and to put up a privacy fence so we don’t need to see them.
I am just so frustrated to feel uncomfortable in our own yard and on our own property when it should be my sanctuary. I just don’t understand what kind of grown adult would insult a small child over a boundary dispute. My child has never even met these people or been on their property so it’s not like they can claim she plays in their yard or anything.
I’m just dumbfounded. Why are people such trash?
21. Wrong Place, Wrong Time
I bought a townhouse last year and within six months had to sell due to a neighbor from Hades. He was extremely mentally ill. Between the threats to myself and family, damage to our shared wall from him pounding on it, bottles being thrown at us, etc we couldn’t take anymore. The authorities couldn’t do anything, HOA doing nothing—we had to sell.
Without getting into too much of the story, this neighbor was not disclosed to us at closing between the seller and HOA. This neighbor was a serious issue for YEARS before us buying the townhouse. This whole process was very obviously very awful I still suffer PTSD from this person. A beautiful house I renovated and was so excited to start a family in our new 3-bedroom home.
It all came crashing down due to one man. My lawyer (who helped me close on the house to buy and then again six months later closed on the house to sell) put a provision in all his contracts and named it after me, saying all social issues with neighbors must be disclosed when buying a home. Maybe it’s because I’m now pregnant, but I’m crying my eyes out.
I’m so happy that my lawyer put this in all his closing contracts going forward. I tried everything to keep my home.
22. Neighbors Are Doing It For Themselves
I just moved into my house a week ago. My neighbor Linda has been very much in my business. She wants me to cut down my trees that shade her vegetable garden. She also asked me to cut down my trumpet vine that runs along the fence between our properties. I told her I’d think about it. I came out this morning and saw that all the vines were withered and they had been sliced at the ground.
She must have come over a few days ago while I was gone. My yard is completely fenced so I don’t know how she got in. She may have a key to my house.
23. Start Your Engines
I have a double driveway with three cars in it and a fourth that I like to park in front of my house. My neighbor is upset that I park ONE car in front of my own house, yet they take all of the parking in front of both of their next-door neighbors’ houses, plus the house directly across the street from them. My house is next to the house that’s directly across the street from them.
They also have a car in front of mine. Yet they’re super offended that I have one car parked in front of my own house. She says I should put it in my driveway because she really needs the space. HELLLO!!! YOU HAVE 12 FRICKIN CARS!!!! I don’t want to have to shuffle my cars every time someone at my house has to go somewhere to make things more convenient for someone with 12 cars.
24. This Is An Emergency
I work in emergency services. I’ve had HOA board members try telling me we could idle our fire engine or park our ambulance “there,” as if I’d know the rules. I’m usually professional but the second time they tried to complain about the fire engine idling I responded along the lines of “Go away. I don’t care what your by-laws say. Article 300 of Michigan traffic code says I can park wherever the heck I want”.
We were there for a family with carbon monoxide poisoning and I truly didn’t care about anything else at that moment. We had crews up and down the road to treat and transport the entire family.
25. Passing Notes
So earlier this month, I purchased a property in real estate lien auction. The property was in a voluntary HOA that had 100% membership, and they were RUTHLESS in trying to get me to join before I bought the house. But I knew what I had to do get them off my backs. My attorney looked into the situation and drafted a proposal and sent it to the HOA via registered mail.
He drafted up a proposal agreement with the HOA with the following conditions: 1. The property owner has unrestricted access to any community-owned roadways, gates, etc. necessary to access his property. 2. This does not constitute joining the HOA. 3. The property owner will pay a figure monthly to the HOA to contribute to the non-government owned infrastructure, at his discretion. The amount is non-negotiable and not legally required, merely an acknowledgement that the assets exist and have costs for their upkeep.
4. The property owner will not be held to any HOA standards. 5. The property owner does not and will not get any voting rights in the HOA. 6. Any further attempts to get the property owner to join will be considered harassment. 7: Cashing of the attached checks constitutes agreeing to these terms. 8. The HOA will provide any necessary access codes for the property owner to use for visitors, contractors, etc.
They received it and signed for it. That day the harassment from the HOA stopped. A week later their attorney sent back a response. When I read it, I had to shake my head. It read: The HOA board has met, and they do not appreciate your un-neighborly attitude and are not agreeing to your terms. However, they acknowledge that your claim to unrestricted access to your property may have legal merit if the issue is taken to court. I have been instructed to give you a gate access code, attached below. You will not be given a key fob to the gate as it would give you unrestricted access to their clubhouse.
Furthermore, they are notifying you of the following: The roadway and sidewalk are both HOA property and they reserve the right to remove any illegally parked vehicles or other property. This is however an acknowledgement that you will not be held to their community standards. They also are requesting some leeway regarding harassment as community notices may inadvertently be delivered.
Finally, they are returning the check uncashed. I’m not quite understanding how this doesn’t constitute them agreeing to my terms though. They are giving me everything I want and are turning down my gift towards the upkeep of the road/gate. I guess if they want to shoot themselves in the foot just to be spiteful, I’ll let them go ahead.
26. A Limber Limo
When I was younger, my dad started a limousine service. Before the company got big enough for its own office space and multiple limos, he’d bring his one limo to our home and sometimes leave it overnight when it was needed for a job. It lived in a storage lot the rest of the time. However, the presence of a limousine in the neighborhood was apparently distracting to the people on the board.
They passed a rule that you couldn’t have a vehicle longer than a certain number feet parked in front of your house overnight. Well, this backfired. Then, the main old guy on the HOA board got a huge RV that he would leave in front of his house for days at a time, so they got rid of the vehicle size rule and replaced it with a rule forbidding vehicles that advertised a business.
The limo had a decal on the drivers side door with the name of my dad’s limo company and the phone number. Welp, backfired again. Then, someone else on the board started a landscaping company and had a pickup truck with the name of the landscaping company on the side, so they changed the rule to only allow such vehicles to be in your driveway, not parked on the street.
The pickup could fit in the owner’s driveway, but a limo couldn’t fit in ours. Basically, rather than just make a “no limos” rule, they kept making rules that disallowed limos, and then kept changing it when it would accidentally apply to anything but a limo.
27. Bouncing Right Out
I got a trampoline for the kids. They loved it. The HOA asked me to get insurance coverage for it, so I got insurance coverage for it and made a copy of the statement for them as proof. They stabbed me right in the back. They then faxed every incident report involving trampolines in the neighborhood to my insurance company referencing my policy number and sent a letter of disapproval.
Now, my kids don’t have a trampoline, and neither do any kids in this entire neighborhood now. The saddest part is, on Google Earth it still shows the trampoline, and my youngest daughter was sad when she looked up our address. In the non-slummy parts of South Florida, the HOAs control everything. I can’t even put up a fence either because I’m on a corner.
The only benefit to having an HOA in my neighborhood is the free Comcast cable and the fact that they petitioned Comcast to get us fast internet. I’m moving soon to be closer to family, and I can get a 10 acre plot up north with a house twice this size for the same price. I can’t believe I ever thought joining an HOA was a clever idea.
28. Changing The View
The homeowner’s association president was a crotchety old man who would leave nasty messages on people’s cars if they parked outside his window. These notes would complain that the parked car spoiled his view, of which the view was the house across the street.
Several of my friends and family had these messages put on their car and it was getting ridiculous, but I bit my tongue. Then one day I woke up and noticed the old man had painted the entire curb along his home bright red. This ticked me off. I went to the homeowner’s association meeting and complained that this behavior was setting a precedent where anyone can paint their curb red.
If everyone did that, there would be no parking in the entire community. People listened but nothing was done. I was later approached by a member of the board who said everyone was scared of the president and although my argument was valid, nothing would be done about it. But that wasn’t the end of it for me.
I was going to test the HOA president by parking there and seeing if anything happened, but we decided to come up with a better plan. My best friend and I bought some concrete-colored paint and at 2am in the morning and completely repainted the entire curb.
Three days later, he painted it back to red. We repainted it grey again. He painted it back to red. Then a few days later I got another job, realized I was moving away, and said, “oh well, this doesn’t really matter anymore”. I had my laugh.
29. Home Alone
My partner, our children, and I have rented our house for about a year now and it’s in a fairly nice neighborhood with mainly older (boomer generation) people who live around us. We hardly ever see our neighbors—we have one across, and one on either side—except the one across from us, but she has always been friendly to us. I am a truck driver so I’m not home a lot.
My partner stays at home with the kids and homeschools our children. We decided yesterday to go on a day trip to a nearby larger city to relax and spend time together. My neighbor across the street saw us loading into the car quite early in the morning since we had a full day planned. About two hours later, our Ring doorbell detected motion.
My partner checked it out to find our neighbor knocking on the door. We asked what she needed. Her answer only made it weirder. She said that she was checking on our children. My partner and I found this odd since we aren’t close with the neighbors. We don’t even know each other’s name. Still, we explained to her that our kids were fine and that they were with us.
About 10 minutes later, officers come to our Ring doorbell saying they had a report of kids left alone at home. We were able to clear it up by letting the kids talk to them via the Ring app so they knew they were with us. We explained that no one was home alone since we all went on a day trip. We continued on about our day and planned to talk to her today about it to ask why.
Fast forward to today and my partner and I walked across to ask what gives. It went from 0 to 60 in no time at all. The neighbor gets in my face and accuses us of leaving the kids home alone frequently (we don’t ever). Her evidence was that when we get groceries delivered, we have the kids bring them in from the front porch while we put them away in the kitchen.
It should be noted that there is another kid around my kids’ age in the neighborhood who roams around from house to house unattended and unsupervised, but no one seems to mind him. How all of that translates to us leaving our kids home alone I do not know but I just needed to vent. We told her not to speak to us anymore so hopefully that will be that.
30. Good Fences Make Good Neighbors
So my husband and I purchased our first home in a suburban southern area a few months ago. It’s not going great. I adore my home, of course, but my neighbors are my opposite. This is fine but they’ve made an effort to show their disgust in us. To start, I have epilepsy and I smoke medical marijuana for it. This has been an issue for my back neighbors, who are an elderly conservative couple.
My neighbors to the left, at this very moment, are talking very loudly in their backyard. I was sitting here reading when they came out. So far they have complained about my dogs because their dogs attack the fence now—my dogs do not and the fence is their fence. Their dogs already broke one board from slamming into it simply because my dogs are here.
They also made some judgements on us about how my husband and I look. Then they went into me personally, questioning if I have a job because I’m home all the time. So I just loudly said, “I work from home, and you know I can hear you right?”And they went inside. I’m so bummed about this. Where I lived last, I was friends with all my neighbors. I literally already spent 50k on this house and my neighbors suck.
31. Drive-By Headache
This lady is targeting us in our neighborhood. Just at all hours of the day, she drives by or pulls into our driveway and lays on her horn. She tells our next-door neighbor that we party all night long and harass her and that her uncle owns our house and we never pay our bills. None of which is true, and we’ve been in this house for three full years.
Well, let me tell you, eventually I documented every time she’s driven by, blaring her horn. It was a grand total of eight times—twice a week every Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday. She pulled into our driveway about an hour ago. I immediately flew into protection mode grabbed my phone and poked my head out the door. I asked in my most acidic voice “Can I help you”?!
She says “Yeah, where are your kids that always run around here”? I say “I don’t have kids. This neighbor and that neighbor have kids, we do not have kids that run around”. Then my husband pokes his head out and was about to tell her to get off our property. She starts backing out and says “I’ll be back with officers”. I said “go for it” and whip out my phone to get her license plate.
Go figure it was on selfie mode, but I read her numbers over and over, committing them to memory. I rush inside and write them down. My husband then calls the non-emergency line and we get an officer out here in 10 minutes. We tell him about her, and I show him my calendar of all the times she’s driven by/pulled in. We also got backup.
Our next-door neighbor lady comes out and confirms our side of the story and tells him whereabouts she lives. He leaves to go talk to her and comes back with an exasperated smirk on his face. What he told us infuriated me. Apparently, she wasn’t targeting us but our next-door neighbor. She claims that their 17-year-old son, which they don’t have, snuck into her house and put cameras up to watch her.
She is actually delusional. Anyway, the officer said she would stop so fingers crossed. If not they have it on record.
32. Finding The Right Color
The issue we had was with painting the house. Not sure where it was in the HOA paperwork, but it was a requirement to have your house repainted every five years. The problem was, it had to be the same color as the other houses, and the HOA almost demanded we use the same contractor as everyone else.
What ended up happening was we painted it ourselves, but it was two shades off the other houses, and we ended up getting notices. We had enough, and we showed them. Finally, the following spring, we painted the house a very classy neon green color.
Obviously, this set the HOA off, but the people beside me laughed at it, because they hate the off-tan color of the HOA colors anyway. Overall, it turns out that the real estate company made a serious violation. They told us about the HOA, but we never actually signed the contracts involving them. The attorney who signed off on everything noted the same, so we got to keep the neon green house.
33. A Simple Problem
So, some quick backstory to this. I don’t live within an HOA (thank the divines), but I have had dealings with them. I studied environmental engineering in college and have a degree with a specialization in water treatment systems. Normally, though, that’s not my day job. Even so, recently, a friend of mine who works with one of the neighboring cities asked me if I wouldn’t mind doing some tests for water pollution in a waterfowl preservation area.
There had been some strange die-off events going on, and the city was trying to figure out where the source of the pollution was coming from. I’d be operating under a special contract from the city, and was given access to any location along this waterfowl area (within reason) to perform my tests. I won’t go into detail about how the tests work, but suffice it to say that I started taking water and soil samples from likely sources along the waterfowl preserve’s borders.
This showed me that there was a notable amount of nitrates and phosphates in the water, which I surmised was affecting the birds. Now to find the source. I followed the river up its length, passing a number of housing sites, a couple of apartments, and the odd settling pond. Over the course of several weeks, and a barrage of tests, these were ruled out as sources.
The further I went up the river, though, I got more alarmed. The further up, the stronger the concentrations became. To the point that it was dangerous for humans to even be in contact with the water. We’re talking “super fund” type pollution. This was last summer. As I waded up along this area, I heard some splashing and the sounds of kids playing in the water.
Not good…not good at all. Turning the bend, I come face to face with a small dock leading into the water, and four or five kids taking turns jumping off it into the water. The heavily polluted, dangerous water. There’s some lady sitting on the dock watching them, and I approached her. I forget the exchange, but it boiled down to me telling her I’m from the city.
I said that based on some of what had been found, the children were banned from swimming in the river. The lady tried arguing the point, until I told her I was calling the Marshal to have the area barricaded off, and she could explain her complaints to him. She grabbed the kids and scuttled off. The Marshal did arrive, found that the dock wasn’t built with proper code standards, and condemned it.
This forced the HOA who had built it to have it demolished within the week (or the city was going to do it and they’d still front the bill). That still left the matter of the pollution. That’s where things got weird. Once I passed this HOA subdivision, all pollution vanished. I must have done five or six further tests to verify this, but yeah, no pollution.
So I had my culprit. The next question was figuring out what they were doing. That’s where my investigative side comes in. With the help of the Marshal, I started going around the properties of the HOA, talking with residents. It was a few simple questions like “Do you know if they’re fertilizing the grass”, and “When do they do this” and “Do you know the type of fertilizer they use?”
Just gathering evidence. Remember the lady from earlier? Turned out she was the HOA president. I only found this out after she called the authorities on the Marshal and I, reporting strange “men” wandering around her neighborhood. She called them something like four times in a day before the officers flat-out told her “They work with the city, and if you keep calling, we’re charging you”.
That didn’t stop her from following us around in her car and taking photos with her phone. Eventually, we spoke with one older gentleman. This is what broke the case. The HOA president had been fining people for not having perfectly green grass. We were in a drought at the time, so that’s no surprise there. After several of the people in the subdivision got fined by the city for watering their grass, she had taken matters into her own hands.
She’d first tried contracting a landscaper to spray the lawns with fertilizer, but due to various EPA regulations, he’d apparently refused. The homeowner gentleman couldn’t be certain what the lady had done next, but a couple days after that, some guys turned up with a large farm-type trailer of liquid, and sprayed every single foot of grass the HOA controlled.
Even right down to the water’s edge. With the homeowner’s permission, I took several soil samples from around his property, and then samples from the common area that joined the grassy area beside the river (and dock). It took about a week to get the full results back, but I had my answer. This lady had some contractors or someone spraying farm-grade fertilizer on the grass.
This particular fertilizer is heavily controlled by the EPA and requires a special license to even possess, much less use. I presented all my evidence to my contact at the city and laid out just how serious the damage was, and that I was legally obligated to report the HOA to the state regulatory board for gross violations. My contact took the papers and paid me for my services, thanking me, but also noting that if this went to court, I would need to testify about my findings.
The court was originally scheduled for March of 2020, but it never came to that. The HOA president entered a plea deal with the state, where she and the HOA was required to pay for the environmental cleanup of the river, as well as restitution to the state. The fines alone topped close to a quarter of a million dollars, and the cleanup (still ongoing) is expected to break a million itself.
The HOA president got the boot, while the HOA itself was (last I heard) facing being dissolved by the state due to multiple cases of negligence and inept management. I don’t know how they came in contact with that fertilizer, though I suspect some of the charges against the HOA president had something to do with that. Want to know the sad thing though?
If the HOA had simply contacted the city, or the state, they would have been given a list of approved fertilizers to use, which both wouldn’t have polluted the surrounding water, and wouldn’t have put them on the hook for an environmental disaster. The number is right on the city and state’s website. The HOA just couldn’t be bothered to look it up.
34. Standing Up For The Little Guy
This story takes place in Ontario, in the city of Kawartha Lakes –one of the worst municipalities in all of Ontario in which to live. There’s poverty, addiction, a culture of prideful ignorance, and partisan voters that will vote against their best interests time and time again. The city council are also looting their tax base to provide free educational opportunities for unqualified staffers they hired.
They are holding secret meetings behind the public’s back and in one case spent $140k to fight a lawsuit that was levied against them after they blocked a brand new business’s access road because some city council members owned a competing businesses. They were fined $70k and spent another $70k of taxpayer dollars to appeal and lose in the end.
That’s all backstory. Suffice it to say it’s a city run by uneducated rubes and inhabited by the most apathetic voters I’ve ever encountered. My old man was an original property owner of an unassumed road for 50+ years. For the uninitiated, this means that although the city owned the road, they are not responsible for maintenance, grooming, etc. beyond the scope of the limited-service agreement they made with a single property owner.
By the way, we later found forged signatures claiming that one owner represented the entire road. This all basically meant they would do two gradings per year, though they only actually provided one. About 20 years ago, some citiots (city idiots) moved up on the road and decided they would create an HOA. It was a total nightmare from the very beginning.
They didn’t get insured, they didn’t incorporate, and they thought they could go around forging signatures on city documents and charging residents money for essentially nothing. It all came to a head about 10 years ago when my dad refused to pay them until the two chuckleheads in charge showed him how they spent the money. Oh boy, this started something.
Rather than provide a fair accounting of the neighborhood funds, the “president” and the “treasurer” both decided they wanted to sue for the money “owing”. Well, we went to court and it turns out that you don’t just get to declare yourself the head of an association that doesn’t exist. Turns out you also can’t collect money from the residents and spend it on cookware and paying their unqualified, uninsured friends to do roadwork.
Turns out perjury is frowned on in a small claims court. They found out the hard way. I discovered in their court filings examples of perjury and general dishonesty. They manufactured documents and got caught doing so. They were given multiple options to settle in court, but turned them all down, instead choosing to self-destruct in the most absurd and stubborn way available to them.
None of their witnesses showed up, they brought literally no evidence with them to court, instead relying on the phrase “it’s not rocket science”, and they somehow assumed the judge would accept “it’s not rocket science” as some kind of evidence or as somehow lending credibility to their claims. He didn’t. The HOA lost and ended up owing us money.
The HOA dissolved immediately afterward, and if the story ended there, it would make sense, but not be a very interesting story. But you’re not here for just a “good guys win” story, you want satisfaction. Well, I’m about to blow your mind. Turns out one of those two old men that fancied themselves in charge of the HOA couldn’t accept defeat.
Our driveway lights started to disappear, and someone was blocking the culvert in the middle of the night and washing out the road in front of my dad’s house. Minor vandalism was happening almost on a nightly basis. So, I came home late one night, and sure enough, this 70-year-old moron is thrashing about in the April temperature swamp, having fallen in after blocking the culvert. He got his shirt tangled in an underwater branch and can’t get out.
We had to haul him out because he was so tipsy and suffering from hypothermia that he couldn’t even move. Then we called the authorities. He got yelled at and no driveway lights ever went missing again, and the officers me keep the trash can lid he was using to block the culvert. Free lid! Moral of this story is don’t take any flack from an HOA. They may look official, but I’ll bet you most HOAs are doing something shady that will reflect poorly on them in court should you find yourself at odds with them.
35. Neat Freak
One of the neighbors down the street vacuumed his driveway every single day. Not only that, but he liked to show off how clean his vacuum attachments were. He disliked one of his neighbors on the one side, so when it snowed, he would build a wall of snow between their houses. He just kept shoveling all of it into a giant pile so he wouldn’t have to see them. That’s not all.
He didn’t like snow in his yard—and his solution for that was truly deranged. He would shovel his side into garbage bags then put it in his backyard.
36. Peacock Problems
I lived in a suburban neighborhood growing up and one family had a nice sized lot and a few peacocks. Maybe chickens too, but mainly peacocks. No one else in that neighborhood had livestock. I’m not sure if wild peacocks are a thing somewhere, but they weren’t here. I saw a peacock walking in front of my house, so I called the kid and said, “Dude, tell your dad one of his peacocks is out.” His reaction blew my mind.
He called me back 10 minutes later and said, “Dad says it’s not one of his.” Who’s peacock was it?
37. Speed Demon
We had a woman down the street from us that everyone just called “the crazy lady.” The speed limit was 30 mph and if you went over 23 mph, she would come running into the street yelling at you to slow down. At all times of the day, she would be watching and waiting. She went to my friends’ parents to tell them how awful their child was at driving, even when they didn’t violate any laws, and how they should have their driving privileges taken away.
She would even follow you home, just to yell at you. She would often call law enforcement and ask them to have radar in the neighborhood or set up one of those speed signs. It became a game of how fast can you drive by her house? I would set the alarm off on the speed sign with my remote control cars, my bike, anything other than a car just to aggravate her. Other people just honked their horn as they drove by, and would give her the one-finger salute.
38. What A Conehead!
My old neighborhood had a guy who lived right on the corner of my street. He was a construction worker but seemed to be laid off 11 months out of the year. So, he would set up huge orange cones in the middle of the street so his daughter could ride her bike. Then he would stand at the bottom of the driveway and mean mug anyone who drove past.
Not only that, but he would always have this smug look when he saw you driving slowly to intimidate you. You had to, but not because it was right along a sharp corner, there was a six-year-old on a bike nearby, and it was tough navigating around those giant cones he had in the street. That guy totally sucked.
39. Time To Bury The Shovel
There’s a guy that lived directly behind my parents’ house that was very alienating to all of his immediate neighbors and hated dogs. For some reason, he singled out my mom and dad because they walked their little pooches around the block and inevitably by his house. When he would see them, he would run out of his house and begin cursing at them.
He would yell at them not to let their dogs step on his lawn. My dad tried to reason with him, saying that if they pee it’s just the tree lawn and he picks up their poop. It didn’t matter to this guy. He would regularly go ballistic over nothing. It boiled over a few years ago when my dad was walking our old dog, a puffy white Shih Tzu, and our other puppy, who was very friendly.
The puppy stopped and peed in the yard next to this guy’s, and he somehow heard or noticed this grievous action from his garage. He came storming down with a shovel in hand and threatened to “beat the dogs to oblivion if they came near his house again.” It really shook up my dad. My mom called law enforcement to talk about how this guy systematically terrorized them for reasons unknown.
My dad is so nice, he talked the officer out of going over to this guy’s house because he didn’t want there to be more friction. Well, I wasn’t about to let him get away with his awful treatment of my parents. Whenever I would house sit for them and take the dogs around the block, I made sure I linger on this guy’s lawn, spit on his driveway, and let the dogs go wherever. One time he was out watching me walk my hounds by his yard.
I looked up at him and asked if he’d like to bring his shovel down to talk with me. I’m significantly bigger than my dad. I also used to box and power lift six days a week. I have zero problems intimidating people, especially spineless twits that threaten a pair of 13-pound dogs and an almost 70-year-old man. Oddly he didn’t oblige and went inside without saying a word to me.
40. The Fast And The Furious
I’ve been dealing with this for the last three months and it has FINALLY reached its climax. for a little back story, I own a towing company and am currently renting a home within an HOA. I was NOT informed of this when I signed the lease. My wife and I broke ground on our dream home days before lockdown went into effect last year. We signed a two-year lease as we were offered a $250 reduction in rent if we did.
The house has a three-car garage attached to it, as well as parking for an additional two cars in the driveway. I keep my tow truck in the driveway or parked on the street in front of the house as it is classified as an “emergency vehicle” by the state and not merely a commercial vehicle. This means it is not against the HOA to have it in the neighborhood.
We also own many cars as all three people living in the home are car nuts. Now, we do not keep that all at the home, but we do have a total of six cars at the home, plus the tow truck, which means two vehicles are always parked on the street. All of the imported cars have wide body kits that cost between 4 and 12 grand—this is important as to the value of the vehicles as well as looks.
After living here for just over nine months, we get punched in the face by the HOA that we had absolutely no idea existed. They started by ticketing the tow truck that is parked on the street, stating that it cannot be parked there. Okay, I’ll put it in the driveway no problem. pay the $150 fine to the HOA after getting the contract from the landlord and reading it.
I figure it’s best to just go along with it and not ruffle any feathers. By moving the tow truck into the driveway, I started parking my RX7 on the streets. My two classic cars are kept in the garage, as well as the BRZ as it is my project car and I’m in the middle of building a very high-end drift car out of it. The other two people in my house drive the BMW and Nissan every day.
The very next day, I return home to another smack in the face. There are tickets on both the RX7 and the Silvia, which are parked on the street by our driveway. Now, numerous neighbors are also parked on the street without tickets from the HOA. I immediately call the jerk in “charge” of the HOA to ask what the heck going on. He tells me that our “junk” is devaluing the neighborhood.
He says it cannot be parked on the streets and cites a rule in the HOA guidelines about vehicles being in disrepair. I laughed, a full-on gut chuckle. The guy I’m talking to drives an early 2000s Cadillac that may be worth 10k. He tells me that if the vehicles continue to be parked on the street, he will have them towed. Okay, let’s play. I’m ready.
I told him that he needs to read his own manual and look at the vehicles he is talking about. Clearly, both cars are not in disarray. 10 days after the initial ticketing, he calls for a tow truck. This is where I should mention that the reason my tow truck is listed as an emergency vehicle is because my company has the county police contract for their towing, as well as the township.
When small-guy towing shows up to impound my vehicles when I am not home, I get a call from the company to inform me about it—we know each other from the businesses we operate and I often kick him work when we are holding over a 90-minute ETA to not upset customers. He tells me that he HAS to tow my cars due to his contract with the HOA.
However, he doesn’t have a truck that can tow these lowered cars without damaging them. He asks me to come home and remove the bumpers so they will go on his truck. I told him that it wasn’t going to happen and I’d hate to look for another towing company to send overflow work to, all while we see how the courts feel about the impounding and potential damages to the cars.
He wisely decides to not tow the vehicles. Now, this was October of 2020. Since then, my towing friend has called me dozens of times about the HOA jerk calling him repeatedly to tow the vehicles. He tells the guy that the only company in the area that can tow these vehicles is my company. FINALLY it happens. The jerk calls my company to impound MY cars.
Okay, no problem. I sent three of my guys over in the shop pickup to drive my cars back to the shop, where they were parked and kept for the last month. The wife started driving the Impala regularly as it is summer. On Friday, we went to small claims court as I sued the HOA for towing costs, about $250 per vehicle, as well as storage on each vehicle, $62 per day each, AND an additional $3,000 for inconveniences due to not having the cars for daily transportation.
Add on an additional $1,500 for lawyer fees. After roughly five minutes, the judge asks for photos from the HOA jerk of the cars, and he gives the judge photos. The judge comments on how nice the cars are and that they clearly are not in disarray. I thank the judge and ask him if he can see the Cadillac parked on the street way in the background of the photo, as well as the other five or six cars in frame.
The judge affirms this and asks the jerk about these cars. The jerk states that they are NOT in disarray and even coughs up that the Cadillac is his car. The judge smiles a toothy grin. Then he makes a confession that delights me. He confesses to being a car guy and estimates that each of the two cars that have been impounded are worth $50k and that the jerk’s Cadillac would clearly be the eyesore of the community.
The judge then dismisses the HOA’s claims and explicitly tells the jerk that he is NOT to tow any vehicles out of the neighborhood without third-party confirmation of their disarray or abandonment. The judge goes further and states that the HOA is in violation of the township ordinance, as the streets are NOT private streets but belong to the township.
The judge then grabs what I assume is a calculator and starts punching away. After about a minute and a half of pure silence, the judge looks up and says “Okay, as stated before the claim for the HOA has been dismissed, as for the countersuit, I will rule in favor in the amount of $10,100 and $65.50 in court costs to the HOA”. The jerk lost his freaking mind.
He went on a rant about communism? And how the judge was the problem with this country and into election conspiracies and every wack job theory you’d hear. The judge warned him twice and finally ordered him in contempt and invited him to have a weekend stay on the county’s dime. He will be home tonight as the judge is set to release him at 6 pm.
The cars are back in their original spots and I cannot wait for the hand wave and grin as he comes home this evening.
41. The Spite Light
My husband and I recently moved into a house that was previously owned by his parents. The neighbors on one side were friends with his folks. Small description of the layout: Our garage door points to the side, so it points towards this couple’s house. It happens that their bedroom window is facing the garage door. Above our garage door is a small light that illuminates our driveway.
Both my property and my neighbors’ are on a full acre in the county, outside city limits. They have complained about that light since his parents owned the place. They have complained about quite a few things since we’ve moved in, and for the first bit, we tried to be considerate. The motion light was a big one that they would constantly bring up, saying it was shining in their bedroom window.
We had a large pine tree that blocked it for a while on our side of the property line. They then came to us, asking to cut down the tree because the overhanging branches were making it difficult to pull vehicles through on their property. In an attempt to be good neighbors, we agreed. So they cut the tree down. But in doing so, they left the trunk, saying it was on us to deal with it.
But, because the tree was cut down, now they’re complaining more about the light. We have not allowed that to make us change it. So they’ve decided to put up a privacy fence. Ok, sure. It means we have less to deal with from them. This winter there have been a number of reports of people taking things from cars. And on top of that, we got chickens.
So we set up a ring camera/motion light that faces the back of the property. The light ONLY comes on when someone is in the driveway or near the chicken coop. But by pointing it at the back of our house, their window is also in the path of the light. It’s just in the fringe view of the camera, so I can’t imagine THAT much light is getting in.
And with the angle, it’s also on our bedroom window, almost directly. It hasn’t troubled us at all since we installed it. It had been in for three days when we got a text from the couple. When I read it, my blood boiled. It was basically saying “challenge accepted” and threatening to get the brightest light they can find and point it at our window.
Now it’s been a little over a month. The neighbor was true to his word and put a light on a 12-foot pole with a light on top. He did his best to angle it in our window but missed, not that we told him that. It didn’t really trouble us. He took it down about four days later, never saying a word. Then they called the sheriffs on us! After sending progressively more aggressive and insulting text messages (always from the husband) they resort to calling law enforcement.
The officers showed up, very polite and we talked with them. Showing them the light in question, they agreed that its placement was fine. We mentioned the text messages and the officers asked to see them. My husband showed them his phone. The officers’ entire demeanor changed. They apologized for interrupting dinner and said they would go next door and talk to the neighbors.
We got a text the next day from the wife. It was finally what we wanted. According to her, SHE KNEW NOTHING ABOUT HER HUSBANDS BEHAVIOR. She had been out of town when he put up the “spite light” and made him take it down when she got home. She also didn’t know about the text messages he’d been sending. The sheriffs told them both that my husband and I have enough to make a real harassment case against them.
She would like a chance to talk face-to-face. She spoke with my husband today and it genuinely seems sorted. Who would have thought them calling the authorities would actually help us?!
42. A Lot Of Balls In The Air
My crib-midget has evolved into a mini-human, and my mini-human is now in an adult male body which is, unfortunately, still outfitted with a teenage brain. Don’t worry though, he knows everything! I myself have a late-30s model body, but my teenage brain is coming along well. That said, my loving wife is still able to maintain her sanity with 2.5 boys and .5 male adults in the house.
However, the house was too small and we needed more legroom. We decided to move on up! The new house is everything we wanted. There is ample room for the growing family. The boys would conquer the upstairs, and even have their own bathroom to grow “science experiments”. They occasionally fail to brush their teeth but you can most certainly count on them to pee in/on everything except the toilet.
James, my 11-year-old mini-human, shares my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and keeps his room in working order. Kelly, my 15-year-old Man-Child genius? Well, just don’t touch that sock under his bed. Typical boy stuff I suppose. My wife and I now had a backyard. We had a two-car garage to store her Christmas and Halloween decorations.
The neighborhood is gorgeous, and I can literally walk to the clubhouse and play a round of golf. The cul-de-sac we live on is dominated by currently serving or retired service families. Everyone was extremely welcoming at the Home Owners Association (HOA), and the neighbors were all friendly. Well, at least for the moment! I had no idea what I was getting into.
See, I have read about neighbor horror stories. I have seen them on television. I never in a million years thought I would live next to “them”. I am a gunfighter by trade. Believe it or not, I don’t like conflict. I like my job, but I don’t enjoy the carnage of it all. I am a realist, though. I would totally cast my ballot for World Peace, but I know it only takes one jerk to ruin it for everyone.
My immediate neighbors became those jerks. Enter the Entitled Parents: Kevin and Karen. They seemed nice at first. They were both really helpful, especially Kevin. Kevin had served in the Air Force, and Karen was a stay-at-home mother. They enlightened me regarding the neighborhood, the quality of the area schools, and told me the tips and tricks to avoid any hassle with the HOA.
Great, right? Well, the onset of the pandemic forced the school district to cancel the remainder of the school year. The mass hysteria allowed my humanoids to become semi-professional Fortnite gamers, who smelled like ball-funk and survived on soda and Zebra Cakes. They were quickly becoming chubby-bunnies. I, being neighborly, informed Kevin and Karen that I would be in the market for a portable basketball hoop to combat childhood obesity and Type II Diabetes.
Karen: That’s great. It’s so good to have young children in the neighborhood again. Kevin: You know you can’t put it in the street right? It is against HOA rules. (Kevin is a rules guy!) Me: Well-aware. I will be putting it on the back pad. Karen: That’s great. If the ball ever goes over the fence just tell them to come get it. Awesome! It was a positive interaction, and they had no issue.
Onward to Walmart! My children are well-behaved. They may act like little jerks to each other and inside the house, but they are both kind and courteous to others. Despite Karen’s instructions, I told them to knock on the door if the ball ever goes over the fence. So they did. This was our first mistake. After the first bounce-over, Kevin knocked on my door.
Me: Hey Kevin. How can I help you? Kevin: (Annoyed) The ball went over the fence. Me: Did the boys knock and ask to get it? Kevin: Yes. I just wanted to let you know. I spoke to my wife afterward. “That was odd”, was all I could think. Is the guy going to let me know each time the ball goes over the fence? Maybe I should knock on his door?
“Hey Kevin. Just wanted to let you know that your car is parked in the driveway.” This process quickly became a routine for Kevin; Kevin became a self-licking ice cream cone. Kevin came over six times over the course of about three months. My wife began keeping tallies because it was odd and, but somewhat comical. Then it all started to get real.
James came running in the house, scared. He had tears in his eyes, and he was continually reiterating, “I didn’t do anything wrong.” Nobody has accused me of being “World’s Best Dad” so I was wondering if he did in fact do something wrong. I ask what he is talking about. He stated, “Karen is recording me”. What? I look outside and sure-as-heck, I see Karen, at the fence, pointing her cellphone at me.
I think, “Well, darn”, because I know my wife is going to lose her mind. She did! My wife is dainty, but she quickly turned into a 4’11 Muhammad Ali. Man, it took every ounce of verbal reasoning for me to stop her from physically rearranging Karen’s face-meat. In addition to remembering things for work, I have to be well-read regarding the laws that govern me as an American, and the local laws.
I knew Karen’s tactic to scare and record my son was immoral and unethical, but she was technically allowed to do it. This didn’t sit well with my wife though. I reminded the wife that I have a doctorate in revenge. This would not go unanswered. I can be a jerk too, but I am a methodical jerk. I did my best to erect makeshift barriers as a temporary solution.
It was not perfect, but at least it showed that we were doing everything in our power to prevent balls from going over the fence. I also submitted plans for a permanent structure to the HOA. I was going to build a hanging herb garden wall, but it required approval before construction could start. The typical approval timeline was two weeks, but everything was delayed.
I was in limbo. Then tragedy struck. Tragically, another basketball bounced over. It was the ninth basketball in approximately eight months. The kids were terrified to ask for their basketball back, and it wasn’t even worth the hassle anymore. That didn’t stop Kevin though. Knock. Knock. Knock. Kevin: ARE YOU HOME? Wife: Yes, but he injured his back. How can I help you?
Kevin: Get him please. (I should mention that Kevin is outwardly chauvinistic and is not a fan of “coloreds”.) Wife: Kevin, he can’t even walk right now. How can I help you? Kevin: The basketball went over the fence again. It needs to stop. They need to stop playing basketball. (He was now telling my wife how to parent. Good luck buddy!)
Wife: I am sorry the ball went over the fence. We continue to tell the children to be careful, but I am not going to tell them they can’t play basketball in their own yard. Kevin: You’ll tell your boys to stop playing. If the ball comes over the fence again. We are calling the authorities. Tell your boys to stay out of our yard. They’re trespassing!
Wife: If you want to call them then you go ahead and do it. However, the boys DO NOT go in your yard at all anymore. Meanwhile, I was losing my mind in the bedroom. I could hear the conversation, but I physically could not make it to the front door. I managed to slide off the bed and began my Army-crawl to the door, but I was late. My wife was fuming and I was pathetically crawling on the floor.
Yay back injuries! We had no intention of starting anything, but the boys were doing nothing wrong. We had informed Kevin we were getting a hoop, and they had zero issues with it. What the heck was going on? Then it got so, so much worse. The ball bounced over again. Officers are called! They sent two cruisers. The children may be 11 and 15, but all be darned if they don’t go down without a fight.
One cruiser was not going to suffice, you’d better send two for my miscreants. I just sat in my garage man-cave and watched it all play out. The officers go to the neighbors’ house first. They are there for more than an hour and I can only assume we are being painted as horrible neighbors. Oh well! It is now pitch dark outside and I was startled by the time an officer approaches.
Officer John Kimble: Hello? Sir! Me: Oh my god! You scared the bejeezus out of me! Officer Kimble: Sorry, Hi, I am Officer Kimble. How are you doing this evening? Me: Typically I would say fine, but I don’t typically have an officer in my garage. Officer Kimble: I understand. The reason we are here is because the neighbors called about trespassing. Now, they said nobody went in their yard today, but they want you to understand they will press charges next time.
I was baffled. I did my best to maintain my composure, but I am certain my face was screaming, “Are you serious?” Officer Kimble then pointed at his body camera and mouthed, “Recording”, and then gave me a “thumbs up” gesture. I immediately seized the opportunity to mess with him. Sorry, it’s in my nature. Me: Do you want another drink? You can’t just drink one!
Officer Kimble: (Laughing) WHAT? I didn’t have a drink with you. Me: (Laughing as well.) I’m kidding, and we are fully aware of their intent to press charges. I will be sure to do my best to prepare my boys for the rigors of life behind bars too. I think it will be good for them too; may even toughen them up a bit! Officer Kimble: (Laughing) Okay Sir. I just want to ensure that you are aware. Ideally, we would like to see neighbors talk things like this out. Unfortunately, this is what it’s come to. I just want to ensure you are aware.
Me: Tracking! Officer Kimble: You have a good evening Sir. Me: Thanks. Officer Kimble then walked back to his patrol car. He didn’t leave though. I assume he was just finishing mundane paperwork, but he was there for at least 20 minutes. Then he surprised me. He returned and was a completely different Officer. Officer Kimble: Hey man!
Me: Back for that drink? Officer Kimble: (Laughing) NO! Sorry man! I just wanted to talk to you without the body camera. Those neighbors of yours really seem eager to press charges if your children are caught in their yard. Me: (Laughing.) My wife and I have concluded that. Officer Kimble: That lady is BATTY. My God! She demanded we detain your children tonight!
Me: Tonight? Officer Kimble: Yes! She said they trespassed before, and she wanted to press charges now. Me: (More laughing.) I am sorry you have to deal with this brother. I really am. I can assure you that they have never gone in their yard without permission. Not once. They are terrified of her.
Officer Kimble: I believe you. There is something not right with that lady. She said the basketball wakes her son up, and she will not hesitate to press charges. I told her we would do our duty, but I don’t think the magistrate will view the situation kindly if we detain two children for playing basketball. She clearly does not care though. I just wanted to chat with you, and without the body cam. I can’t exactly call her crazy while it is running.
Officer John Kimble stayed for another hour. He was impressed with the collection of memorabilia and the setup of my garage man-cave. He was specifically intrigued with my Nintendo and working copy of Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, among other classics. Yes it’s certainly cool, but it has little to do with the story. Then everything hit the fan.
One evening shortly after, my wife was mowing the grass, and I was currently planting a new flowerbed. Kevin and Karen had just returned from another Chick-fil-A run. Then the unthinkable happened. Kevin exited the car and immediately approached me, and he was angry. Kevin: Your boys went into my yard and got a ball today. They may think we didn’t notice, but we did. You need to tell those boys to stay out of my yard or…
Me: Wait a minute! I don’t tolerate people who lie, cheat, or steal, and you are lying right now. Kevin: Your boys were… Me: We were at an all-day soccer tournament in DIFFERENT STATE. We have only been home for a couple hours. They have not played any basketball since we have been home. You’re lying! Kevin: Well, we are sick of them getting balls from our yard without permission.
Me: Look Kevin, I get it! However, you fail to recall when your wife said the boys were more than welcome to go in the yard and…I didn’t even get to finish when I heard the screech of Karen. I know my writing style is “different” to say the least. I wish I was better. I do not have the words to accurately articulate the sound Karen made, but I will do my best.
It was like the Tyrannosaurus from Jurassic Park making love to a nuclear explosion during a tornado, but way louder. Karen: I NEVER SAID THAT. I WOULD NEVER SAY THAT. She screamed at the top of her lungs mere inches from my face. I could smell the Meow Mix bellow from her scream-factory. Meanwhile, Kevin pulled a Houdini and vanished.
Kevin is a passive-aggressive jerk and direct confrontation scares him off. Me: Yes. You did. Karen: I NEVER SAID THAT. YOU’RE WRONG. Me: Whatever. It’s not even worth it. But this was her breaking point. Karen: I AM SO SICK OF YOUR HEATHENS GOING IN MY YARD. YOUR HEATHENS BETTER NOT GO IN MY YARD AGAIN. I KNOW THE LAW.
The “I know the law statement,” really rubbed me wrong. I was about to open my mouth and respond, but my wife was on her already, which led me to believe Karen is louder than a lawnmower. My wife was still seething about Karen recording the humans. Wife: They don’t go in your yard, and they are good children. They are not heathens! You better STOP RECORDING MY CHILDREN.
Karen: Oh shut up. You guys are white trash. Your children play in the street and run around the neighborhood. Everybody knows you’re trash. Just. Stupid. White. Trash. I am now thinking, “Oh my god” and semi-worried about Karen’s future health as an active participant of living humans. I think my wife wanted to expire Karen’s shelf-life.
Wife: Excuse me? My children never play in the street, you’re recording them, and… Karen: Just shut up! YOU’RE STUPID. YOU’RE JUST PLAIN STUPID. I CAN RECORD THEM IF I WANT. NO WONDER YOU DON’T HAVE JOBS. Wife: I HAVE THREE ADVANCED DEGREES. WE ARE WORKING FROM HOME. WE ARE NOT…
Karen: You are! YOU’RE TRASHY AND STUPID, AND BOTH YOUR CHILDREN ARE STUPID. I had enough. There was no point in arguing, either. Mark Twain stated to “Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience”. Mark is correct, and Karen was trying to drag us down. But then I got the best idea.
I don’t know why, but I remembered something that Kevin discussed with me when we first moved in; the trees! They have a large maple tree, and they have a juniper tree. Kevin always told me they were “in the process” of contracting a company to crown and lift the maple tree. Furthermore, they were going to get the juniper tree off my fence.
Dear Reader, I know the law too. I can legally trim anything that goes over my property line. Now all those pointless conversations were making sense. It was my time to join this exciting game called pettiness. Me: Karen. You have until Sunday to get your juniper off my fence. Karen: Shut up. I told you we were going to get it handled this fall.
Me: It’s June. You have until Sunday. Karen: Or What? I allow my wife to rejoin the conversation, and I retreat to the garage. Then I grab my clippers and prune a good couple inches of the juniper tree, then lay them at her feet. Cue T-Rex volcano voice! Karen: WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING? I TOLD YOU IT WILL BE DONE THIS FALL.
Me: You have until Saturday now. Karen: You are dumb too. Just like your wife aren’t you? My intelligence may have been debatable, but I suppose it was time to repeat the process?!? I now return with about two feet of tree, and place it at her feet. Me: You have until Friday! Karen: You better not touch my tree again. I will call the authorities and have you thrown behind bars tonight. You’re so dumb aren’t you? Now I see where you children get it from.
Me: I know the law too, Karen. I will be back in a minute with some more of your juniper tree! Karen: KEVIN. KEVIN. KEVIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNN! I again return to the tree. I now have another two feet of juniper tree to place at her feet. The more she screams, the smaller her tree becomes. It was an enjoyable game of cause and effect.
Meanwhile, I see Kevin and his son running like two Usain Bolts to secure their tree with tow straps. Karen: I hope you’re happy. You are terrible people! You are both terrible parents, and your children are heathens. I am sick of the ball bouncing and waking my son up, too. You people need to move. You’re just horrible parents. HORRIBLE. (Screaming louder) HORRIBLE PARENTS.
Dear Reader, I had enough. I was at critical mass; I was going to explode. Karen continued to yell at my wife and I was zoning out. It was comical to watch Kevin and Kevin Jr secure the tree to their porch in order to get it off the fence. Once complete, they quickly made their way back to the one-sided screaming party. Karen: Horrible parents. Look with they did to my poor tree.
Kevin: I think we should call the authorities. Karen: HORRIBLE PARENTS! I feel sorry for your kids and…Here’s where I broke. Me: Just shut up! I raked up 21 bags of leaves this past fall. Funny, because we don’t have a tree in our backyard. I pulled an additional bags worth of leaves and branches from my gutter. Not from “my tree” either. It was from your tree. You know what Kevin? I didn’t knock on your door and complain.
Kevin: Yeah, and? Me: We live in a suburbia. This stuff happens. They are kids; kids play outside! I don’t want the ball in your yard either. You accuse them of being in your yard. Karen: Yes really. Maybe you should learn how to parent your horrible children. Me: Know what? That’s the last time you question me about my parenting. My children are going to grow up and be productive members of our society.
Then I paused. I waited. Because I knew just what to say that would break her: the truth. Me: I find it comical that you have the audacity to question my parenting, seeing how you have a 49-year-old son living at your house for the past nine years. I assume it was because of the divorce and the bankruptcy he filed nine years ago?
I kept going. Me: My children are waking your child up? Your child is a jobless 49-year-old man living at home with mom and dad. Karen: (BAFFLED) How do you know any of that? DO YOU GO SNOOPING THROUGH OUR MAIL TOO? Me: I am good at what I do, and I found everything on online. I know you are 69, and lost your license due to a reckless endangerment charge in 2017.
I just kept going. Me: I know Kevin Jr has five different moving violations. I also know he was fired from his grounds-crew job with the HOA. I know your husband is 72 and wears the same shirt every day, so I can only assume that laundry is not a priority. I know your phone numbers, and email accounts. I know a lot about you. We can have a civil relationship or we can have a problem. Just remember this though, I AM GOING TO OUTLIVE YOU!
They stormed into their house. They were not happy or impressed with my ability to figure this all out. It was not over for me, though. They messed with the wrong guy. See, they were unaware of what actions I took to keep the peace before this. For example, I never let the boys play basketball while they were outside eating dinner.
This is when they would blare country music and enjoy the gorgeous weather and eat a meal. I never complained about Garth Brooks on volume 100 while I watched the national news. I have wrestled since I was four years old. I was never much of a basketball guy. I am now though! So one day, Karen and Kevin had just sat down to enjoy their meal.
I don’t have to spy either. I can easily see them out my French doors as I watch the national news. I patiently waited for them to get their outside dinner setting perfectly situated. I could hear Tim McGraw playing when I opened my French doors. I like music too, so I figured I would get my groove on and play basketball. Me: Alex, play Dr. Dre. Alexa: Bleep and Bleep by Dr. Dre.
Me: Alexa. Volume 10. I have a new fondness for rap music and the game of basketball. This didn’t stop Karen from recording my “heathens” on a daily basis. I know what I was about to do was petty, but I had zero cares to give at that point. I had one last screw you. It was my final card to play, an Uno Reverse Card of sorts! My neighbors across the street and my family have bonded.
He had a tree removed last week, and I had an epiphany. How much would it cost to trim a large maple tree that overhangs my property? I am not talking a couple branches either, but more like half of a 100-foot tree. I approached the tree removal company and offered them a sizeable chunk of change and informed them of my delicate problem.
They said, “any friend of MY NEIGHBOR is a friend of theirs”. Pro bono! They move their large equipment over to my backyard and take their time getting ready. Guess who came running out of the house? Kevin: Hey buddy! (Buddy. Not horrible parent. Buddy!) Me: What can I do for you? Kevin: What are they doing here? Me: Oh. Them (Points)?
Kevin: Yeah. What are they doing? Me: Oh. Well, they are going to trim the tree? Kevin: Just trim? Me: Yup. Just a little trim! Karen: You know that tree was a gift from our daughter right? We don’t want anything drastic. It has been with us for over forty years now. Kevin: Yeah. It was a gift from our daughter. How much are you thinking about trimming?
Me: Well. Just so you’re aware, you understand that I can legally trim anything that overhangs my property? I have approval from my lawyer and the HOA to trim it. Frankly, I care as much about your tree as you do my children’s privacy; I couldn’t care less! Kevin: How much are you talking about trimming then? They didn’t like the answer I gave.
My property line is here (I point) and it extends up (I point up) to space. I am going to trim every single branch that encroaches my property. So, probably about 1/3 of your tree. It’s gonna look really funny when I am done. Oh well. Karen started to cry. It was a really, really ugly cry. There was no more rage left in her. She was defeated. Kevin was defeated as well.
This was not my desire. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t care if she cried, but it was not my intent. Me: Or YOU CAN STOP RECORDING MY CHILDREN. Karen: (Looking like snot-nosed Carole Baskin) If I stop recording? Me: Look. We don’t have to like each other, because I certainly don’t like you guys. My boys never go in your yard. Ever. I don’t care if you keep the other basketballs, but I will be darned if you record them ever again. If you do, I will cut your tree down without warning.
Kevin: (ANGRY) Thanks bud. Me: No worries friend. I am just trying to be neighborly. Just remember. I am serious about the tree, and I am pretty certain I will outlive you. Dear Reader, I know I am a jerk. I know we were both in the wrong at times. I draw the line when a 69-year-old woman sees fit to torment my kids. We have only had one problem since these events occurred.
Kevin Jr’s car sat in the same spot for nine months. I have submitted over 20 home improvement requests to the HOA, and I am now friends with the wonderful ladies that work there. They periodically inspect neighborhoods and noticed the registration on Jr’s vehicle was two years outdated and had it towed. Karen accused me of having towed.
We had another colorful conversation, but it ended there. Kevin Jr is still jobless to this day. I assume he has managed to erect a bunkbed in his childhood bedroom. He has “so much more room for activities”. Just make sure you don’t touch his drum set.
43. No Means No
I do not live in an HOA but we still have a “neighborhood region” as designated by the city. Once a month anyone who wants to gets together with our local PD neighborhood relations officer, and usually our district city council rep. As you can imagine, we have a few people who are the type who would dream of being on an HOA board.
We had that monthly meeting a few days ago and one of my most “lovely” neighbors shows up with this guest in a bit of a suit. After the routine stuff, she points out that she filed to have time to speak. She gets up, introduces the guy, and starts talking about how she would like for us to listen to him explain the benefits of bonding our neighborhood together in an HOA.
I’m sitting up front as usual and could not help but blurt out “screw HOAs” while trying not to laugh. She looks surprised, stares at me, and says “excuse me?” So I popped to my feet “Okay”. I went off on her. “Most of us are fighting to make it month to month, and we will have to pay a few hundred extra to some suit for what might sound good but guess what?”
I took a deep breath here. “Trash can on curb past 7 am on pick up day or out before 11 pm the night before? Get a fine. Lawn over two inches high for more than 24 hours? Get a fine. House does not match the stipulated paint colors? Get a fine and fix it within 14 days. Feed the stray cats (looking at a lady who does so)? Get a fine.” I look to another neighbor.
“Put out winter protective boxes so the strays don’t freeze? Get a fine per box”. The neighbor kept trying to interrupt but I ignored her. “Working on your car in your own drive, yep another fine, per day. And guess what? You fall behind, they put a lien on your house, put you out and either rebuild it or tear it down and build something new to up-sale and eventually push as many people out as possible to replace us and ‘elevate’ the neighborhood, all while making themselves rich off stealing our properties”.
“I’ll never sign anything. Judy?” The room looked back at her like they were looking to hurt her. Needless to say, it went nowhere. The suit tried to talk up his points but I had counters to everything he threw out.
44. Into The Deep End
I’m an introvert, I love my privacy, and I hate small talk. A new house was built one lot over from us and every time we are outside, our new elderly neighbor is trying to get our attention and talk. We have a new puppy so we go out at least every hour. The first day, she stumbled through piles of dirt and clay through the lot between us because we didn’t make eye contact.
She came over to tell us how she just loves our pool and wishes she had one but can’t because her lot isn’t big enough. Okay, she’s old and wants company. But she took it to a new level. She also sits on her porch with her chair turned towards us and watches us, and she’s now trying to manipulate us to invite her over to swim. She keeps making comments.
Yesterday she and her granddaughter walked through the empty lot to stand at my fence and stare at our stuff for an uncomfortable amount of time. We were inside, thank God. I feel like I can’t go outside because my anxiety is off the charts because of this. We are getting privacy bushes put in but landscapers are about a good month out.
I don’t want to be rude, but clearly, she doesn’t understand boundaries.
45. Every Dog Gets His Day
We are in Virginia outside of DC, in the outer commuting range. I am a retired USN and now work for Government in the DC area as a civilian. My wife is the Director of Nursing at a local hospital. We have four daughters, one assigned male at birth. We are also mixed race but present as various shades of black. The last item has become prominent with one of the neighbors.
We are out in the country, gentleman farms kind of area. Lower double-digit acres. It started with the dogs. Out next-door neighbors to the south let their dogs out and assume they will stay on their property. They don’t. I had seen them a time or two, but since I don’t currently have horses or livestock, I did not worry about it. Until the day it turned into a disaster.
One morning they came at my daughter, who was walking out to her car. After attempting to order them away, my daughter reached in her purse and pulled out her pepper spray, which includes a marker dye. She blasted both dogs. They took off and she went on her way. That night there was a knock on the door. It was the next-door wife.
She is very upset that her dogs had been “attacked” and asked did I know anything about it. I knew about the event since my daughter had asked for a new pepper spray unit since hers was empty. I told her my daughter had been mobbed in our driveway and had sprayed a couple of aggressive dogs and asked if they were hers. She told me their dogs had gone in their house and had rubbed the dye everywhere, ruining things.
They had taken them to the vet to get them cleaned up and treated if need be. Clearly, it was all our fault and we needed to pay for everything. I said under the circumstances, I would decline. She left furious. But she was just formulating her next move. The next day she and her husband came over with an itemized list of damages they felt they had incurred.
I reviewed the circumstances with them and pointed out that they were responsible, that we would be well within our right to even shoot the dogs, and that if they did not like it, they could sue us. I also said that any further communication on this matter would only be accepted in writing from us. They left unhappy, though I got the idea the husband understood.
Life went on. About a week later, it flared up again. Another neighbor texted me about the incident. I called him back and told him what happened. He said that the dogs had been a problem for some time. However, the wife was bad-mouthing us to anyone who would listen, saying that we had viciously gone after her dogs. Oh, she said more too.
She said we did not understand how to live in the neighborhood, and at least to him, she said it was because we were Black “city people” and did not understand country living. I asked him what he thought of what I described. He said we should have shot the dogs. Around then, I also observed some new fencing going on on their property.
It appeared they have put in a large dog run that connects to the house. Another week goes by, and we get a demand letter from a lawyer. Its contents are infuriating. It costs a pretty penny. Vet bills, new carpet, new upholstered furniture, pain and suffering, etc. I wrote a simple letter in reply that described the event, called his clients negligent, saying I had damages of my own, and said if they wished to proceed, I would see them in court.
There is a Next Door for our area. After the letter exchange, the neighbor’s wife posted on Next Door about her dogs being viciously hurt by us and the resulting damage, costing them thousands. They had also had to build an enclosure to protect their dogs from us. Before I saw it and could tell her not to reply, my wife posted a rebuttal, pointing out the dogs were on our property, lunging at one of our children, and got pepper-sprayed in response.
A couple of other neighbors chimed in about the dogs running loose being a problem. Others chimed in about how nice her house had been. No reply was posted. A notice of a suit against me was served later. They had decided to go the small claims route. It included the list of damages well in excess of the $5K limit here in Virginia.
Their reasoning was that their dogs were friendly and would not hurt anyone, so the use of pepper spray was unnecessary, and we were liable for the subsequent damages. I knew exactly what I had to do. In my formal reply, I pointed out that I was not the person who did the spraying and was therefore the incorrect person to sue. My location could be verified by cell phone records and my employer’s time and attendance system.
They did not modify their suit and we proceed to court. Once there, it was clear they are being coached by an attorney. I immediately move to end the proceedings since I could not have been the person. The judge accepts my argument, and the case is dismissed. Afterward, their attorney asks me who sprayed the dogs. Again, I knew the perfect response to give.
I point out I was not there and had no direct knowledge. I also point out that his clients (turned out they were family with the lawyer) were fundamentally in the wrong and were going to lose regardless. He demands a name, so I sarcastically give him a made-up one along the lines of Diana Spencer (AKA Princess Di). A week later there is a deputy at the door trying to serve that “person” with a new court summons.
It gets declined since there is no one there by that name. At that point, I get another demand letter from the attorney saying that I must identify who sprayed the dog. I do not answer it. Eventually, we get a summons for each of my daughters except the male-to-female one. I write the response for each of them, documenting how they could not have been there.
Each response cites the previous case against me and asks the court for an immediate ruling without the benefit of a court appearance. They reply with a demand that someone needs to be made to identify which person did the evil deed. But there was one thing they forgot. The court says there is no means to compel the information and agrees to an immediate dismissal.
I then write a snarky letter to their lawyer about the ongoing harassment and that court costs would be in excess of the damages they seek, and they would still lose. I copy the husband on the letter. We don’t hear anything for a while. The neighbors could not let go. We got a letter asking for a negotiation session prior to the filing of a suit in circuit court.
My wife and I went to it. We brought absolutely case-closed evidence. Like, a huge binder and videos. The incident and the two front door conversations were recorded. We had so far declined to tell anyone that we had video. Our approach was to convince the attorney so he would convince his clients. He had not done that so far, so perhaps if we made it painful enough for them, they would listen to him.
At the meeting, the lawyer suggested that they make an opening statement and we could respond with one of our own, to identify matters of agreement. Then we could discuss matters of disagreement. Their position was that they did not know the dogs were leaving the property. That they were friendly and would never hurt anyone, and that spraying the dogs was unnecessary.
Therefore, whomever did it was responsible for all the subsequent damages and costs. Furthermore, we had obstructed determining who did the spraying and now shared responsibility. My reply was shorter and better. Their dogs were off their property, whether they knew it or not was not germane. They did lunge at a member of my family who legitimately defended themselves.
I said that they were well aware of those facts from the day it happened. Furthermore, I had a video to back up both points. The small claims attempts were harassment, as was this and a counterclaim was a real possibility under the circumstances. It was clear that the existence of video surprised them. At that point, their lawyer tried a diversionary tactic, and a good one.
He stated that as part of the process, they needed us to fill out a form and that they would provide us the equivalent from his clients. The form included name, address, employer, relatives, DOB, etc. I immediately declined. I said that could wait for the interrogatories and that we were not required to provide that information at this point.
He asked for copies of the videos. My response annoyed him to no end. Again, I declined, pointing out that if this went forward, he could subpoena them. However, I did agree to play them for him. The first video was of the infamous incident. The audio was poor due to range. However, there was no mistaking the aggressive demeanor of the dogs and my daughter after trying to command them, resorting to pepper spray after that failed.
I just previewed the one of the doorway conversations to show they had clear video and audio. The lawyer huddled with his clients for a moment. He claimed his clients did not give permission to be recorded. I pointed out it did not matter since I had a sign posted and there was no expectation of privacy. He then demanded that I give him copies immediately.
I declined. However, I did say that I might put them on YouTube and link to them from Next Door with a complete story of the nonsense so far. The lawyer said that I couldn’t do that, and I said I disagreed. He again demanded I state which of my daughters sprayed the dogs. I again declined. I also stated that his client’s claims were bogus, that we were tired of the charade, and were considering pushing back.
Finally, the wife spoke up. She said we did not see how miserable her dogs/fur babies were all day and how destructive the dogs had gotten being limited to an outdoor run. We had no idea how much they loved their home and how expensive it was to replace everything damaged. We needed to understand it was all our fault and that they were only asking for fair compensation.
As planned, my wife responded. Her reply was ice cold. While the neighbors were childless, she was a mother. She had to watch the fear those dogs had generated in the family that leads to PTSD with a lifetime consequences. That she could not have a dog since her daughter was now terrified of them. Of the fear and anger generated by the wife’s statement to the neighbor that our reaction was due to being city blacks, and that that attitude was inexcusable in the country or the city. It was all their fault, not ours since they chose not to control and contain their dangerous animals.
After that, there was silence with the women glaring at each other. After a bit, I asked the lawyer if there was anything else we should do at this meeting. He said no. I told him I expected a letter one way or another within a week if they were going forward or not. He agreed. It took closer to 10 days. When I saw the outcome, I grinned. They withdrew the complaint.
The letter also claimed that any publication of the videos would be considered defamatory and grounds for further action. So, the whole story: My male-to-female daughter was the one who sprayed the dogs. She was on her way to class at the local Jr College. The rest of us were all at school or work. She has changed her name, but the usual look-up sites have not caught on to that yet. None of us are afraid of dogs, having had family dogs over time.
This event did not really cause or trigger PTSD in the family. The statement was a negotiating position, not a sworn testimony. My daughter did all the right things. I doubt she would have shot them, even if armed. I would not have either, but it makes for good posturing. The dogs in question are male littermates, large hounds I believe, not sure of the breed or if they are fixed.
One is clearly the alpha. At this time we have a standoff. Most court action appears to be over. A couple of neighbors have asked what the status is on Next Door. Neither of us is replying. I have told a couple of friendly neighbors that the case has been dropped for reasons I have in video but am not allowed to share. Subsequently, larger issues have come up between the two of us…and their place is for sale.
46. Party On
My next-door neighbor filed a complaint to my Home Owner’s Association because I was “having a frat party”. Here’s what really happened: My 59-year-old British friend was picking me up, but I was not ready yet. She was talking to my husband in the garage. Her car was parked but was running with her radio playing. And it was 5:15 pm in the afternoon.
If that constitutes a frat party, I wasted a load of money in college.
47. Evil And Incompetent
My great grandfather purchased 3,000 acres in Florida in the 1800s. It has been in the family and a working farm ever since. After my father passed, the land was divided between my brother, sister, and me. My brother and sister sold their portions to a development company. At the same time, I purchased a neighboring 850 acres. After the development company built up the area with single-family homes, they transferred control to a new HOA.
It was at this time that unstamped letters began appearing in my mailbox. The first was an introduction of the new HOA and included about a 20-page handbook with so many rules and regulations. Since my family land predates the HOA by well over 120 years, I am not obliged to join any such group. So I ignore the letters and start marking them “return to sender”.
Now, this alerts my postal carrier, who questions who put unstamped mail in the mailbox. He took those letters and went to have a conversion with the HOA about the use of the mailbox. One more thing: I wasn’t using the farm fully, but instead I had at the time about a dozen rescue animals as well as three-quarter horses. I arrived home one day to a strange sight.
There was a pair of cars at the entrance of my driveway, blocking my access. My driveway is almost 1/4 mile long, though, so I parked and walked. At my house I found my wife arguing with three people (two men and a woman) who are demanding to be allowed their rights to search my property inside and out. After a quick briefing, I inform my trespassers of their violations.
I then give them 10 minutes to get off my property and move their cars before I tow and impound them. These self-righteous individuals were not budging. So I walk to one of my barns and start up something inside. I back out with an older model Holmes tow truck and start backing down the driveway. These three ran to get into their cars and were gone before I got to the end of the driveway.
Now this would be nice if it ended there, but then it would not be much of a story. It got so much worse. I then started receiving fines. Yes, in the mail and unstamped! I actually had to get the local postmaster involved. I even got a fine for calling the postmaster on them. (Eventually, the HOA had to pay a $10,000 fine for unauthorized use of the USPS system).
Fast forward about six months, and my wife notices that there is a lien on the house and property. This is where I contacted a property rights attorney, who immediately filed with the local government. It took a couple of months, but the lien was dismissed when the originator failed to show up to a hearing. But it does not end here! Oh no, it does not.
I received a large packet that came in certified mail, detailing all the fines I have incurred since the HOA came into existence. And they demanded immediate payment. Included in this was a $500 fine for not signing the handbook, a $1,000 fine for not allowing board members access to search my property, and a $10,000 fine for repayment of the fine the HOA had to pay for the HOA breaking the federal maul law.
And the list goes on and on. My attorney laughed and sent a cease and desist letter as well as a demand that all further correspondence must be direct to her office. That lasted about six months, until my wife again noticed a new lien on the property. What the heck, I thought? So back to my attorney and more laughing. Turns out the HOA put a lien on the land I purchased, which is still separate from the family land.
And so we repeat the steps above. During this time, my wife was in the hospital for the delivery of our second child and everyone was there to support her. Seizing their opportunity, the HOA trespassed again and started searching through my property, including its barns, garage, and outbuildings. They even tried towing several vehicles that I had on the land that were “not licensed”.
Yeah, they are for farm use. Picture a rusty old pickup used to haul hay and feed. An old car with no doors we use to check out the field and search for animals. In this instance, they were caught in the act by the local sheriff’s deputy, who was just doing a drive-by. I chose not to press charges. However, this still infuriated the HOA and another large packet arrived with more fines on top of all the previous fines. Another trip to my attorney and more laughing.
This time, she contacts the county clerk’s office and manages to stop another lien that was in the process of being posted. This time in order to post the lien, the HOA would need to show up at a hearing and explain. Yep, they did not show and the lien vanished.
48. The Making Of A Legend
This goes back to nearly 45 years ago when I built my first house. The neighbor at the back was immediately angry that I bought two lots directly behind him and would not sell them to him or swap. His antics were beyond deranged. The dude would call the county inspectors and report my “violations” constantly. After we moved in the next spring, I began to regrade my property.
I also did things like plant grass and plant 20 trees, including six 5-feet blue spruce trees towards my property line, which I shared on the west with this neighbor. They were a good 10 feet in from the “agreed”-upon property line that HE was using. I spent two months doing all this, and one Saturday morning my neighbor and his wife were out and measuring their property and such.
I paid no notice until he knocked on my door and handed me what appeared to be a “bank survey” of his property that he had for 15 years. It indicated the location of property lines, his house and garage location, etc. He explained that my trees were on top of the “property line” and I need to move them. I kind of agreed with what he said based on his site survey and I proceeded to move them.
Then I looked closely at the survey. What I saw made me gasp. It also indicated the location of an abandoned alley we both had 1/2 possession of with dimensions off his garage. This clearly indicated not only was he claiming ALL of the alley, but a 20-foot strip along the entire back of my yard. Matter of fact, ALL the neighbors were claiming this and did so for years.
My house was the first one built on my side of the block. What makes this interesting? My neighbor had a huge strawberry bed (over 10 years old) along almost the entire backyard ON MY property. 500+ plants, all prime producers and HIS PRIDE AND JOY. I immediately got my own REAL survey done with steel pins driven and stamped hard copies of the site survey.
His bank survey was basically correct. But this was truly bad news for him. It meant that he and his neighbors really were freely stealing this strip of land across the entire block. 12 households in all. This is a small rural farming town (fewer than 800 people) and in all this dust up, I found out this neighbor is THE TOWN’s big enormous jerk.
So I took my survey over to this guy and said, listen, no rush to move your plants (this was July) but you need to get them off my property in the next few months. He tore up the survey and threw it at me. Now it was game on. I worked second shift and commuted 25 miles to work. My wife would go out into our garden, which was a huge one, when she got home at night and do some work in it.
About three or four days later, she is out there and the rear neighbors are disrespecting her for all the trouble “us new people” were causing. She told me the next morning and I went to those neighbors (who all refused to talk) and left them copies of the REAL survey in their doors. A couple of days later I am at work and my wife calls me pretty upset.
The bad neighbor along with two of his neighbors screamed at my wife when she was in the garden in such a bad way that she was driven to tears. I told her I will be home in 45 minutes. I called my brother-in-law (a farmer, less than mile out of town) and explained the situation. He told me he can have his John Deere tractor with his tiller at my house at 6 pm.
I next called the country sheriff’s office to request a deputy to be at my house at 5:30, and then I called our police chief and requested the same. I get home and minutes later, both officers show up. I handed them my survey and walked them to show them the steel pins. I asked them what property are the strawberry plants on? They say clearly on my property.
Then I asked them, it’s my property and I can do whatever, right? They said sure. Now, we have about 20 people mulling around, though not my bad neighbor who ran inside the house. He was not going to face me after how he spoke to my wife. Instead, he sent his wife to the door to order me off his property or he will call the authorities. I said, too late, I already did and you have 15 minutes to relocate as many of your plants as you can.
It was almost exactly 15 minutes later when my brother-in-law showed up, and now it’s getting fun. I showed my brother-in-law where to start tilling. Took him 30 minutes to completely grind up all the strawberry plants. The silence was awesome. The rear neighbors were shocked and I became a legend.
49. What She Does In The Shadows
I put up a doorbell cam yesterday. My neighbor has not slept and I woke up to 45 new motion alerts. One of which was her throwing herself down the stairs. I now figured out what that thumping in the hallway I’ve been hearing is. It has not stopped going off. She also stands in front of our door and stares at our apartment for random intervals of time. Wonder how long she’s been doing that!
50. This HOA Was For The Birds
My friend and her husband moved into a gated community. She gardened a lot and loved having a birdbath in her backyard. Her HOA figured out that she had said birdbath in her backyard. Apparently, a birdbath was considered a lawn ornament, which was forbidden. She told them she would remove it. A week later, she got another message saying that it hadn’t been removed—it wasn’t.
She and her husband put two and two together and figured out that the HOA was snooping in her backyard. So she decided to set a trap to catch them. For a week, she spent her time outside sunbathing in the buff. Sure enough, an HOA member opened the gate to their backyard and saw her without any clothes. She called the authorities for privacy breaches. The HOA gave up and let her have a birdbath.
51. Not Quite Black Or White
I had just moved into my house a few months prior when I got a letter. I was threatened to be fined $200, stating that my mailbox wasn’t black. I thought surely they had the wrong house because my mailbox was, in fact, black. So, I contacted the HOA, and they gave me the runaround, arguing that it wasn’t. I told them to come and look.
Of course, they said it was on me to prove to them it was black. So, I snapped a photo and emailed it to them. I heard nothing back for well over a month, then got another letter giving me a “courtesy” week extension before I would be fined. At that point, I was livid. I contacted the HOA again, asking for an explanation of what the problem was.
I was finally told that my “neighbors” felt my mailbox was rather worn and needed to be painted or replaced. It wasn’t black enough for them. So I painted it. A few months later, I learned that the HOA would replace the mailbox. I called them to ask why they threatened to fine me when they were the ones who should replace it if it was not up to standard. They stated it was because they had no open work orders for my mailbox and that it was my responsibility to notify them if it needed maintenance, not theirs.
52. Ride On!
My parents lived in a neighborhood with several local physicians. One had around six kids, and the youngest had profound autism and was non-verbal. He was about five or six at the time and loved riding his little tricycle in their driveway, which was pretty large. He would do it for hours. His mom stayed home with him for the most part, and she and her husband became concerned that he would drive into the road if they happened to look away.
So, they got some orange construction netting that they would just put across the end of the driveway while he was out there and would take it down when they went back inside. I always thought that it was a good idea to keep him safe. Several of the families in the neighborhood were not pleased with this and said it was an “eyesore,” so a meeting was called. Then things went off the rails.
It turned into an onslaught on how they were taking care of their son and how it made the neighborhood look “ignorant” to have that netting up. Needless to say, no one offered any other options, and this family was so irate that they packed up and moved within a month. They moved out to the country somewhere, where the son could ride his bike for hours on end.
53. They Tried To Rock The Boat
When we moved in, someone stopped by to say hi, but more like to tell us our boat couldn’t be parked on our lot. My wife told her well, we read all of the rules, and it didn’t say that. She replied, “Well, I wrote the rules, so I should know.” My wife told her to go read them again. We didn’t hear anything for months. I thought it was over, but I was so wrong. When we got our annual dues packet, there was a newsletter saying our lot was in breach and that we had stated plans to modify our garage to fit the boat, which we never said.
They suggested setting a deadline for us and setting a vote to add boats to the list they already had, which included campers, fifth wheels, motor homes, and travel trailers. We bought the house, intending to build a detached garage. However, to comply with the design rules, it would cost us $90K. My neighbor had been there longer than we were, and they had a boat in their driveway as well.
54. Some People ARE Out To Get You
Back when I was 18, I was helping my cousin, who is white, and his newlywed wife, who is Black, move into their new home that has an HOA. I was carrying boxes into the house and I was covered in sweat. As I was enjoying some rest with a bottle of water, one of the HOA members came up to me to introduce himself. We exchanged pleasantries and then he asked, “How long have you and your husband been married?”
I told him to please wait and brought in the actual married couple to meet the HOA member. They came out and the man’s face dropped. He then faked a phone call from the HOA and left. We didn’t know anything was wrong at the time. Not even a week after they moved in, I get a call on my cell phone from my cousin. He said that officers were raiding his house for possible substances.
I know my cousin. He has the record of a boy scout. Every time he gets a prescription for pain medication, he either shreds the note or dumps the unused pills in the toilet due to fear of addiction. The officers found nothing and left, though they did apologize. The very next day, his wife was stopped by officers in her own driveway. They said that she was suspected of selling her body!
This, even though she was wearing a pantsuit from her job as a cardiologist. They called her hospital to confirm her whereabouts and she was let go. They came back the day after that, after someone claimed that his wife was breaking into their own home. How can someone break into their home through the front door and with their OWN keys?
After a month, the HOA came up to them claiming that they are a nuisance and attempted to put a lien on the house for so many calls to the authorities. Luckily, my cousin’s brother is a lawyer and fought against the lien in court. At court, the HOA member that met the couple on Day One was revealed to be the one that sent the officers after them so they can be kicked out of the neighborhood. The whole story came out then.
As it turns out, that person testified that he didn’t want “their kind” in his perfect neighborhood. Everyone in that room was dumbstruck. The HOA lawyer immediately dropped the case and apologized to my cousin and his wife. That HOA member was kicked out of the neighborhood for his views. Apparently, he also called the authorities on every black and brown person that even passed by his house.
Since then, they moved out of the neighborhood after my cousin’s wife got a better job offer in her field.
55. Starting All Over
My wife and I bought a house in an HOA back in May of 2020. We bought it from family and were told the HOA is very relaxed. Basically, you pay your dues and submit the proper documentation when doing major changes to the house and landscaping, and that’s it. We received the rules and regulations when we bought the house and it was very generic.
Nothing in it mentioned security cameras and motion lights. Well, this past Monday my father-in-law and I finally installed two security cameras with lights. We had to run new electric lines due to the house not coming with a doorbell. Tuesday afternoon, we received a warning about modifications to the house without prior approval. We already had four motion sensor lights up months prior to installing the camera.
I figured they just wanted a statement or something similar to explain why we put up the new system. I submit the statement and don’t hear anything back for a couple of days. The response I finally got was that the cameras needed to be removed, paperwork submitted, and then they can be re-installed. After spending six hours running wire and installing the system, I’m not pulling it down.
I will not be changing anything until I get a response to my submission. If it wasn’t mentioned in the rules and regulations, I figure they really don’t have a leg to stand on in general.
56. Any House Will Do
Yesterday my boyfriend came to my house to watch movies. He dropped by the pizza place on his way here, ordered a pizza and paid for it in advance. We hear the motorcycle passing by so I go out to get the pizza—but I see the pizza delivery guy a couple of houses away…and my neighbor receiving the pizza as if it was his!
For a couple of seconds I didn’t say anything because it was probably just a coincidence. But no, it wasn’t, it was my pizza and that man tried to take it. And screw the delivery guy too. When he gave me the pizza, I don’t remember what he told me, but I replied with “Yeah, they were trying to take it”. He replied with “Oh no, he told me he would pay for it”.
I was livid so I didn’t reply, but like, screw you!!!! We had already paid for the pizza, I don’t care if the neighbor was going to pay YOU for the pizza we had already paid for! So yeah, I have awful neighbors and now we won’t order from the same pizza place.
57. The Neighbor Agenda
So this has been going on for a year now. I’ve lived in my home for about seven years, but have owned it since the late 90s. I used to rent it out before I moved in. Back when it was a rental, my neighbor put up a waist-high picket fence in the front of our adjoining properties. It came over on my side of the property a little under a foot. When I moved in, I honestly didn’t care that much,
We got along relatively well and I try to be peaceful with my neighbors. Last year, she’s having all her fencing replaced as the old one’s falling apart. I see her outside and ask if we can put the fence that’s on my side down the actual property line. I can’t believe her response. She completely lost her mind on me. The way she reacted you’d think I reached across and slapped her!
I didn’t engage, and immediately called a survey company and had them out the next day. She did as well. Both came back a week or so later confirming the fence was on my side. About a week after that, code enforcement showed up regarding a house under construction across the street from me, completely unrelated to the fence or anything.
He parked in front of my house and was standing in my yard to take pictures of the house across the street. I came outside not knowing who he was and spoke with him. Once I knew what he was doing, I came back inside. This turned out to be a horrible mistake. As soon as he left, she came outside screaming at the top of her lungs calling me horrible names for calling code on her.
I’ll admit I lost my temper and we had a screaming match. 20 minutes later the authorities show up, and she claimed I just started screaming at her for no reason and she was in fear for her life. But there was something important she didn’t know. I have two cameras in my front yard, and the entire exchange was caught as she was in front of my house when she lost her head.
I showed it to the officers and they left quite irritated with her. The biggest mistake I made, though, was posting about it on my Facebook group, which is quite large and contains members of our community. She called the authorities on me again for inciting threats or something like that. So to make everyone happy I deleted the post. Was this the end? Nope.
She called the authorities on me a third time a few months later for the same thing again, though I’m not sure what for as I hadn’t posted anything else. The officers were confused as well and they left. A few months later, I’m on my porch having and she’s in her van. She stops in front of my house, rolls down her window and calls me a ton of names again, then takes off.
Again, caught on camera. So I figured, screw it, and posted the video to my group. Sure enough, she calls the authorities. This time, they turn on her. They tell her she needs to leave me alone. She got angry and started screaming at them! They said if she doesn’t calm down she was going to be detained. A month or so later, I’m having a tree trimmed on my other neighbor’s side who we get along with.
She called code enforcement trying to say I did it without a permit. It got thrown out as it was a Camphor tree. She called in officers again, and when they showed up she wouldn’t answer the door. We all still have no idea what that call was about. A few weeks later, a detective comes by my house saying she’s been investigating this case. I start to get worried, but there was a twist.
The detective actually says I’ve done nothing wrong, and she’s going to speak with my neighbor to inform her of just that, and tell her to leave me alone. My neighbor loses her mind on the detective. Keep in mind I’ve never once called anyone on her, Code enforcement, etc. A week after that, she installs Nest Google cameras pointed right at my front door.
Nothing I can do about it as in Florida, there is no expectation of privacy at the front of your house, and neighbors can mount cameras at you. About two months ago, someone broke into my storage and took a bunch of stuff. I check my cameras, but unfortunately it’s too dark outside, so all you can see is someone with a flashlight over my neighbor’s fence while someone else is rummaging around in my storage.
I’ve since upgraded to night vision cameras. At this point I’m getting tired of it all. Buuuuut, I go over and speak with her in person after one whole year of this. I recorded the conversation on my phone and made her aware I was recording as I don’t trust her. We speak for about 10 minutes, but in a nutshell I tell her that we may not like each other, but we are neighbors and we have to live next to each other.
I say that I’d like to just go about our business and lives. She agrees surprisingly, and a couple months pass with no issues. I should have known it was too good to be true. Then we come to yesterday….which is the crown jewel of insanity! My boyfriend went outside to talk to his mom, and I get a text from my neighbor saying we are not to come outside when she’s outside as were spying on her.
She says if it continues, she’ll take this farther! Also in the text, she threatened to call code enforcement because I detailed my van with a buffer and it was loud. I promptly told her to screw off and she will not dictate when we can or cannot come outside, and if she keeps messing with me I’ll file for a restraining order.
58. The Grass Really Is Greener On The Other Side
Australia had some hectic wildfires going on and was in extreme drought. My hometown has high water restrictions in place, so things like washing your car and watering your garden are a MASSIVE NO-NO. The water supply is scary low and there has been talk about the council potentially needing to pay for water trucks to fill it.
Even though I live in another city and my parents have moved to the coast, they still own the house we grew up in my hometown and have been trying to sell it, so it has been sitting uninhabited for about six months. We have friends who occasionally check on it to make sure nothing has been taken and to mow the lawns. You can imagine their shock when they received a water bill for $500.
My dad went back there on Wednesday to check it out. The answer was jaw-dropping. He found out that our neighbour has removed one of the pickets from the border fence and has been feeding a hose through to her yard from our backyard tap. Her backyard is like a tropical oasis! Vibrant green lawn, flowers, etc while everyone else’s lawn around it is brown.
The bill says the amount of water used is about 200,000 litres. He’s taken photos of her lawn in contrast to ours and of the removed picket from the fence and reported her to council. My dad is essentially the lawyer/investigator of our family, he’s very good at stuff like this so she’s absolutely screwed. We just cannot believe that in such a time of crisis, as the land burns around us and farmers struggle to feed/water their livestock, all she cares about is her garden.
59. No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
I was messing around with my bad laptop’s Wi-Fi card and saw I had an access point I could connect to that wasn’t there before. The signal was so/so and I had my own internet so I didn’t bother trying to use that one. At that point, I just sort of forgot about it. About a week later, I was unplugging some stuff and accidentally unplugged my wireless router.
While it was unplugged my phone found the next accessible Wi-Fi access point. This was the one I’d found previously and not really bothered with—not my circus, not my monkeys, you know? Then something weird happened. My phone pops up saying I need to install all of these smart home apps to make the appliances work. This didn’t make sense.
I’m enough of an IT guy to know that unless there’s a burning need for it, home automation isn’t really the best idea. Absolutely no telling who can access that information. These people nearby me had their garage doors, heating and air conditioning, lights (interior AND exterior), televisions AND refrigerator hooked up. To a Wi-Fi. With no password.
In the industry we call that dumb as a bag of hammers. Once I plugged the router back in to appease my suddenly irate family members wondering where the internet went, I hooked up my dog and took him for a walk. Before I left the house, though, I had a plan. I installed the smart home app and turned on one exterior spotlight, then looked for the house it was attached to.
Presumably if I was able to use their Wi-Fi they were in the line of sight. Once I saw the light that was on, I turned it off to make sure. House was on the next street over directly behind my house. There’s a huge hill in the way that the builders left because mother nature didn’t flatten my part of the country as a courtesy, so lots can be next to each other without being accessible.
That meant going the long way around. My dog is an adorable cockapoo who has much better people skills than I do. So when I have to go talk to people I don’t know, he comes along because he’s about as threatening as a wet noodle (don’t tell him I said that) and I can’t be that bad a man if my dog is as awesome as he is. So we make our way over to the neighbors’ house and I knock on their door.
A nice older lady answers it, old enough to have moved out kids but not old enough to be considered a Q-tip in my humble opinion. She forgets to ask what I want and IMMEDIATELY goes gooey all over my dog, and her husband hears the adorable appreciation sounds coming from his front door and investigates. He too is floored by my dog’s awesomeness.
There’s about a minute of him getting all the attention (and I thought building a rapport) before I remember why I’m here. I ask how they like their new smart home stuff. This backfired on me. They immediately start getting weirded out. Husband says: “We like it just fine…how do you know we got that stuff?” I take my cue and launch into trying to help them.
“Please don’t take this the wrong way, but you don’t have a password on your wireless. My phone connected to it by accident and told me about all the stuff you had installed.” The wife cocks her head to one side and the husband’s brow starts developing a thunderous quality. I start talking faster, “I’m just here to let you know that you really should put a password on your Wi-Fi, or ANYONE can use it to do stuff like open your garage doors.”
The husband’s brow is now in full fury mode and he opens his mouth to (presumably) shout at me. But before he can, the wife says “Oooooh, THAT’S what the installer guy was talking about. He kept saying I needed to encrypt the thingie or something like that. We’ve never bothered with a password because it’s a pain in the butt to set up and remember.”
Husband has gone from thunderous fury to bewilderment, and he looks at his wife and says “Encrypt the what now?” I don’t feel like getting voluntold to set up these people’s network and appliances for them, so I say “OK gotta go bye!” I power walk away from their house and once clear we head back towards my house. I thought it was over, but it very much wasn’t.
About two hours later someone starts knocking at my front door. I live in an in-law apartment in the basement of my parents’ house, so that’s not my door. My mother answers the door and then stomps down to the door to my part of the house, throws it open, and tells me the authorities here. Again, in a frosty voice. I hustle up the stairs.
There’s Officer Dave, the only officer my town had who knew enough about computers to actually have a conversation with me without getting a must-smash-nerd face. I say, “Hi Dave, what’s—” He cuts me off before I can even finish, he says, “WHAT did you do?” “What? I haven’t done anything!” “Then why the heck am I getting calls about you opening and closing people’s garage doors and turning their lights on and off?!”
To be fair that DID sound like the sort of thing I’d do. Not to break into someone’s house, just to mess with them. I’m mischievous, not evil. And then the light dawns. I point and ask, “Did you get called by the people living in that house? Because I went over there a little while ago to tell them they needed to put a password on their Wi-Fi, and the only thing I did was turn on a spotlight to see which house it was. Nothing more than that, swear to god.”
“They don’t have a password—” There’s a thud as Dave facepalms. I let out a yuuup in sympathy. He sighs and says stay out of trouble, and I wave bye. Turns out, the husband called the authorities and gave a vague description of me and the dog and said I lived nearby. The couple got a call back to tell them the issue is resolved and please secure your Wi-Fi.
Two days later, there’s a password on their Wi-Fi and we all lived happily ever after. Except for getting the stank eye from that couple whenever I walk by.
60. From Good To Bad
I lost some great neighbors about eight months ago when they moved. I knew the bliss wouldn’t last forever, and I helped them pack up their stuff, took trips to the dump for them, and even said “anything that comes up at the last minute you need ditch, toss in my trailer on the side yard”. The new neighbors moved in a few days later—turns out he runs his own business out of his home.
All home-based businesses require a permit which must be signed. The permit outlines the requirements/rules of a home-based business. Two of these rules are a) no customers before 7 am on the weekdays and no customers before 8 am on the weekends, no business to be conducted after 7 pm, and b) no more than three customers at your home at a time.
Sadly, our neighbor runs a gym/personal training out of his garage. We found out that he has classes every hour of every day between 5-9 am and then from 4-7 pm. He will routinely have four or more people at his class. After the first complaint to the city provided no relief, I purchased and installed some video cameras. I know it sounds bad, but get a load of this.
We are routinely woken up by his customer traffic, sometimes as early as 4:45 am. His customers love to talk—and talk loud without much thought given to anyone in the neighborhood. There was one that would announce her arrival by setting her car alarm several times while she walked into his garage. One Saturday, he decided it would be a good idea to open his garage up, pull out his equipment, and have class on his driveway.
About a dozen people showed up by 7 am. His customers routinely use my side yard and driveway to access his garage. His customers, generally 4-5, will line up outside his gate at 10 minutes to the top of the hours waiting for the prior class to finish. Routinely they will drop weights in the garage (on a padded floor) which will rattle his side door.
When his side is open, my side door and sometimes the windows adjacent to his home will rattle. And there is so much grunting going on. Clearly, he wasn’t obeying the rules set forth in the home-based business policy set by the city. Finally, after several months of complaints, video evidence, sworn statements by myself and likely other neighbors, his business—and sole means of support for his wife and three young daughters—will be cut off this next week.
I hope for his sake he decides to move or open up a commercial space. Hopefully, he decided to move. I can suggest a few realtors that could help him and he’d be welcome to use my trailer to move his stuff.
61. I Pity The Fool
We bought a house in April and the neighbors across the street from us are in the process of moving out. They have a HUGE house, six-bedroom, five-bathroom, that was top of the line….25 years ago. It was listed for 600k about six weeks ago (they took forever to pack), has been pending three times, and is now at 500k, so I’m assuming an inspector is finding an issue.
Other houses in my neighborhood that are that size are selling. They asked us to help change lightbulbs and fix little things, which was perfectly fine. Or it was until their latest actions. They’ve now started sending “requests”. Painting their frame of the screened patio, replacing faucets, and cleaning their house. We painted their screened-in patio because we thought (mistake) it was the last thing they’d ask.
We honestly felt bad because the house is in need of some MAJOR TLC. It’s got original carpet that has been cleaned and stretched so many times that it is desperately in need of being ripped out. The bathroom tubs are peeling, the house was freshly painted but was terribly done. When they put it up for sale, they left some huge furniture that they requested us to sell, and we could keep 10% of the profits.
They acted like this was a HUGE reward. It’s a 20-year-old couch, mattresses, three dressers, and other outdated furniture that is worth nothing, and weighs a ton, and is upstairs. So obviously it didn’t sell for anything, and is still sitting upstairs in their house. One person came for a dresser and it was too heavy for us to move, so we figure this is all custom-built and assembled in the room.
When they left, they “requested” us to do daily walk-throughs and send daily reports of their house, which is fine, but we stopped after a week because we have our own house that we are working on, work, and are not trying to spend weekends and time off at someone else’s house when we literally bought a house to spend time there.
We both get up at 4 am for work, get home around 4:30 pm, eat, and sometimes will literally nap the majority of the rest of the day. Yesterday was one of those days. I had no idea what was coming. Little did I know, these neighbors were back in town and had called each of us several times after 7 pm—once we get off work we don’t look at phones.
They had then texted us multiple times. We gave polite replies but said we weren’t able to help them. We wind down for the day around 7 pm because we get up at 4 am. So then they knocked on our door at 8 pm, 9 pm, 10 pm, and 11 pm according to our ring camera. If you had a problem, you wouldn’t be going to just my house, you’d be asking other people.
I really want to just tell these people that we cannot help them anymore and this is not my problem. This doesn’t go into detail about everything we have done for them, but it quickly became too much. Every time we leave their house after doing things there, we both feel so bad because it needs so much work. It’s so dirty, and with three people walking away from it, there has got to be some major issue as I notice it goes back on the market after an inspector is there.
62. Kooky Colors
We had a cookie-cutter house built. One of the color palettes we could choose from included an accent color for the door/shutters that was a dark purple. The hubs and I are a little kooky, so we selected it. At our final walkthrough, our door and shutters are brown. I tell the general that it’s wrong and show him my contract.
We were the only homeowners in the subdivision that selected that color, so the HOA decided to not offer it anymore. But we knew just what to do. We said fine, that puts you in breach of contract and we want to be released. A few phone calls later, my door and shutters are purple and I’m happy.
We purchase the house. At least once a year we got a nasty letter from the HOA about our “unapproved door color”. Every time, I send them a copy of my contract and their by-laws stating that the colors from the builder are allowed. Not my problem you discontinued it after I picked it.
63. Do Unto Others…
Last month, my daughter had a seizure. I had my teenage sisters staying over at the time so my parents came to pick them up. My dad’s car blocked over a bit of my neighbor’s driveway as he came to collect the girls. A few minutes later, my neighbor knocked on the door, demanding the car be moved. It was nearly midnight and the ambulance was blocking our driveway.
My dad immediately went out and moved the car and apologized. He explained they didn’t mean to block her in. Quite a few times since that night, the neighbor has now started to park over our drive and block us in. It’s got to the point where me and my partner park one of our cars on the drive and one blocks the drive, even though our drive can fit both cars on it.
When she’s blocked us in we’ve knocked on the door to ask her to move but she doesn’t answer the door. We can hear her in the house but she doesn’t answer. It’s driving us crazy and we’ve now got to the stage where we’re getting a lawyer’s advice.
64. Buzz Off!
My next-door neighbor is a middle-aged woman who lives with her elderly mom. Not because her mom needs to be taken care of—I believe it’s the other way around. She doesn’t work and is basically a little girl in a 50-year-old body. I work from home, and this woman is home all day, doing who knows what. Whenever I go outside, she magically appears and gives me her “expert” advice on whatever I’m doing.
If I engage in a conversation with her (just to be nice), it’ll eat up 20 to 30 minutes of my time. It’s one of those inescapable conversations. And if I do anything, and I mean ANYTHING, like bite my fingernail out of nervousness because I don’t know when I’ll be able to exit this conversation, she’ll go: “STOP! Wait, I got a cream for that!”
Or if I shoo away a fly, she’ll go: “WAIT! I got the BEST bug spray! Top of the line!” Everything she has is “top of the line” or “the most expensive, highest quality out there,” and she’s got something for everything! I literally can’t MOVE around her, because she’s got something for everything I’m doing! One time she caught me painting a statue in my garden.
She came over with boxes and boxes of paint. And once she starts up with a new topic, tack on another 20 minutes of time And that’s just my experience with her while I’m outside. Behind closed doors, it’s a total nightmare. Before I knew any of this about her, I made the mistake of inviting her into my house for a cup of coffee. No wait, let me correct that.
She actually saw me drinking coffee on my front porch one day and asked if she could have one. While I found that a bit intrusive, I felt rude saying no, so I made her one. And while I was making the coffee in my kitchen, she continued talking to me from my front porch, and I couldn’t really hear what she was saying. I felt rude, so I invited her into the foyer rather than have her stand outside.
MISTAKE. Now she comes over twice, sometimes three times a week for coffee! And whenever she sees me outside, she asks, “can I have a coffee?” And when she rings my doorbell and I answer the door to greet her, she’s already stepping into my house, like a vampire that I can’t stop from coming inside because I’ve already made the mistake of inviting her in once!
And each time she comes over, I face new horrors. She’s getting more and more comfortable in my house, sitting on my couch (She reeks of smoke. I don’t smoke, and prefer to have my house not smelling like that). And now she’s asking to borrow things, browsing the shelves in my living room, and then exclaiming, “Oh! My mom would love to read this! You’re not reading it right now, right? I’ll bring it back, you know where I live anyway”.
And then she helps herself to an item on the shelf. I don’t like being mean to people, but I feel like the only way to stop her is to be That Person. I’m a single, 30-year-old woman, living alone. I think I’m way too nice, to the point where I let things go beyond what I’m comfortable with. This was my mistake, I know. But how do I undo all of this in the nicest way possible?
If I had it my way, I would have it so that she never comes back into my house ever again. She is my neighbor, not my friend. She is not my type of person. We have nothing in common. I just want to be left alone.
65. Disturbance In Suburbia
My husband and I moved into our first home last summer. Coming from the city, we found our slice of “suburban heaven,” as the property offered a beautiful yard with well water-irrigated lush grass. We also chose it for what we perceived as privacy, at least compared to where we had lived. It didn’t take long for us to discover we had made a grave error.
When we first met our neighbor closest in proximity to us, she seemed very nice and thoughtful and we thought how lucky we were to have such a lovely neighbor. This changed quickly, as she became overbearing to the point where I couldn’t be in my backyard without fearing she’d yell over to me and to come over. She would interrupt me no matter what I was doing.
She has a dog of her own, and she’s single, middle-aged, no kids, divorced, and she let us know early on that our backyard was like her dog park before we moved in, as the old man who lived here previously passed and the lot was vacant for a year or so. She has her own fenced-in backyard, but it is the opposite of our green grass with rocks and planters and is quite unkept.
For a few months, we let her over frequently, then we began to avoid her. Other strange things happened with her that are beside the point of this thread, but anyways what really started to irk me, especially because I work from home all the time, is that she would be in our side yard property all the time. She tied her dog to our fence, on our lawn, and she used it as a potty spot multiple times a day.
One morning, I even woke up to her loudly on the phone BELOW my bedroom window, looking into our first-floor window. It was getting obnoxious. Our side yards have no barrier, aside from the fact that ours has lush green grass and hers has rock and pine needles. Not once did she have a conversation with us about this. And then it took another turn.
She started to call me in the middle of the workday as I was in meetings and trying to focus, to ask if her dog could come into our backyard. The final straw was when she left a voicemail, asking for permission to let herself into our backyard whenever she pleased, since my two dogs “were always outside”. I felt like that was asking too much after she’d been overbearing for the past four months of living there.
Granted, I think she had good intentions in her efforts to be nice to us, but my introverted husband and I found her overbearing and annoying, especially in the way she used our property as if we didn’t exist or as if she was entitled to it. So, I went outside to talk to her after I listened to the voicemail. It took a lot of working up to and courage because I truly hate confrontation.
I politely and timidly let her know that we don’t feel comfortable with her using our backyard whenever she pleases. She didn’t take that well at all. To begin with, she rolled her eyes and talked back. I went on further to ask that she stop using our side yard because we like our privacy. Then she really lost it on me. She said, “Well so much for having a good neighborly relationship” and stormed off.
I was taken aback because if someone let me know I was overstepping someone’s comfort and property zone, I would say “so sorry, I had no idea”. But of course not. Later she came to our door to pick something up we were borrowing, and she started saying some nasty things, like how I hadn’t tried to be nice (I had, but in my own way), and that my husband and I should get a fence if we were so concerned.
Needless to say, she’s a grown woman and the property line is obvious, but alright. Months have passed, and we hadn’t talked to her much, and I observed that now she would stand on her property with the dog leashed, but the dog is on our property so it can go potty. She was making an effort…? Well, that didn’t last long. A couple of weeks ago she got a new puppy.
She has returned to using our yard as she had done before. She is literally training her new puppy to “Go poo poo! Go poo poo” on our lawn. Really!?!? So my husband wasn’t too upset at first…until he found five piles of poop sitting in our grass. That was it for him. I’ve been annoyed about it for a while because I work from home and see/hear her doing it, and it is also the principle for me at this point.
He went over to talk to her with the poop bagged up in his hand and let her know our property is not her dog’s potty spot. She made a few excuses and said she’d get a property surveyor, and my husband said we’d respect the results. He also asked her to respect us, left the poo on her porch, and walked away. She hasn’t apologized or taken any accountability.
When she makes excuses as to why she uses our property, she passively tries to make us sound like jerks. As mentioned, we will respect the results of a surveyor if she gets one, but I know for a fact that our entire side yard is not her property. I genuinely don’t think any of it is because of land markers and the deed I read, but whatever at this point.
She’s still using our lawn with her dogs after we talked to her twice. Now my husband and I are submitting a fence permit with the town so that we can hopefully resolve this by building a barrier. But I’m bummed it had to come to this. This has caused us a lot of frustration and it slightly feels like “suburbahell” now. So much for our oasis.
66. A Game Of Chicken
I’ve been living in my current home for a little over five years. About two years ago, we bought some chickens and I made a run for them beneath our scuppernong vines. It’s a good sized area. This is in the back corner of my property, probably about 200 feet from the road. Shortly after, an old couple moved into a house across the street and one house down.
My neighborhood is an old mill house neighborhood, and my house is on two lots so my yard is twice the size of everyone else’s. I believe there used to be a house next to mine that burned down or something and that lot was purchased by whomever owned my home at the time. Anyway, one day it all started to curdle right before my eyes.
I started getting visits from animal control. I was told by my neighbors directly next to me that animal control would come by when I wasn’t home and walk around my property. I have one chicken who escapes daily and visits my neighbors, who feed her and let their kids play with her. The old couple across the street and one house down once saw my chicken in my neighbors’ yard, took a photo, and called the authorities.
I was given a ticket which cost me $295.25 even though the neighbors whose yard it was in didn’t mind. Animal control eventually stopped coming by after she and I had a conversation. She said the old couple across the street are the ones calling, specifically the wife. Her claims were beyond stupid. She says that the chickens are making her ill and she is deathly afraid of being ambushed by the chickens.
She claimed that it isn’t legal to own chickens within city limits (animal control assured her that it is). Animal control also told her that there is no smell from my chickens and said that I have the cleanest run they’ve ever seen. The neighbors also claimed that a specific animal control officer took their friend’s chickens last year because chickens aren’t legal but the guy who they say took them hadn’t worked in animal control in almost two decades.
The animal control officer also told me that the woman across the street calls animal control and/or the authorities least five times a week to complain about my chickens. My wife recently got a promotion and our landscaper is purchasing our home as we’re having to relocate about four hours north of here. He usually brings his son when he cuts our lawn and the little guy loves the chickens.
He asked if they can keep them so we’ve decided to include them on the sale so our awful neighbor will get to deal with the chickens for years to come.
67. Privacy, Please
So I had a neighbor flag me down as I’m backing out of the driveway to “chat”. He proceeds to make small talk, then ask me about why my ex and I divorced, or basically outright asked. He then said, “She must have found someone else, huh?” What the heck is wrong with people? You really think I want to talk about this with you? Then he asks me why I didn’t move back home to my hometown.
I don’t know, not everyone wants to live on top of their family. And he wonders why I avoid him like the plague. Mind you, we have covered both of these topics already previously. It’s like we practically have the same conversation every time I see him. I don’t want to talk about my divorce and family issues with you.
68. Be Careful What You Wish For
My neighbor took issue with a small mistake we made in parking, and she has now been blocking our driveway at every opportunity. My partner won’t park on our drive anymore as he needs his car to get to work. I didn’t want to tow the car, because if there was the tiniest scratch she could claim compensation off us. I also didn’t want to ring the authorities.
Even if it was the non-emergency number, I know how busy they are right now. I spoke to a friend who knows about parking laws. I found out you can contact the council and my friend also told me to mention that I was unsure if she got permission to create a dropped curb in front of her garden. I’ve been taking pictures of her doing it each time she blocks us.
I’ve also filmed her ignoring us as we knock on the door (you can see her peeking through the curtains to see who it is) to ask her to move the car. I sent in all the evidence and today they visited. The neighbor had parked in front of the drive when they visited. The karma was instant. They decided to give my neighbor an immediate fine as they can see she’s prolific at it from my evidence.
Also they checked out the dropped curb onto her driveway. I’m not going to lie, I did tell my daughter to ride her bike so I could watch her and listen in to what was being said. Apparently, the neighbor applied for a dropped curb. However, it was refused as she has had a porch built and it means the garden is too small. You can only be approved if your garden is over a certain size to make sure that you can park your car in the garden without overhang onto the footpath.
My neighbor just built the dropped curb herself. The person told my neighbor that the council will decide what will happen. Most likely she will have to pay for the curb to be reinstated and may be fined on top of that.
69. Ruining The Holiday Cheer
I live next to a park trail that heads to a dog park. Yesterday, my security camera caught a neighbor stopping to let their dog pee on my Christmas decorations. The decoration in question is a stack of three Christmas presents made out of a wireframe wrapped in fabric with lights inside. The item is placed about 6′ away from the sidewalk on my lawn.
The neighbor just stood there for several seconds with their hands in their pockets watching the dog pee on my stuff. I took stills of the images. They are grainy so you can’t make out the person’s face, but you can clearly make out what they were wearing, and that the dog is a shih tzu. I printed them out, put them in plastic protectors, and hung them on the boxes with a sign that has The Grinch on it that says “He sees you when you’re peeing”.
My camera is pointed, and I wait.
70. Power Tripping
I used to lived in a neighborhood that has a one-dollar-per-month HOA because we have a shared drive with an area drain. That money goes to emptying the area drain every couple of years. The CC&Rs are very laid back and there are no rules so I wrongfully assumed that would be the experience living where I am now.
Turns out the HOA president is a boomer on a power trip. He is in my business about everything. I got a new furnace and he threatened to sue me because the utility company had to use the driveway. I scheduled a specialty garbage pickup with my garbage company, and he called me screaming that I put garbage out in front of my house that morning.
I have a retaining wall in front of my house, and he came by and yelled at me for cleaning it. The list goes on and on. It’s a total nightmare experience and I will never live somewhere with an HOA of any kind ever again.
71. Up A Tree
My partner and I are renting the rear townhouse on a block of two. We have a shared driveway, and the area directly in front of my house and adjacent to my neighbor’s garage (technically our land) had a potted ornamental pear tree. The tree is beautiful and provides us with some privacy to our upstairs landing. The neighbor has made a comment that he does not like the tree as the leaves fall on his car in autumn.
The tree receives good lighting and is watered regularly, and, until last week, was very healthy. Last Monday, the leaves started getting dry but were still green. Unusual for an established tree. On Thursday, my neighbor came out for a chat while I was inspecting it. Without hesitating, he offered to cut it down. I told him that I’d fertilized it and would like to wait and see if it gets better.
On Sunday morning, I realized that the tree had been cut down, leaving an ugly stump with no leaves. On further inspection, three weeds that were thriving in the same planter were also withered, leading me to believe that the tree was poisoned. I don’t want to cause drama with our neighbors, but I am furious. Even if he didn’t poison the tree, he overstepped a boundary by cutting it down.
72. Screw That Noise
So yesterday, I had an incredibly important job interview. It was my final interview with my local police branch and if I passed this interview, then the past six months of training and tests would have been worth it, and I would be a full-time officer. My interview was three hours long and I had a time slot for 10 am-1 pm. I had deliberately picked this time slot.
I thought an earlier one would mean that there would be less chance of noise from any of my neighbors. 7:30 am, next-door neighbors’ music is on full blast. No warning, so I was already startled from a rude awakening. This came after not being able to get to sleep until 3 am because the same neighbors were having a party. Less than four hours of sleep, and a three-hour interview coming up.
Safe to say I was not amused. However, I thought that I would give them the benefit of the doubt and give them time to turn it down. It got to 9 am and it was still going, and now the kids were screaming and running around outside, having to shout louder than the music just to be heard. So I sent my neighbor a text, just politely asking them to turn the music down (not off), as I had my interview in an hour.
It got to 9:30 am and I had had no reply and the music was steadily getting louder. So I went and knocked on their door, and of course, they couldn’t hear me above the music, so I had to knock on their window and more or less felt like I was invading their home. It very much did not get better from there. The wife answered, the same woman I texted, and she was oblivious to the fact that I had texted her.
Unbelievably, she didn’t seem to think anything was wrong with the level of the music. I asked if she would turn the music down, and she said that she would but she couldn’t stop her partner from turning it up again if he wanted to. They were having another party, apparently, as it was their son’s A-Level results day and he had done well. Oh, great.
I told her that as nice as that was, I had an important interview that I could not rearrange and could not afford to not get. Her response infuriated me. It was a shrug, and she said she would turn it down a bit. Thanking her, I went back home and immediately noticed that the music had turned down a bit, so I was a bit happier. I set up in my kitchen/makeshift office, and sat down to wait 15 minutes until my interview started.
I could still hear the music and the screaming, but it was enough that I could drown it out. The interview was going well until about 10:30. And I think you can guess what happened. Music whacked back up to full volume, even louder than before. All of the neighbors’ doors and windows are opened. The kids are screaming louder than ever, and everyone is now standing outside in the garden and talking loudly, right by my kitchen window.
I tried not to let it get to me, but when I saw one of the guys doing the interview look confused and distracted, I knew that they could hear it too. I immediately apologized and explained what had happened and said that I could move to another room and carry on. So I had to move from a proper office set up to my small and partially decorated, dark living room.
The interview went ahead, but I couldn’t focus properly as all I could feel was their music thumping, and I was now getting a migraine. I had to ask them to repeat questions numerous times and I just couldn’t drown out the music and screaming. The interview finished at 1 pm and at 1:15 pm, it suddenly went silent from next door.
The whole family and their friends (there were about 20 people there altogether), left the house at the same time. They 100% did it on purpose. Then I got horrible news. I just found out this morning that I did not pass the final interview, and I have to wait six months before I can apply for the position again. And to rub more salt into the wound, I have to do all of the tests and interviews (that I had already passed), all over again.
I have appealed the decision and have further explained the circumstances, so hopefully, they are lenient. I’m planning on confronting my neighbors today, after I’ve calmed down.
73. She’s Lost Control Again
Every time I tell this story, I feel so dramatic, but how else do you describe this situation?
In the fall, our elderly neighbor either got confused or lost control of her car, plowed forward, destroyed our trellis, bushes, and hit our house. We have a big dent in the front, awaiting cooperation from contractors to repair and likely replace all the siding. Oh, AND, she snapped our gas line when it happened so it was a very scary 20-30 minutes until that was repaired.
Thank God we both work from home because I hate thinking what would have happened to our dogs. Somehow though, it was the aftermath that hurt the worst. During those moments, she didn’t come check on us. When she hit the house, my husband immediately ran over to her, asking if she was all right, showing genuine concern. This neighbor?
She has never apologized and has almost completely avoided us since then. The only time she has spoken to either my husband or me was a couple of weeks later when my husband was attempting to replace the trellis. She came outside to argue with him, claiming he was digging on her property. And then she said things like “No one is more sorry than me that this happened to you…”
He reminded her this is the second time she had lost control of her car. The first time, she plowed over her bushes, but she had paid to replace them. Hilariously enough, she plowed over those new bushes, too, in this incident. This trellis? So, the property line essentially runs through a flower bed. I am super into gardening and she is in her 80s.
I gradually took over the entire flower bed, always with communication with her. I weeded her side, I mulched it…”Hey, I like these flowers so how about I have them all through our shared bed?” “What do you think about me removing the lilac bush”. “Hey, I want to put a trellis up. That way, all these morning glories we have can climb it. Will that bother you?”
“No? Ok, where exactly is the line? I would hate to put it on the wrong spot and have future people in your home getting angry. It will be this high—will that bother you?” She said it was nice to have me care for all of it, since she was too old. She told my husband she and I never talked about that trellis—not helping with her denial is the fact that she has dementia.
Every time she sees one of us outside? She scurries inside. Totally avoids us. Could you imagine being in your 80s but being afraid of your neighbors who are only in their 30s? We have a land surveyor coming shortly to tell us exactly where that line is because I want that trellis for some protection to stop her car. But there’s a secret I’m keeping.
I will not lie—I hope she gives them heck when they come over. I am ready for a fight. The authorities were useless. The transportation department in my state were useless. Her children are insane AND useless. So, fine. I’ll fight an old lady.
74. He Takes Care Of Everything
My HOA president walks around the neighborhood every day and takes pictures of any violations he finds. There is a management company that does monthly checks for violations, but that’s not enough for this old, bored, retired man. About a month after having a baby, I got a knock on the door from the HOA president, which I answer in my post surgical breast-feeding outfit.
Then I got a written notice the next day, then I got another notice two days later. The HOA also maintains the roads and there’s a 15-mph speed limit. People already drive pretty slowly, but these idiots put in three speed bumps on just a 200-foot stretch of road! I’ve never seen anyone blast through and I regularly go on walks.
They also put up a security camera, raising our monthly dues, because one neighbor left their garage door open all day and someone took a few things. We clearly live in a dangerous area full of troublemakers…I can’t sell yet, but when I do, never living in an HOA again!
75. Making Repairs
When I was a kid, my parents had a house in a nice cul-de-sac, but it was a working-class neighborhood. The transmission in my truck broke down, so I replaced it in our driveway. A few days later we got a letter citing a clause stating all improvements done on property must be done by a licensed contractor.
It was a far reach, but they stood by it as there was nothing in the CC&Rs against working on personal vehicles. My dad made me pay him back for the fine, but for a while afterwards I’d go put some oil or coolant under the HOA president’s cars and hope he wasting money chasing a nonexistent problem.
76. Why Didn’t You Say Something?
Several years ago, a co-worker told me about how she and her husband put in a small in-ground pool in their backyard. They got all of the required permits and everything and nobody said anything during the weeks of construction. After the pool was installed and they were getting ready to open it, the HOA sent them a letter informing them that it was in violation of the HOA rules, and it had to be removed.
They ended up going to court and spending thousands of dollars to fight it. In the end, they agreed to erect a high privacy fence around it so that it wouldn’t be visible. How ridiculous!
77. Sudden Sprouts
I lived with my wife in officer housing on a military installation. Of course, we had to follow certain rules so that everything looked ship-shape. That wasn’t hard to do. What did get under my skin was the colonel driving around, taking notes, and then having her underlings issue tickets to residents for minor infractions.
The one that sticks in my mind was the “suckers”, as they were called. Although I kept my grass mowed per regulation, little maple tree seeds would sprout up overnight and be an inch taller than the grass. I got a ticket for suckers in my lawn, even though the grass was freshly mowed. Okay, sure. I guess I’ll just mow the lawn every day now. Sheesh.
I never lived under an HOA, but that experience was enough for me to realize HOAs weren’t my thing.
78. I’m Always Watching
We had an awful “nosy as an elephant searching your pockets for peanuts” neighbor who sat outside on her porch swing all day watching everyone with the HOA on speed dial. She made complaints about us night and day for the most minimalistic things. She had called them one day and said we had a “mysterious oil barrel” on our porch that should be investigated as a fire hazard.
It was actually the spare tire from my SO’s car, which was under our porch swing and is completely hidden from view because of the HOA maintained front lawn shrubbery. How she even saw that without literally being on our doorstep, I’ll never know.
79. Too Close For Comfort
My driveway way is also the school bus stop, so parents would park in a manner that cut off the street because the street parking was taken. Well, that’s stopped because we put my fiancé’s work truck with cones around it in front of our house. Now the issue is that parents know who I am and where I live—I’m a teacher. Now they always want me to answer their questions or solve their problems in school.
Like, I had a parent Friday at the morning bus stop come ask me (while I’m trying to potty train my puppy) about her kid. Another mom then asked why an elementary school teacher who I don’t know nor have ever met gives so much homework. This morning, a dad asked me what my contract says in terms of teachers’ days off because his child’s teacher has been out for a week sick.
And they found out because I wore a t-shirt to work Friday with our district and union’s name on it. There is a certain expectation of how I behave and act towards people outside of work, so I can’t speak to people the way I want to or it could impact my job.
80. Let Sleeping Babies Lie
My wife and I just had a baby about two weeks ago. She is a very fussy newborn and cries several times throughout the night. The colic is no joke and we are both sleep-deprived. I go to work during the day and my wife stays at home with the baby. We live in a rather nice neighborhood with great neighbors who have all lived here for a long time.
We recently had a family of about five move across the street from us. They are loud, leave piles of trash out, blast music late at night, and constantly annoy the neighbors. Lately, one of the kids, who I’ll guess is about nine, has been ding-dong ditching my house several times a day while I’m at work. This causes our dog to bark and in turn wakes up our sleeping baby.
This has also caused my wife to pretty much have a nervous breakdown. We know it’s him because my wife has caught him doing it. Anyway, the other day I stayed home from work. I was making coffee in the kitchen and I saw him creeping up from my window view. I immediately swung the door open and told him that next time he comes on my property, he would be shot.
81. Not Coming Up Roses
This all started last fall when I planted 30 tulips in the large flower bed in front of my house. Since then, I’ve caught my neighbor’s dog running amok, digging up my bulbs. At that time, I let my neighbor know and it seemed to be handled and over with. Or so I thought. Once my tulips started breaking soil, it only got worse. The little girl next door actually started taking the dog with her to play in my garden.
Play, meaning letting her dog eat my tulips while she rips apart the leaves. Once I saw this, I quickly ran outside and politely explained to her why I’m not okay with this. Again, she apologized and I thought it was handled and done. Boy was I wrong again. For the last month, the little girl and the dog have been having a free-for-all in my flower bed.
Every time I catch her and run outside, she darts off like it’s some kind of game. I’ve tried getting in touch with the parents again but I feel as if I’m being purposely ignored. I eventually reached out to the landlord to just send a little friendly reminder out. Which they did. But now I’m at my wit’s end. Yesterday afternoon I watched the little girl next door take a stick to my last standing tulips like a baseball bat.
Petals flying everywhere and they all snapped at the stems. I was beside myself. I also knew I was too upset to confront anyone at that moment. I gave myself some time to cool down and then went over to knock on the door and talk to the parents. The outcome disappointed me so much. No answer at all, even though I know they were home for sure.
At this point, I don’t know what to do or if there is anything I can do. Our landlord is aware of everything. My landlord even gifted me new flowers to plant, but they also got destroyed in yesterday’s reckoning. I know at the end of the day it’s just flowers, but I honestly had a mental breakdown this morning when I went out to try and salvage them and realized they are all done for.
All 30 of my tulips that took 6-7 months to bloom. Destroyed.
82. The Landscaper And The Lawyer
My mom is an incredible landscape architect who has written two books on the subject. We live in a good-sized house in the suburbs. When my parents first moved in, our entire front and backyard was just grass. My mom didn’t like this, so she spent years outside gardening and developed our yard into something really beautiful and unique.
Basically, we have two small patches of grass on either side of our driveway, which are surrounded by a multitude of well-maintained bushes and flowers. It was beautiful. Then it all fell apart. After my mother had spent years on this project, the HOA sends us a letter about how there is a designated amount of grass that every yard must have.
Our yard looked amazing, and my mom was clearly distraught, so she ignored the letter. They sent more and more until an HOA representative came out. The person was being a total jerk to my mother. My mother heard them out for a bit. But she had an ace up her sleeve.
She then calmly responded with, “Thank you for making the trip out here Mister, but before you take action, I should have you know my father in law is a lawyer who has been certified to testify before the supreme court” which is true, “and, between you and me, he doesn’t make a habit of losing cases, especially those as mundane as this”.
The man was slightly taken aback and stuttered something before my mom added, “I’m a determined woman, and as you can see from my garden, when I start something, I make sure I finish it my way. If you don’t stop pestering us, I’ll see to it that your whole organization is taken down. Get the heck off my property and have a good day”.
We never heard from the HOA again.
83. Some People’s Sisters
Miraculously, I found a home within a Homeowner’s Association that isn’t horrible! Unfortunately, Every HOA requires at least one Karen. Last year, I joined the HOA board for my neighborhood of townhomes. I wanted to finally have a say in what was happening in my community. In this short time, I have learned that very few people bother reading anything about their HOA before buying a home.
Because of this, I see endless issues where people don’t know what rules they have agreed to live by. It now surprises me when somebody acts responsibly and contacts the HOA with an appropriate request. Two months ago, a responsible homeowner asked for approval to add a small patio to the grass in front of his home. This is a common landscaping feature in our neighborhood.
Our rules state that he is welcome to add the patio as long as it is identical to the others in the community. So of course, we approved the request. Now enters our neighborhood Karen. Karen lives next to this responsible homeowner. On Monday the construction began to install the patio. Karen started a verbal altercation with the homeowner’s contractor.
She demanded to see written approval and construction designs for everything. Karen was told to mind her own business. As a Karen, she then felt it was her responsibility to contact our HOA management company’s emergency line. She berated the office staff for never calling or emailing her to ask permission to do the construction or inform her that it was approved.
She felt that the space was close enough to her home that she had just as much right to it as her neighbor. She also kept repeating that there were many other HOA violations without giving any details. Karen was transferred to the property manager’s mobile phone number to leave a message. Apparently, Karen said something concerning enough in the voicemail that I received an urgent call from the property manager.
She begged me to walk over to the responsible neighbor’s house, take a few pictures, and see if there was anything unusual about the construction work. She was worried that the patio may look different than the others in the neighborhood. So, I packed my toddler in her stroller and took a walk down there. Ladies and gentlemen, what I saw made me so mad.
Everything was perfectly normal. There were no problems. Worst of all, the construction was not occurring anywhere near Karen’s property. I was baffled as to why Karen would feel she has some claim to the area that is on the opposite side of the neighbor’s house from her. A few hours ago, I learned Karen isn’t even the homeowner of the property next to the responsible neighbor.
She is the sister of the real homeowner. I learned this because the real homeowner went to our online resident portal to send the HOA a message. She seems to be embarrassed by her sister’s behavior and stated that she actually read her homeowner documents and feels the HOA has done a great job of handling this situation. I am praying this is the end of this week’s drama.
84. Ghosts Of Homeowners Past
We recently moved in January. The previous residents moved out in the beginning of January, while we moved in at the end. One package she had sent here I held because maybe it took a minute for them to change their residence. But since then, it’s gone to a new level. She has had multiple packages delivered and comes to our home looking for them all the time.
Not only that, but someone has been checking our mailbox late at night. I continue to send the packages back and we also drop the mail off as “return to sender” but it just keeps coming. Almost as if she hasn’t updated her address. I don’t feel like at this point it is my or my husband’s obligation to hold her mail or packages. I don’t know this woman and it’s getting ridiculous.
85. Never Doing This Again…
My sister bought a house in an HOA neighborhood three years ago. To be fair, none of us are super familiar with HOAs since none of us had ever lived in one and my sister was told the HOA fees were just for lawn upkeep and snow removal.
The realtor who showed her the house said that the HOA really didn’t get involved in anything except for doing the lawns, removing snow, and trimming weeds. It turned into an utter nightmare.
The whole experience has been an “I’ll never live in an HOA again” story for my sister. The trouble started pretty much the second she moved in there. The first issue was the electrical not working. My dad was a master electrician, so he went over there to troubleshoot and fix the issues.
He was over there working on some re-wiring and one of the HOA board members came up and asked him what he was doing. My dad told her he was fixing the electrical. The HOA board member had a fit about my dad having a small red toolbox out on the porch.
My dad got back in her face, and she went off in a huff. Then it got surreal. The second issue was my sister planting some roses. The roses were the wrong color, because only pink, white, or light peach roses were allowed. My sister had committed the cardinal sin of planting red roses!
The HOA flipped out and demanded she remove them and fined her for it. Another dumb issue was a citation for her teenage daughter “loitering with a group” on the front steps. Her daughter had been standing on the steps for a few moments talking with another girl and exchanging phone numbers.
My sister has always been a person to do what she wants, so you can imagine this went over really, really poorly. She painted her door bright blue out of anger. She rips up the notices of fines and leaves them in the HOA president’s mailbox. She now has the house on the market and has another picked out. My sister’s supposed to hear this week if she is approved for it or not.
86. Holding A Grudge
My neighbors planted a line of quite ugly bushes on my parents’ property about 10 years ago. My parents told them to take it out, and they freaked out saying the property line is wrong, refused, and are now incredibly territorial. Like, they still give us issues about it. I just want to finish them and get it taken out but I am unsure because it’s been a while.
87. I Need To Know Everything
I usually like living in HOAs and the ones I’ve lived in have been decent, but my parents’ HOA is insane. When my dad was diagnosed with cancer and began his chemo, he became too weak to walk. My parents installed a ramp at the front door so he could get his wheelchair into the house. This ended up becoming a terrifying problem.
See, their neighbor, the HOA president, is totally crazy. She demanded doctors’ notes, appointment slips, and that my dad prove to the neighborhood that he could walk and was lying. My dad was too weak to do anything, and mom is too passive, so I had to step in.
I threatened to lawyer up and sue her personally. She eventually backed down. My dad passed in April. A week after, her cruelty absolutely blew my mind. She came banging at our door saying she saw the funeral home come and pick my dad up and that we need to take the ramp down now “that he’s finally gone”.
At that point, I called the authorities right in front of her to report her for stalking and harassment. I moved in with my mom and now every time this woman sees me, she runs back into her house. On another note, she follows neighborhood kids home from school asking their names and where they live because she wants to know if “they really live there”. Many neighbors and I have caught her many times looking into our backyards.
88. The Silent Treatment
This afternoon there came a gentle knock on our front door. I answered to find an 11-year-old boy holding our newspaper. He introduced himself as Michael, and he was darling. Ever-vigilant for new neighborhood playmates for my kid Alex, I introduced them, and within minutes, Alex was invited to this child’s home around the corner. I didn’t think anything could go wrong—it did.
I wrote a note to the parents explaining who we were, how we met their adorable son, and asking them to please send Alex home when they were ready and also to call me so we could meet properly. Ten minutes later, Alex showed up devastated. The dad, who was working in the yard, refused to speak to him, snatched the note and crumpled it, while Michael went into the backyard.
Alex came home. Figuring it was a simple misunderstanding (maybe the dad thought my kid was selling something?), I walked over with Alex. I walked across the yard, and in my very-best-meeting-someone-for-the-first-time demeanor, introduced myself. Y’ALL. The man stood sideways, grinning, and completely refused to acknowledge me as I explained I’d written the note, etc.
The entire minute or so, he made sure I saw that he was ignoring me and that he was enjoying it. I finished my spiel as if I were not being completely ignored, said, “Come along, Alex”, and we left. The moment we were out of earshot, I told him to stay away from that house, to run away if he sees that man on the street, and to be super-kind to Michael.
I am concerned for that child. What the ever-loving heck?
89. Coming Out On Top
I have a huge hill right outside my backyard. A family has been sitting on top of the hill right in front of my backyard. I caught the husband staring into the window and the wife was filming/taking photos of my house the very next day when they came by again. This is stalking and creepy. There’s a park right next to the neighborhood that they could sit and do whatever.
Why sit right in front of my backyard? The first time they came, I came out onto my deck with my dog. My dog was going crazy barking at them and as soon as I sat down, the husband jumped up and started to walk away. The wife was slower and laughing as the two kids and their dog were leaving. Next weekend if they come again, I plan to come out with a megaphone.
I’m going to ask them why have you been sitting right in front of my backyard looking into my window and taking photos the past few days? No one else in the entire two developments sit on top of the hill because everyone has the decency to know it’s rude to sit right in front of someone’s backyard. Still, I don’t know if I’m overreacting with this situation.
90. Watch Your Back
So this was almost 10 years ago. My dad moved to another state for work the summer I graduated high school. My dad had to leave a few months early for his scheduled start date and to have time to look for a new house while our family was packing the old one. Being unable to afford taking care of my 18-year-old self, I was forced to move with them much to my disappointment.
Still, my dad managed to pull some strings so that I could start my first job under him over the summer and get a jump start on enrolling at the local college. After a couple months of hotel living (paid for by dad’s company stipend) we found a great house that was relatively new, being rented out by the original owners. They had just finished building their new house by the lake and obviously didn’t need their first house, so they thought renting it out would be a good investment.
This house was everything we were looking for, exactly where we wanted it to be. Near the schools for my siblings, near my dad’s work, and with a pool and a rec room for movie nights and video games. The area and time of year made house hunting pretty tight at the time so my dad basically jumped on it. The landlord got the lease typed up from a template and my dad reviewed the whole thing before signing it.
Now my dad is a very meticulous person and has always ingrained the idea of keeping an eye out for loopholes that could be used against you. Read every word of every contract you sign and if something doesn’t seem clear, ASK! He isn’t a lawyer by any means and has made false assumptions himself, but he knows how to search law books if he needs to.
This is important later. We move in and get all settled, but quickly start to learn the truth. The landlords didn’t really want to leave their old house, they just couldn’t afford to keep both without extra income. They essentially viewed my family not as tenants, but as groundskeepers that paid them for permission to maintain their house.
One of the landlords for the most part wasn’t actually that bad, but the woman clearly wore the pants in the relationship and the man was busy with his full-time job as the local postmaster (also important later), so the woman did most of the landlord-type things. It was very clear that she no longer had anything else to do now since she had been a stay-at-home mom and their youngest daughter had started school.
I will say that I did not like this woman from the start. There were disturbing signs. There was a comment she made when we toured the house. In a very thick southern accent, it was something along the lines of not needing to worry about her younger daughter (who was adopted) growing tall enough for sports because she’s Asian.
This woman was a cartoonish stereotype who gave off narcissistic, white savior vibes. The orphanage lady from Despicable Me crossed with Paula Dean comes to mind. She also definitely did not like my mom and siblings when she first met them, as she had only met my dad and I who are white as white bread, but my mom is Hispanic so her and some of my siblings are more on the toasted whole wheat side.
She acted like it was a privilege that she was letting us live in “her house”. This lady would nitpick everything that wasn’t perfect about the house and loved showing up unannounced. We would get notes on the door about needing to water the flowers more, or that the grass is supposed to be mowed every Saturday, or don’t cut the invasive vines she planted and that were growing up the backside of the house.
I got up early to mow the lawn the next Saturday after the note to get her off our backs, and halfway through, a truck showed up with a paid lawn crew. Obviously, she hadn’t said a word about this to my parents. She would come to the door when my parents were gone and say she left something in the garage (which they had, like paint and insulation and other remodeling supplies), but then went upstairs because she was “checking on something she talked to my dad about”.
My dad of course had not spoken to her at all, and this was obviously an issue for my parents. But she didn’t stop there. At one point she tried to get my five-year-old brother to let her in right after he got off the bus. This was at a time of day when both my parents were usually working and I had just gotten out of class, but our middle siblings would have been home already.
So he wasn’t by himself, just no adults yet. To her surprise though, my dad had stayed home that day and parked inside the garage for once. He was so angry. He immediately told her she needed to leave and typed up an email to the male landlord stating that if they tried to enter the property again he would be going to court about it. This included not being permitted to enter the backyard.
She had obviously done this on numerous occasions, but the lease stated they had to give 48-hours’ notice if they needed to enter the property for ANY reason. They did not take this well and things just kept escalating. She would schedule “maintenance” on days we had planned for parties or family events, and we still have no idea how she knew when they would be.
She even had a tree removal service show up on my brother’s birthday to remove all the trees along the back fence. Supposedly for safety reasons, but that was obviously a lie. It did however prevent us from using the pool at our pool party. She would also claim all sorts of things weren’t allowed on account of HOA violations that my parents knew were false because the HOA president was also my little brother’s Sunday school teacher and they had brought up the issues with her.
The HOA president told us that she was a nightmare when they had lived in the neighborhood, and still showed up to the monthly meetings because she was still technically an owner and was using the meetings as an excuse to check up on us every chance she got, even asking the neighbors about us. The HOA was actually very lax in its regulations and mostly dealt with just the shared spaces and garbage removal.
My parents of course started looking for a place to move near the end of the lease and managed to secure a place three months before the end, but didn’t say anything to the landlords. Well come 30 days to the day before the end of the lease, she shows up at the door for no apparent reason. As I was the only adult home, I answered the door.
Just as I opened the door to hear her excuse, the mail truck pulled up behind her. She starts walking away as if she changed her mind because she thought my dad was home to talk to her, and I step out to grab the mail since it’s here. The postman gets out of his truck and says he has some certified mail that needs to be signed for by an adult. I still get chills thinking of the next events.
First, she pipes up, pointing at me: “He’s an adult, he can take it”. It was an eviction notice indicating that our landlords (standing three feet from me) had decided we were not keeping up to the standards of our lease and would not be renewing it. As such we should be out within 30 days. Well knowing that we were already moving, I just accepted it and went back inside.
It was very clear that she was there specifically to make sure we got the notice, which was only valid from the day it was officially received. She of course also knew exactly when it would get there, and likely timed it as such (again so that my parents weren’t home) because her husband, remember, was the postmaster. I called my dad right away and he was fuming.
Luckily we had actually already gotten the keys for the new house as the previous tenants were out the week before, so we were totally moved within two weeks and my dad and I spent the last two weeks going over every inch of the house to make sure there wasn’t a chip of paint or carpet stain in sight. We even went as far as repainting a couple rooms using the leftover paint in the garage.
Out of spite, my dad decided not to pay the last month’s rent because we had paid first and last month’s rent and security deposit when we moved in. Well, a month later, the couple have been harassing my parents about the last month’s rent, and then claimed that we owed further beyond the security deposit because of all the “repairs” they had to make after we left.
We knew that was total nonsense because we had honestly left the place better than we got it. So one day we went by (we still lived pretty close) and peeked in the windows. My dad was wild with fury when we looked. Turns out, they were doing a full remodel and probably trying to get us to pay for it. This set a fire under my dad they would regret.
In that state, landlords are required to set up a specific bank account for security deposits that both the landlord and renter have access to that is not to be touched during the term of the lease. My dad, a couple months earlier, had asked the husband for the account information, having just recently discovered that rule while looking into ways to fend off their constant harassment.
Dad had only asked a couple of times and kind of let it slide because he was pretty high up the regional totem pole at work and always busy, including a lot of traveling. Now, however, he was on a mission and started demanding the security deposit be returned. In one particular phone call with the husband that was getting very heated, dad started spouting off the specific reference that he was reading right off the state’s website.
He very clearly heard the woman from the background say to her husband, “Is that the money that’s in the safe”? CHECKMATE. My dad immediately chimed in on not only that they had failed to meet state requirements, but also that the MINIMUM penalty, as stated on the state’s website in front of him, was forfeiture of the security deposit, but also any other dues and fees paid before move-in.
So not only were we not behind on rent and owing cost of repairs, but they actually owed us the deposit AND two months’ rent. My dad immediately pointed that out to them and added just to rub in that they couldn’t get out of it because ALL of their conversations for the last few months had been recorded either through email or the recording app on his phone.
91. The Ballad Of Frank
Meet my neighbor, Frank. He’s been my neighbor since I moved to the neighborhood around 8-9 years ago. To give a bit of a description of Frank, he’s a middle-aged divorced man with several kids, a love for riding motorcycles in the middle of the night, has a knack for confrontation, and has some sort of a superiority complex. This already sounds like a troublemaker, but you better brace yourself.
Here is a highlight reel from Frank’s extensive catalog of things he’s done. When we (my family) first moved into the neighborhood, we heard Frank might stir some trouble, but we didn’t have a terrible experience with the guy until a couple years later. Around this time, he picked up the hobby of flying drones. Actually, it was more like flying drones over people’s houses and looking at them with the drone’s camera.
Specifically, he liked to fly them over houses with teenage girls living there. It actually got to the point where he was put on the news, and he defended his actions in a pretty idiotic way. One of these girls that had been spied on by him talked about his desire to peep on her when she was in her pool to the news as well. While it did attract attention from the news, he was never faced with charges.
He basically got off scot-free. You’ll notice that this becomes a theme as the story goes on. Even with this attention on him with his perverted tactics, he still flew his drone every day, though he seemingly quit flying it over houses. He had a much stupider idea. Instead, he tried following people with it. This failed on his very first attempt.
On this attempt, he was following my sister and her friend (who were about eight at the time) when the drone crashed into a tree they were under. The drone lost power and dropped right in front of them. The drone fell with some force to it, to the point where if it had hit one of the girls, it might’ve done some actual damage considering how young they were and all.
My father confronted him about this, but all Frank did was scream and curse at him for daring to talk to him in such a manner. Although my dad ended the confrontation quickly due to not wanting to waste his time with a screamer, Frank decided he needed payback. You know, for something that was his fault. Remember when I wrote that he loved riding his motorcycle in the middle of the night?
For the next few days, he would wait till 1 or 2 am to rev his engine in front of our driveway and screech past our house at crazy speeds. Because we never went up to him and got mad, he grew bored from not being confronted. Not much happened other than his occasional late-night motorbike rides until about a year after the drone incident.
Something I didn’t mention at the start was that he has a love for owning an excessive amount of cars, motorcycles, and boats. Obviously, this takes up a large amount of space, more than a usual driveway and garage can hold. So, he began parking all of his cars and boats along the street. It got to the point where despite his house being about four down from ours, the vehicles were just about blocking our driveway.
He had them parked overnight, which our HOA does not allow. He got several violations for this, and even to the point where he got into a trial for excessive problems. Now, this started in late 2018. To this day, this court battle continues. This is due to extreme luck on his part as well as delay tactics. These tactics are appalling. Basically, he keeps writing letters to switch judges.
He does this by saying that the current one assigned to his case will be biased toward him, even if he and the judge have never spoken. They keep allowing him new judges to gather more evidence on him, but for now, he believes he’s winning. Once again, he gets off without any immediate punishment. The boat/car situation has been the main problem with him for these past few years.
But he’s done one other thing very recently (two days ago) which inspired me to share the story of Frank. Basically, about a month ago, Frank decided instead of wasting his valuable time walking his dogs and allowing them to use the bathroom, he would instead open his door and allow them to run free around the neighborhood until he saw fit.
These dogs aren’t regular-sized dogs though. They’re big dogs, and while I don’t know the exact breeds, I can tell they have Rottweiler features. He did this a few times before my dad decided to record him doing this, as it’s against the law. Frank did not like this. So after having a raging tantrum at my father, he began parking his large car right in front of our driveway.
It’s actually OK for him to do this, as it doesn’t completely block us from backing out of the driveway. It’s still very annoying, but knowing how much he loves to be confronted, we have not said a word to him. In the end, we were the ones getting revenge. It’s almost comical when we’re outside and we watch him park his car right in front of our house, and then he proceeds to make the LONG walk to his house.
Since it’s the summer and very hot outside where we live, we thought he’d stop by now. However, he’s continued for weeks. About a week ago, he attached a trailer to the already large car, making it more difficult for us to exit our driveway. But still, above board. At least, until he used a piece of cardboard to replace his license plate on his trailer.
We sent an email to code enforcement, but we didn’t call in since we knew they were already dealing with other Frank-caused problems. Two days ago, code enforcement knocked on our door. He said someone called in the car with the trailer and assumed it was ours because it was obviously parked right in front of our house.
We told him it was not ours, and it was Frank’s instead, and that we had video proof to back that up. As soon as we told him that, he had a surprised look on his face. He then revealed that Frank was the one who had called the vehicle in. That’s right: he called in his own parked trailer to get us in trouble. My mother wanted to walk the code enforcer to Frank’s house to have him dealt with.
The man said he was told by the higher-ups not to have any contact with him. Apparently, no one can contact him directly, since they don’t want him to have a harsh reaction. So for now, he gets off without a hitch. His karma will come soon. Frank has claimed several times throughout the years that he will move, yet never has. My parents have told me that I cannot speak to him as long as he’s living here.
Ever since then, I’ve been waiting to tell him my thoughts on him right before he leaves his house for a new one. I was in second grade when we moved here, and in fifth grade when we started having problems with him. Now, as I begin to move into junior year of high school, I doubt I will still live in this house the day he finally leaves.
Though I plan to come back home to celebrate the day he leaves if I’m in college when that happens.
92. Peeking Through The Trees
A few years ago, we lived in a suburb in eastern Pennsylvania. It was a pretty well-off community, with big houses and large plots of land. We’d moved in about a year earlier. Now, my parents like to do things themselves. They fix up the house and paint it themselves unless the job needs tall ladders, electrical work, or a professional.
This also extends to growing their own vegetables. Before this house, we lived on a six-acre farm in the same area and had a nice-sized garden where Mom could grow veggies and fruit. In this house, Mom wanted to grow food again. Because the soil sucked for growing plants, she had my dad make raised beds that she filled with good soil.
Our land was open on three sides, so my parents planted a “fence” of mini pine trees rather than an actual fence, which they weren’t allowed to build in this neighborhood. Somebody complained that they could see the raised beds through the trees. Through. The. Trees. Because what my parents did in their own backyard was so important to them, they took it to the HOA.
The HOA said that people in this neighborhood didn’t need to plant their own food and told my parents to get rid of it. Eventually my parents talked them out of it, because they said that it was healthier and boosted the image of the neighborhood as a friendly and healthy place to raise kids.
But still, getting rid of organically grown plants because someone could see the wooden raised beds through trees? That’s a bit of a “What the heck’ moment.
93. A Disaster Of Dogs
The HOA president lives one street down from me. One day I was in my driveway changing the oil in my car. My dogs were sunbathing in the grass of my front yard. The HOA president was walking down the street and walked over to me, where she yelled at me for having my dogs off-leash.
I politely told her that I was on my property, the dogs weren’t in the street, and were allowed to be off leash on my own lawn. She continued to yell at me and say she would report me to my landlord. But I had her there. I told her that I am the landlord, and she got even more angry.
Finally, she wandered off, but the next day I had an envelope in my mailbox full of all the dog laws in my town. Really?!
94. Treehouse Troubles
We had this one strange guy in our neighborhood who liked to build strange things in his house. Well, one day he decided to take his hobby outside and build a tree house in his backyard. Our HOA president was a city councilman at the time, and he was not happy in the slightest. The president’s plan was deranged.
This turned into a two-year dispute where the HOA kept asking him to add “safety measures” to the structure in hopes that he would eventually give up and dismantle the tree house. Eventually, the HOA told him that he would have to have the plans signed and stamped by a qualified engineer saying that the structure was safe. But there was one thing they didn’t know.
At the next meeting, he handed in the blueprints, signed and stamped…by none other than himself. That was a great meeting. It turns out that this guy had a PhD in civil engineering!
95. Don’t Stop Me Now
My old house’s backyard bordered an HOA community. Our house was built 30 years before the community was built so we weren’t part of it. We used to get notices about violations and threats of fines if we didn’t correct them. Never did correct them. They finally sent legislative papers to repossess our house—but they had no idea who they were messing with.
We went to court with a tax map that showed our property was NOT part of the HOA community. The judge dismissed their suit against us and found them guilty of harassment. We didn’t get awarded much, but I made sure to break every rule of theirs that I could until we moved.
96. Leave It Well Enough Alone
For the past few months, I’ve suspected that my upstairs neighbor has been taking some of my mail. I buy a lot of things online like books and craft supplies and every now and then there’s been small things that were meant to arrive on a certain day that never did. One day, I caught her wandering around my front door. When I asked her what she was doing she said “Oh, I was looking for something I think I dropped into your yard”.
I got surveillance cameras installed a while ago, which were not noticeable to my neighbors. The camera that’s pointed at my front door isn’t visible from the driveway. So here comes the trap. I purchased a few postage boxes to set up for her. The first one was a glitter bomb. I set up the box to make sure she would get glitter to the face as soon as she opened it.
I packed it to make it look like a postage parcel, then sat it at my front door. 20 minutes later I saw her walking to my front door. She looked around then picked up the box and walked away. My only regret is that I didn’t get to see her reaction when she got a face full of glitter. I haven’t noticed any other mail going missing after that, but she will regret it if she does it again.
97. Your Term Is Up!
I had one neighbor who was the self-appointed mayor of the block. He would tell me all the time what I was doing wrong, from having my sprinklers on at the wrong time to not properly sorting my recyclables. I took his suggestions under advisement and even read the four-page typed note he wrote to me about the correct timing of the crabgrass preventer.
One evening, when I was cleaning off my deck, he walked up and began telling me about the latest landscaping issues. My niece, who was 13 at the time, was showering off after being in the pool. She walked out in a robe from the shower area and slung her suit over the fence to dry. I thanked him for his vast landscaping knowledge and told him we were off to dinner and shooed her inside.
I closed the slider and remembered I left the hose on, so I slipped the door back open and I saw her suit slid over the fence. I took two steps to the edge of the deck expecting to see her bathing suit on my grass. That’s when I spotted him—and it was the most disturbing sight of my entire life. The mayor was on his hands and knees in my grass, sniffing the suit crotch. We had a long talk about how he was going to come with me to the station.
98. Slow Your Roll
I rented a house in an HOA. It wasn’t too bad, just normal stuff, but every now and then some board members would tool around and hand out fines for dirty driveways and such. I wouldn’t have cared if the President and a board member didn’t live on the same street as me, and their driveways were in massive disrepair.
The board member’s son did some work on his truck and there was a massive oil spill, partly covered with a red towel, that sat there for eight months…while a few “rust-colored” streaks on our concrete was worthy of a fine.
The funniest was when the HOA decided to install very aggressive speed bumps. The ones that were there previously were fine, graded to not be too jarring but required you to slow down. The only accident that occurred while we were there was when the spouse of an HOA board member was driving after drinking. They plowed into a tree.
Still, there were always notices and mailings for people to slow down as “this is not a racetrack”. I guess they felt adding in a couple of literal asphalt “curbs” in the middle of the street would “show people” who dared to drive over 10 mph on the main road.
The only way over these things without feeling like you were going to break something on your car was to ease up the first side. Come to a complete stop. Then slowly ease down the drop. Once for the front wheels, another for the rear. Some people had just taken to driving on the grass around them, so they put up concrete barriers there.
After a few weeks, one of our neighbors, Jimmy, decided to pour diesel fuel on the speed bumps the day before the garbage trucks did their rounds. The speed bumps got completely destroyed. But it wasn’t over yet. The HOA reinstalled the bumps, and somehow made them even more aggressive…and a week later, Jimmy struck again.
They yanked them out again, and just paved over the holes. It was beautiful.
They did end up installing speed bumps a few months later, but they went with the stock plastic ones that bolt to the street. Which was much more preferable to the man-made Cliffs of Dover that were there previously.
99. HOA Karen
This happened over a year ago. I’m 29-year-old man and am a homeowner. I bought a house in 2019 from my uncle because he was well set and wanted to retire to his second home by a lake. Before buying the house, my uncle warned me that the neighborhood has an HOA, but it only affects those who joined it and my uncle thankfully did not.
Besides that, the price my uncle was offering was half the home’s value. I couldn’t pass up the offer. So I bought a house in an HOA neighborhood that wasn’t a part of the HOA. I thought I was okay. I was so, so wrong. Right after I moved in, I got a knock at the door. When I opened it, I was greeted by an older woman with short greying blonde hair and a face covered in thick makeup.
She was holding a welcome to the neighborhood gift basket. She introduced herself as the president of the HOA and asked to come in so she could help me fill out some forms. I knew what she was trying to do because my uncle warned me she did this to every new homeowner in the area who wasn’t a part of the HOA. I quickly and bluntly stated I was not going to join her HOA. The change was frightening.
Her smile quickly disappeared and she started saying that I did not have a choice as all new homeowners are mandated to join. I told her I knew in advance that was a total lie, and that I will not be paying any dues or fines. I said will be ready to call a lawyer if I have to. She called me a thorn to the neighborhood at that point and said she’d be back.
We did not speak to each other for some time. I expected her to start sending me fines in the mail, but the most I usually got were letters stating that my grass was getting too tall, or my driveway needed sweeping. Those never bothered me because they are normal home chores and need to be done regularly anyway. But several neighbors that were on the HOA’s side made it clear they didn’t like me because I didn’t join, just like my uncle.
I said that was fine. We’re neighbors, but we don’t have to be friends. They said that was fine too because I’m an outsider and they’ll never accept me until I join the HOA. Later in early 2020, I got word from a friend that people were starting to buy a lot of disinfectant, toilet paper, and hand sanitizer in mass. I decided the best option was to order these things online.
I got eight big 12-packs of toilet paper, a case of 20 bottles of hand sanitizer, three boxes of disposable latex gloves, a couple of boxes of disposable face masks, and a case of 20 large cans of name-brand disinfectant spray. I set for the delivery to be signed for only me as I did not trust anyone not to take my packages if they were just left on my porch.
When the packages were delivered, several neighbors saw me getting lots of toilet paper and some other packages that contained the other stuff. And just because I’m a paranoid guy, I still bought more of the same stuff when I saw it in stores. Like those small cheap four-packs of toilet paper, or off-brand disinfectant sprays. I bought them because I had a feeling some friends or family might need some soon.
And I was right. As expected, toilet paper, disinfectant, and sanitizer pretty much disappeared from store shelves for miles around. And people were fighting over hoarding it. Meanwhile, I’ve got a very generous supply that I still haven’t come close to using up. However, word of my supply got around fast when people started needing some.
A friend of mine ran out of toilet paper and had no hand sanitizer. So I gave him a couple of the generic four-packs of TP and a bottle of sanitizer at my door. A few family members ran out too, and I shared with them as well. They were all extremely grateful. But then came the downside. I ended up with several neighbors knocking on my door and asking to buy my supply or wanting handouts.
I refused and said I only gave some of what I had away to friends and family. They made it pretty clear to me before that we’d never be friends since I refused to join the HOA. Moreover, if I were to give some to one neighbor, they’d all want my supplies, and then I’d run out really fast. They didn’t like this and harassed me several times from the sidewalk.
I just ignored them. Later the HOA Karen showed up at my door and told me several neighbors had run out of all the items that this post is about. It got ridiculous fast. She then said she wasn’t asking, but demanding I share my stock with my neighbors to set a good example. I told her to buzz off because that had nothing to do with me. I may be a jerk, but I’m a well-prepared jerk.
Also, I’ve read her HOA bylaws online. So even if I was a member of her HOA, which I was not, I wouldn’t have to give up my stock either way. She left while yelling at me that one day I’d regret not being a good neighbor or being a part of her HOA. Well, I did regret it. The next time I went to work I was notified around noon by the cameras I had at my house that there was a thief breaking into my home.
I could see video of them on my smartphone and it looked like a woman in a spandex suit with her face covered by a hockey mask. I called the authorities immediately and was allowed to clock out at work so I could rush home. Right around the time I got there, officers were walking HOA Karen out in handcuffs to a cruiser. She’d broken into my home by using a crowbar to force open the back door.
When they caught her, she was tossing all of my toilet paper and any other supplies she could grab out into my backyard, where her kids were picking it up and bagging it. I pressed charges and HOA Karen got six months in the slammer and probation. HOA Karen’s husband called me to apologize for his wife and told me that he had been planning a divorce for a while because this isn’t the first time she’s been in trouble with the law.
CPS got involved too because she was using her kids to help pilfer me. So he was going to file for full custody in the divorce. HOA Karen didn’t return and someone new was elected HOA president in her place. Her husband didn’t move and I see him from time to time. There’s no hard feelings between us. And yes, he did get full custody of his kids because his wife had a darker history with the law than I thought.
We’re sort of friends now too as we’ve occasionally had a drink together and he helped me replace my back door that his ex broke. I’m making this post more than a year later because I just saw HOA Karen again. I was visiting some friends in another city and saw her working at the local supermarket there, bagging groceries. As soon as we saw each other she obviously recognized me because she scowled and refused to look at me again the entire time I was there. Karma is a real witch, isn’t it Karen!
100. No Shame
One of my neighbors was expecting their first baby. The wife had passed out and went unresponsive at home while an elderly relative was visiting. The baby was born at the hospital, and the wife’s condition rapidly deteriorated. Only the baby came home. The husband was understandably overwhelmed when all this happened. The poor guy didn’t leave the hospital until his wife passed a few days later.
Their townhome only had two parking spots. Our HOA had recently changed the rules for our overflow parking. Residents had been allowed to park no more than four days a month in those spaces. Then it went to 90 minutes a month which became effective two days after the wife went to the hospital. The wife’s car was in the overflow parking lot when the elderly relative was there visiting.
The wife’s mom came to care for the baby and help with funeral arrangements. She flew in, took a taxi to her daughter’s home, and got the extra car keys from the house. She went to the overflow parking, and her daughter’s car was gone. The HOA towed it. The husband came home with the baby and got all the mail that had accumulated in his absence. What he found was truly awful.
There were multiple fines from the HOA, from the towed car to trash cans being out past 4:30 PM and on non-trash days, to some weeds that had sprouted in the driveway. There was also a bill from the HOA president, who “impounded” the trash cans and recycling bins with a $30/day “storage fee” per item. The HOA president lived on their street.
He was aware that an ambulance had come and that no one had been at the house for days. He would not dismiss the fines because the husband was still physically capable of going back to the house. The situation ended up on the news, but, unfortunately, you just can’t shame some people. But it wasn’t all bad. One of our other neighbors realized there was nothing in the HOA rulebook about needing HOA permits for rummage sales.
So, they organized a giant neighborhood rummage sale to raise money for the fines. The look on the HOA president’s face was priceless when he tried to shut it down, and multiple people came out with our 300-page by-laws book to show it was within the rules. The rummage sale was also reported as an update on the news.
We were able to raise a few thousand to help our neighbor out. I eventually moved away and will never buy another property with an HOA because of the petty nonsense HOAs bring out. The husband ended up moving back to where their families were from, partly due to not wanting to deal with the HOA.
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