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It Takes a Village

I don’t have one, but a VILLAGE of rude neighbors. I live in a complex that has the nerve to call itself a “luxury apartment community.” Apparently, after paying for underground utilities and cenic landscaping, the developer ran out of money to better insulate the walls. I can hear the neighbors both downstairs and across the hall.

A couple in their late 60s lives in the downstairs apartment. They frequently play music so loud, I can feel the bass vibrating in the walls. When I complained to the rental office, the guy got ticked and tried to argue with me and said I couldn’t possibly hear his music. Come to find out he had sub-woofer against the wall.

Then there is the across-the hall douchey college guy. He decided he would stack bags of trash outside his door. I counted no less than 6, drawing flies. I took pics and emailed them to the rental office. He has different friends and females coming over, and they all run up and down the stairs like a herd of elephants. Visitors are here every few days, taking up even more spaces than he does.

Douchey guy alone takes up one to two parking spaces with his ginormous truck, depending on how crappy his parking skills are on any given day. He also has a motorcycle collecting dust in another spot. Every now and then, usually at night, he goes down to the parking lot and revs it up.

My Facebook friends have derived a great deal of entertainment out of my near daily bad neighbor rants. As Mr. Rogers used to say, “Who are the people in your neighborhood?” Sometimes, I just don’t want to know!

Boris Knott replies: Sounds like a block party might be in order here. Get to know your neighbors better.

Paint your Sidewalk

Three neighbors poured a five galon bucket of WHITE paint on right of way, curb and street/gutters. I Reported to city – No one has cleaned it up. There are tire tracks in front of his and other neighbors houses. It is still there as of today. He also leaves trash bins in the right of way all week. They are to be placed back on to your property within 24 hours of trash day.

Boris Knott replies: “In New Orleans, there are fines for trash on the street on non trash days. Perhaps in your city too?”

Chicken Little

We bought a decent amount of acreage a few years ago. When we bought it one neighbor warned us that one of our other neighboring families had been loud in the past but since they had kids he thought those days were in the past. We recently built our house and have lived in it for a few months. About 3 weeks in we learned that the “loud family” are actually the neighbors from hell… They blare their music in their garage when no one is home and late at night. We have had to call the cops on them a few times and the last time was at 2 am and no one was home when the cops tried to respond.

Recently we decided to buy chickens because it is our goal to have a mini farm. Well our wonderful neighbors let their dogs (pit bulls) roam free, they do not have a fenced in yard and they do not let their dogs in their house. Their dogs come over onto our property all the time. Their female dog has killed three of our chickens within a weeks time of owning them. The male dog has recently came over onto our property and acted aggressively towards my husband. They both come over and try to mess with our dogs, luckily we have fenced in our dogs an area to play in.

I am at a loss on what to do, because this was our dream, that is turning into a nightmare. We have worked hard to make our dream come true because we learned after my husband was injured in the war in Iraq that you are not always promised a tomorrow. What can we do? We have tried talking to them but the wife acts all offended and screams at her husband that they need to move because it is one thing after another with us, acting like we are the bad guys.

Boris Knott replies: “Perhaps if they knew your husband was an American patriot it might change their behavior, Anyway, write them a letter asking them to keep their dogs corralled. Maybe you can get some assistance from animal control. Any ideas readers?”

Dishing the Dirt

It all started around three years ago when my wife and I started building our house, the first time we came over to look at our house (at the time it was a hole in the ground) we are walking around our land, we are not there for five minutes when he walks right up to us like he owns the place and says “Can I help you?” in a tone like he is a bouncer at a club asking for IDs. Trying not to get off on the wrong foot, I smiled and offered to shake his hand as I said can I help you? He asks if he can have some of the dirt that was dug out for my basement, not thinking much of it I say sure figuring he would take a few wheelbarrows full at most, the next day my contractor calls me up asking about the dirt missing, the guy must have been at it for a while because about three yards of dirt was gone, that’s about 100-125 wheelbarrows full by the way, turns out the guy has a trailer for his lawnmower, it would not be a big deal except that they use the dirt from your basement to put the correct grade on your land so I wound up having to buy dirt to finish out my land. I let that go because I never told him how much dirt he could take.
Move ahead 3 months the house is almost done its November and it’s supposed to snow that night, I am at the house painting and he comes and knocks on the door, “hey it’s gonna snow tonight and your driveway has snow and ice on it, if you leave it like that then it will freeze and be all ice, I will snow blow it for you for $30.” and I said to him “That’s ok I don’t live here yet and it does not matter to me.” but apparently he stopped listening after ok because shortly after that I had to leave to go to work. And when I get back the next day he comes knocking on the wondering where his $30 was. For all of you out there with bad neighbors, I feel your pain.

Biker Blues

We have a problem with a neighborhood bully and his Harley motorcycle. I’m talking about someone who insists on riding his motorcycle at unsafe speeds with very loud straight exhaust pipes in an otherwise very quiet neighborhood. It’s not just the patriarch of “that house,” it’s the rude teenage boys and wife who have become “that family” in the neighborhood. They don’t get invited to BBQ’s, they don’t get cookies at Xmas, they do get stares and talked about by all the neighbors around. That family is one reason why a neighborhood watch is being considered. That family is one reason why the city is looking into speed mitigation devices.

Boris Knott replies: “Try bringing them cookies and inviting them to BBQ’s-you may be surprised.”

Prune Danish

It is not just the USA that has rude neighbors even in Denmark, the country that is supposed to the happiest country in the world, has rude neighbors. I moved to Denmark for a great job opportunity but once this contract is done I am moving back to the USA. The girl and I mean girl (maybe 16 or 18 yrs old) lives next to me & every other weekend she has these all night long parties, with alcohol, people yelling, doors slamming & I can smell marijuana. Of course I have talked to her & asked her to tone it down and please end the parties at midnight. Her response ‘F— you’ and throws her cigarette in my flower pot. Now I know what you are thinking call the police. I did twice and guess what they said “Kids will be kids” and “the party will end soon”. So the police will not end this for me. Why don’t you move? Well it costs over $4,000 USD (25,000 kr) to do that and I only have one year left on my contract. I am not spending all that money when she is the one that is causing the problem. Now don’t get me wrong I work with some of the nicest Danes in the world and they wish I had a better neighbor. This girl is the rudest neighbor I have had in my life.

Boris Knott replies: “No one country is know for being especially rude, except for France of course. Perhaps you could invest 400.00 for a pair of cruise tickets and have a local radio station call her to say that she has a three week getaway. Is Marijuana use illegal in Denmark?”

Key to Happiness

We just bought our first home. The previous owner was supposed to move out on Friday(the day we closed escrow) but said she was having a hard time getting hold of the guy helping her move and also couldn’t close escrow on her new home until Monday. We said we wanted to work with her but had to be in on Sunday so we did not have to pay a months extra rent. So she arranged things on Sunday and when I went to the house to meet with the cable guy I realized she wasn’t completely moved out yet but I had to let the cable guy do his thing seeing I had already paid for the installation… So I’m standing on the front porch waiting and bouncing my son and the neighbor is talking to her husband all rude and loud saying its illegal to go into her home. I ignored her because how I am trespassing when this home is in my name now and I have a key!? I just don’t understand why people have to be so rude sometimes, especially picking on some 20 years younger than you, it’s crazy!!!

Boris Knott replies: “Thank the neighbors for being so protective of their former neighbor’s home. Tell them that there needs to be more looking out for other people. ”

Knock Three Times on the Ceiling if You Love Me.

So me, my wife and our 3 kids live on the 2nd floor of a 3 bedroom apartment. We’ve been there for over a year and have gotten along well with the lady above us and the previous tenant who lived below us who also had 2 kids. Its an old privately owned house, multifamily, 3 floors. The previous lady below us never complained about my kids playing or walking or anything. She politely asked us to make the kids don’t splash because it leaks downstairs, very reasonable, no problem. We never complained about the neighbor upstairs either even though we can hear her just walking around and talking with friends sometime. The landlord told us about the apartment and that there would be normal noise and we understood that. However, ever since our downstairs neighbor moved out a new one moved in with 2 older children. They’re like 8 and 14, mine just recently turned 5, 4 and 1. The landlord explained to her the same thing, there’s noise, its an old house. She did some fixing up downstairs for a few weeks before moving in and could easily hear how we live.

After a month of her moving in, she starts banging on the floor. Whenever my kid drops a toy or even sings she would bang on the floor. She never once came up to talk to us face to face and explain that sometimes my kids are too loud when they first wake up. My landlord called me and asked if we could just keep the noise down a bit early in the morning. Sure, fine, we’ll let the girls be girls by a reasonable time of about 9ish. Everyone, even her, is up at least one hour before work to get ready and go. So we bought a few area rugs with what money we could scrounge up and our landlord got us sound proofing mats to go underneath them. We did our best to make sure that the girls wouldnt jump, run, and sing too loudly early in the am, they could play with the toys and color and what not. Our now 1 yr old was about 6 months when this lady moved in and so obviously in the middle of the night the baby cried and we got up to take care of her. Our kids are in bed between 7 and 8pm. After about 4 months we sat down to talk with her and our landlord, we explained we’re doing the best we can early in the morning but by the late morning we have a right to live. She told us and the landlord that our kids are keeping her kids up. The landlord asked her what time her kids go to bed, she said that her oldest goes to bed by 9pm, me and my wife looked at her with an awkward face and said our kids are in bed between 7-8pm. So how are they keeping them up? She never told us about what time her son goes to bed. She said that her daughter had to go and sleep on the couch many nights because our baby is crying and she didnt know what to tell her daughter and my wife said “tell her its a baby and it cries, we cant stick a sock in her mouth”. So needless to say the conversation just showed her inability to deal with any noise.

We did our best but we’re not bending over backwards. We tried confronting her about constantly banging on the ceiling and all she says is that we dont understand the noise. We said we do because we have someone living above us. She demands that we understand and stop but stop what? She even complained just recently that my 1 year old walks too loud. The other day she banged again because my kid was leaning against the fridge and slipped and hurt herself, while she was crying i hear banging again. So that was the last straw, i texted my landlord and told him we need to meet asap. I researched tenants rights and find that this lady is being given priveledges that we dont have. She also has 2 dogs who bark when shes not home which the lease says no dogs. Is my landlord favoring her because she did work in the apartment at her own expense? thats illegal. So she banged the other morning while my kids were watching tv, my wife was making breakfast and my 1 yr old was walking and i went down and confronted her and got into an argument, as she slammed the door on me i told her next time she does it im calling the cops because you’re harassing me and my kids for no reason. The kids jump ever time they hear a knocking on the ceiling. Anyways, i filed out a police report and will be pursing legal actions if my landlord does not make her stop.

Boris Knott replies: “Can you switch with upstairs neighbor? Sounds like a mess. Please keep us updated with developments. We would welcome a story from your downstairs neighbor-perhaps you could ask her to send one in.”

Taken with a Grain of Salt.

Ever meet one of those seemingly sweet old ladies who just wants to welcome you to the neighborhood? Yea, we’ve met her too. You know the one, she shuffles quickly to your side any time she sees the opportunity to peer into your car while you’re unloading groceries, or she stands in her darkened home leering out her blinds, fully convinced she’s in full ninja mode and no one can see her, or she invites herself in your open front door while you are painting just to inform you she doesn’t approve of your color choices. This same sweet old christian lady grills anyone who visits your home, asking any and all invasive, NONE-OF-HER-DAMN-BUSINESS QUESTIONS she can possible rattle off before you and your company or children are able to escape her fishing exhibitions. And let’s not forget how she runs from house to house talking about each and every neighbor, giving anyone who will listen an earful about how she doesn’t approve of this and that. That new baby you adopted? She doesn’t approve of it’s ethnic heritage. The fact you have 3 cars in your family? Yup, she’s complained about that too. She’s also hissed about your unwed, single mother daughter and her “many suitors”. And you, who has just moved in, she hasn’t forgotten you. She has already complained about your friend and his motorcycle. She’s also kept a close eye on your comings and goings and has discussed the hours you keep. To the young couple who has just had their third baby, she’d like to know just how many more kids you plan on producing as she thinks you have had too many already. She would also like to know just how many dogs you own, because “They bark all day and night and you never clean up after them while out on your walks”. Oh, and to you Mr. “She’s just a sweet old lady”.

Did you know your basketball goal was unsightly and that if you are going to keep your garage so junkie you need to keep your door closed so she doesn’t have to see it? Since you used to be our neighbor at one time, and are still hired by her to cut her lawn, it’s only fair to let you know that you’re doing it all wrong. She claims to have complained to you several times that you should mow the grass in different patterns and not in the same direction each time you mow, but apparently you just don’t know what you’re doing so the poor dear is forced to walk the street, pointing to her yard and asking her neighbors if they see what a terrible job you have done and beg sympathy because you so hatefully ignored a widowed old woman’s simple request. And YOU who dares to park her truck sideways in her drive. Just who do you think YOU are? YOU moved into a home she once lived in with her family and have so disrespectfully changed everything! How dare you paint YOUR home or change YOUR garden! She told you how she didn’t approve of such things and you dared to ignore her! Don’t you know that she once lived there so you should keep the house as SHE had it? Well, there’s my annoying neighbor. A hate filled, busy body who spends her time stabbing everyone in the back and doing her best to turn would-be good neighbors against each other. It’s no wonder no one around here talks to each other with that nasty old bitty intervening any time she sees two neighbors speaking. I almost forgot to mention her lectures to her daughter. Did you know your weight keeps you from being an attractive person? She just doesn’t understand how you can allow yourself to be “so big”. Her evil soul is going to catch up with her some day and I for one will not feel sorry for her when it does.

Boris Knott replies: “She doesn’t appear to be evil, just very lonely. Ask her for a good cake recipe and bake her a cake. Do you know when her birthday is? It’s easy to say, and very hard to do, but we must always be kind to our weaker brothers and sisters. We should never expect a reward for being nice, however, just one timely good deed by this neighbor might save you tons of grief and then all your kindness and patience will seem like a good investment. And that one good deed by your neighbor may never be done, but you may take comfort in the fact that you have done your part. Plus, as a bonus, she’ll tell all your neighbors what a great person you are. Good luck.”

Penned In

I live in a pretty rural town. Alot of the people in town own farm animals and a large majority run freely(like chickens, dogs, farm cats, etc.) We bought some land that was over grown and the day after we signed on it our only neighbor came outside and asked us if we bought it. When we said yes, she started
griping about how overgrown and trashy the land was and said that she really didnt want to but if it wasnt cleaned up that she would have to call the county. This land was unoccupied for 5 yrs before we bought it. Um, hello we had just signed on the land the day before. I said ok ma’am, but we just bought this and
we both have jobs. We will be out here on the weekends to clean this up, but we arent going to rush it. We just bought it. Rest assured it will be cleaned up.A few months later, a friend of ours had a sow that had just gave birth to piglets and our children wanted one of them. So we bought one for them. We came back
home and built a small pen for it but it kept escaping. I was at home with our 2 yr old when I heard a knock on the door. I opened it and it was a policeman from our town. He said that my neighbor had called him bc our piglet had gotten out and ran to her house and ate her cats food.(for those of you that don’t know, pigs eat ALOT) I apologized, went and got him and put him back in his pen put more food out for him. and went back in the house. Then 2 days later, we came home from our kids ball game and I was barely out of the car, and she was screaming at me to get my attention. I told her I couldnt hear her, to hold on one minute, put my kids in the house, and walked over. She said that the pig had gotten out was eating her cat food and digging holes all in her yard(the digging he has never done at our house-he’s just a small piglet)And said that she really didnt want to call the cops, but it was messing up her yard. I explained that she could have not involved the police, and could have walked over and I would have came and got him. But being the nice person I am, I apologized, told her that we were getting hog wire to go around his fence the next weekend to keep him from getting out, gave her my number and asked that if the pig got out and went to her yard again that she call me and I would go and put him back up. 2 days later I was outside playing with my daughter and I heard my neighbor screaming, so i went over there and she had a shovel running after the pig trying to hit it.I ran over there, grabbed him up, told her she could have called me and could have avoided the whole thing. A few hrs later another knock at my door and it was the policeman again saying that he had another complaint about the pig(from the same woman) and if they had another complaint that we would have to get rid of the pig. I told him about the shovel incident, he went and asked her about it, and she said it wasnt a shovel. that I exagerated it, and that she was shooing him away with a broom. He couldn’t do anything about it bc there wasnt a witness and it was her word against mine and I didnt call them when it first happened. This womans cats come over in my yard all the time and I never call the police on her, even though my children are allergic to cats. What do I do? This neighbor is driving me crazy!!

Boris Knott replies: “It’s your pig Charlie Brown”