We’d Like to Leave These Horrible Neighbors Behind Us

Houses, condominiums, apartments, and townhouses all have one thing in common: neighbours. They come through the walls, over the fence, and even from above and below. They’re like zombies, except instead of eating your brain, they are set on making your every waking moment a nightmare—and in some cases, sleeping times as well. From loud to foul odours, from parking to out-of-control dogs, these tales of neighbourhood nastiness serve as a warning before you sign that lease.

Urine Trouble

I moved into a run-dwon apartment in a building that was filled by literally the worst individuals in the neighbourhood. It was a really rural tiny town—a lot of junkies and lowlifes, etc. I moved there since I don’t have a driver’s licence and I needed to live close to my new job at a café as there are no buses in the area—except school buses—and it was relatively affordable. I rapidly learned what a mistake I’d made. One night when I came home from work, I met two of my neighbours by the door to the building. These two were living wall-to-wall with me, and I had listened to their drugged-up saturnalias more than once. They started following me up the stairs, not saying a single thing, just following me. I rushed inside and shut the door, as they started beating at it. They were shrieking, slamming their hands at the door so hard I feared they would break it. I screamed back at them: “What do you want?? Leave me alone!” Their answer astonished me. They paused their hammering and the man remarked, with a frail voice; “We were just wondering whether we might borrow your pee for a drug test tomorrow.” I not-so nicely declined and instructed them to get lost. I didn’t live there for much longer, I’ll tell you that.

It’s Raining What?

This was in an apartment complex. The upstairs neighbor’s dog peed on their patio and it dripped down onto me as I was sitting outside reading. I yelled and hurried to shower, and when I contacted them to ask them to take their dog out to urinate in future, their response made my blood boil with wrath. They said it wasn’t their dog and it must have blown across from somewhere else. Blown over? From where?

Pot Calls Kettle Black

When I was living in a small apartment, my neighbours always cranked up their music to 11—like very, very loud—and left it there till something like 7 am. Maybe later, but that’s when I would leave for work. Even my own television couldn’t be heard over it. When my neighbours and I knocked on the door, no one ever answered. A sleepover at a music festival was a nightmare. As time went on, I discovered that they frequently left for a nearby pub, but would leave the music playing. When I learned of this, I immediately began tripping the circuit breaker in their building. Sometime later at 5 a. m., they returned and turned it back on again. Numerous people voiced their concerns, yet nothing was done. Then I had a brilliant idea. I jammed their lock one night while they were out like normal and their keys no longer worked. As soon as they returned from the bar and realised they couldn’t go back in, they called the property manager, who could hear the music blaring from within. After a few instances of this happening, they were evicted from their apartment. In this case, perhaps I’m the nasty neighbour.

After-Party No.

It was not uncommon for the son of a neighbour to go out drinking every night of the week, bring his pals home, and then host a party until 5 or 6 a.m. Exactly what is the problem here? He’d throw parties in his room, which was just next to mine, blasting music and yelling. I’d be able to sleep if it were just continual noise, but not this. I had to get up at 8 a.m. to get to work because I had no sleep the night before. No one at work believed my exhaustion was the result of my neighbor’s refusal to let me sleep, so I was in hot water at work. It was very awful. So, after failing to get the jerk to converse with us, we left a letter on his door. As soon as his mother returned from her night shift, things got out of hand. The note was appropriate, since we had requested that the after-party be moved to the lower level because we were unable to sleep due to the excessive noise. This was not meant to be seen by his mother. She must have been furious. As soon as my alarm went off, he started screaming about how unfair it was that I had to wake him up every day. That is correct, an alarm going off once or twice before work was completely out of line, but his music playing nonstop was perfectly acceptable. Even yet, the revelry came to a halt. Zanki

Grand Theft Auto

I was overjoyed to be living on my own for the first time when I started my first job out of college. My one-bedroom apartment was located in a safe neighbourhood. After six months, new tenants came in next to my flat, and everything went downhill from there on out. A parcel of mine went missing (a phone case). I believed it was just a fluke because Amazon had uploaded a picture of it at my door. A few more times followed before it became a familiar pattern. Because my workplace did not take parcels, I was forced to have them delivered to friends’ homes, which was incredibly annoying for everyone involved! When I reported it to the local authorities, they didn’t seem to care, so I believed I’d be on my own. A few weeks later, the situation had deteriorated. I returned home to find that my doorknob and front door had been smashed and the knob was barely hanging on. I had been gone for less than an hour. As a result, he was able to identify whenever my car was parked in front of his house because he could see it from his window. I am confident that he was trying to break into my house, and that my early arrival at home thwarted his plans. After I moved, I looked up his name on Google and discovered that he was a convicted felon who had been charged with grand theft auto, domestic assault, drug dealing, and an attempted break-in. I obtained his information off a package left at his door.

What About Tenille, Anyway?

Linda is the name of one of my neighbours who has told me several tales. When Linda closed herself in her apartment, she would frequently hear guys outside yelling her name. The finest anecdote, though, is about Linda’s ex-boyfriend, who insisted on being referred to as “The Captain” by both my roommate and myself. We received a wedding notice for Linda and “The Captain” about a week after first meeting him. On the announcement, he was referred to as “The Captain.” Another delightful surprise awaited us, however. Exactly one week later, The Captain was taken away by officers outside our apartment building for public intoxication at 2 am while screaming “I’ve made a huge mistake. Linda, you have no idea how much I despise you. What a terrible oversight! I’m out of options!” What on earth did she do?

Grandmother Girlfriend

I used to live in a squalid flat with walls that were as thin as a piece of paper. With them were two people, one of whom appeared to be in his thirties, and a woman in her seventies. Heaving smoke and shouting at each other all day, they’d make my apartment stink to the point of being uninhabitable. During the night, the two of them would be particularly boisterous in bed, which was the most upsetting. The fact that they weren’t my grandmother and grandchild as I’d imagined was the first clue—at least I sincerely hope so. An old woman’s moaning and the clatter of their creaky bed shook my sleep for an hour every night. Nightmarish. When I returned home or went out, he was always waiting outside his house, gazing at my body and making obscene comments while attempting to engage in conversation with me. I believe he was keeping tabs on my schedule and was aware of my movements. At first, it seemed like I had been there for years.

It wasn’t far from the tree where this trash fell.

Years ago, I had neighbours who lived below me. It was usually just a mother and her son, with the occasional appearance of his ex-wife and her children. Seeing the adults, they were the worst people I’ve ever encountered. The place smelled like marijuana all the time, and they would park their car on the grass at the rear of the building, which drove everyone crazy with their constant noise. I once videotaped a quarrel between the mother and her son in which he was yelling and expressing how he was going to kill her in a very explicit manner. I saw a guy in the building across from us also on his balcony subtly recording in case it escalated. As soon as his ex-wife showed up, they started squabbling instead of fighting. Then she drove away, screamed that she had crabs, and then drove away. It was an incredible experience.

Battle of the Garbage

The night before garbage day, several of our neighbours used to throw their trash out in plastic bags instead of placing it in a container. Raccoons and other animals in the area know exactly what time that means: meal time. The trash can be seen all across the neighbourhood by the time the sun rises. The wind took up the slack left by the raccoons and skunks. Some passersby approached the man and politely requested that he place his waste in a nearby bin. There was nothing he could do for them. The Battle of the Garbage had begun. It was an exhilarating experience. Tossing the rotten and half-eaten trash from their lawns into a dude’s property was a daily occurrence on garbage day for some residents of my street. As soon as it had been collected, he would return it to the lawns of his neighbours. Or cram it into their bushes. Suddenly, people were finding half-eaten burritos and candy wrappers at their post offices everywhere. The street started to look like a slum. The authorities were called. Health inspectors. City by-law enforcement. Each side was calling in whatever authority they could muster to get their enemy in trouble. The dude and his family—amazingly his wife seemed perfectly pleasant—lasted about eight months then moved. Every once in a while I find a random margarine lid or piece of styrofoam in my hedge, and my mind goes back to those dark days of the garbage battle.

Stop Moving The Invisible Furniture

This horrid individual lived in the apartment right below my husband and me. It went from constant complaints, to him calling law enforcement on us multiple times to him leaving threatening messages on our car and front door. When we first moved in he was upset with the landlord for renting above him—left plenty of unpleasant notes and interrupted quite a few times when we were talking to the landlord. When we moved in we only had a mattress and no other furniture, but he kept calling the landlord and saying that we were moving furniture around at 2 am and had our TV at full blast. After the eighth complaint in two months of us still moving around furniture and TV being too loud, we finally showed our apartment to the landlord. It revealed the truth. We literally didn’t have a TV and still only had our mattress. Then the neighbor started leaving notes on our car telling us to keep it down and he even put in writing, “There needs to be NO noise after 10 pm or else I’ll call the authorities.” We usually didn’t even get home until after 11 pm and we were respectful to make sure we kept things down because we knew that not everyone had our work schedule. So, we tried keeping it down even more and there were so many instances when we’d be eating dinner or cuddling quietly, or even sleeping and he’d be banging on his ceiling/our floor. After a few months, he started calling law enforcement and it got to the point where even they told him to stop calling about a noise complaint because it’s a landlord issue and every time they came they never hear anything. The last time they showed up, I was asleep and my husband ended up talking to them and explaining everything. They suggested that we file a harassment complaint. Then he started leaving threatening notes on our car and front door, and we kept hearing our doorknob jiggle. This is where it turned terrifying. He claimed that he and a friend had sat outside our apartment for two hours and listened to all the noise we were making. He then said that he knows where we park our car so we’d better start parking it somewhere else if we didn’t want it to get damaged etc. We kept the notes and made copies for the landlord and let him know that this was what we were dealing with. We were just keeping him in the loop before it got even worse. The last complaint was when he ran outside to the landlord. He was screaming that something needed to be done about us because he heard our bed squeak the night before and how dare he rent to some crazy college kids who are partying and doing it all night. The landlord finally told him to stop being a bitter old man. Then this crazy neighbor of ours—who’d made our lives so miserable—took a total 180 turn and we found out that he had decided to sue the landlord and was moving. Suddenly the neighbor kept offering us rides when one of us was walking. He stopped complaining and leaving notes. Our doorknob did, however, keep jiggling and turning at around midnight. Whenever we would check on our door we’d hear someone running down the hall as we’d approach our door. He eventually moved away and shockingly we haven’t gotten a complaint from any other neighbor in the last three years we’ve lived here.

Here Today

I lived in an apartment with a lot of rotating tenants. An elderly lady moved in across the hall from me and promptly started hoarding. I started to figure it out when her porch started to fill up with odds and ends furniture including, but not limited to, a roll-top desk. She also yelled at me once for taking her key out of the front door and putting it in the mail slot. Anyway, after a couple of weeks, I started to realize I hadn’t seen her in a while and started to smell something real weird. Then I found out the dark truth. Turns out, she had passed and no one knew about it for a week—hence the smell. Her family came and cleared out all her stuff about a week after that.

Deadbeat Daddy

I rented a flat with an ex and the upstairs neighbor was an absolute nightmare. This was a deadbeat dad who had his kids every weekend and left them screaming all the time. He’d blast music until sunrise every day even when he had his kids. I got the council involved, nothing happened. I got child services involved, nothing happened. He used to argue every Sunday with his ex about how he wasn’t paying child support. They’d argue right outside our door—we were on the ground floor. The guy was unemployed, owed the landlord a lot of money, and only left his flat to get groceries or drugs. He then had the nerve to get angry at me when my cat meowed loudly.

Kids Running Wild

I had some really crazy neighbors once. The matriarch nailed all of the windows shut in their house, then removed the doorknobs and installed several deadbolts. This was to keep her grandkids home and everyone else out while she was at work. Child welfare stopped by and somehow they were okay with this—which really floored me. While she was at work, the kids were able to get one window open without her knowing, and they would usually leave during the day and make it back before she got off work. This went on for quite a while and eventually, there were maybe a dozen young adults living there too, and they all used the window as the main entrance. The window, unfortunately, bordered on my driveway, and was mere feet from my house. All hours of the day, people would be out there, wiggling in and out of the window. People got tired of being cooped up and major fights broke out. I regularly heard bodies hitting walls or furniture or fists. I heard yells of “well, stop threatening and get your pistol already!” I have PTSD, and it was just day after day of trying to keep myself calm. The kids had a pneumatic BB revolver, a lookalike handgun, and one morning shot up my neighbor’s car. She left to work at a hospital early in the morning, before first light, and didn’t notice. When she shut her car door, all the glass fell out the windows. Later in the morning, the same kid shot out a window in the school across the street. But what happened next was even worse still. My husband and I were outside planting flowers and my husband felt a sudden pain in his shoulder. Sure enough, the kid had shot him. The authorities arrived and the kid just kept on shooting. They called the mother, who had to unlock all the deadbolts. The officers took away the kids’ rifles, and dragged them outside so they could be cuffed and taken away. The youngest was maybe nine. Since no one confessed or ratted, and the officers weren’t sure which of the three did it, they were released and not charged. Thankfully this act of physical aggression against my husband got them evicted. But the eviction just started another wave of bizarre behavior. After tearing up the house, including breaking all the windows and ripping out the electrical boxes and punching random holes in the walls, the kids went to the landlord’s house with their lookalike handguns and shot up the windows in her house. Again they were taken away, but being juveniles, no repercussions. A couple of weeks later, her vehicle and garage were firebombed, but no one was charged with that. I’m so glad they are gone. I live in a wonderful neighborhood—not rich by any means, but the most awesome people—but it’s hard to enjoy the community with that going on next door. I hope they somehow find some peace with this life.

Dog Gone Shame

The neighbor’s dogs got into my backyard and attacked my dog. My dog ended up okay, but it was a long recovery and he still doesn’t walk right. He was and is the happiest dog ever, so to see him on the ground covered in blood was the worst thing ever. The dogs were able to get through because their kids had taken a plank out of my fence—they didn’t have a fence. I left a letter on their door explaining the situation. They showed up at my door to tell me that it was my fault for not having a stronger fence and that they wouldn’t be paying any medical bills. After a lot of them yelling and me calmly explaining why they actually would be paying, they eventually complied. They did build a fence, backwards, with the flat side facing them. They are also extremely loud, have chickens that escape on a regular basis in our suburban neighborhood, and are overall scummy people.

Leave Well Enough Alone

A guy in my neighborhood owned six cars and kept them all parked on the street in a very congested block of apartments. He spent hours tending to them, and they somehow always looked rustier when he was done. If a leaf landed on one of his cars, he would accuse the neighborhood of intentionally placing leaves on his car to annoy him.

Battle Of The TVs

I once lived in an apartment building with little better than paper for walls. You could clearly hear the next-door neighbors’ conversations, them doing it in bed, walking up the stairs, etc. For some reason, they thought it would be totally awesome to install a surround sound system and affix the speakers to our shared wall. It was not awesome. The TV was so loud that it literally shook the wall, and we couldn’t hear our own television unless we turned it up ridiculously loud in return. The neighbors did not respond kindly to our request that they place the speakers elsewhere (or at least turn the bass down)—it ultimately ended with authorities being called on them. We called them after the guy got super angry at being asked again to turn it down and started pounding on the wall and screaming about how he was going to mess us up. They finally got evicted when he threatened someone at the management office on some other matter.

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