We live in a small apt building and our adjoining neighbor has been driving us up the wall for over two years now. She is to say the least downright evil and crazy. It all started when we submitted complaints of the overwhelming smell of dog piss coming from her balcony. Ever since then she has been on a mission to get us back. Everyday it's the same routine, it starts with the dog barking early in the morn just long enough to wake my husband. Then it's constant banging and cupboard doors slamming, I've never known anyone who spends so much time in the kitchen. We also live in a smoking building and we smoke and she doesn't. When we were on friendlier terms we discussed thus issue and came to what we thought was a solution. As we share a balcony which is only separated by a small metal divider we ensured her we respected her non smoking rights and would keep to our end and she explained that she had a big floor model fan that she uses to deter any smoke that might make it's way over there. The wind comes in our direction 85% of the time as well. Despite all this she sprays deodorizer at us and even into her fan which is directed in our way. She is the type of person who runs to management over petty issues and basically has to lie as we have never retaliated. My husband did finally say something to her and her dog after being constantly awoken by it and politely asked her to please shut her dog up and thank you. She then tried to get a restraining order placed on him. She also belongs to what we consider a cult and has one particular member that comes over quite often. Whenever she does they insult and antagonize us. This happened last week and my husband decided to insult them back. The next evening the Police were knocking at our door. After we explained everything that was going on he told us he shouldn't even be here. She recently had several complaints made about her to management which also happened last year and went around to her immediate neighbors with apology notes and home baked cookies. We didn't even have to open ours up and could smell that they were made with dog biscuits. When we compared them to our other neighbors, there was no mistaking that's what they were. In her note she assured us that the dog barking issue is being dealt with but we have heard it bark everyday since. I have handed in several written complaints to management over the last couple of years and nothing ever changes. Any suggestions on how we can annoy her back are greatly welcomed. Since it appears it's ok for her to do whatever she wants to people I think it's time she got a taste of her own medicine.
If she is deliberately spraying an unknown chemical at you or into a fan blowing it onto you it seems to me you have a valid cause to claim assault. Videotape it and make the complaint with the police.
Or buy a can of mace and spray back.
Set up your own (giant) fan and blow the cigarette smoke at her. Make sure every time she is outside there is one (or two or three) burning in the ashtray. I doubt that it's legal to set a fan to blow on you, either, but it would have to be pretty obnoxious to get anything done about it.
Most of my neighbors quiet down when I play bagpipe or accordion music. Evidently 14 hours of nonstop polkas is too much for people to endure. It doesn't even have to be loud.
We have neighbors who had teen fight club going on several afternoons a month. When they started slamming into our screened in porch, I got a little upset. Sooooo, I bought a bucket with a lid from home depot and put all of our left over scraps in it. The next fight club day, I simply left the lid off and everyone left within an hour, and have never returned.
Hi Wilderness. I had a good chuckle at your suggestions, the mace bit is hilarious. We did mention to the officer who was here about the deodorizer and he said because she's not right in our face spraying it, it's hard to prove. When he went back over to talk to her after we heard him telling her though that she can't be doing that. I've thought of putting a fan out there also but don't know how affective it will be as we live near a lake and most of the time we have a strong wind coming off it in our direction. But I guess it would be worth a try, what have we got to lose since were at the point of moving and have most of our things packed up. Thanks, especially for the cheering up!
Yeah, it would take a good size fan. One of those big 6' industrial jobs; blow her right off the balcony!
Seriously, though, spraying you with chemicals is unacceptable anywhere. A videotape might go a long way.
You might also consider a sheet of plywood set as a divider between patios. It won't stop the noise, but will put an end to harassment and spraying. In addition that might go a long way to show a court that you are trying the prevent problems rather than cause them.
All you can do is not react and so not encourage any more histrionic behavior, or move.
We've done the not react bit for two years and as unfair as it seems it's obvious we will have to move. This is no small thing though and we've been looking but haven't found a place that's suitable and within our budget yet. In the meantime were still having to deal with it.
Sometime life isn't fair. If you stay not antagonizing her further and not letting yourself get wound up about her silliness is about all you can do. Vinyl earplugs are good to. Nothing she is doing is illegal or against any tenancy agreement I have seen.
We don't antagonize her, she's just a very vindictive person and it's not really about wether or not she is doing anything legally wrong, it's called having respect for others. She's a bully and we and other tenants have seen her bullying around even the elderly tenants that have since moved. I shut her out along time ago with regards to letting her get me worked up but you can only go so far with that. Since we are planning on moving, what do we have to lose with giving her a taste of her own!
Other than sinking to her level and picking on an old crazy lady?
Send her a gift with an apology, attempt to take the higher ground. It may be rewarding, if it is not, at least your conscience will tell you that "you tried".
I did write her a note in response to hers where I told her that we want to put everything behind us and hope that we can have a friendlier future. But so far nothing has changed. We were talking to her son a few weeks ago and he told us that were not the first neighbors of hers that this has
happened to. Your right though, I do feel better knowing I have made an effort! When I think rationally about the situation I know it's not the right thing to do to retaliate and that's why other than having a few words with her we haven't. Sometimes though it is so frustrating like this morn. when I submitted my story, that I just want her to know what it's like to be treated the way she treats others.
People who act like that won;t learn anything from retaliation. It just confirms their view of the world.
But yes, it is annoying. I've had plenty of crazy neighbors but in the end I just put my earplugs in and get on with life.
I do agree Psycheskinner that stooping to her level is not the smartest thing but how do you consider treating someone the way they treat you picking on them? That means she must be picking on us and she's not old, she's the same age as us.
You characterized her behavior as targeted hostilely against you, not just accidental annoyance. Doing the same is being the same.
You are targeting a person who is histrionic, started on you after you made a compliant, and therefore probably has a hostile attributional bias. Reflecting her behavior has every quality her behavior does, but from her point of view greatly amplified. All you are doing is, from her point of view, proving her right.
Very true, I didn't look at it that way. This is the first and hopefully the last neighbor that we have ever had to deal with in this manner. In the end we will most likely not retaliate and just pick up and move. I do admit though I have my moments whereas I want her to know what it's like.
If you mean contact social services because I mentioned we were talking to her son. He himself is an adult and lives on his own.
Social Services routinely lock up old people who act erratically. And they are the sole arbiter as to what constitutes being erratic. No judge. No due process. They are put in assisted living facilities, with bars on the windows. Welcome to America. All American old people know this. Thus, your statement that you will call Social Services could be all that is needed for her to start leaving you alone and in peace.
Are there any health or hygene issues with her that might justify a social services 'wellness check'? This can apply to any person who might be at risk for some reason and need outside help.
She is our age which is in her 40's or maybe 50's but she certainly fits the bill otherwise. Maybe it would be more appropriate to call our local
Mental Institution. I've only mentioned just a few things she has done to us. There was another elderly tenant who had Cancer and knew her from a previous tenancy. They were in an ongoing battle for years, when they both ended up here she would take her dog and allow him to do his business in his backyard. Being as I'll as he was another tenant would clean it up for him and actually caught her red handed one day and asked her if she was going to pick it up.of course she refused to. Now she just let's him go wherever and was caught yet again but this time replied that she's not bending over to pick up dog poop. When he wrote her a letter asking her not to do this anymore she tried to say that he threatened her and have him evicted. When this didn't work she called up his Disability and tried to say that he was scamming them. Of course it was a lie but he went through hell trying to prove his innocence. If she is capable of putting someone as ill as he was through all that, who knows what she will do?
We were definitely within our rights when we complained about the dog business on the balcony and actually got a picture of it. We know she still allows her dog out there to do it especially when the weather is bad and we have heard her late at night urging him to go out there then a few minutes later the door will close. Why else would you be urging your dog to go out on the balcony at midnight? We can still smell it as well and especially when it's a hot day I have to keep all my windows closed.
That is great Classicalgeek, I think I'll have to purchase a few CD's just for the occasion!
Hey Wilderness. I'm still laughing with the picture in my head of her opening her balcony door and hearing the roar of a 6' industrial fan starting up and then being blown off the balcony like Dorothy in The Wizard Of Oz, spinning off in the tornado. Thanks for the image, even if I can't legally do that.
Maybe you could grow sweetly scented plants on your balcony so that the smell of the dog is reduced?
I'm assuming you live in a warm climate when you have balconies. Look up a plant called cestrum nocturnum. It is fast growing, leafy, and has the most powerful sweetly scented flowers.
It is so strong, some people even suffer an allergic reaction to the scent, causing stomach aches and all sorts. Maybe if you are lucky, she will become a victim
Here,s what I would do. Write up a petition to your landlord or apt management with a list of complaints against her. Make an appointment with management or landlord to address the issue of her bully behavior in person. Make suggestions to them that they can make sure that she stops with official legal means and that she can asked to leave if she continues to bully tenants. It would really help if you can get some of her bad behavior on video to show them. Don't give up if they don't give you results e first time. Let them know how long it's been going on. Put everything I writing. And document everything as much as possible so that later, if you have to get a lawyer you will have ample evidence. Other than move, I don't think of anything else. I certainly don't think dealing wi her directly will work. In fact, sometimes I've had results by just not speaking or even acknowledging her and she doesn't get the fuel for her fire.
Oh, and also, definitely pets who are a health hazard be ause their owners don't clean up after them are definitely illegal. Excuse my former post, but you get the idea. Trying to get used to this keyboard.
I'd get a petition together, but I'd have all of the neighbors that she's been harassing also sign it. Then give a copy of it to your landlord. If your landlord doesn't do anything, you and your neighbors could consider depositing your rent payments into a trust account until the problem is resolved. At the time you present the petition, you could tell the landlord that a trust account would be the second step. Not with a threatening tone, but as a rational option for a solution.
Also, when she and her friend are insulting and harassing you, record it, even if you can only do an audio recording. Based on that alone, you should be able to get a restraining order. If so, she may not be able to live there anymore.
Good luck to you.
My view is " an eye for an eye" approach. Tape her doggie and play for her/them when they are on balcony. However the best idea (in my opinion) is to kill them with Kindness, and to be happy. Invite your friends over and sit and be merry (without notice of them) Have your music, food, friends and truly have a nice time.
I had neighbors much like this (much worse) and it truly pained them to see me with family and friends that cared for me and to have fun(so sad they didn't) Truth is happy is busy and full of love and productivity and when other don't have that... they resort to bitterness.
Warning: do not apologize in writing! She could use that as an admission of guilt! The dog biscuits could be seen as a poisoning as they ate not for human consumption! Document everything and do not engage in any acts of revenge whatsoever. I have the same tight apartment quarters and just put my foot down when a neighbor gets out of hand. I like the accordion music idea....
I love all the great advice and it really is a shame that someone such as her can be so bitter with life, life is much too short. My mum gave me the same advice to kill her with kindness, it's just hard to do when your being constantly harassed. We have always tried to be respectful neighbors despite everything and all the neighbors whom we associate with call us the quiet couple and don't want us to move. They say too that if we do then it would just make it appear as if she has won. I have been writing everything down in my notes for a long time now, dates, times and what the issue was and I agree that if I were to apologize for anything that she would just use that against us, she's proven that she will go to extremes. It seems she has a need to want control of everything around here, for instance she would constantly park in other peoples spots and it took numerous complaints until she finally stopped. The management also put in a community planter for ALL to use and for two years in a row now she has claimed the whole thing to herself. There are a lot of elderly tenants here and I get the impression that they feel intimidated by her which explains the lack of complaints to management. I was told by a relative of hers that there are numerous people that have it in for him because she and he don't see eye to eye. I guess they would be her co-members. I don't know much about that and don't want to. Thanks again for all the informative and fun advice, it definitely is helping me to see different views and in some cases have a good chuckle
Dog barking too early in the morning can be considered a nuisance in the eyes of the law.
Dog droppings on a shared balcony and left too long could be reported to the health department.
Some people can't be killed with kindness.
I like the petition idea.
I had annoying neighbors like this, when I lived in an apartment. Their bedroom was under ours, and they watched TV and talked late into the night, in their bedroom. I left them a signed note saying I would take note of any time they woke me up between 10pm and 8am and report it. The noise stop.
Additionally, if they ever woke me up, I would set my alarm for 5am and begin vacuuming the floor. The scraping sound that happens when you vacuum against the wall definitely carries. I was sure to make sure the walls were very clean.
Also, if you move out, be sure to UHaul it..that way, the truck can arrive at 8pm, and you can stomp and smash all night.
Also, I highly suggest you just move. This person sounds unsanitary, and cruel to her dog (if you smell pee on the balcony, she probably makes it pee on the balcony, not take it for a walk or anything). This person sounds like a lifer, probably will be there forever with no forward momentum whatsoever. Best to get out of that kind of environment. Sometimes its worth moving out to the country to avoid sharing walls with morons.
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