Living in a house or apartment means one thing: neighbors. Sometimes, they're great. They can become best friends, and be very trustworthy. Sometimes, they can be the exact opposite. Neighbors can be terrible, make a living situation an absolute nightmare.
Which, unfortunately is what happened to these people on Quora. Content has been edited for clarity.
"As a single woman, living next door to a family of five, and stay at home mom, I asked my neighbors to keep a spare key for emergencies. They would put packages in the house if I was away, etc.
Then, one day, I find over $500 of calls to an adult movie line on my charge card. When I called the credit card company, they gave me the two phone numbers used to call the line.
One of them was my home phone. Always, at times I was out of town. The other was the office of a local teen organization. The credit card company would not cancel/stop the charges because my own phone was being used.
It was the teenage boy from next door. Raging hormones, all six foot plus of him. I tried to do the neighborly thing and went next door to talk with the parents. The mother was horrified, the father an absolute arsehole, alternating between denying his son could have done it, and the old 'boys will be boys' excuse. I asked for the key back, telling them I was cancelling the card, but they had to pay or work it out. And, I would be changing my locks and sending them the bill. The father fought me tooth and nail, saying that it wasn't needed, since they gave the key back. I explained that if their son could uncover my credit card number, use it in my house, and note it to take to the club he belonged to, how could I be sure he hadn't had a copy of the key made?
Dad made some muttered derogatory comments about me being a silly woman, or some similar slur, and the mother was apologetic and agreeing to everything.
I did cancel the card (and left the sponsoring company) and the charges were paid or cleared. I did get the locks changed - and paid for - and never spoke to any of the neighbors again. The younger children were confused, and the mother was embarrassed. The father worked at the local post office. They moved not too long after.
I have always regretted not filing a police report."
"We had a piece of land which belonged to our land, but for a historical reason sat behind another fence. A new neighbour to the village decided this land was his for the taking after he was told to move his things off. He filed a claim for adverse possession of the land and got a few of his social climbing buddies to coordinate witness statement. The solicitor was one of them.
This got close to the trial and his 'solicitor' briefed the barrister. The barrister read the witness statements, the claim and came to see the land. We had a rather large offer come in to settle out of court. We told them to stick it. A couple of weeks later, less than a fortnight from the trial, they stood down their claim.
So this guy had cost me a small fortune in legal fees, for basically, lying. Just about everyone involved in his group are now facing serious legal problems as a result of their collusion. The solicitor is facing professional conduct proceedings. Another advisor is looking at a data breach fine, along with naming and shaming. The man himself is facing cost orders, hefty default rent and possibly a criminal fraud complaint.
All this because of one selfish fibber."
"We had plans with extended family to visit a theme park for few days. Our neighbor had a key for our house as we had for hers. We often took care each other's pets.
This particular time, I opted to stay home, at the last minute, because our elderly dog was suffering an ailment. I advised the neighbor there was no need to take care of the pets because I was staying home.
On Saturday morning I ran an errand. Upon return, I found our door ajar. The house cats were gone. The dog had not left the house. Luckily, I found the cats before they had a run-in with any of the dozens of feral cats that lived about the undeveloped lots in the neighborhood and took them home.
Looking about the house for anything that might be out of place, I found only that the cat litter box had been cleaned. Checking with the neighbor, I found her well lubricated with spirits at 11:00 AM.
I had an extra tumbler for the door that was keyed differently. I changed the lock. The woman was offended when I told her that the lock had been changed.
Her behavior had compromised our home security and the safety of our pets but she was offended.
"I was living on my own for the first time, in a shared four bedroom apartment. It was spacious, inexpensive, and within walking distance to our jobs. Unfortunately, the building was fraternity central for several nearby colleges. Directly below us lived a particularly obnoxious group.
Our downstairs neighbors would start partying each Thursday, not stopping until Monday rolled around. This played havoc with our third-shift sleep schedules. When asked to quiet down, we could clearly hear them talking trash about us through the floor. The amount of pot smoke from their apartment would regularly trigger the building’s fire alarm. Sometimes they tried to hide the smell with an equally strong odor, like the weird night where they cooked/ burned massive amounts of garlic. Eventually they disabled the central fire alarm, not that it did much good as emergency services never came by.
We moved out in the wake of a large and destructive party thrown by those arseholes. The damage to the property was significant enough that the police and landlord took notice. A letter was sent out threatening if this occurred again, the tenants of the entire building would be financially responsible for the damages. Thankfully, our lease was expiring soon. For the next few months we packed and hunted through apartment listings."
"I’ve had a few rude neighbors. The first incident was when I was a child. I was around 7 or 8 & my brother was 3 or 4. Before I begin, I will say that in retrospect as an adult who doesn’t like kids, I can understand the neighbor’s frustration. However, even though I dislike children, it is not the way I would handle a situation and she was definitely in the wrong.
All of the houses in the area had swimming pools, and the neighbor’s pool was close to the fence next to the playground our father had built. My brother was a little brat and for some reason, he would grab clumps of dirt, and throw them into the neighbor’s yard into her pool. He didn’t see it land, he just chucked dirt over the fence. I only saw him do it once or twice and, told him not to do it, but never really thought to ask him why he did it.
One day he was inside and I was outside on the swing minding my own business. Suddenly, the neighbor lady came over to the fence and started shouting at me and calling me a little brat.
Now, I was a stubborn little spitfire back then so I was like 'Excuse me, what the heck is your problem?'
She then started complain about the mud in her pool. I explained I hadn’t done it, and it was probably my brother again. She started yelling at me that I needed to make him stop or else. Now, I was too irritated to tell her I had told him to stop and I was that she seemed to be making a threat. I continued swinging and told her I wasn’t responsible for what my brother did and she should talk to my parents if she had a problem. She then told me if he threw dirt in her pool again, she was going to come over and hit ME.
I had a few choice words for her, and said she could go take a hike and she better not try to touch me. I think I called her some names, it’s been a very long time so I don’t remember it all clearly. I also said I hoped my brother threw more dirt in her pool. This set her off. First she tried to climb over the fence but it was too tall— I laughed at her. I can’t remember if she went through her house or through her front gate to get out, but she came out, went to my yard gate. She then reached over & opened the latch from inside, stomping over toward me (now trespassing in my yard).
She grabbed me off the swing and raised her hand to hit me. I kicked her in the shin as hard as I could, and ran to the little play house my father had built. It had one of those doors that can close separately at the to and bottom. I shut the bottom door and locked it. I then slammed the top door right in her face as she was trying to reach in to me while shouting at me about what a little brat I was. I locked that door & she pounded on it for awhile. I slipped out the hidden trap door in the back (did I mention my dad was awesome and included a trap door?) and slipped to the sliding glass door of the house without her seeing me— she was too busy pounding on the door and shouting.
I got inside & locked the door. I watched her through the window. She eventually gave up and went back to her yard. I told my father what happened when he got home. He managed to contain his rage in front of me, but I could see that he was mad. He kissed me and told me he’d be right back, then marched over to her house. My father was in law enforcement and had this authoritative tone that made people poop themselves. I didn’t see what happened, but after that she never said a word to me. She would sometimes glare at me from her yard and I’d give her stinkeye and smug looks in return. I could tell she wanted to smack me but was too afraid to try that again."
"Our neighbours had a bunch of little dogs which wouldn’t shut up. If the owners were out, the dogs would yap constantly for hours until they came home. Then the owners would let the dogs out at all hours of the night, several times a night. These dogs would yap non stop, and made you jump out of your sleep with a start. Just hearing them was stressful, as every yap put you on edge.
They found out we were getting annoyed with it (same as the other neighbours), and they started to put them out more often in the night and deliberately coax the dogs to yap. One night, we ended up hollering out of the window to them to keep the dogs quiet or put them inside. We continued yelling they really didn’t need to be put out every single hour of the night. Instead, she ended up shouting abuse backup at us and decided to go out to the street and key our car. Deep, long scratches and slashes all up the side from front to rear.
All we did was ask her to keep her dogs quiet, the hollering out the bedroom window at 3am was our last ditch request after every other option (subtle conversation, asking nicely, reporting to the council…). Turned out to be as useful as a chocolate teapot."
"The two guys who bought the house next door came over during their escrow to ask if we were friendly. Then they said they’d had a lot of trouble with all their neighbors before.
After they moved in, they asked if we minded if they got some roosters. I told them they are illegal inside our city limits and who would want them? A few days later I’m awakened by crowing. Loud and a lot of it. Some neighbors called the police. Lots of lying ensued by these miscreants - claiming they didn’t have roosters (they had hidden them in their filthy house which was immaculate when they bought it months before).
Finally, these terrific new neighbors placed a wheelbarrow up against our gate at the top of our driveway one night full of extension cords. Then they called the police to report we had stolen those things and placed them in our own driveway. The police didn’t buy the story - and recognized their faces/names from all the similar trouble they’d caused across town at their former neighborhood. More trouble ensued until we moved a year or so later. Some people are just human garbage. You have to get away from them."
"I went through divorce and soon after met my future fiancé, also recently divorced. After dating a year, he and his daughter moved in with me and my two kids.
My fiancé and I were painting my house, with the help of my preteen son and two teen boys I taught at our high school. We also had a five year old daughter each, so our hands were quite full. My house was on a few nice acres just outside of the city limits. My property had room for a barn and we had two horses and three ponies. Heaven for our kids!
After three exhausting days of cooking for everyone, looking after the girls, doing cleanup, and helping to paint, I was pretty exhausted. I certainly didn’t need a nosy neighbor, but there she was! As I was painting the front door, a woman I had never met and her two kids walked up. She didn’t introduce herself and only said she had just moved into a house on the road behind my property. Then, she proceeded to ask very personal questions about my divorce!
I turned around on pretext of doing something with the paintbrush in order to compose myself.
'Hi. I’m Cathy. I didn’t get your name! Nice to meet you. So sorry I have to get this done before the rest of the door dries,' I said hurriedly, trying to give her a hint. But no- this was the kind of woman who couldn’t take a hint from a Mac truck running her over.
She didn’t give me the courtesy of her name. She just stood there with her hair in curlers and a net over it. She wore a belly revealing tied up shirt and knee length capris with bedazzled flip-flops. Someone was on the prowl! Full makeup and jewelry while walking over to the neighbors.
This woman prattled on about how she’d heard I was divorced and got the home, land, and my truck. She asked how did I manage to get all of that and how much money did I get in the divorce?She was also nice enough to say how handsome my fiancé was, and kind enough to mention she didn’t blame me for cheating with him. She assumed that was the reason I was divorced. She had seen him outside working and just wanted to let me know that if he and I broke up, she was interested.
I kept painting with my back to her. I put so much pressure on the brush that I snapped the handle. I turned to this nosy woman and said, 'Well, I have to get the kids inside and get cleaned up for school tomorrow. I know you’ll want to get yours home also. Good-bye.'
Without hesitation, this woman with no social boundaries looked down at her small daughter and said, 'Ask her if you can spend the night.'
She told this little girl who was about 6, who had never met me, and neither had her mother, to ask to spend the night!
I immediately said, 'Oh no! I can’t do that. We have plans and lots to do!'
I gathered up my painting supplies, went inside, and shut the door. But that’s not all! The mother rang the doorbell. I answered the door before they messed up the wet paint. She asked me how much I charged for riding lessons for her two kids. I quoted her double my rate because I did not want to deal with her. She asked for the neighbor’s discount and I said that was it. They finally left! But there is more!
The next Saturday morning, I had just sat down to have breakfast, and there was banging on the glass of my kitchen door. I ran to it thinking something was wrong. It was the little girl-with a message for me!
'My mommy says we are going to be over here riding these horses very soon,' she told me deadpan-looking me straight in the eyes.
'Okay, kid. Well, you tell Mommy she can be paying to ride these horses very soon,' I sweetly told her.
'Well, my Mommy said we’ll be over here riding these horse very soon,' she repeated. Totally deadpan. I never saw the kid smile.
'That’s nice, dear. Now you run home and tell Mommy I take cash.' I smiled at her.
Never heard from them again, but my kids and fiancé used the kid’s line to tease me for years; 'Hey, Mom, are we going to be riding those horses very soon?'
"I was 10, my brothers were 6 and 4 and we’d just moved to a new village. The neighbor woman had it in for us from the day we moved in. Her complaints about our noise making (not true) eventually resulted in a visit from the village police. That in turn resulted in us having to stay inside for the rest of the summer, despite our mom knowing the accusations were 100% false.
Then it escalated. Eventually resulting in a call from four cops, including the local chief. We supposedly peed all over her house, splashed paint on it, kicked over flower pots, pooped on her front porch. My mom swore we were never outside, and there was some inconsistency in the evidence. We were let go with a stern warning and a 'suggestion' from the chief that we be turned over to juvenile authorities before we went over the top.
Which, according to the next complaint, we did just a week later. We stood in front of her house throwing rocks through her front windows. Then we smashed out a grade level window and were in the process of crawling into her basement with matches when she came down the cellar steps and caught us coming in. We swore at her and then ran back across the driveway and into our house.
None of that happened, explained my mom. We were never out of the house. Both doors were locked and she had the only key … we couldn’t have gotten out if we’d wanted to. Once again, the evidence was iffy. This time, we were grilled by the cops and by a social worker from CPS. They couldn’t get any of us to admit to anything. And they couldn’t either figure out how we got out unless our mom was totally lying to cover us. So she was warned … the next time they had to come back, we were all being taken by CPS and my parents could straighten it out once we were in custody.
As I found out years later, my parents were sure there would be a next time. They called a high power lawyer who supposedly had connections. This lawyer (so my parents were told) claimed he’d learned that our landlord planned to get an emergency eviction on Friday morning. That would give us 48 hours to vacate. He would claim we were served. There’d be no problem for a local process server to sign off on that for a nice bonus.
Then they’d be there with the sheriff bright and early on Sunday morning. The sheriff would put us out with nothing and lock the door. Then the village police would pounce. They’d take my parents into custody and we’d be turned over to CPS. Said the lawyer: they’d have to cut my parents lose within hours but they’d have gotten what they really wanted. It would be a long, and very uphill battle for our parents to ever get us back. We’d have this woman, the local PD and no doubt whatever evidence they could manufacture against us. For us: my mom’s word that we’d never left the house those days.
The woman in question was '5th generation in this town.' Her late husband, a WWII hero who died in the Battle of the Bulge holding off a German assault, allowing his platoon to escape. There was a plaque in his honor in the village square and the local American Legion bore his and one other name. So just who would the county judges believe?
My mom says she was never sure how truthful the lawyer was. There was also a relative with a strong motive to force us to come back to where they lived and she was the one paying the lawyer. There is no question though that major trouble was brewing.
I vaguely remember (this was 55 - 56 years ago) my aunt coming to stay with us. She and my mom frantically packed critical things in the few boxes my dad would bring home. We had to abandon most everything, including all our furniture and virtually all our toys, etc.
Then almost like an adventure. We were all put in bed at 7 PM on Saturday night, just a bit early. We were also told that we’d be waking up very early. We were to get dressed promptly, no fighting, no questions. Breakfast would be downstairs. Eat, clean our teeth and stay out of the adults’ way.
So it happened — 4 AM. We get donuts and orange juice. My grandparents have come up from the city with a U-Haul trailer. My grandparents, parents and aunt are packing as much as they can into this small trailer. Some of the little that was packed had to be left behind. 5 AM sharp, we’re pulling out never to return.
This was supposed to be just ahead of the local authorities, who were supposed to spring their trap at 6 AM sharp. True or not — perhaps my parents know or eventually found out, but if so they never told me.
Why did this woman have such a hatred for us? I’ll never know. Did we do anything to her? No. We were outdoors just one day, in our own backyard, when the first complaint came in. As our mom had been in the kitchen most of the time and we were in full view, she already knew there was no truth to this woman’s very first allegations. She claimed we were screaming, running up and down the driveway, swearing like sailors, etc.
It was all fiction. I don’t think we’d have even known a swear word between us. And if we’d been running up and down the driveway screaming, our mom would not have waited for the neighbors to complain."
"There was a guy I went to school with that felt threatened by me. He always claimed I was 'uppity'. and thought I was better than him just because I made better grades than he did. He saw school as a rude interruption to having a good time. I was there to learn.
Eight years later, my husband and I bought a piece of land to build a house on. There was a small mobile home on a tiny sliver of land next door. The tiny lot had issues with flooding and kudzu growth our lot didn’t have. I didn’t know when we bought our lot the guy from school lived in the mobile home with his wife and kids.
As soon as he found out we were his new neighbors, he went ballistic. He said I intentionally ruined his plans because I was stalking him in order to victimize him. He claimed I had done that all his life. I hadn’t even known him all his life, and had no idea what this great plan of his was.
I asked the realtor about him. He said that my neighbors had bought the least desirable plot for half of what was being asked for the other lots. Then the neighbor kept nagging him demanding to buy the plot we bought for what he paid for his. He had even said that he was going to make whoever moved in miserable. Lovely.
They swore every time they saw us outside. They threw trash into our yard. They threw dog poop into our yard. They played loud music all night long. We called the police over and over. One time, I caught the wife screaming at our young son and threatening to set him on fire because he deserved to burn in the underworld. They put up an electric fence to keep us out, or at least that is the excuse they told everyone else. They said we were making their lives awful, even though we made every effort to ignore them.
Their lot looked like a landfill, which they claimed was trash we threw in their yard. They even called the police on us, but the police found their names and address in all the trash they said came from us. Finally, the county stepped in since their trash was getting into the local creek which carried the trash downstream. They were forced to clean up their yard and the creek.
They were always broke, even though they both worked full times job. Then they hit on a way to make lots of extra money. They started growing weed in a shed behind their house. Not just any shed, but a two story tall shed that was taller than it was wide or deep. The authorities took an interest because there were reports of someone growing and selling weed in the neighborhood. It still took over a year for the authorities to get a search warrant. Of course my neighbors had no idea how that got there. They said it must have been my doing. So the police questioned my family and searched our property. They found nothing narcotic-related on our side of that nice electric fence, so we were no longer of interest.
While waiting to go to court, they decided it was time to move. They threw more of their trash into our yard along with a large quantity of poisoned meat. There were dead animals all over both yards. Some of the other neighbors called the police since their dogs and cats were dead. We were thoroughly questioned since the meat was in our yard but one fact stood out: the meat was next to the neighbor’s house not ours. It looked like they dumped the meat over the fence and got in their car and left. In the house the police found empty rat poison boxes and meat wrappers. That was enough to convince them that they needed to find out where the neighbors disappeared to. They had fled to the next county and moved in with his parents in order to escape prosecution.
It doesn’t end there. They sold their home for next to nothing ,but had to go to the courthouse to do some of the paperwork. The police were waiting for them. His wife left with the kids and he wound up in jail. Thankfully, I rarely see him but whenever I do he still has a meltdown insisting that I’m the one that ruined his life and that I had planned it from the time we were in high school."