Social Question

chelle104's avatar

What can I do about a malicious Neighbor?

Asked by chelle104 (272points) August 9th, 2010

A neighbor has irritated me for 15 years. I have tried to get along with him over and over, and just when I think things are pretty good, bam!....another act of spite. Now I have had it! I am pursuing the law, however most of what he has done and continues to do is within the law. He has blocked my view of the lake entirely, front and side view. He is threatening to cut down the only tree on the property line so I can’t hang a bird feeder there. He has installed motion lights next to my bedroom windows, he is planning to move a shed out front of the only little view I have of seeing outside, other than the bedroom windows. He tells neighbors outrageous lies about me. I feel so beat up…I am considering leaving my lake home because of him, and yet I wanted to live here. I have known this neighbor for 30 years, we used to work together. We have lived beside each other for the last 15 year, and even though it’s been a struggle at times with him, I would have never thought he would go this far. All because I told him I had enough, and I didn’t want him to speak to me any more. Now I’m a reasonable person. a very giving person, I even gave him the shed he plans on blocking my other view with. I think he could also be dangerous. It’s so hard to take. I’m not even sure if the law can help me….What can I do viewers. I am so angry…......and I feel hopeless at this point! He is just a thorn in my side…..seems like everyday he has thought of another way to add to this misery. What can I do???? Please help!

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13 Answers

BarnacleBill's avatar

Unless he’s violating building codes, there’s nothing that the law can do about what he builds on his property, or doesn’t build. Likewise with trees. Is the tree exactly on your property line? You don’t need a tree to hang a bird feeder.

If you worked together 30 years ago, and you liked him well enough to move in next door to him 15 years ago, what exactly started the pissing contest between the two of you?

tedd's avatar

Might I suggest returning the favor?

Also video taping could help. Install secret cameras, maybe from windows in your home or hidden in random yard ornaments. As far as you know everything he’s done thus far has been legal…. maybe you’re missing something he’s doing thats not.

Past that, you could always put some neighborhood kids up to wreaking a bit of havoc….

Seek's avatar

Well, you can move, or try to reconcile with him. That’s pretty much it.

I remember answering your question about the trees blocking your lake view. I’m assuming you’ve had all the appropriate discussions with the homeowner’s association, etc? and it came back all Kosher?

I’m sorry to sound harsh, but I honestly don’t see anything that he’s doing that I could consider attacking you at all. He planted trees. He built a shed. He wants to take down another tree (presumably on his property), he installed lights (probably got a discount on his homeowner’s insurance for them, too). These are all well within his rights as a property owner to do. You might not like it, but it is his property, and he can do whatever he damn well pleases with it.

Personally, I’d have a hard time having a neighbor that constantly bitches about every improvement I try to make to my own property, like it is some kind of affront to her.

Hang a bird feeder on your own tree.

Cruiser's avatar

IF you think he is genuinely doing these things to upset you as opposed to just being anal about details, I would do your damn best to ignore him and his obstinate ways. Once you let on that whatever it is he is doing is having an affect on you it will only add fuel to the fire of his asshole ways.

I now have 2 neighbors who are crotchety and belligerent…the old hag across the way doesn’t like my outside lights and my kids playing in the cul-de-sac so whenever I see her lounging in her chair out front, me and the boys go out and play kick ball in the circle. My next door neighbor has resorted to painting lot lines in the grass so we don’t cut one inch of his lawn, so I make sure my line is anything but straight and true. I know both are aggravated to no end by my extra efforts and if anyone’s lives are that bereft of meaning and purpose I will gladly give them something to occupy their feeble brains.

You do what you gotta do, and I always make sure to throw in a little extra!

chelle104's avatar

Well thanks so far for all your comments. Of course I know I can hang a bird feeder somewhere else, that’s not the point. It’s the constant sleuthing of his ways. He is rubbing it in my face. I never had an issue when I worked with him…..not until I bought a place next to him. BIB HUGE MISTAKE on my part. HUGE I did not know he was such a bully. How do you handle bullies? Ignoring does not work, nor can I tell the teacher or principle, nor mom and dad. We are adults here. I am asking the question in hopes, I can do something to ease my frustration and find answers about this bulling neighbor. Believe me, I would not have posted this question, if I was not telling the truth about this guy. What’s the point of that? Just pretend that it were you having this problem…....Your answers to do nothing doesn’t help, I know that one. Duh!

Seek's avatar

I’m still wondering what this person has done to bully you.


Again, he planted trees – He’s allowed to plant trees.
He wants to cut down a tree – as long as he gets a permit, he’s allowed.
He built a shed. He’s allowed to build a shed.
He installed lights on his house. That’s cool, too.

He spread “outrageous lies” about you. – THAT I’m interested in hearing more about.

chelle104's avatar

Seek, I would not have bought a place on an Island if there was no view. If I wanted a country view, I would have bought a place there. The View, means alot to us here. He is just that, a bully… do you have any “real” answers, or just more questions and interest in what he’s lying about… about, just believe what I’m saying?I really didn’t want to write a book, although, I see that you need one…....Duh

Seek's avatar


I would have a real answer if you had a real question. I just don’t see how landscaping can be viewed as bullying.

Spreading malicious rumours is bullying. My neighbor spraying Roundup three feet into my yard once a week, killing my grass, is bullying. The neighborhood kids playing Mailbox Baseball every Saturday is bullying.

Building a shed? Not bullying.

Now, if you have anything that can possibly be viewed as your neighbor making a deliberate effort to affront you personally, I’ll try to help. However, I can’t stop him from doing what is in his right to do, nor would I encourage you to do the same.

mangeons's avatar

As @Seek_Kolinahr said, how exactly is he bullying you? There’s a chance that he’s really just doing things to improve his home, not ruin yours. Planting trees, building sheds, a lot of people do that. I don’t see why you just assume that it’s part of his quest to ruin your life. His spite could just be all in your head.

BarnacleBill's avatar

I too am not seeing how this is in any way bullying or attacking you.

What’s more important? Getting along with your neighbors, or the view? If it’s the view, you probably either need to move, or figure out a way to buy out his property, because he doesn’t seem to be as attached to the view as you are.

Have you invited him over to dinner, and shown him the non-view from your house? You get more flies with honey than with vinegar.

Cruiser's avatar

@chelle104 You could do your homework about set back requirements as most municipalities will have these for sheds and out buildings. He may even need a permit which you could make sure he needs to get if he tries to sneak that through.

But the bottom line is it sounds like he is expert at pushing buttons and like any bully they hate being called out on their behaviors. I confronted my neighbor who hates my lights…she wouldn’t come to the door so her husband had to apologize for her loony behavior. She stopped messing with my lights and I make a small effort to remember to turn them off before I go to bed.

My other neighbor also apologized for his over the top behavior and agreed to talk to me if something like my sons mowing 6” of his lawn is pushing the good neighbor boundaries. You should have some ability to talk to this man since you once worked together and just lay it all on the table and see what he says. He may be interpreting your reactions in the wrong way too! Only one way to find out!

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