Good Neighbors


There’s not much that’s more irritating on a daily basis, than having problems with your neighbors.

Whether it’s noisy parties (that they don’t invite you to), loud music, arguments over property lines, fences, exterior alarm sirens, paint colors, sidewalk maintenance, blocked views or tree trimmings – you really don’t get to know your neighbor until you have a good old neighborly dispute.

Do you have the neighbor-from-hell living next to you?  Has he/she become your daily pet peeve?  Or, are YOU the evil neighbor?

Either way, tell us about it.  I’m sure you’ll get tons of good advice from our world-class Peevers here at

Peeve On!

The Peeve Meister

P.S.  Congrats to jemwcolo, our Rant-of-the-Week winner from last week. And good luck to all you Super Peevers this week. We'll be awarding another set of prizes for the best comment to this week's "Rant of the Week.


I wish I had MORE nosy ...

I wish I had MORE nosy neighbors and maybe my house would NOT have been broken in to!!

<p>15 years here in my ...

15 years here in my present house and not a single complaint from my neighbors or about them from me. We all get along great, BBQ out on each other's decks, play volleyball and horseshoes, another does a lot of woodworking and we help each other out with projects, mow each other's lawns when going away, shovel each other's driveways and sidewalks when it snows... So what's wrong with this picture? LOL!

People tend to focus on the negative and then it is that which they focus upon that they are most likely to find. I've seen a good amount of neighborly disputes but not nearly so many since the now ubiquitous homeowner's association (HOA) has precluded so many. You move in understanding there is an agreement regarding what is permissable and what is not. Then you either do it and have no trouble or violate the by-laws so you expose yourself to being caught and made to comply. It's a wonderful thing and it started in Reston, VA just a few years before this town of Columbia, MD was begun. Reston was smaller and didn't make the headlines like Columbia. After this most successful model town here virtually every development (any more than 2 houses being built together) across the country was forced by law to have HOA regulations. They did so because our town was so ultimately successful in terms of keeping the peace and maintaining high property value. I am very proud to have been one of the very first few pioneers here and a neighbor up the street from James Rouse, our town's founding father. He knew that people came first and people getting along was not an option but a necessity so he mandated rules that ensured it. Now, nationwide, Jim's vision has improved the lives of tens if not hundreds of millions of Americans.

If you live in a place without an HOA you have much freedom to do as you please, even if your neighbors dislike what you do. On the flip side, so do they have the right to do as they please even when it annoys You. Rules like HOA covenants are the solution. Don't like them? Then don't move there. That way there's no problem, everyone's happy.

Hahahah, I'll stay out of ...

Hahahah, I'll stay out of this one. I'm done dealing with the crack-heads, so I really don't want to think about them again!!

We had new neighbors move ...

We had new neighbors move in a few months ago who promptly sent letters to everyone in the subdivision telling us all that we can not burn wood or use fire pits. Our subdivision rules allow us to do so and the township also allows it. So I wrote a letter to them explaining that we're under no obligation to honor their request but we're willing to work them (only burning when they're inside or not home). They sent a letter back saying that thats not good enough and they'll call the cops if anyone burns anything.

The day after we had an association meeting when this topic came up. The association sent them a letter informing them that there is no bylaw saying that leaf burning or small fire pits can't be used. The letter stated that no compliants on this matter would be accepted.

We did our best to be accomdating to these people but still they complained and eventually called the police. We showed the police the township ordinances and the association rules and as expected they told these people there was nothing they could do about it.

I noticed yesterday that they put the house up for sale.

Good for you and your ...

Good for you and your neighbors.

That's a perfect example of how the rules can and usually do work. Sometimes it takes some going through the motions, notifying offenders or those who claim to be offended (but don't always have a leg to stand on, as in this case) or even enforcement procedures. At any rate, laws (and that's what these little most local of all laws actually are) are there fore reason. They keep the peace. Those who don't like them don't have to live with them. They can go somewhere else.

I have inconsiderate ...

I have inconsiderate neighbors on the north side of my house. They are not bad people, but they just do not have any clue of how their actions effect everyone else. First of all, they (drug addict) son got two dogs that he completely ignores so they bark all the time. The dogs are not bad, just ignored so they misbehave. Their second son is following in the first one's steps. I have seen him passed out in their yard several times in the morning when I go to work! I just wonder if the parents are that clueless about their kids and dogs!

WADV - A lot of towns ...

A lot of towns have leash laws. Does yours? If so, you need to get pictures of the dogs off their leashes and in other people's property. Also, most towns have ordinances which state that dogs must be kept under the owner's control. Just my opinion, but I really think you need to get a bit firmer with your neighbor's dogs before something happens.

When we first moved in, ...

When we first moved in, things were okay. Then, the first late spring after that, the cherry tree on the side yard had a bunch of cherries. Now, we KNEW this tree was on our lot, but this neighbor thought it was his. Or as he said, "right on the line" ... but I never knew where he got that. The trouble was, that year he took ALL the cherries.

When we bought this house, the realtor talked me into a survey. I didn't want to spend the extra money, but you know, it was money well spent. Armed with my survey, I found the stakes, I ran a plumb line all 250+ feet on that side ... the tree was over three feet on my side. I saw the neighbor walk all down that line one day. He didn't like it but I thought he begrudgingly accepted it. Then one day I saw him up the tree with a saw and ladder pruning the danged tree! We had a few civil words that day with him mentioning that maybe we could share it. I reminded him that I did not have to share a tree that was on my property, but also conceded that I didn't care if he got cherries from the many branches that hang over on his side of the property line. That dismayed my wife but I was trying to be nice.
That year we didn't have a very good crop, late freeze I think ... things sort of cooled off. This year, I thought the danged branches were going to break. It was a bumper crop. He sheepishly came over and asked if he could get some cherries on his side. I said sure.


This same neighbor started letting his dogs run around outside his yard. This was not in retaliation ... he just didn't think it was a problem. Of course it wasn't a problem, they weren't "going" in HIS yard. They weren't chasing HIS cat or HIS grandchildren.
We shared a few more choice but civil words. I reminded him that we live on a busy street, that he needed to be mindful of the danger that presented to his dogs.
Then we put up a fence, around the cherry tree and along that side of the yard. The dogs were still getting over to our yard but now they had to run around the front side of the house and I think when he saw them doing that he realized that what I said about the street was very true because going around the front put them out really close to the street. He's been pretty good about it since then.

Now, his brother is slightly mentally challenged. He functions pretty high (he's like 69) but he isn't all there. He is also obsessive compulsive. About the same time this neighbor asked if he could pick cherries he asked if his brother could cut our front yard every now and then, as he was practically cutting his down to nothing. He's supposed to ask first but he forgets. He's out there doing it now but he didn't ask today. I have a good mind to go out and share a few more choice words with him, uh, er, um ... as soon as he's finished.

If you're buying a house, invest in the survey. Invest in a good fence too ... good fences bring good neighbors.

Dawn laments not having ...

Dawn laments not having any nosy neighbors.

I had to laugh at that. Years ago we resorted to living in a trailer park. Around the corner from us were some real low-rent individuals who always had a crowd out front drinking beer all day long. They were just far enough away to where we never really saw them unless we were driving by. They didn't make a lot of noise either. But they all just sat around and got wasted just about every day waving at cars driving by.

Now, at that time, there really wasn't much in the way of crime in that trailer park. I figure this crew was too drunk to do anything, and anybody else just didn't want even these drunks watching them "work."
After a while, this group all moved along and things got quieter. And then the crime returned. Of course, even that wasn't all bad, like the time the wife locked her keys in the car at the mailboxes and one of the "neighbors" getting his mail pulled his slim-jim out of the lining of his coat and unlocked her door for her ...
"shhhhh," he said.

<p>We haven't been living ...

We haven't been living here that long- only a few years. Every week since we've lived here, our neighbors come over to borrow something. The last thing they borrowed- they broke! One night, they wanted to borrow our oven and computer on the same night! I'm sorry, but if you want to start borrowing my kitchen appliances, that's where I draw the line. The next thing you'll be wanting to borrow is my bathroom. No more borrowing. If you need to, use a rent-to-own service, you'll have your own!!!

I also thought it was common courtesy to pay for what you break... I guess our neighbors aren't as courteous as we previously thought in the beginning!!

My nosey neighbors,I live ...

My nosey neighbors,I live under dumb and dumber. One is a 20 year old boy and his mother neither one was raised to respect anyone. The boy mostly sleeps all day (since he has no job),I don't think he can stand upright that long. The floors in this apartment is paper thin and you hear every little thing form stomping to blasting music to his new thing screaming. When they first moved in he had the music blasting so loud and stomping on the floor I thought there was a marching band up there. When we first moved in there were 3 little boys upstairs and you didn't hear a peep out of them unlike that boy who doesn't even know how to put down the toilet seat,his mom has to slam it down when she cames home from work. Who makes more noise a 100 pound person stomping across the floor or a 200 pound person walking across the floor??? Well it's the 100 pound boy who sounds like a herd of elephants stomping on the floor.

<p>I agree with most of ...

I agree with most of what everyone said above concerning rude and inconsiderate neighbors. However I would never move into a place that had a HOA unless those people paid part of my mortgage. I have heard stories of HOA's forbiding outside Christmas decorations, telling you what color your house should be and even flying the American Flag. There are normally civil laws against loud noises, loose dogs, sanitary premises, etc., etc. Let those laws prevale, not the made-up laws of some petty would-be Hitlers. No one is going to tell me how to live in my own house, on my own property so long as I do not harm others. BTW, I live alone way out in the boonies, have great neighbors who I let graze their horses on my fenced in property. I have never had any problems with any of my neighbors and, in fact, if they don't see me for a while (a week or so) they call to make sure that I am OK.

For the most part, our ...

For the most part, our neighbors pretty much mind their own business. Aside from a feisty family get together now and then when a few of them have too much to drink; then start bickering and throwing things at each other..we figure it's just cheap entertainment!!

What I really hate about our neighbors is their damned cats that they let roam the neighborhood. Sorry people, but cats are great in their own homes..but I don't appreciate having to babysit them when they're in OUR fenced in yard!! One of our other neighbors has a yard that's just FULL of birdfeeders so these neighborhood cats come over and sit on the fence just waiting for one of the birds to swoop low enough to kill.

I don't know HOW many times I've found dead/injured birds in our yard due to this...since these cats are obviously fed well enough not to be they prowl on these birds for the kill and then leave their prey lay where they're done with it.

Not only that, but I'm tired of these cats getting into our garbage..walking their dirty paws all over our clean cars, howling outside our bedroom windows at night, crawling underneath my car in the cold weather so that before I drive out of the driveway, I have to check underneath, etc. The cats were crapping in the sandbox and kicking sand all over the place, so we bought a covered sandbox. When those stupid cats found a way to get the cover off THAT sandbox (even with a big brick on the top)...I'd had my fill!! Why should WE have to get rid of things that our children enjoy because of someone else's inconsideration and refusal to take care of their pets??

I know who a few of the owners of these neighborhood cats are and I've approached them nicely, just expressing my concern for the safety of their cats. I myself didn't want to have to worry about one of them crawling up under the manifold of my husband's truck and becoming mincemeat..nor did I want one of the cats to end up dead on the road because someone hit them. The only response I got was, "Oh..he's fine....he's just not a "house" cat.."

So it's supposed to be MY responsibility to babysit??

This last Spring one of these neighbors was out putting up flyers and asking around the neighborhood for her missing cat. Asked if we'd check our basements....garages, etc. I just rolled my eyes and told the woman, "Lord only knows the way you let the things run!!"

Again..what am I...a glorified babysitter??

I called the Humane Society and they said that the only thing they suggested was to go there and pick up a trap..trap the cat..and bring it in to the Humane Society. The only trouble with that was ..they told me that most owners won't pay the $90 bucks it costs to get their cat out of there..and because there are so many cats out there for free..they just go get another free one.

There are leash laws for cats in this city, as well as dogs and I've called the police dept and enquired about fining people that constantly let their cats run. Cats can carry disease as well as dogs can get rabies, but nothing ever seems to be done about it...I see the same cats running around all the time!!