Need Help With Nasty Neighbor

toocrazyJuly 31, 2011

I live in s duplex and my neighbor is trying to get me evicted. She calls the landlord constantly and has called the police about my chimes being to loud. When I called the landlord, he said one of us is going to have to move. I only called to let them know this is getting ridiculous and that's when I found out she's calling on me all the time. I'm 51 years old and live alone. I'd have to hire someone to help me move and I can't afford that. I've tried my best to ignore her but she still calls and complains. I guess I shouldn't take it personally because she calls the code enforcement on all the neighbors. The problem is, she's calling the landlord on me. Any advice would be appreciated!

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Take down the chimes.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 7:02PM
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If the only thing she is complaining about is the chimes, I agree, take them down. That should stop the complaints.

A set of windchimes shouldn't be generating that many calls to the police and the landlord. And in a perfect world, you should be able to have windchimes.

But if the landlord is upset enough to be saying that one of you needs to move and you don't want to/can't move, then you need to do what it takes to stay where you are. And that's to remove the source of the complaint.

Is she complaining about anything else, or just the chimes?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 7:32PM
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She called code enforcement on the chimes so I moved them like they said. She called the landlord saying my dogs bark all day. I brought in a tape recorder and found in 9 1/2 hours they barked a total of 31 minutes. Mind you she has dogs too. She called the landlord and said she was afraid my dogs were 'going to' attack her dogs. She called the landlord at 11 at night and said ants were attacking her dog. She's called multiple times on a neighbor for blight. It's not just me she calls on. The problem is we share a landlord the other neighbors don't have. She has complained about me for other things but I didn't ask because I know they are just more lies. Sorry I didn't clear up it was more than the chimes.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 5:15AM
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Did you mean 31 minutes or 31 times? Honestly, 31 minutes is a long time to listen to a dog barking even if it's split up over 9 hours. I think she sounds like a pain but I don't think the dog complaint is unreasonable. Though if her dogs bark too, she really shouldn't complain. But as someone without dogs, I would be annoyed listening to them for a cumulative half hour a day.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 1:23PM
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Okay. So if I'm reading the situation correctly, your landlord is threatening to have one of you moved out, either through eviction or just not renewing your lease. And you don't want to and can't move.

You need to start being proactive here. Call your landlord. Ask, nicely, if he can tell you what the other complaints have been. Assure him that you will be working on the reasonable ones. Ask for clarification on the unreasonable ones. And follow up in a month--have the neighbor's complaints stopped or lessened? What can the landlord suggest to help the situation? Do document the neighbor's complaints, so that you have an idea of whether she's letting up on the complaints or not.

If you don't contact the landlord and try to get on his good side and show that you are trying to make the situation better, you may end up moving, whether you want to or not.

There are anti-barking collars for dogs. There are ways to train your dog not to bark as much. You really should look into them. Even if a dog barks for just a minute, that's a minute that your neighbors can't hear their TV or their iPod or talk to each other, if the barking is loud. My downstairs neighbor has a barking dog and it's a real pain sometimes. They are very good neighbors and the dog acts as a watchdog, so I don't complain. And he stops barking pretty quickly.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 5:55PM
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Clearly I'm the only one surprised the landlord finds the tenants equally bothersome. Constant calls is more annoying than wind chimes in every circumstance. There's something missing here.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 4:47PM
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If this story is really as you say then you need to stay put. The landlord should be able to see the real story - if someone is calling up ALL the time about things as futile as wind chimes then it is the caller with the problme - not the wind chimes.

As all the landlord is saying is that one of you has to move; then just refuse to move.

If this lady is the problem, then the problem will continue when someone else moves in; so evidently he would rather her go than you, yes?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 9:23AM
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I agree -

please, take the chimes down.

You sound like a very courteous and considerate neighbor, so look at it this way -

A courteous and considerate neighbor does not insist on ramming their musical preferences down everyone's esophagus 24 hours a day.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 3:07AM
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As all the landlord is saying is that one of you has to move; then just refuse to move.

He's probably biding time till renewal, and his comment about someone having to move was a big hint, IMHO. (Sounds like he's on the fed up side.) Once a lease expires, he simply doesn't have to renew, no explanation needed. That's usually the easier way out when it's a 'nuisance' situation such as feuding tenants. And refusal to leave when non-renewed just won't fly. No contract renewed = no rights to the place.

toocrazy, if you can't afford to move and don't want to, and don't want to see your lease non-renewed, do everything you can to stifle potential legitimate complaints. I like chimes, but not everyone appreciates them. And for those that don't, it can be a nerve-grating kind of sound. Instead of moving the chimes, take them down. (It seems as if you're keeping them up on principal, but if push comes to shove what do you value more; the sound of the chimes or your place? ) Find a way to calm the dog barking if you can. I have dogs, but really try to be respectful of my neighbors. The occasional alarm bark is appreciated, beyond that, it can get annoying to some. There is a neighbor across the street whose dogs bark non-stop all day when they are outside. Grates on even a dog owner's nerves. Yours are not non-stop, but averaged out it's about 4 minutes every hour. Probably broken up over the hour, so averaged out even if they are barking a full minute out of every 15 minutes, that can be a lot to some. Whatever the outdoor situation is, do not ever give her the chance to have evidence your dogs could be a threat to hers. That's coming to close to having them yanked from you by animal control. (I'm not saying they would over an idle threat, but in my town AC doesn't take 'potentially aggressive' dog problems lightly.) So don't give them access to even get close. I've seen dogs that don't care for each other carry on through the cracks of a privacy fence, hackles raised. So perhaps secure them on a tie line so they can still get exercise but are a good distance from where ever your lawn borders are?

Once you've taken away any legitimate complaints your neighbor might have, all that is left is the ludicrous. Perhaps you can go to your code enforcer and explain that you are fearful of losing your duplex over your neighbor's complaints. Maybe (I don't know) he can give you copies of reports she filed against other neighbors as a way to show your landlord how off base she can be. (A lot of things are a matter of public record, but I don't know about Code Enforcement complaints. Can't hurt to ask though.)

I guess what I'm suggesting is lay low and let her be the one making the ruckus. LLs tire of this type of situation very quickly, and any one with an ounce of sense is going to get the one out that is likely to continue complaining, no matter who is living next door. You also don't want to come across as that person to your LL. Let it be your neighbor.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 10:08AM
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My favorite wind chimes are made of foam rubber.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 12:16PM
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Wind chimes and dog barking? In a duplex? You are sharing a wall with someone which means you need to be more sensitive to the noise you create. It's fine to hang wind chimes and let your dog bark incessantly if you live away from people in your own house, but in any kind of situation where you are living that close to another person you need to be more courteous. Barking 31 times or 31 minutes is outrageously rude. Why are you allowing your dog to bark for so long or so much? Barking all the time is bad for a dog's health. You should be caring for your dog properly so it doesn't bark and taking the time to train it so it's not so nervous and a nuisance to others. It's the landlord's job to hear complaints and since he is the one who let you move in with a nuisance animal, that's his fault. If you want to live that close to other people, you need to make the effort to be considerate. Apartment dwellers don't get to do whatever they want without any consideration for their neighbors. I suggest moving to a house way out in the country.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2011 at 9:17PM
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"My favorite wind chimes are made of foam rubber."

I'm with you! Neighbors with wind chimes drive me crazy!!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 3:58PM
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