Problem with next door neighbor: The Bully & the Fence

Mia_June 20, 2007

I need advice regarding how my friend should deal with his hostile next door neighbor. This was always a nice street to live on with no problems.

My friend has lived in his house for over 40 years, and many of the original homeowners still live on that street. About two years ago, a couple bought the house next door to my friend. At first, everyone was friendly and helpful with each other. But then the new neighbors cut down all the nice trees on their property in their front yard that provided privacy between the two properties. That's fine, they can cut down the trees on their property. However, since they were having so much company walking through their yard right near my friend's property line (no privacy), my friend decided to install a very high-quality wooden fence in the front yard. My friend told the new neighbors that he was planning to put up a fence. The fence is located on my friend's property and he paid for the fence, however, when my friend's neighbor saw the fence, he got raving mad because the "bad" side of the fence was facing his yard. Yet he didn't realize that coming down the busier street, his house looks so much better with the way the fence was placed because what you see is the "good" side of the see the "good" fence side and the neighbor's house. But I guess the neighbor doesn't want to look at the so-called "bad" side when he is in his yard. The "bad" side isn't actually bad-looking. Anyway, this neighbor voiced his STRONG opinion to my friend that good neighbors place the "good" side of the fence toward a neighbor's house. By the way, the town has no ordinace regarding this. My friend could not even reason with this man.

So the neighbor proceeded to voice his disgust to another neighbor on the street who my friend has known and been friendly with for over 30 years. He even voiced his negative opinion to a relatively new neighbor. Let's just say that he has held a terrible grudge because of the "bad" side of the fence facing his house, and he gives my friend the silent more friendly waves and hellos.

So a year later now, this neighbor has been placing his water sprinkler right up next to my friend's new fence so that the fence gets soaked. He waters the fence every day, and it seems intentional. Therefore, my friend put a note on his fence asking to please not water the fence. I think the note was a big mistake. The neighbor saw the note and took it off my friend's fence and threw it onto my friend's yard. Then the neighbor got into his car and drove it in front of my friend's house by the curb and sat there and watched my friend who was outside. Then the neighbor slowly drove away and again drove by slowly in front of my friend's house. Oh that is sooo creepy! That creeps me out but good.

Well, the next day, the neighbor proceeded to soak my friend's fence with the water sprinkler again. So my friend walked over to the man's yard to try to talk nicely with him about please not soaking the fence, but instead of listening to reason or talking things out, he brought up the old issue with the "bad" side of the fence facing his house...he's still holding a grudge for a fence that my friend had every right to position that way on his very own property, and it's not an ugly fence or anything...that fence was very expensive. So the neighbor started talking real angrily and told my friend to never step foot on his property ever again.

Then a little later that same day, one my friend's neighbors was driving by and stopped to say hello to the angry neighbor. As angry neighbor spoke, he was waving his hands in the air and pointing towards my friend's house and talking all bad stuff about my friend that my friend could hear from inside his house. So it's like he's trying to turn some of my friend's neighbors that he's known for over 30 years against him. After angry neighbor spoke with the neighbor in the car, he walked over to another neighbor and started talking trash about my friend.

Well, besides watering the fence, angry neighbor has taken out his hostility by putting up a bird feeder right next to the fence (when he has a huge yard to put up the feeder somewhere else) so that the birds crap on the fence.

This angry neighbor seems like an immature, unreasonable, intimidating, controlling bully. Oh, and he's a huge loudmouth. His wife is the opposite in personality (I don't know how she deals with him...I would be embarrassed of him), and she's not allowed to speak to my friend anymore.

Ever since he moved in, it's like he's trying to take over the neighborhood. He has even gone so far as to dictate to the neighbor on the other side of him how their yard should look, and what trees they need to cut down (he's really into cutting down trees) and got angry that they happened to mow on a tiny part of his yard. You could see him outside with steam coming out of his ears that a small part of his yard was mowed on! Now he is putting up his own fence in his front yard to separate his yard from that other neighbor's yard, since he hates the way they take care of their lawn.

I find it very creepy and scary that the neighbor was sitting in his car in front of my friend's house watching my friend and that he drove by my friend's house slowly. In this day and age, you just don't know about some people and whether they will snap. He expects everything to be done his way, he wants everything under his control, and when he doesn't have things go his way, he retaliates, like by soaking the fence every day. This neighborhood was peaceful before that neighbor moved in.

What can my friend do about his fence being intentionally soaked by the water sprinkler? Angry neighbor may be getting some sort of sick enjoyment out of doing this.

My friend can't check the other side of the fence for wood rot because angry neighbor will go ballistic if an inch of my friend's foot touches his property. My friend already tried talking nicely to the guy, but the guy only got angry and refused to stop soaking the fence. My friend paid a lot of money for the fence and doesn't want it to rot prematurely. This is rediculous. My friend is elderly and the neighbor is maybe in his 30's.

Do any of you have issues like this with your neighbors?

Thanks for any advice.

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Angry neighbour sounds like the last neighbour I had. It started when my angry neighbour started piling his miscellaneous 'stuff' in my yard, and built part of his shed on my property; and he retaliated against me the whole time he lived there because I made him move the shed, and his stuff, onto his own property. He would drive by my home slowly, stop, stare in my home, then hit the gas and rip up the shoulder of the road in front of my house this happened *every* day - and on top of that some other neighbours supported this guy. I could go on and on about the things this family did  so I know how your friend feels.

Your friendÂs angry neighbour does sound like he has a few screws loose. First let me say I'm on your side against this bully neighbour but; usually when someone erects a fence, out of courteousy they put the Âbad side facing their own property. HOWEVER, itÂs not the end of the world, and angry neighbour has gone way overboard  no question, there. ThereÂs no need for this bully to act the way heÂs acting. I recommend your friend contacts the police about what's going on, and/or he contacts a lawyer, and has a certified letter sent to angry neighbour instructing him to stop the harassment (or something to that effect). ItÂs so difficult and stressful living next to someone like this.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 7:00AM
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If your friend can easily afford to get the fence turned around, I think they should do it.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 9:09AM
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Another option is to cover the "bad" side of the fence with something more attractive, which is probably cheaper than turning it.

If that isn't possible I would just ignore the neighbor. Clearly, he can't overcome things that bother him and seems to be a bit of a control freak, as you mention. Having the fence rot prematurely might not be such an issue. If it is a good quality fence then it should withstand things like rain or bird droppings. Likely, he'll end up overwatering his property before causing a huge amount of damage to the fence. Just make sure the space below the fence is well-drained and water doesn't puddle around the posts.

As far as badmouthing your friend to the neighbors - hopefully the folks who've known your friend for so long will realize that this guy is trying to cause trouble and, in the end, his hate-mongering will backfire on him.
I certainly wouldn't be quick to make friends with someone who complains about someone else for no reason other than to change my mind about that person.

I think the worst thing your friend could do is to engage in battle with this bozo by resorting to police and lawyers. That'd be stoking the fire for sure.
Putting up the fence in the first place is probably the wisest thing they've done.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 10:02AM
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Re covering the "bad" side of the fence, I would worry about dampness between the panels just from rain, and the possibility of rot.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 10:24AM
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nothing he is doing will hurt a PROPERLY installed fence. it will not rot out unless teh posts/boards are sitting in standing water.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 12:43PM
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I would love to know if this nasty neighbor is putting the "bad" side of the fence he's erecting towards him or towards the neighbor who accidentally cut a bit of his lawn. What an idiot! Personally, I'd just ignore him and let him stew in his own juices.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 7:52PM
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Thanks for the responses so far! I'm going to print them out and share them with my friend.

Turning the fence around so that the "good" side faces the bully's house is not an option. The fence was professionally installed and the posts are deep in the ground. Plus, I'm told the fence cost a lot in labor to install. Also, this bully would have an even bigger fit if the side of the fence that faces his house was covered with something. That would be the end of the world.

It's hard to explain in words (without showing a photo), but the fence in the position it's in actually looks better for both my friend's house and bully's house, but bully is just too thick-headed to admit this. If the fence was positioned with the "bad" side facing bully's house, both houses would look worse that way.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 6:58AM
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have your friend tell the bully that he is welcome to put up rails and fence board on his side of the fence, so that there is NO bad side, but at his own expense. If the bully wanted a say in how the fence was done, he should have paid for half of it out of his pocket. no money, no say in it!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 10:18AM
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Ditto DavidandKasie.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 10:32AM
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"...the neighbor was sitting in his car in front of my friend's house watching my friend and...he drove by my friend's house slowly" -- This makes me think the situation is too serious to ignore.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 12:00PM
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Aw, come on... that's classic small scale intimidation - unless something more substantial or threatening happens, or it continues, I wouldn't cave in to people like that - it's exactly what they want!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 6:03PM
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This has been going on for a year already, so I don't think it'll go away if they ignore it. And it obviously isn't something they want to live with, otherwise their friend wouldn't be posting about it here. I don't blame them...someone who's still acting out this way, a year later, doesn't sound quite normal, so you can't tell what he might do next.

Here's the reasoning for my suggestion of turning the fence around: They've got to do something about the crazy neighbor. If they don't care which way the fence faces, and they can get it turned around without financial sacrifice, then that's preferable to getting involved with police and lawyers. This doesn't mean they have to meet future demands from him. Think of it as a "one-time concession", like those "one-time fee rebates" you might get when you complain to your bank. Granted that he's pushy with everyone, but we haven't heard that those disputes have risen to the level of this one.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 9:55PM
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Oh I definitely think something needs to be done, even a restraining order or injunction of some kind for the neighbor not to soak his fence, but a one time 'drive-by' is not something to get too worked up about until it becomes more than once or twice, or he gets his buddies to join in.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 5:00AM
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Obviously these people don't live in an area affected by lack of rain.
I can tell you that here in the Tampa area, a neighbor found watering outside of his designated days would have been reported, fined and then "shunned" by the others on the block.
I would ignore this fellow, but keep a journal of strange behaviors.

Has your friemd considered entering subscriptions to countless useless magazines in the neighbor's name?

He can simply ask that the subscription be billed later. Be sure the cards are dropped off in mail boxes not near his neighborhood. It won't do anything to stop the watering, but it will give your friend some satisfaction as this neighbor tries in vain to cancel these subscriptions.

(spoken tongue in cheek with a ring of truth to it)

    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 10:08AM
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It might be prudent to check if the neighbor has been charged with harassment or assault in the past, as a possible guide to future behavior (of course, there's always a first time...). I understand that a past run-in, even if it's been sealed by a judge, will still show up on the online reporting services.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 10:53AM
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I would have installed the finished side towards the neighbor's house, but it probably wouldn't make a difference if the guy was a nutcase control freak. Many fence issues are more about territorial **$$ing conflicts and emotions than asthetics.

I've upset plenty of neighbors by blocking their view of my property, preventing them from using my property as a right of way, or preventing them from tresspassing on my property by planting trees, installing fences, gates, walls etc.

You've never seen conflict until you've owned a property with a shared driveway and mentally unstable neighbors. One of my investment properties is next to two properties that share a common driveway. It's been a continual range war since I can remember.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 1:00PM
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We have a "good neighbor" policy in our community when erecting a fence. The good side is supposed to face the neighbor's yard. That said, it's not enforced and when the people behind us erected a fence with the "bad" side facing our yard we didn't say a thing, it's nothing to be upset over. Some people get upset over the smallest thing, if it wasn't the fence it would have been something else. I find the best thing to do is ignore these people unless it escalates to the level of harassment at which point the authorities should be notified. Right now it seems like bullying and even intimidating behaviour but I'm not so sure it's reached the level of harassment yet. But I'm an easy going person so it would take a lot for me to call it harassment. I'd just be laughing my head off at the guy's childish behaviour instead of letting it bother me.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 7:21PM
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I mentioned that the bully is putting up a privacy fence between his property line and the woman who lives next to him. My friend has known this very nice lady for about 30 years. The bully was not satisfied with how this lady kept her yard, and she agreed to allow him to cut down some of her trees on her property that he didn't like. This lady lives alone and works full time and now has health issues. Her son helps mow her lawn. However, the bully, with his big mouth, spoke to the neighbor across the street from this lady and basically said that her house and yard look crappy. That is so rude. That neighbor cannot stand the bully now for his bad-mouthing.

Anyway, when this lady's son mowed her lawn (I mentioned a bit about this in my first post), he mowed slightly over the property line on the bully's lawn, and the mower left some small clumps of grass. When the bully got home that afternoon, he walked over to the property line and was fuming because a small line of his grass was cut and because the mower left some clumps of grass in that area. He then proceeded to kick the clumps of grass into the lady's well-kept flower bed. She (and her son) were not home at that time. But the bully didn't even give her a chance to come home and clean up the clumps of grass...he had the gall to kick them into her flower bed. I wish I was there to see all of this happen...he reminds me of a mad cartoon character.

It really seems that nothing satisfies this bully, and he obviously has a temper. If it wasn't my friend's fence being put up with the "bad" side facing the bully's house, in time the bully would have found something else about my friend to be angry about. You see, now he has found little things to gripe about with the lady next door to him, and so he's putting up a fence. There were never issues like this in the neighborhood before the bully moved in.

The bully only has two neighbors on this street who speak to him. But the bully has lots of family members and friends who he entertains outside on the patio he built right near my friend's backyard property line. The bully has a huge yard, but he chose to build that patio near my friend's backyard. He also has outdoor speakers in the patio area. Yet my friend has never held a grudge (or said anything to the bully) about the bully building a patio near the property line. However, if the shoe was on the other foot, the bully would be freaking mad if my friend built a patio near the property line and started having a bunch of company over.

The bully must be quite miserable inside to act the way he does. I can't imagine moving into a new neighborhood and being a bigmouth and creating discourse. Geeze, he's so fortunate to have a good job, a nice house in a quiet neighborhood, a wonderful wife and beautiful healthy little girl plus a loving family and friends, so I don't understand why he is such an angry, controlling person.

I don't think anyone should have to bow down to satisfy this guy. If he wants to plant some bushes or flowers on his property to hide the "bad" side of the fence, he is free to do so. If my friend caved in and turned the fence around, which would cost a lot of money to do this, it would still not be the end of the bully's grudge against my friend.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 3:22AM
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if the patio is close to the line, then your friend should call the permit office anonymously and if it were permitted. in the city here, permanent structures such as patios, decks, and buildings cannot be within 6-20 ft of the line, varying by area of town, unless a variance is granted. if he did not get a permit, then your friend can make it so tha the is forced to remove it.

your friend may even want to hint at such action just to get him to step back.

for instance, at our old house in town one neighbor was always complaining that i need to trim the hedges around the fence. i told him he was welcome to trim the par ton his side, but i liked mine overgrown as i gave us soem privacy in our yard. i did keep them neat, but HE wanted them cut down to the poinit the point he could see in our yard. he did everything he could to try and force the issue. well one day he cut back a section of hedge on his side of the chain link fence and installed a 10x12 shed almost touching the fence. the next time i saw him out back, i very slyly made the remark that he sure did get a variance quick and some how without notice in the paper. he NEVER said another word about my hedges!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 10:41AM
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If you are intimidated by this person, you should contact your law enforcement authorities to report him without filing charges and see what they will recommend when you deal with him.
Forget about the fence thing. The company that put in the fence did it and they are professionals, so they would likely know best when they did the job.
You are right, people like this like to be unhappy and are not happy unless they can create drama. They are always "wronged" if it wasn't the fence it would be something else.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 10:43AM
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Start taking pictures of him, every day.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 2:58PM
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Keep a log of the craziness, that way if you are ever in legal disputes with him, you have evidence. I do that with my crazy neighbor upon advice of law enforcement.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 4:55PM
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I bought a very good book that is written by an attorney that covers all these issues.

The title is NEIGHBOR LAW fences,Trees, Boundaries, & Noise. Author. Cora Jordan. She has a website now that is very good.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 8:29AM
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lumper20: Thanks for the recommendation. I am in a continual battle with my crazy inconsiderate neighbor and we are in it for the long haul. He just built a chicken coop 5 feet from our lot line and it reeks. NOW I need to know what we can do about it.

It is NEVER ENDING with this guy... I wish my husband would acquiesce and let us move but no go.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 10:02AM
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You are welcome.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 2:20AM
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can you post the URL to the website? I can't find it on my google search...

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 11:21AM
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Think of it as a "one-time concession", like those "one-time fee rebates" you might get when you complain to your bank.

There's no such thing w/ people like this. Once he sees he's 'won,' he'll just escalate making demands. The last thing you want to do is change the fence in any way. If he cares so much about it, he can put up his own, beautiful fence to hide it.

Don't worry about watering the fence. Presumably, from time to time it rains. Fences shd be able to handle that, as well as bird poop.

Ignore him. If you feel intimidated, then contact a lawyer or make a harassment complaint w/ the police. And buy a shotgun, just in case. You don't have to bother aiming it, and everyone knows that. Or, get a big dog.

The wife is probably abused. The guy is a control freak, and has anger issues. 'Not allowed' to talk to neighbors, indeed! That wouldn't fly w/ me, for sure.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 12:39PM
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I will search for the website again using specific terms like encroachment, adverse possession, etc. The site does not cover the specific topics and what to do found in 19 chapters in the book of specific detailed easy to read legal information that is in the book. Of course, the book cannot cover every state's specific law(s) for statute of limitations,nor every state specific law on all the legal subjects covered, but; it tells you how to find that info. I highly recommend the book.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 1:24PM
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The OP and friend need to learn how to act like adults, even if the so-called "bully neighbor" cannot.

Way back at the beginning, the fence-building neighbor should have offered to finish the "bad" side of the fence in such a way as to exatly match the "good" side of the fence. This way, both children get the same sized slice of the birthday cake and neither of them can pitch a fit.

Failing that solution, the OP and her friend should simply learn to ignore the "bully". Working yourself up into a state of worrying over his antics is childish in itself. You're basically building up an inventory of reasons why you and your friend are "perfect neighbors" and the other guy is a "bully neighbor". Very childish on both sides.

You're conveniently overlooking the fact that a "good neighbor" policy, whether enforced by town building codes or not, should have prompted your friend to build the fence with the good side facing the neighbor, or with both sides of the fence finished identically.

I strongly suspect that a mind-set that says "we're always right, and he's always wrong" is at work here. There are 2 sides to every story. As i said before, very childish.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 4:05PM
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hmmm. build a fence with two good sides. That means you're going to have essentially two fences sandwiched together to allow for a good side facing outward on both sides. Because one cannot avoid putting the horizontal support boards up on a fence. So you build this fence 'sandwich' and the space between the two fences is essentially filled with air that moves very little. And no sun. Perfect conditions for mold/mildew/rot. (Ever see the north side of a fence, on the underside of a horizontal support board where the sun doesn't shine? It's completely green. We have to scrub ours every year with bleach water below those north-facing horizontal supports.) Doesn't sound like a logical solution at all.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2007 at 9:08AM
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Actually, there is something known as a "good neighbor fence." The vertical boards are attached to alternate sides of the horizontal structure with small gaps to allow the circulation of air. Both sides look the same.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2007 at 11:14AM
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Chapnc, you wrote: "The OP and friend need to learn how to act like adults, even if the so-called 'bully neighbor' cannot. You're basically building up an inventory of reasons why you and your friend are 'perfect neighbors' and the other guy is a 'bully neighbor'. Very childish on both sides."

Chapnc, I appreciate your opinion, but perhaps you don't fully understand the situation. Maybe you are assuming that I live with my friend or that I visit my friend's house a lot to witness the bully's behavior...I don't live with my friend and I'm lucky if I can visit him once a month (my friend has explained to me the situation with his neighbor). I am writing on this message board to get advice for my friend who has a neighbor who is still acting out in anger because of the position of the fence.

Chapnc, you wrote that "The OP and [I] need to learn how to act like adults"...but you don't even know me, so how am I not acting like an adult? I've had no personal contact with the bully. Also, what would make you think that my friend is not acting like an adult? Please give me an example.

My friend put up the fence with the "bad" side facing the neighbor's yard, but it doesn't make it right for that neighbor to resort to soaking the fence every day with water so that right now part of the fence has permanently taken on a different color. My friend also doesn't deserve the intimidation and bad-mouthing by the bully.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2007 at 6:41AM
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Mia, I say screw the neighbor!
It's your friends money and fence. If he wants the good side....then so be it.
The bully can go fly a kite! I wouldn't waste any time trying to appease this jerk.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2007 at 4:17PM
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No, Mia, I didn't assume you lived with your friend. I understood that you are a 3rd party to all of this. Which begs the question: what business is it of yours what the "bully" said about his neighbor's yard looking crappy? Can you even be sure that he actually said anything at all about the neighbor? No, you cannot. You yourself are being fed second-hand (even third-hand) information about the bully, and everything is so 100% stacked against him that we are all expected to fall in behind your good friend against him. It sounds like a childish fued and your friend has a need to get everyone on "his" side.

I tried to point out that all of this could have been avoided if your friend had built the fence correctly (with the finished side out), or had erected a fence that was attractive on both sides. But no; your friend (and you) has now dug in his heels and refuses to budge an inch. He sees this as "giving in to a bully". Both of you (and the majority of forum readers, no doubt) are now asking yourself "why should he give in to the bully?" Because he could have had the satisfaction of being the bigger person and avoiding a fued. Now it's too late.

I also stick by my observation about the "we're always right" mentality. In an earlier post about the grass mowing incident that the bully neighbor said something to the neighbor across the street, you stated "that's just rude". What I see is that it's rude for the bully, but it's not rude for you and your friend to come to this forum and tell us every detail about the bully's behavior. If it's rude for him to behave that way, then why are you not also being rude?

And the example about the clumps of grass is very telling also. The case you're making is that the clumps of grass were insignificant and harmless as long as they were left on the bully's side of the property line (hasn't anyone heard of a rake?), but as soon as the bully kicked the clumps of grass back onto the neighbor's side, there was enough grass in those clumps to damage the neighbor's well-kept flower beds. Again, it sounds very childish on both sides.

Your friend, and you, need to just ignore this person. If he is the neighborhood bully you make him out to be, try to imagine how much satisfaction he's getting by knowing how much he's getting under your skin. That's his purpose. You can both deny him that satisfaction by ignoring him and refusing to escalate this fued.

But dont' worry. You'll get plenty of agreement and sympathy from other forum posters. I'm just one opinion. Certainly you should lend and ear to your friend (that's what friends are for), but I suspect that your friend is not the "perfect neighbor" either.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2007 at 10:02AM
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Asking for advice on a forum is a bit different than "rudely" bad mouthing a neighbor to the resident across the street.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2007 at 4:10PM
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Well, I don't think anything the OP has said makes her deserving of 10 lashes with a wet noodle.

I think when we post here we expect to get responses that are either in agreement with our stated position, opposed to our stated position or helpful suggestions as to how a particular situation might be fixed.

I think there are ways to address a member's post without attacking that person's character. Clearly, there are some members here who haven't learned the knack of doing so.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2007 at 10:13PM
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Well, my helpful suggestion would be for the fence-building neighbor to approach the bully neighbor and apologize for any ill-will and misunderstanding. Offer to finish the bad side of the fence to make it more attractive. Offer to try to be a better neighbor. Give the bully neighbor half a chance to become a better neighbor too.

Coming to this forum to recite a litany of reasons why the neighbor is such a bully was childish. And all of the examples given are childish. There's no other word for it. Example: the bully neighbor had the gall to put a bird feeder in his yard near the fence! How dare he?!? That *proves* he's a bully neighbor! And if he's watering the fence in order to damage it or destroy it, he's picked a very slow way to do it. He's a very patient bully.

And I see *lots* of opinions expressed in this and other threads. I never meant to attack the OP's character, I just made an observation about her *behavior* in this instance. There is a difference, albeit subtle.

Unless we want to live as hermits, we *all* are neighbors to somebody. I've simply tried to point out in my posts that the OP's thread is so stacked against the poor guy that he doesn't have a chance here. It was the fence-builder who "started" it. It's up to the fence-builder to step up and find a way to end it before it gets really nasty.

But now I see that it's all so laughable. In cases like this (and I've read other similar posts), the OP doesn't want advice on what to do about it, the OP just needs people on her side.

I'll move on now. I don't want to antagonize anyone and I don't want to come across as a curmudgeon.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2007 at 11:31AM
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chapnc, I'm more sympathetic to your point of view than most posters here. But I have to ask you this: What if mia's friend can't easily afford to "correct" the fence? How much financial pain should he have to withstand? What if he'll have to cancel this year's vacation? Postpone buying a new car? Liquidate the grandkids' college fund? Eat ramen noodles for the next five years?

    Bookmark   July 3, 2007 at 12:41PM
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chapnc, while i agree with you that for neighborly sake the "nully" should hav ebeen asked beforehand, i still say that unless he paid for part of the fence he is SOL. most people do not work hard all their lives to get the money to buy something and then have to worry about pleasing the neighbors.

yes, this could have all been handled differently, but IF the guy is as bad as he is made out to be, they would still ahve the same problem. he would have been raising hell about the fence for soem otehr reason, like they did not paint it or it is shading and killing his grass or any number of other gripes.

as long as the fence was legally installed on their property at their expense, the bully should be told to go suck an egg.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2007 at 12:45PM
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Thanks everyone for your input on the situation. I appreciate any advice.

I don't mind differing opinions...that is the beauty of asking for advice on this message board. But I take offense when chapnc writes that my friend and I are childish. I use the word "bully" for this neighbor because he is a bully. There are always two sides to a story, however, my friend has not gone to other neighbors to bad-mouth the bully, he has not spread rumours around town about the bully, he has not tried to destroy the bully's property, he has not parked his car in front of the bully's house to watch the bully, he has not yelled at the bully or spoken to him in a rude manner. My friend has been trying to mind his own business. He is not letting this consume his life, but I am trying to get advice here for him now so that the situation doesn't escalate, since some of the bully's actions have been a little strange. The fence was put up with the "bad" side facing the bully's friend had thought with the fence being positioned this way, both houses would look better from the street. The bully's anger and reaction goes way beyond what is normal. The reality is the fence is up, and so why does the bully have to hold onto a grudge and try to ruin my friend's good name? The bully has plenty of room in his yard to put up pretty plants to hide whatever he doesn't like about the fence. He can do this as he can obtain any plants for free, but he just wants to create drama.

Chapnc, the difference between me talking about the bully's bad behavior on this message board and the bully going around to my friend's neighbors to bad-talk my friend is like apples and oranges. Nobody here knows this bully's name or where he lives. I'm here to get advice, that is my purpose. I have never asked for ways to retaliate against the bully. On the other hand, the bully is going around shooting his mouth off to lots of people who know my friend. The bully is not trying to find a way to help the situation.

I tend to think that if the fence had been put up to suit the bully's liking, that he would have found something else about the fence to gripe about. He's difficult to please and has to have everything done his way. The reason I wrote about the bully's behavior against his other next door neighbor and about how he was taking bad about her yard was to give you a better idea of the type of person he is, that not only does he find great fault with my friend, but he also finds great fault with his other next door neighbor. The person the bully spoke to about his neighbor's yard is a police officer (lives across the street), who an unbiased person. The police officer is disgusted with the way the bully spoke about my friend and the other neighbor.

By the way, what I didn't know was that after my friend tryed to talk to the bully about please not soaking the fence with the water sprinkler, the bully then proceeded to stand there every day at my friend's fence and soak it with the water hose. He stands there and soaks the fence up and down with water. I misunderstood and thought it was only the water sprinkler every day, but in fact, the man was standing there with a hose in his hand intentionally watering the fence and peering over the fence into my friend's yard.

Recently, the bully has been spreading bad talk about my friend around town to many people. Why does he have to do this?

    Bookmark   July 3, 2007 at 8:57PM
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I do acknowledge and respect the fact that your have kept the bully's identity anonymous, and I readily acknowledge that your posts do not rise to the level of rudeness where the bully is bad-mouthing people by name right there in there own community. That *is* rude and obnoxious behavior on his part. I would never try to excuse that.

But please read over some of your posts. Some of the infractions your lay at his door are just so minor. Petty even (on his part, not yours). They only give him satisfaction in that he can see how much they bother you and your friend. Honestly, now, how does the location of the bird feeder hurt anyone? The grass clippings left on his lawn would leave brown or yellow spots on his grass; they should have been raked up. Kicking the grass back over the property line was petty and childish (again, on the bully's part, not yours), but it couldn't possibly do anyone any harm. The neighbor on the other side should have simply raked them up and disposed of them; problem solved.

And he's only watering the fence because he knows your friend is *watching* him water the fence. If no one was there to see him do it, he wouldn't bother with it. Possible solution? Don't give him any notice what so ever. Another possible solution (this is meant to be funny; please picture it with some sense of humor): whenever your friend sees the bully watering the fence with his hose, then your friend should get out *his* hose and walk over and begin watering the fence also. The bully will be so upset that he has failed to upset your friend that he won't be able to see straight. And the fence will *not* fall down. If you ignore this particular antic, the bully will tire of it long before he can do any damage. Do you sit and worry about the fence rotting away every time it rains? No. The water is doing no damage.

Let me make myself perfectly clear: *real* threats communicated by the bully should be documented and reported to law enforcement. Don't tolerate them. But the bully's petty behaviour should simply be ignored. You're making him out to be more important than he really is (barring any real threats of physical harm).

    Bookmark   July 3, 2007 at 11:29PM
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Well, the bully's water bill is going to be sky high.
That should be good enough satisifaction to your friend.
Usually fences are made with pressure treated wood, so all the water in the world probably wont harm the fence.
The bully is just wasting his time.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2007 at 12:46PM
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Although I believe he's dealing with the issue in an ineffective manner, I don't blame the neighbor for wanting the front of the fence facing his property. It's the law in most places for a very good reason. It doesn't matter how YOU think it improves the view of his house -- it's HIS house, and your friend must have installed the better side facing his own place FOR A REASON. I think your friend should do the right thing and change the fence ASAP. As immature as the neighbor may be, I think your friend has some nerve expecting him to be content to live with the backside of his fence. Definite raspberries to your friend!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 1:54PM
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doc, i have never heard of a LAW that says which way a fence should face. HOA rules maybe, common decency definitely, but not a law.

the fence should stay exactly how it is. as i said earlier, if this guy wanted a say in it he should have contributed to the cost.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 2:16PM
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I'm not sure "law" is the right word. In my village, and the two on either side of it, it is "code" to install privacy fences with the good side facing your neighbor. They must also be asked first. And yes, they have to have a really good reason to say no - too close to windows, blocking right of way to meters, etc.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 4:00PM
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"Coming to this forum to recite a litany of reasons why the neighbor is such a bully was childish"

THIS is childish. Regardless of who anyone agrees with, these message boards are an open forum and the OP was simply stating things as seen through his perspective and asking for advice. If anyone has an issue with the concept of posting details about someone's life on a public forum, then it seems quite hypocritical to even be here reading them. I'm not giving my opinion on this matter, but I will say that all the OP's posts have been polite and civil-we should all return the courtesy

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 10:28AM
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Seems to me that the neighbor could add facing of his choice to the fence on his side. His pleasure, his expense. Where did the idea originate that everything we do must please the neighbors? It would be wonderful if it did, but I resent having to spend my money as directed by a neighbor.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 5:25PM
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Hi again,

In my friend's town, and in many other towns around here, there is a code of ordinances regarding how close to the street a fence can be and how high a fence can be, but there is no code regarding which side of a fence has to face a next door neighbor's house. My friend asked the town zoning dept if the fence must face a certain way, and the zoning person said that the decision is entirely up to the person who is paying for the fence and putting up the fence on their own property.

Personally, I totally understand about putting up a fence with the "good" side facing a next door neighbor's yard out of consideration, although, not all neighbors even appreciate the good gesture. But I don't think installing a fence with the "bad" side facing a neighbor's yard necessarily makes you a bad person or a bad neighbor.

The part of my friend's fence that the bully has been watering full-force with a hose is noticeably discolored when dry. Yes, the bully's water bill has probably increased (I don't know if he cares that he's wasting water, though). Chapnc wrote that the bully wouldn't water the fence if my friend was not watching. However, that is not the case...the bully stands in front of the fence and waters a part of it with his hose even when my friend is not home. My friend was coming home on different occasions when the bully was watering the fence.

My friend hasn't interacted with the bully ever since he walked over to the bully's yard to calmly talk with him, and the bully started yelling at my friend and told my friend to never step foot on his property.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 8:56PM
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What is happening amounts to vandalism. Your friend needs to put a stop to this nut. Your posts are almost covering a 3 week time span and the guy is still watering that fence?!? Take video and/or photos and call the police department next time he sees the bully soaking the fence. Does your friend's town have any watering bans in force? One last thought, is it city or well water? We live in town where we have city water but DH put in a well for my gardens I'm so passionate about. The well is great but I have to be careful not to expose our privacy fence or siding too with the sprinkler, the well water leaves a white residue (calcium?) that is a bear to get off (I've had to use a scruffy pad and CLR to get well water off my lower windows when the sprinkler decided to go spastic and shoot further than I set it up). Fortunately our well water does not rust the sidewalk, but some areas on the north side of our town the sidewalks are orange from rust in their wells for lawn/garden watering. Could there be something in the water that is discoloring the fence?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 8:51AM
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Any chance you could apply some kind of waterproofing stain to the fence? I know it doesn't actually solve the problem, but it may help the fence to better withstand the water.

Ideally you'd apply it sometime when the bully isn't home so you wouldn't have to deal with him running out and shrieking at you. If the bully doesn't know you, maybe you could apply the waterproofing and pretend to just be a worker who knows nothing about any of the bad blood - I don't know if that would defuse him from yelling at you while you work or not. (I wouldn't put an actual unsuspecting worker in the middle of all this though - what a nightmare). Think through all the angles before you try this - your neighbor certainly knows the bully better than anyone here. But I thought the waterproofing was worth mentioning as a possible option.

If you do apply waterproofing, I'd be sure to do the entire fence so the bully doesn't just move to another section with the watering.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 12:33PM
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I just dropped in and I see that this thread has yet to die.

bus_driver wrote: "Where did the idea originate that everything we do must please the neighbors? It would be wonderful if it did, but I resent having to spend my money as directed by a neighbor."

What he really means is "where did the idea originate that ANYthing I do has to please the neighbor". *I* built the fence! It's mine, mine, mine, mine. It's *my* money. MINE, MINE, MINE.

This type of selfish attitude makes for bad neighbors on *both* sides of the fence. I attempted to point that out in one of my earlier responses, and then for some reason I back-tracked on that sentiment. That was a mistake.

We occasionally do selfless things that please our neighbors so that we can live in a *neighborhood*, as opposed to a collection of houses surrounded by stockade fences.

The original fence-builder made a selfish decision to build the fence with the finished side in, without consulting the neighbor on how it would affect him. Some neighbors wouldn't care, some would. A good neighbor policy requires this step. A selfish neighbor policy says "screw the neighbor, it's MY fence".

I'm back to my original stand that *two* bad neighbors are involved in this mess.

I also doubt that there is a viable solution to this mess, because the fence-builder and the original poster are recalcitrant in insisting that the guy on the other side of the fence is the only bad neighbor. It's gone on too long and the resentment runs too deep now.

I can't decide if these "bad neighbor" threads are entertaining or sickening.

Oh yeah, if the fence *does* fall down due to water damage, would someone please advise the guy to build the new fence with the finished side facing *out*? Please?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 12:22AM
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chapnc, please do not distort my words and accuse me of things I never said nor implied. To do so is not being a good neighbor.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 7:19AM
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It would be good if our neighbors are always satisfied with what ever we do. But if we have more than one neighbor, it is an impossibility. Let's explore this idea of pleasing the neighbor with regard to building a fence. Neighbor says they do not want a fence, period. What to do? In this case, no choice of materials nor orientation of the best side of the fence will please the neighbor. Or suppose the neighbor says that a fence would be OK if of materials that the neighbor likes. So we take neighbor down to the fence company and neighbor chooses the materials, we pay the bill.
Exactly how far do we go to please the neighbors?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 7:43AM
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We struggled with the problem of a neighbor's preferences for what they'd like to see on our property, where accommodating them would be too much trouble or expense for us. My "aha" moment finally came when I read the rules for a nearby HOA development, which regulates pretty much everything that can be seen by neighbors or passersby. That's when I realized: 1) There are communities for people like my neighbors who want to control what they can see; 2) Neither I nor they live in such a community; 3) They can move to such a community if that's what they want.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 12:20PM
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To answer Moonshadow's questions: I was also thinking that this is a form of vandalism. Thanks for the idea of taking a picture. I asked my friend if he took a photo of the discolored area, and he said he did. Since my friend and another neighbor saw the bully slam a large plastic container on the ground in his front yard out of anger, I wonder if he would angrily confront my friend if he took a photo or video of him watering the fence. Anyway, there are no bans on water in the town. On their street, everyone has city water (no wells). Maybe the reason part of the fence is discolored is due to it not being sealed and also to being exposed to the extra water.

To answer Silvercomet: You came up with a great idea about having me waterproof the fence, since the bully doesn't know who I am. Although I would willingly do this for my friend, right now I have an injured foot that is painful to stand on, so I cannot do the work. Well, my friend is now in the process of applying sealant to the entire fence (to the other side when bully isn't home). Hopefully, the bully will stop his watering when the fence is all sealed.

Good points, bus_driver & suburbanmd. You can only go so far in trying to please neighbors. Some neighbors are tough to please no matter what. Others are happy as long as their neighbors are obeying the law and town ordinances and are civil to one another, and they don't sweat the small stuff. If someone has a strong desire for a neighborhood to look a specific way, then a HOA development would probably suit that person best.

Chapnc wrote: "I just dropped in and I see that this thread has yet to die." and "I can't decide if these 'bad neighbor' threads are entertaining or sickening."

Oh my gosh, Chapnc, I'm so sorry I started this thread to ask for advice! LOL. Why are you visiting this thread and still writing your comments if you are so annoyed by the thread? You can simply ignore this thread and go on your way. Other people have similar issues, and maybe this thread is helping them figure out what to do. Chapnc, you have a way of making incorrect assumptions about things that I as well as others have written. You have made rude remarks and don't respect some differing opinions. You assume you know exactly how I feel and that my friend is a bad neighbor simply due to a fence. I truly respect your opinion when you are providing constructive criticism, but when you state your opinion in a rude and bashing manner, it literally turns me off.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 3:26AM
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The OP may consider telling her friend that repeated unwanted and unwarranted acts against person or property is considered harassment under the law. If she has told her neighbor to stop watering her fence, and he still does it. It is considered harassment.

This is what I learned from the law enforcement officials that I talked to.

She should talk to them regarding how to handle the neighbor problem. And if necessary, a legal opinion if it goes that far.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 9:41AM
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Neighbor's not a bully but definitely large kahunas :-)
RE: Installing a fence... (Follow-Up #14)
posted by: vonniegirl328 on 07.13.2007 at 04:22 pm in Home Repair Forum
Hi guys, new to the forum and had a question. Put it in the wrong place...sorry. My wooden fence was blown away during Hurricane Katrina. All that remained were my metal posts. Someone bought the house next door and installed a 4' metal fence by using my existing metal posts. My intentions were to replace the fence by using 6'shadowbox wooden boards. Is there anything I can do? Do I ask them to remove the existing fence so that I can use my posts? It's only on one side with a hideous red orange gate. Can I ask them for $ to buy and install more posts to support my fence boards? My neighbor directly behind me has placed their own metal posts to put up I don't know what kind of fence. Please give me some direction here because I am trying to deter another attempted break-in.
Thanks in advance for your expert help.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 12:01PM
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Of course you should have said something when they started to erect the fence, but even now you should absolutely go to them and tell them the posts are yours, the property is yours and if they want their fence back in one piece to please remove it now. If they don't, you have every right to do whatever you want with it as it is yours, on your property!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 2:23PM
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Is this fence on a boundary line? I ask as boundary line fences can be subject to joint repairs/maintenance. Find out the fence law in your county and state prior to erecting a fence.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 4:39PM
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Chapnc is the bully in this forum. I think he lives on Garden Web to be the opposing voice. He seems to thrive on rubbing salt into the wounds of people with real problems that are looking for objective support and advice. Get a life, Chapnc.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 10:41AM
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I just want to say again that I truly appreciate all of your advice and opinions.

My friend has finished sealing both sides of the fence. When I visited him last week, I noticed from the driveway that even though the fence is sealed, I could still see the dark discoloration from all the water the bully hosed the fence with...the discoloration went through to the side of the fence that faces my friend's yard. My friend put a tarp over the fence to protect it for the time being in case the bully starts watering it again. So far, the bully hasn't watered the fence...obviously he wouldn't water a tarp. But when the tarp come off, the police may be called if the bully begins watering it again since he was already asked twice to please not water the fence...Do you think calling the police is the right thing to do in this situation?

Anyway, at my visit, I noticed (I don't know why I didn't notice before) that the fence only extends part of the way between the properties, so it is not a long fence by any means.

The bully is still driving really slowly by my friend's house every day and staring at the house, even when my friend is inside his house. I think this is a little odd.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 2:58AM
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I think at this point the best thing your friend could do is just totally ignore the bully for a while (weeks, at least) and maybe he'll go away bored. Calling the cops because someone's wetting the wrong side of your fence (in the cops' eyes) won't be productive, and reacting to the drive-by's won't either, but will feed whatever the bully gets off on.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 5:20AM
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I've never had an experience like this with neighbors, but I was bullied in school, and I know all about the behavior of bullies. To me, they seem to thrive on attention--the more attention you give them, the more they bully. I agree with Lucy that your friend should ignore the bully completely...act like he doesn't even exist. And definitely do not call the police...that will only ignite him further.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 2:30PM
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I'm from Texas, where people are supposedly friendly (I think I am!), and I've never built, or seen another neighbor build, a fence where the "bad" side faces toward the person building the fence. I've even paid for half of a large fence along a property line at my old house, and happily accepted the "bad" side. Why not? I'm amazed that some people here (and the bully) are so particular about this.

Anyway, I agree with the other posters who suggest your friend ignores the intimidation as long as everyone can. Hopefully the bully will find something else to bother about, after he realizes no one is feeding the fire.

(P.S. There are worse things, maybe, than watering a fence. The kids on my street use my fancy-schmancy architectural and newly-painted fence as a goal post for their soccer games. Thunk, thunk, thunk! The parents live on another street and don't supervise them, and don't care . . . the children also throw water balloons, write on houses, and throw trash in people's yards. A fence can be waterproofed, but it can't be proofed against constant beating by a pack of middle-school kids, sigh.)

    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 11:14PM
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There are a lot of people out there that just can't be reasoned with. Nothing you do or say is ever going to be good enough. But I don't buy the "two bad neighbors" theory someone put out. Phooey. I'd be furious that he cut down those trees. His property, so no one would say I had a leg to stand on. Her property her fence, she can do what she wants.
NO DILLY DALLYING! Being nice gets you nowhere with people like this. NOWHERE.

If she EVER feels threatened (if he ever so much as raises his voice at her) she should immediately call the cops and ask for a restraining order. And keep calling so there is a record.

Fantasy? Paint his side of the fence with things like
"Likes to Bully old neighbor" "Tree Killer" "Psycho grudge holder" Maybe that would qualify for two bad neighbors. Would be really fun though.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 12:19PM
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Good advice to ignore the bully. I say pretend he doesn't exist unless he is doing something destructive to my friend's property or outright threatening my friend.

My friend's wife was inside the house, and she just happened to look out the window when the bully was walking toward the fence by himself and made a gesture with his hand/fingers as though he had a gun and he shot the fence. Made me laugh when I heard this. He's really letting the fence get the better of him.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 4:14AM
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I think it would be very helpful if, finally, a picture of this situation were posted. We are only hearing your friend's and your point of view.

In an earlier post you said that the bad-side-out actually looks better for him.
Could you take a picture from both approaches from the street, so we can see? I keep thinking that we're missing part of the story.
It's really not that hard to post pics here - there are several how-to threads.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 10:33AM
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I just checked our county codes website:

"A fence can be placed up to the lot line with front side facing either direction. No height limit."

Although I do know you have to get a permit to install a privacy fence here.

I would think most areas it is the same. So the person who is complaining about the fence has no leg to stand on complaining about it, if their codes are the same.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 5:00PM
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Hi klimkm,

Thanks for your message and the info you looked up. The code in my friend's town basically states that it doesn't matter which side of the fence faces a neighbor's yard, though there is a height limit. My friend's fence is installed according to the code, and the fence is completely on my friend's property (fence isn't even installed on the property line). But that neighbor is still being a baby about it and taking out his anger on my friend in other ways, even though my friend is ignoring him. It's so rediculous and childish.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 2:09PM
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Yes, it is stupid and childish - and they are grown adults that are acting this way too.

Welcome to the world of those of us who have neighbors from he**. There is a website for those who are dealing with neighbors like this, just google neighbors from he**. It is an online community and gives some great advice.

And makes you realize that our neighbors aren't THAT bad, believe it or not.

Best thing you can do, is never let anything they do bother you - it ruins their day. Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2007 at 9:31AM
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Holy cow klimkm, I googled and found the website you mention. There are some unbelievable horror stories there!! Makes me grateful, truly truly grateful, what a living nightmare!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 3:42PM
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I would like to mention it is a bad idea to have anyone stand on the neighbor's property and do anything. I mention this having worked for a surveyor who has had property owners sit at the property line, shotgun on lap, daring him to step one foot onto their property, while the county sheriff he has contacted for his safety stood and watched the guy watch him because it's perfectly legal to sit on your property with a shotgun on your lap.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2007 at 10:49PM
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And the sad thing is - since they started that website, it has been growing and growing daily. These NFH problems are so widespread. Hopefully this site will help people dealing with this out. I requested such a forum here on garden web but my request was ignored...

Mostly, problems seem to be because of drugs and alcohol abuse. So sad.

gertie: unbelievable how some people are - that is a story!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2007 at 9:32AM
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Most importantly, DOCUMENT EVERYTHING - dates, times, names of witnesses, pictures, invest in hidden surveillance (easy to do, many reasonably priced products on the internet), and don't show intimidation or walk away when he yells. Let him yell, and then say what you have to say. You have to stand up for your property.

If you need to examine the opposite side of the fence by means of accessing his property, carry a hand held tape recorder and if he approaches you, IMMEDIATELY inform him that you are recording the conversation, and state your intentions - you are examining your own personal property, and as soon as you are finished you will exit his part of the property. It is not illegal to tape record someone unless you do it without informing them about it. You do not need their consent. If he doesn't want to be recorded, he will shut up really fast. My guess is he will probably still yell, but what more could you possibly ask for at a time like that?

If the guy gets physical or makes threats regarding your physical safety, that's a different story entirely. I probably wouldn't approach him without another person or persons present, just so you have a witness.

The fact that the guy is watering the fence, YOUR PROPERTY, every day is the issue. If I had put up the fence, I would have given my neighbor the good side (in our community it's mandatory, but I also think it's proper ettiquette). If you weren't sure which side was better, I would have talked to the neighbor about it.

If you were to pursue a restraining order, the judge might also ask if YOU were bitter that he cut down the trees, and ask if YOU put up a fence (bad side facing neighbor) just for spite. Not saying you had ill intentions, but see how easy the facts can be misconstrued by a third party? There are indeed two sides to every story. You said he's particular about his lawn, he even gets upset that someone else mows a small area of his lawn, so does he want his lawn "perfect" (i.e. all the daily watering), or is he just a control freak? My neighbor waters her lawn every day, and her sprinkler sprays my fence. I don't think she's trying to rot my fence. Do you see the point I'm getting at here? It's all about proving what his intentions are, and that's the real issue. But if I had a neighbor standing there with a hose and was intentionally spraying directly at my fence, then I might question it. That's where pictures and surveillance will help support your case if you should pursue a restraining order, and that would include a restraining order for you AND your property.

Start with law enforcement. At this point, you just want to talk to them and get some advice. What do they recommend in dealing with difficult neighbors? Give them the history with this guy. Maybe if the crazy neighbor sees the patrole car outside your house, it will be his wake up call. Follow the instructions of the police, get their business card, and document this visit. If they tell you to try to reason with him one more time, then do it. Even if the guy yells at you. Let him yell, say what you have to say, and leave. Don't be confrontational - stay calm. Next, send a certified letter (put the return address where he won't see it when he signs for it), and state in that letter that you are concerned that his actions are causing or will cause potential damage to your property. Here you have proof that you made your concerns known to him. If he doesn't sign it, you will still have proof that it was returned "refused". You have gone beyond your means to try to reason with this guy.

Still having problems? I'd call the police back again - this time when he's in the act. Have the police actually go over and talk to him. Document this 2nd visit. If that still doesn't resolve the problem, get a restraining order. Once a restraining order is in place, continue to use your video surveillance, and if you see him in the act, walk on either your property or via public property to camcord him in the act (just don't go on his property when you do this). This is perfectly legal as long as you are on your own or public property. If he doesn't care that you see him watering your fence for no apparent reason, then why should you care if he sees you taking pictures of him doing it?

Worried about rot? Paint the fence. Put tarps over them for a couple of weeks so they completely dry out. He doesn't like it? Too bad. Then, if he does his watering on your fence during or before the painting process, you have the right to take him to court. If you hire contractors to paint the fence, it will be their legal issue (have them pull a permit beforehand - if applicable - to make it even more legal). Put signs up all along the fence, "WET PAINT", and "PRIVATE PROPERTY" while you are doing so. A good quality paint will last many, many years against weathering, and his efforts will be in vain. Just an option to consider.

Most of all, try not to let him get to you. He sounds like a real loser who will spend the rest of his life in conflict with others. He probably won't live long!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 2:10PM
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I'm adding more that I couldn't fit in my last long post!

I just wanted to make a comment about the bully factor. I don't know that I agree that someone can "make" someone else cut their trees down (with regard to the neighbor lady on the other side of bully neighbor who was "forced" to cut some of her trees down because bully neighbor didn't like them). He didn't make her do this. If she is the owner of the property, she agreed to do this. Did she tell everyone in the neighborhood that he forced her to do this, or is that just neighborhood gossip?

Maybe her trees hang over on his property line or close to his home, endangering his property - and there are ordinances about that. Trees that hang over someones home is a risk - my neighbor has a huge maple tree that had branches touching our roof. We had our roof replaced, and found we had carpenter ants. The first thing they told me to do was to get those branches away from the house, so I talked to my neighbor and had him call a tree service to cut the branches back. We did the neighborly thing and paid for half the cost. He didn't complain, and neither did we. I guess my point is, this neighbor lady was probably trying to keep the peace with him, and maybe she didn't care that the trees were coming down. I don't buy that she was forced into it because, well, realistically this isn't grade school. I think we all grow up and realize at a certain point in our life that once you stand up to a bully, 9 times out of 10 they will back off, and as we mature we come to the realization that compromise is a key factor in forming healthy relationships.

And, it sounds to me like Bully does take care of his yard. My neighbor next to me doesn't like his neighbors yard because they let it grow wild. I think that people who do spend a lot of time making their yard look nice take pride in it, and living next to someone who doesn't isn't very appealing for those who do. But, I think we also need to respect our neighbors. While I may not like what my neighbors yard looks like, I do care for my own and only concern myself with my own. Just trying to look at this objectively.

On a side note, I don't completely disagree with chapnc about the two bad neighbors (ok, maybe the tone was a bit harsh, but I also don't believe in sugar coating, and I don't think someone is being "rude" by voicing disagreement, as harsh as it may sound, I think he has every right to do so without being attacked by those who disagree with his view point).

I DO think that compromise goes a long way, and it does seem that there is too much obsession with the fence getting wet from water. It's like I said earlier, there are two sides to every story, and we're hearing just one side, and some of us are trying to look at this objectively. Weren't fences designed for the weather? I'm assuming that most wood fences are treated wood, and will withstand weathering for years to come. Is there a warranty? If so, then use it if it starts to show rot.

I don't know, I guess I'm "on the fence" with this one (he he he), but I definitely agree that the nasty neighbor is difficult to deal with (I have one myself, but yaaaayyyy they sold their house!!).

I also see as I perused more posts here that the owner DID stain the fence (I suggested painting in my last post). Good idea.

I disagree with others that it's not a good idea to call the police. If this guy is pointing fingers at the fence and making gestures that he is going to "shoot" at someone or something, it may be construed as an intimidation factor, but that is nothing to take lightly. There are those who go through life thinking that it will never happen to them, and there are others that prefer to err on the safe side. I'm with the latter. By doing nothing, you are ignoring the issue and hoping it will go away. I don't agree with that. I believe the issue should be addressed in order to reach a resolution. Amicably, if possible.

Before you resort to the police, if it makes you feel better to make one last attempt to resolve this on your own, then suck it up, tell the neighbor you are sorry if you offended him, be the bigger person and take him a batch of freshly baked cookies. Kill him with kindness. If he still threatens you and continues to mess with your property, well then you have no alternative but to contact the police, or quit complaining about him altogether.

And as a side note, it wouldn't hurt to do a background check on this guy. Some counties have this public information readily available on the internet. See what your community has to offer.

I also suggest that fence neighbor talks to the police (after one last attempt at reconciling differences) because 1) it seems that fence neighbor gives in to intimidation easily and is "afraid" of bully, and fence neighbor seems more passive-aggressive (neighbor cuts down trees, so he puts up a fence with "bad" side out - allegedly!), and 2) you can't reason with bully because he's completely irrational, type A personality, controlling and doesn't understand the concept of being neighborly, and 3) fence neighbor doesn't seem to stand up for his property on his own.

Some random thoughts:
If bully is so bad and talking negatively to everyone in town, why do people associate with him? I avoid negative people like that, and I find it hard to believe that such a nasty person would be so friendly with everyone else in the neighborhood.

The comment about the bird feeder by the fence and why it's a big deal - if anyone has had a bird feeder by the fence, you will know that you will have to spray your fence almost daily because of all the bird droppings on the fence. It's not pretty, and it's a pain the butt.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 3:27PM
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I talked to my neighbor and had him call a tree service to cut the branches back. We did the neighborly thing and paid for half the cost.

no, YOUR NEIGHBOR did the neighborly thing and paid half. ALL limbs over the property line are your responsibility not his.

but it is nice tha tyou actually get long well enough to say you will split the cost and then actually do it!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 6:17PM
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Thank you for all the helpful advice and taking the time to write. My friend has photos of the damage to the two fence panels that the neighbor intentionally watered; this damage goes all the way through the wood to the side of the fence facing my friend's house. My friend is protecting the fence with a tarp for now.

My friend put up the fence because the trees that provided privacy were cut down. He didn't have the fence installed with the unfinished side facing the neighbor for spite. Even if the fence was installed with the finished side facing the bully neighbor, the bully would have found something else to complain about with regards to the fence or whatever.

My friend isn't complaining about the bird feeder. I'm the one who mentioned it here just to state that the bully put a feeder up right by the fence so bird crap would get all over it.

I just want to mention that the bully didn't force the woman neighbor cut her trees down...
You wrote: "I don't know that I agree that someone can 'make' someone else cut their trees down (with regard to the neighbor lady on the other side of bully neighbor who was 'forced' to cut some of her trees down because bully neighbor didn't like them). He didn't make her do this." I never stated that the bully FORCED this woman to have her trees cut down. I had written: "He has even gone so far as to dictate to the neighbor on the other side of him how their yard should look, and what trees they need to cut down (he's really into cutting down trees)..." The trees he cut down were not near or overhanging his property (he just didn't like the trees), but the woman did agree to allowing him to cut the trees. The point I was trying to make is that he has a need to control the neighborhood, as he has acted controlling towards my friend.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 3:51PM
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Hello, I am new to the forum but I had to ask, since the fence watering ritual and the resulting discoloration is very unpleasing, perhaps a visit to the local agriculture extension would inform you of a law known as chemical trespass. That may help especially since the dampness is causing a bloom of some kind (moss, mold?)

You may also consider that since you would not want your car to have eggs on it, nor would you want your car washed by an unfriendly person, why then is this person allowed by the local authorities to continue to trespass with his hose and water onto the fence, and to go one step further, why not into your friends open kitchen window?

I must submit that the local Police Department must intervene on your friends behalf and treat this fellow as a common trespassing criminal, to elevate this person to the level of bully is giving too much respect to him. He is nothing more than a trespassing criminal and should be treated by the local authorities as such. As for your friends effort to, shall we say 'not make any waves', this friend of yours has perhaps let the fence contractor talk them into the fences' orientation but now must no longer be content with the keeping of the (relative) peace. Call the Police.

You may also consider having a paint the fence day with all of the supportive neighbors donating their time as a show support...and waterproof the bad side of the fence, oh, say, neon orange? That way, nearly everyone would delight in the natural color of a lovely sunset....of course your friend may not be into 'dropping bombs' but a 'warning shot' of painting a board or two neon orange or neon pink may be enough to take the wind out of hose guys sails...a Sharpie written note may inquire which color he likes better.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 9:04PM
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Greetings - I am a newbie, but have a few cents to my area, homeowners often install stockade fencing up against neighbor's older chain link, on their own respective properties, of course. Possibly because our lots are small, and no one can afford to waste too much land, the fence companies install them with the "bad" side facing the neighbors; and say it is the only way to attach them to the posts. No one aound here, including myself, seems to mind.
I agree with treesarecool, however, and I believe that doing anything to a fence on someone else's property constitutes trespassing. The fact that fences should be expected to withstand water is entirely beyond the point.
Regarding bringing cookies, etc. to a bully neighbor; in theory its a good idea - delivered with a note that states something to the effect that "I certainly didn't mean to offend you- the time, effort, and care you invest into your property shows, and in hindsite I now understand how the appearance of the fence does not fit with your standards, but please accept these homemade chocolate chip cookies as a token of my hope that we can move past what I assume you must consider to be a horrible blunder on my part...Sincerely, your neighbor, XYZ" Of course, with an individual harboring deep seated anger issues as the bully you describe, such action is likely to have little effect. There are advantages, however: 1. You will likely feel much better for having taken the high road 2. There is a small possibility of softening the bully. 3. The photocopy of the DATED note could prove as invaluable proof of your positive efforts and behavior in your attempt to reach out to your problem neighbor, should you end up in court, etc. Have someone take a picture as you deliver. Continue logging and videotaping etc. Best wishes to your friend!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2007 at 8:19PM
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I'd be careful, however, with the wording, as you don't want a situation where you've (even sarcastically!) committed yourself on paper as having been in any way at fault, as such things can come back to bite you if someone decides to go legal about them.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 5:39AM
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Install cameras quick - your friend will never please the neighbour now. If he wants the "good" side facing him, let him put his own fence in (I quess that's what he is doing). Too late, but you can always suggest sharing the cost of a new fence and not having a good/bad side.
Your friend's neighbour is just being childish and silly. Laughing at him will leave him looking as immature as he is.
Get those cameras in before he gets worse. This is harassment and could turn nasty.
How about a follow-up.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 6:31PM
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OMG... this is quite similar to the situation we have, but we are the new people on the block, and it is our fence.

Our bully neighbor on our left hand side was used to walking all over our property. He is also friends with the people in the back of our house as well.

We put up with his bushes and him ruining our chain link fence. I had enough when his friends in back of us were on our garage roof trimming the entire back of our tree limbs off of our tree.

This is when I tour down the chainlink fence that my jerky neighbor on the left ruined (he had huge bushes and had wire around them and our posts...I realized this while trimming his unruly bushes that were growing on our side of the property). We installed a solid cedar fence and installed it all the way down the driveway and to the end of our property. Of course, he had a fit and the guy in back of us had a fit because it blocked a makeshift gate they installed in the back as a go between between my property and the guy in back of me.

My jerky neighbor insisted that our fence was over the property line. Mind you, when I had the fence people install the fence, I made sure they were a few inches in from the property line in case there were any errors on their part. Actually, I measured after they measured and the fence is well within the property line. Additionally, this guy has a double lot. Go figure that he's worried about "inches".

After the fence was installed he also put bird feeders up along the fence and the birds were crapping all over it. I purchased bird spikes and that remedied the problem.

Oh, I also had to hire a tree person to correct the imbalanced tree too. These people have cost us a lot of money.

After he realized the bird feeders weren't working anymore, he planted TREES about an inch or two away from the fence. I have pictures of when we first bought the house with the bushes and the fence as well as when we put our fence up and his bushes were still there. We also have pictures of when he took the bushes down and the trees put up. (I forgot to tell you that he eventually took the bushes down, but that was only to plant trees and such).

Our neighbors in the back have thrown something over the fence to kill our grass. The shape of it resembles someone throwing a bucket of something over the fence. The neighbors have a pool and have chemicals. We have dogs and they like to eat the grass at times. This weekend I noticed a nice section (ice cream cone shaped) of dead grass that was healthy and green the day before. My dog has had the runs all weekend. You can see splatter white spots on weeds surrounding this shape too. This same occurance happened last August around the same spot (same shape too) and I didn't think it was an accident then, but this just confirms it for me.

Yes, this stuff happens to people. This is completely ridiculous. I am unsure if it was our neighbor behind us that did it or the guy next to us and he was on their property. He goes on their property all the time when they aren't home. He swims in their pool when they aren't home, etc.

They also stare and watch, and no, I am not being paranoid. I've had witnesses to this happen and it is creepy. They are crazy, but say that I am... lol :) I guess calling them on their bullying behaviors is crazy. Oh well.

The woman in back of us made a comment about women and doing yard work eluding that I was a lesbian (who cares if I was or not), so I am putting gay flags up on a clothes line that blocks their view of our backyard... lol.

As far as the jerky neighbor on my left, not much I can do about his trees until they start ruining our fence. At that time, I'll have to take him to small claims court.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 10:01PM
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This may be a little late in coming, but you aren't the brightest cookie in the bunch, are you?

I don't know what PLANET you live on, but where I live, my NEIGHBOR'S tree is my NEIGHBOR'S financial responsibility, not mine. It is HIS expense to cut the limbs from HIS tree should they encroach on MY property. So yes, I DID DO the neighborly thing and paid HALF the cost to trim HIS tree.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 3:31AM
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kimcoco, check the LAW IN JUST ABOUT EVERY LOCALE. odds are if you checked with your local government your area is the same. very few locations have changed their laws on this in the last few years.

the tree is his responsibility only as far as it is on HIS property. once any portion of the tree crosses your property line, it is YOUR responsibility. except for very specific cases of proven neglect, even if it falls due to weather and destroyes your house, YOU pay for the damages not him.

did he have to cut the limbs or even pay for tehm to be cut, NOPE. you wanted them off your property so you were technically responsible.

like i said, it is nice that you have a good enough relationship that you guys agreed to split the cost and then actually DID split it. but in reality he could have told you to do it yourself and there was nothing you could do so long as the tree and limbs were healthy.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 1:37PM
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Davidandkasie is correct. The branches that overhang the neighbor's yard are their responsibility. I know because we have paid for tree trimming for two neighbors (after getting their permission). One was too close to our gutters and the other was creating too much shade in our yard and competing with our trees. (Their trees are willow oaks which do not live long and drop branches like crazy.)

Mia, I have to say your friend is very lucky to have you sticking up for him. Can you let us know how this turned out? What about the policeman who lives across the street from your friend? Has he been asked for advice?

    Bookmark   November 27, 2008 at 6:52PM
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I would go look around the neighborhood for someone else doing something that might tick off the bully and point his attention that way! THEN pull up a chair and stock up on beer. It would be my new nightly ritual! I am kidding. I would document everything and probably have to go the surveilance route.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2008 at 8:50PM
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Last home we lived in did not allow front yard fences, although back yard fences were okay. Since it was a new neighborhood everyone was busy erecting fences and sharing the cost with neighbors on either side.
Our elderly neighbor pointed out to us that most of the yards going up the road had a good side and a bad side in each yard. His suggestion was, if we didn't mind, to alternate the good/bad side in 6' increments. We didn't mind and it added a pattern.
We suggested it to our neighbors on the other side of us, they liked the look and agreed, also suggesting it the neighbors on their other side, and so went most of the remainder of the street.
Everyone made a little compromise and everyone was satisfied!

    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 8:42PM
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I agree, don't give in to the bully. If it wasn't the fence, it would have been something else. Soon, it will be more than just the fence. I too would document everything.

I would also contact the police. Go to the police station. They have something that is just short of a police report, I forget what they call it, but at least then there is a record of his behavior. If it does escalate, then a pattern can be shown. It's like the stalking law - you have to show a consistent pattern of behavior that leads up to something illegal.

I'd guess this bully will soon be bored with his current crap and will be doing something else to make your friend's life miserable.

I've worked with many a miserable bully. They are relentless, they never give up. They are sadistic, it's entertainment for them. They are just evil.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 6:35PM
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My suggestion: tell your friend to put pink flamingos every 5 or 8 feet along the fence that abuts the "bully" yard. Then slice and dice (secretly) his irrigation system that waters your friends fence down. Then have your friend send his bully neighbor 3 large pizzas, paid for by your friend, that says, "I hope we can mend our broken fences. Talk soon."

No need to involve the police or lawyers until someone loses an eye. A little strong-arming with a generous dose of nice-ness can do the trick. It's all in the aim to get those two to communicate. Even if they yell and scream at each other, but eventually laugh and commonly decide what nees to be done, it's all good. This tit-for-tat, car-spying, good side/bad side fence, etc. is childish. Issues need to be thrown on the table immediately and addressed.

Flamingos and pizza are the perfect combination to piss someone off and get their respect all in the same day.

Best of luck to your friend.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 10:15PM
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Sorry that I haven't updated in a while. It's unfortunate that the bully has had such a strong hateful reaction to a fence that isn't even on his property and that he truly has no say whatsoever about according to the law since the fence was installed 100% within the code/guidelines provided by the town. It's childish and criminal to act out in revenge by trying to cause rot to a section of the fence by constantly watering it with a heavy stream of water (rain will not have the same effect as intentionally soaking a fence over & over again in the same spot).

I don't think the bully watered the fence much last summer (good news!) since he now knows that if he starts to water the fence like he has in the past, my friend will cover that part of the fence with a tarp to protect it, and the tarp does not look attractive, yet it does the job of protecting the fence from being damaged. Unfortunately, the discoloration from all that water-soaking in the past is permanent. So even though my friend stained and sealed the fence really well, the discoloration from the water still managed to penetrate all the way through to the other side. My friend never asked the bully to pay for the damage, though...I think he should have had the bully pay for a new fence panel along with labor costs to replace the discolored panel.

The bully still drives slowly past my friend's house, and as he drives by, he makes strange gestures with his hands towards my friend's house. In the beginning, the bully used to put up his middle finger or point at the house and mouth off words when he was all alone in his car. He also still complains to some of the neighbors on the street about the fence and about how bad of a neighbor my friend is because of the fence. I would think that people would be wary of someone who talks so negatively about a neighbor that they've known for years to be a nice person who has never caused trouble. The bully has become friends with the cop on the street, and word has gotten back to my friend that he said some nasty things about my friend to the cop...probably lies and exaggerations.

This is so childish. Maybe the bully has too much free time on his hands that he has nothing to do but let the anger about a fence fester in his mind. What if the bully had moved in next door to one of those neighbor's from hell? He has no idea how bad life can get when you live next door to a neighbor from hell...he should visit that "Neighbors from Hell" website and read the horror stories and then maybe he'll realize how lucky he is that all he has to complain about is a fence.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2008 at 9:57AM
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Maybe your Bully will be one of the people that will lose his home to foreclosure.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2008 at 1:31PM
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I would not call the police yet. It does not sound like anything criminal...yet. I would document everything done by date and time. Just keep a notebook and add each day the goings on. If the fence is on he property line, good luck. If the fence in on the owners property by at least a foot or two I would resort to retaliation. I know many of you will find this rediculous but just imagine if I was your neighbor. Cover the neighbor side of the fence to "save" it from the constant watering. Cover it with blue or other colored vinyl tarps (just to save the fence , of course).
Turn the other cheek.....never. There is a neighbor dispute in our town. One was upset with his neighbor. He placed six toilets, on the property line at the street, filled them with cheap plastic flowers and watered them daily when the neighbor came home from work.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 8:49AM
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mam...what a waste of time...your friend needs to grow a set of nuts...and pay back the said he has his patio next to his fence..put to HUGE speakers out side and blast him..install a survalance camera on a pole
and aim it at his place..and the toilets with plasticflowers are a great idea
and the best advice i can offer is to bait him ..then stick his but in jail
put up a SURVALANCE CAMERA UP then havea conversation with the guy..bait him..confront him,,tell him what you think
if he resorts to violence..let him hit you..
then put his but in jail for 10 years. if your buddy has been documinting this stuff, and there are records of it
he can get 10 years...then your buddy will be idiot free
his wife will have to move,she'll not be able to pay mortgage..if he is as big a jerk as you say, he will be raped and demaned in prison. so there will be no more problems out of her...

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 2:01PM
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And the camers will also note the bully was baited. That will mean it took two to tango. Charges wil be dropped.

But contactilg an attorney and filing a civil action in court to recover the cost of the damaged fence is not unreasonable.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 7:24AM
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toxcrusadr Clay Soil

Nobody gets 10 years for punching someone.

And what is 'demaned'? Is the guy actually a lion or horse?



    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 3:35PM
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How about dropping some seeds on the bully's side - protective, fast growing vine types?

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 7:09PM
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Mia: I had no idae this was still going on. Let me tell you what I did with a rent to own, lease 2 purchase neighbor, who was only the last of four such, who tried to use my fence and property to tie into to harass me. I had a boundary line survey done for 500 bucks and clearly had the property staked out on the property line between the jerks and my property. I let the stakes sit in the ground until the wife, who is the real problem next door, stated -"the stakes are an eyesore." I could see she was ticked as she was spray painting the boundary line on the grass. I laughed inside. I went outside then walked over after she called me, and; I politely stated -" you said you wanted a survey earlier- about six monnths ago, and; it never happened. I thought you would appreciate it." She huffed and puffed. I then tore my entire back yard fence down as I do not have a dog or dogs. Next they put in a tall privacy fence back of the stakes, and; I got my property back. I was happy, but; I acted like they had really hurt me. I am ROFLMAO as they totally closed themselves in, and; I no longer have to see them, their eyesores or hear them shout at me. I am tickled. There are more ways to win then by fighting.I cannot force anyone to do anything, but; I can prevent adverse possession, which is what I did by acting like they won.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 5:03AM
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I really think this neighbor had some far greater issues than yards or fences and that worries me. What you said initially
about the wife being his opposite, and having a daughter. You never mentioned them being out in the yard, or seeing them on the street...I can't help but wonder if they are not both being abused. This man sounds so out of control with neighbors that I can't help but worry about his wife and child.
I would make some phone calls just to make sure they are both alright. Your name will never be released and you may save a life or two. If this makes sense to you-be sure and do it in "good faith" based on his lack of anger control, not based on trying to get him in trouble. I'd call the Child Protective Services and make a report. If you have other knowledge about the child or just about his displays of temper...Also I think the idea of seeing if he has any reports of similar behavior due to his increasingly odd and who knows maybe someday violent behavior. The police department should assist you if he has any problems in his past. It seems worth it to me to check-because of his wife and child and the possibility he may indeed someday completely lose it.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 1:38PM
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toxcrusadr Clay Soil

Actually, there may be an online database of criminal records. There is one we use in my state called Casenet. Surprising what you can find there...

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 5:18PM
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First of all, bullying is a big problem everywhere and there is an effective way to deal with it. Let me start out by telling you that I live next door to a problematic neighbor for over 20 years. I'm not going to move, and I have even told this idiot that; "Saying no matter whether you like me or not, your stuck with me as much as I'm stuck with you."

Something that you really got to consider when dealing with someone like this: (Ask youself) Are you going to be a victim, or are you going to be victorious?

People like my crappy neighbor or your friends, are a dime a dozen; "meaning" they exist at all levels, and constantly seek victims of easy prey. Like a Great White Shark hunting a Sea Lion.

Tell this neighbor if they have a problem with what side of the fence faces their yard, then maybe he needs to foot some money for that section of the fence.

Don't fall victim to intimidation of this immature non-sense. Someone in this position must either stand their ground or become a foot rug; and I'll tell you that if you give into something like this; you'll eventually make things worse on yourself.

I have had many attercations with my neighbor; thank god I have not had to get violent with him yet, but if it comes to that I'll deal with it then. I'm not going to start a fight with him, but he's not going to control me or my Family's life.

Just take my advice; tell this neighbor "nicely" if theres a problem with which side of fence faces his property; then maybe he needs to help finance that section of fence. However, make sure the fence facing this neighbors property is atleast 6" inside the property line.

hopefully I have helped you in determining a functionable solution to your problem.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 9:02AM
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I was surprised that your friend put his fence on backwards. I've never seen anyone do that. It seems it is your friend who did not want to look at the back side of the fence or he would have installed it correctly in the first place. If I installed my fence inside out like that the homeowners assoc would make me take it down. Sounds like both neighbors are at fault. One for putting his inside of the fence toward his neighbor and the other for not handling it with more tact

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 11:32AM
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I have totally enjoyed reading posts to your subject matter. However, I'm surprised that only one followup is in the current year. I could write forever about a crazy neighbor. As to the fence, I live in a rural community in northeast Ohio that operates under statutary goverment rules (Ohio Revised Code). The rule of the land is this: whoever pays for the fence gets the good side facing their property. For what its worth, fences do not make good neighbors. Fences are territoral, and a bad neighbor takes issue with privacy fence installed just inside of the payee's property line.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 4:56PM
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It's the same down here in Texas James, that's how we can tell who is responsible for which run of fence (the good side facing you is yours). All the houses in my neighborhood have six foot privacy fences in back (not allowed in front), doesn't stop difficult neighbors from being difficult, but at least in back you can't see 'em (unless one of their kids is climbing the tree and watching what you're doing, but that's another story. lol)

I hope Mia's friend's neighbor chills out and stops harrassing that poor guy.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 8:52PM
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I know that this thread has been dead for over a year...

I can't believe how long it's been since I've posted an update...time passes too quickly. The bully neighbor sold that house and is gone. Now the neighborhood is back to being friendly and normal again. There were no problems like that with neighbors before he moved in and tried to control some of the neighbors. The new owners of that house have no issues with the fence and are a nice couple. So the loud-mouth is gone!

To James and ghostlyvision (if you ever read this), that's really interesting about the rules where you live about the way fences are supposed to face. Where we live, there is no rule, so it's entirely up to the person who purchases the fence. My friend never realized that someone could get so irate and obsessed over a fence.

Anyway, in my humble opinion, the whole ordeal was petty compared to more serious issues. And sometimes it's not about a fence but about wanting to be in control.

Thanks, everyone, for taking the time to comment and to offer your advice. Very much appreciated!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 1:02AM
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We're not done beating this dead-horse of a thread yet!
My issues with my neighbor remind me of how upset one can get when feeling slighted.
My property lines were recently surveyed. My neighbor's house is adjacent to mine by about 10 ft. Her property is slightly elevated above mine, separated by a collapsing fence. The new property lines actually fall onto my existing property but that is fine. We are in agreement with the survey. She has a pool placed about 15 ft from the fence. She has no gutters on the roof, and the roof slopes towards my property with the edge of the roof being 3 ft. from the fence. When it rains (infrequently), or when she has a pool party, the water flows onto my property and floods the crawlspace under my house where it sits and becomes mildewy.
We had agreed to replace the fence separating our properties by building a small 8" block retaining of wall directly on the property line to contain the water seepage, and we would share it to build individual fences, one facing her side, and one facing mine. The block wall would be about 4" high on her side.
After I had hired someone to do the work, she had her son-in-law come over to tell us that she did not want to see the block wall, she no longer wanted to be a part of the project and that the block wall had to be placed inside my property. She also stated she was not going to share the costs, and that she was going to build her own fence at a later date (She is slated to lose her job, and I told her that I would cover the costs until she could pay something in the future.) She denies that any water flows onto my property from hers.
This upset me to no end, primarily as she was no longer speaking to me directly, but would use her son-in-law to dictate to my wife with no discussion, and that she went back on her word after the work had started. My tactic for displaying my displeasure was to stand by the fence with my friend and talk about the legal opinions I was getting on the boundary dispute, and what I planned to build instead of the original fence. After a week of this she called me over and apologized for what she did and requested to go back to the old plan. I agreed halfway, as the concrete in the front had already been cut and a plan drawn up to install a fence there, too. There has never been a fence in front. The original fence in back will be replaced as we had both agreed. The fence in front came about as a response to her behavior, as well as the desire to hide the many cars, trash cans, and other stuff on her driveway. We have let her grandchildren play on our front lawn (such as it is) and that will change now.
But she doesn't want the fence in front now.
Because of her changing the plans, and that the front fence is now underway at considerable expense, I am going ahead with it, constructing the 'good' side towards my property but boxing in the poles on her side (hiding them) to make it look attractive- my consession to neighborliness.
So, the question is: just how far can one go to be a good neighbor? I have lived on this property for five years and STRIVE to be a good neighbor, even with the ones that are more reclusive. This last experience was a shock.
I see both sides in these forums, but I do not want to be considered a 'bully' by my neighbors.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 1:37PM
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toxcrusadr Clay Soil

It sounds like you are doing your best. Unfortunately a verbal agreement is hard to enforce. It's always nice to think a handshake will be honored, and you don't want to appear to be a jerk if you ask to write down a contract.

The fact that she denies that gravity takes the water where it inevitably will, is almost funny, in a tragic sort of way.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 5:07PM
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Thanks for the update Mia, glad there is peace in your friend's neighborhood again.

Oldfrenchy, I suppose there might be hope of working something out since she apologized for going back on the original deal (and you don't sound like a bully to me, just someone trying to get a problem solved). Best of luck to you in arriving at some plan you both can agree with.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 6:29PM
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Oh Mia so happy for you! It's not petty when it's happening to you. I totally understood your frustration. Thank God it's over.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 11:52PM
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fwiw, my brother once fenced in his back yard. decided he wanted to gaze at the "nice" side of the fence. alas, the subtle but inescapable effect was that, when sitting on his back deck, he had somehow methodically pissed off each of his back yard neighbors, and they had all fenced him "out".

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 10:39AM
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I too have crazy neighbors. We just moved in the neighborhood and next door to people that don't take their trash cans in until it't time to put them out again. The lawn is never mowed. The leaves have never been taken up. There are weeds growing up the side of the house and blinds that should be thrown in the garbage. Young people live in the house and while they are not noisy their friends use our driveway to short cut through to their yard. I like a clean and neat yard and I don't feel warm and fuzzy when I pull up to my house. My husband dropped his cell phone in our driveway. We looked everywhere for it not knowing where it was. Well during one of the rare occasions the neighbors were getting ready for a party and mowed the yard. My husbands cell phone case got caught in the lawnmower and flew over in our yard. That was the answer to our questions. We are going to get a privacy fence just to cover a small area so we will not see their yard. I plan to put the pretty side facing OUR yard and inside of the preexisting link fence. I also plan to run a smaller picket fence all the way to the curb. I also plan to have installed two very tall gates with remote controls so you can not see if any cars are parked in the yard. I do not want any of these teens to be seen walking down our drive way at no time. I don't trust them and don't want anyone to think they live in our house because they are walking down our driving way. I am so sick of them. There are houses in the back of us and on the other side of probems. I plan to have a high end fence installed. It's a very small area to cover thank God...I don't have to incur a hugh expense because it is trees on most of the fence. I would love to find out if they are renters. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 3:43PM
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I too have crazy neighbors. We just moved in the neighborhood and next door to people that don't take their trash cans in until it't time to put them out again. The lawn is never mowed. The leaves have never been taken up. There are weeds growing up the side of the house and blinds that should be thrown in the garbage. Young people live in the house and while they are not noisy their friends use our driveway to short cut through to their yard. I like a clean and neat yard and I don't feel warm and fuzzy when I pull up to my house. My husband dropped his cell phone in our driveway. We looked everywhere for it not knowing where it was. Well during one of the rare occasions the neighbors were getting ready for a party and mowed the yard. My husbands cell phone case got caught in the lawnmower and flew over in our yard. That was the answer to our questions. We are going to get a privacy fence just to cover a small area so we will not see their yard. I plan to put the pretty side facing OUR yard and inside of the preexisting link fence. I also plan to run a smaller picket fence all the way to the curb. I also plan to have installed two very tall gates with remote controls so you can not see if any cars are parked in the yard. I do not want any of these teens to be seen walking down our drive way at no time. I don't trust them and don't want anyone to think they live in our house because they are walking down our driving way. I am so sick of them. There are houses in the back of us and on the other side of probems. I plan to have a high end fence installed. It's a very small area to cover thank God...I don't have to incur a hugh expense because it is trees on most of the fence. I would love to find out if they are renters. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 3:46PM
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"I would love to find out if they are renters. Any suggestions?"

Yes. Check the Auditor/Recorder records and see who owns the house. You might also have a chat with the police dept to find this out.

Ask if there have been any issues with with neighbor, or what you can do to discourage these folks from coming into your yard.

I applaud your decision to put up the fence/gate. That is exactly what I would do if I were in your situation. I might also add a motion activated sensor light (and/or sprinker) so that anyone cutting through your yard would be illuminated and/or get soaked if they trespass.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 1:30PM
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I have a story about my 14 year horror with a neighbor whom I would gladly swap with your friend's neighbor. These people have destroyed marriages, caused 23 families to sell homes on the block, caused two people to be thrown in jail with false charges, and continue it with the blessing of a corrupt small town police department, because they are long time locals, third generation, and this town being a former air force base town, doesn't give a crap about new comers. I will pray for your friend, and tell, it could be MUCH MUCH worse! Thank God nightly this guy is just a mild jerk, not a psychopathic one. P.S. The neighbor I had 10 days ago ran at my wife and I as we rode our horses on public land, with his 4 wheeler, at 30 MPH and he got my 58 year old wife thrown, and got me thrown, and when we called the cops, he said he merely drove at us, cause we were on his land, and the cops threatened to arrest us! We are beyond terrified, I keep loaded guns everywhere and I pray they will come to God and one day realize how horrible they are. God bless you and your friend!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 2:19AM
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I am sitting here in disbelief because this so identical to my situation. I swear that bad neighbor must live next door to me now. Honestly, the whole story is very much like my own including cutting down trees, putting up a fence and all hell breaking loose. I will be reading every single comment to hopefully get some ideas on how to resolve this. It's almost like my NFH read the original posting then proceeded to follow through on the actions he read here. Incredible!!!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 11:36PM
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I welcome any input to my situation: I bought my little 60 year old bungalow last year. It had been quite neglected as many of the homes in the neighborhood are and I have been slowly refurbishing it. The very worn out privacy fence (posts on my side) has obviously been in dire need of repair and/or replacement for quite a long time before I moved in but no one, previous owners or neighbors have done so. The entire length of one side of the fence leans into one neighbor's yard. We even tried to pull it inward temporarily using wire to the posts...and they removed it. Both neighbors have lived in their houses for many years. I'm 99% sure there are no codes or restrictions in this very old neighborhood. My thinking is - since I'm new here and neither of my neighbors seems to have any concern for the condition of the fence - I am now in the process of placing a new privacy fence directly over the old, using and reinforcing the existing posts. But I plan to leave the old fence up and let them decide what to do with it. Thoughts?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 11:13AM
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toxcrusadr Clay Soil

I am not sure I understand what you are doing there. How do you put up a new fence 'over' the old one, using the same posts, yet it is somehow still possible for the neighbors to 'do something' with the old fence?

If the fence is yours, they have no right to remove your temporary tie wires. If it's theirs, you need their permission to do anything to the fence, temporary or permanent.

Can you describe whose property the fence is built on, and which side the posts are on, yours or theirs?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 4:50PM
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Put a tarp over the fence to prevent it from getting wet on the angry neighbor's side. Make sure it's good and ugly. When he removes it like the control freak that he is, call the police and have him charged with tampering and told not to touch your friend's property. Repeat as necessary. This angry neighbor is despicable.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2014 at 10:19PM
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old thread; neighbor moved; problem solved.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2014 at 7:05PM
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