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OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

Posted by bleigh (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 20, 11 at 23:56

Ok, so I know this has not a thing to do with decorating, but I'm hoping some of you have some wonderful insight on how to deal with my particular situation. I have some (not so lovely) new neighbors directly across the street. Tacky does not even begin to describe. But, the thing that bothers me the most is the adult son loves to shine his very bright (huge truck) lights on the front of my house in the middle of the night. I asked the guy earlier in the winter if he would turn off his headlights while he was waiting for his truck to warm up (I clocked 30 minutes one time after midnight). Now we live in the Atlanta area and even I don't warm up my car before loading my two young children before going somewhere. BUT this 20 something man must warm his car up with headlights shining on the front of my house for long periods of time in the middle of the night. Why he must back into their driveway is really confusing as we have no traffic in our neighborhood (maybe he wants his mom to feel great about the 30 solar lights she has lining both sides of her driveway). Anyway, tonight he decides to shine his lights on my house at 11:20 pm to load his trailor. I asked him to turn off his headlights (wouldn't parking lights be sufficient to turn on the back lights?). He told me to get some blinds (I have them and black out curtains for my room, thanks to him). Unfortunately my asthma child sleep in the front room and we don't do curtains for her. So, I parked my car in my lawn with my lights on to make a statement (so they could see how bright it is) and then proceeded to speak with the lady of the house about the request not shine lights on my bedroom windows in the middle of the night. She obviously sees no problem with the intrusive lighting on my house and told me I needed to go back to bed and get some sleep and then decided to take pictures for her facebook. Tacky, tacky people. I might be tacky too, but darn I asked politely before with a good explanation why I was asking and the dude keeps doing the same thing. What in the heck do you do?? Everyone in this tiny, close knit neighborhood has always had respect for each other...until now. What do I do? Just make black out curtains for all the rooms? Maybe get some bright spot lights of my own as my lawn is down hill and my car lights just shined on the grass instead of the front of their house. Now, I've had a glass of wine to calm down and I'm sure you all will think I'm nuts, but this is driving me crazy.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

You are not nuts. I would feel the same way and since you've done the proper neighborly thing of talking to the offender, with no results, I think I'd call your local police station and ask them what they think you should do next. Tell them what you've told us and find out what rights you have.

Another thought, have they purchased the home or are they renters? If they rent you might be able to talk to the home owner.

Good luck!


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

Oh gosh, I sure feel for you! That sounds terrible. I wish I had some constructive advice but I really don't deal well with inconsiderate people. They usually don't stop being inconsiderate unless there's a fine or something.


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

There are nuisance laws that might apply here. We had a similar problem with the psycho next door neighbor shining a light all night into our older DS's bedroom. We asked nicely, and when that did no good, called the village.

They came out and the police saw what was going on, and immediately went to his front door and told him to shut off the light or move it so that it didn't shine into our home. He ranted a bit, and we could hear him swearing (his usual style) but he did shut off the light, and later re-angled it so that it shown onto his house.


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

Definitely annoying - but seriously, what can you do? Retaliating usually just ups the ante with this kind of jerk.

I had a neighbor complain that my husband started his delivery van every morning at 2 AM - um, yeah, that's when he goes to work....


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

I didn't even think there might be a nuisance law. Will call the sheriff's dept today and find out if we have one. These folks are owners so until we sell our house we're in it for the long haul with them. Really is shame that these people don't have more consideration for others especially when the environment of this neighborhood has always been respectful.

I'm trying to think of how to keep the lights from being so bright in my kid's room. Wonder how weird it would be to install a shade and just pull it down over the blinds (inside mounted) at night? Any decorating suggestions for this?


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

Room darkening roller shade was going to be my first suggestion...heck, my kids' rooms had them when they were young just because I didn't want them up at the crack of dawn. Could you hide it behind some sort of pelmet or valance?

If you don't want to go that route...drapes with black-out fabric would probably work.


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

I would lean some mirrors against the front of the house to through back the light. But that's just me . . .


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

I feel your pain. He got new neighbors a few years ago and they promptly installed flood lights on a motion detector. Their bedrooms are at the back of the house so they don't notice they come on at all hours of the night. We asked as they shine into our room to please aim them differently or change the wattage. Our next door neighbor asked as they shined into both of their children's rooms. Nothing. He didn't see the problem.

One night while they were gone for the weekend the light bulbs broke. Strangest thing. Temporary relief.

We eventually changed curtains/blinds and moved our bed. Then we got new next door neighbors and they installed an outside light on the side of their house that now shines into my room. I hate neighbors.

Hope you have a nuisance law and they have to change their ways. We didn't get so lucky. Guess that's what we get for living out of city limits.


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

Another option might be to befriend them...invite them to a bbq, over for coffee, etc. No mention of the lights until you have established a relationship that might make them WANT to be a good neighbor to you.

Also, since he is a 20 something living with parents, you can probably assume he's not there long term. Maybe you need to introduce him to a nice girlfriend so he'll eventually want to move in with her!


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

I feel for you too. I don't understand how people can be so shelfish. We had an across the street neighbor that would park his car in the middle in front of his house. This would mean when he is parked there, we could never park in the street and always had to pull into the driveway, sometimes not convenient when bith kids are home. We asked him to just park further up or back so that we could also park in front of our house. For some reason he didn't want to. Luckily they moved. Some people just don't get it.
I hope they are renters and you can complain to the landlord. Do you think trying to befriend them could actually work? Keep us posted.


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

Definitely check into nuisance laws. Since you are in a metro area, there probably are some.

Also, love the mirror idea! :) I hate neighbors also-even nice ones don't seem to consider any interests except their own when it comes right down to it. Want to relocate to several acres some day to avoid the issues.

Good luck. Hope they move!


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

Almost certainly there is a nuisance law you can use to put a stop to this. Document, keeping a time log, and take pictures for as long as it takes to show a clear pattern of abuse, then sic your local government on them. Failure to comply with the resulting order is very often a felony. It would help if you could get a neighbor or two to join you in the complaint.


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

A felony?!? Not here. We don't have any nuisance laws for lights as above, but it's also not a metropolitan area. The only "nuisance law" here is a noise ordinance violation, which just means fines/tickets for the offender. The fine is increased each time..... but this is not a criminal offense.

As others have suggested, look into your city/county codes and figure out what rights you do have. Law enforcement can also help for you to understand your local codes, but it might be worth your while to read through them too.

I have never lived in an area where I would have the right to fight this.... (city or country.) I think retaliation is not your best answer...... especially if you want to sound credible with law enforcement/the city at some point. Also, it will just antagonize a bunch of idiots even more. These people obviously aren't thoughtful individuals... so who knows what kind of other idiot behavior they are capable of when provoked.

I would personally put up black-out liners on the effected windows and make plans to move to the country....


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

I'm with lolauren and would not use the mirror or do anything other than being a model citizen yourself or you lose all your credibility. Taking pictures and documentation is a great idea also as Rosie wrote. In the mean time attach some sort of black paper to your daughter's windows that can be easily removed during the day.


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

What a PIA, some people are so rude. When we moved into our house, there was a big flood light on the back door of our garage. We didn't even know it was there or even turned on but about a week or so after settling in, the neighbors from behind us came over to let us know they had taken the liberty of removing the bulb. They said it was because it was shining through their glass door and into their eyes as they watched TV. Our two yards combined are almost an acre big, so obviously it was a very strong light. When we said we appreciated them doing that, they were so relieved and told us that the guy who owned the house before us was like your neighbors and kept it on, on purpose too. I just don't understand why people are like that.

I would call the police too and ask them to come see what is happening, if they can't make it stop, go to the store and get some of those blaring flood lights that can be adjusted. Put them up so you can angle them to shine into everyone of their windows and keep them on all night. Maybe after getting blinded for a few nights, they'll get the idea. Believe me, according to our neighbors, they can light up a whole room when angled just so. LOL Good luck!


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

Very selfish and mean people. I also would make it as comfortable as possible for my family in lieu of trying to find out my rights in that situation. Good luck.


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

Do you have a property owner's association or protective covenants for the neighborhood? I would almost bet that if you have the latter, there is some paragraph in there addressing this sort of thing. In our covenants, there's something about how the street lights can't be too bright and people have to obey noise rules (no lawn mowers before 8:30 a.m. on weekends, etc.). Covenants can be silly sounding sometimes but they can also be useful sometimes. I feel your pain--we have a couple of a**es living across the street from us and he, too, warms his car up and has to turn his lights on bright while doing so. I think it's because he's fairly ignorant and the lights let him know the car is "on." :) As for your daughter's room, I like your idea about a room-darkening shade. Since she's asthmatic, you probably don't want curtains but you could construct a wood cornice board fairly easily and inexpensively that would cover the shade when it's rolled up during the day. Good luck with the jerk neighbor. Whatever you do, don't send him east--we live east of Atlanta and I don't want him showing him in my backyard!


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

While your neighbor doesn't seem very accommodating, I seriously doubt that you have a legal right to do anything but get room darkening shades. If he wants to put flood lights on his front lawn and read a book at 2 a.m., I think it's his right as long as he isn't being too loud.

However, if you are in a neighborhood with deed restrictions, you might very well find some relief through your neighborhood association.

My neighbor has motion detector lights on his house, which I don't particularly care for since they shine into my bathroom windows (high windows uncovered) , but I figure I need to cover the windows or shut the bathroom door at night. :)


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

I bought a roller shade, but am having a hard time getting it to function properly. It fits over the blinds just fine and will hide under the valance (if I can get it to roll back up). Ugh, such a pain....

I was able to speak with a deputy sheriff this morning as he was in the neighborhood responding to a suspicious car. He does not believe there are any codes about lighting in our county, but they will respond if I call in a complaint especially if words are being exchanged...which they were last night.

Betsy, no worries, I think they're happy to stay here on the south western side of Atl. We're trying to get our house sold to get over on the east side too. Unfortunately we won't be heading to the country and will be much closer to the city where we're going.


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

I agree that he is being very unneighborly! I would also be very upset. He could drive the car in vs. backing in. However, I did want to point out that on some cars the lights are on automatically if the car is running. Our last car was like that and we could not turn off the lights if the car was running. We drove through a Christmas light display in a park with our grandchildren and were asked to turn off our lights, but could not do so. Felt bad for other cars who were also driving through when we were.


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

I've linked a site below that tells you how to adjust the tension in your roller shade. I know how to do it...but not how to explain it. Good luck.

Here is a link that might be useful: roller-blind tutorial


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

Sorry you are having to deal with idiot neighbors. I just re-landscaped the front of the house and replaced the landscape lights that didn't work when we bought the house. My neighbor across the street came to compliment the landscaping and the first thing I asked was that they tell me if any of the lights were annoying them and that I would be happy to adjust the angle.

It seems that a lot of people out there did not inherit the common-sense and respect genes!

Good vibes heading your way for a quick house sale :-)


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

Just a thought, but can you ask him to set the parking brake when he lets the car warm up? (Doing so on most new cars makes the automatic running lights turn off.) You can tell him you'd hate to sue him for everything he owns if the car slips out of gear and crashes into your house.


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

Bright blinking Christmas lights on the porch all.night.long. shining in my bedroom window.
I so feel your pain.
I now have black out on my upper windows (actually applied to the glass). Room darkening shades too (Can open them in the day and let light in)
Topped off with very nice drapery.

Get block out fabric and/or blinds or speak to someone that can help you with window treatments that also block out lights. Don't fight fire with fire. Darker rooms for sleeping is better for you anyway and very private!!

You will be able to close off the "world" when ever you want. Let his lights shine away. They won't bother you anymore.
I hope he moves too. :)


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

I agree about using the shades. We received ours today and the blackout liner is quite effective (esp. if you order the right size, lol).

I'd hang a mirror between my windows and shades, angled if possible and never say another word. Maybe the reflective film they put on car windows would do.

I doubt the law could do much and you don't want a poorly raised 20 year old "man" on your case for involving the cops.


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

worriedone, they have the bright blinking LED lights at Christmas too. Last Christmas was their first here and they did it up all over the house. I can't even begin to imagine how many strands of lights they put up. Thankfully they did turn them off at a decent hour, but for my house and the one beside me it looked like a police car was on our front porches with the lights turned on. Those blinking LED's coming through the cut glass front door is certainly a sight.

Anyway, I know he can turn off his lights while the car is running so that isn't an issue. Unfortunately it wasn't just the guy being rude, his mom (the owner of the house) was equally nasty. Did not apologize, just told me I need to go home and get some more sleep (after she said I didn't look like I had been sleeping!!) And then she managed to whip out her camera to take pictures of my car on my front lawn for her facebook. Low class rednecks is what I call them....no offense to the decent rednecks out there : ) .

Anyway, thanks for all the comments. I'm still not able to get the roller shade to work so it's going back to the store. Last night I just hung a piece of dark fabric from the valance and it darkened the room so much I was worried about my oldest needing to come down from the top bunk during the night.


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

worriedone, they have the bright blinking LED lights at Christmas too. Last Christmas was their first here and they did it up all over the house. I can't even begin to imagine how many strands of lights they put up. Thankfully they did turn them off at a decent hour

My across the street neighbors leave their Christmas lights on all night! They also leave their porch lights and other exterior lights on all night too. Every night of the year. Fortunately none of our bedrooms face the front of the house. Apparently neither my neighbors or bleigh's are environmentalists. (my first clue about my neighbors was their Hummer and big truck)

I asked the guy earlier in the winter if he would turn off his headlights while he was waiting for his truck to warm up (I clocked 30 minutes one time after midnight).

Is this kid paying for his own gas?? What an idiot!


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

In my neighborhood, everyone leaves their LED porch lights on all night and every single garage has at least 2 motion lights which go on and off all night as animals troop through our yards. We also do the all night Christmas light things, too. In our neighborhood, this is part of everyone's home security system.

If your community doesn't have light nuisance ordinances, I think you HAVE to go the blackout curtain/shade route. Darkening shades work very well in our bedrooms.


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

Words are being exchanged?!

Please be careful. My dh was on a jury last December. The incident in question started with a mom banging on a neighbor's door because the neighbor's friends were going up and down the street on their motorcycles. Another 2am sort of thing. The situation excalated and the woman's husband ended being shot and killed.

So...when in doubt, call the cops. Don't let the situation get out of control. You don't know who's gonna go get their gun. On the jury case, we found several key times when someone calling the cops would have stopped things in their tracks.


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

This situation might be considered a "private nuisance" which would be dealt with in civil court. But it would be easier and cheaper to put up blinds. Take a look at these from Comfortex. They completely darken a room, according to the manufacturer.

Here is a link that might be useful: Comfortex slumbershades


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

I vote for the mirrors.

Or even having the glass of the windows mirrored, so you don"t have to worry about aim... Just like car windows are mirrored.

My neighbor built a 3000 square foot "garage" onto the house next door. He is the architect, too.
Somehow, the garage got plumbing, sprinkler systems, 3 front doors, and a GIANT cross across the front.
Funny, the garage became a church, with him also the pastor. Who lied to the zoning people, who lied to the neighborhood, who is looking for a court battle in the name of religious freedom and zoning inhibiting that.
We have a one lane country road, our land is zoned Open space (protected from development in this county), and no place to park.

I'd go with the mirrors.

In the meanwhile, I listen to the church services while I garden, because his microphone blasts the sermon across the yards, and I occasionally join the choruses of "Hall-e-loooo-ya!"

I tell 'ya. They park on one of my trees or their bumpers hang off my gardens? They'll have one pissed off neighbor blasting down the aisle of the [ahem] garage to get someone to move or be towed.

Mirrors.


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

I don't think these unneighborly neighbors are folks you want to engage. They have already demonstrated their unwillingess to try to get along with you, so any further interaction you have with them is only like to escalate tensions, and believe me, it's not worth it. I understand thinking about doing something like the mirror suggestion, but then you're only sinking to their level of inconsiderate behavior, and what's the point? That wouldn't change their outlook. It's an unfortunate reality that you can't change a jerk's behavior, so you have to adapt your own expections and actions accordingly. I really do feel for you. I've encountered similar rudeness in previous neighborhoods, and it truly is mind-boggling when you realize that some people have so little regard for others.


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

This is what we called "porch wars" (2 or more groups of people yelling across the street at each other) when I worked in law enforcement, and they were particular to a certain area of town. They often ended in assaults or worse. Buy the blinds. People who engage in this kind of behavior are unpredictable.
Dee


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

I hope that you can get some relief but as the OPs have mentioned dealing with this kind of person can be tricky and may cause more trouble than it's worth to try.

I had neighbors who mounted extremely bright spotlights over their porch, over their garage doors and all around their house that unfortunately faced directly into our bedroom windows.

We have antique white, lined silk bedroom curtains hung over blinds and the lights were still bright enough that there�s no need to turn on a lamp to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Rather than to be accused of working against our neighbors' intrusive home security measures I covered our windows with (tacky, ugly) aluminum foil.

Thankfully, they seemed to get the message without my having to say a word and reduced the lighting on our side of their house.


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

What a mess :( It doesn't take much, these days, to set people off. No telling what they would do to retaliate if you pushed this any further. It's a shame the world has come to this. My neighbors are cows and horses. I love my neighbors and they love me because I feed them fresh fruit and veggies (g)
Monica


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights


I just had a big blow up with my neighbor and I wouldn't recommend it because it just leaves you feeling lousy.
My neighbor does not use lights to annoy me all he has to do is be near me during one of our many diy projects. He is cheap and manipulative and is always trying to use trickery in ways to get some of our supplies, use us as labor or turn things into us owing him (in his own mind) to use husbands work tools or other. There seems to be no end...ever. He wanted some of our CL paver's bricks and went through this huge orchestrated con job and even tried telling me he needed to temporarily paver his whole porch entrance so he would know how many pavers he needed. The guy has a few master's degrees and taught college but he can't figure out how to calculate 3x8 bricks to his sf? When that didn't work he thought talking to me like I was five would surely bring him luck and tried to appeal to my creative side by saying I could help him figure out a brick pattern if he had enough bricks...oh pleassse can I have a cookie and a piece of gum when I'm done? Can I finish hauling the 3,000 bricks up for my backbreaking front and back porch project first? The funny thing is that I had already told him he could buy some of the leftovers "after" I get all the colors I want out of the pallets. He is worried because he wants the same colors I am going to use on my back patio plus he wants to use the cutter from husbands work while its here (he has no problem being a PITA). So, as usual he's thinking of himself. It's always something with him.

I would get blackout curtains and pretend your neighbors don't exist if you can. Don't even start talking to them.


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

I do disagree with the mirrors. However: you have a situation where you need to block light. Window film (Home Depot, Lowes) that is smoky (think gray sunglasses) on the interior side is reflective (sort of silver) on the exterior side. A perfectly logical approach to helping block out car headlights in your kid's room at 2 a.m. Not sure if it would bounce the light back in neighbor's direction, but if it did, you need a solution & the fact that tinted film is reflective on the exterior side isn't really anything you can control.

Just a suggestion, go here and ask for advice, or just read. (Stumbled onto it accidentally once, mind blowing stuff to read there.) Those people have seen it all, been through it all, and I've read threads where they offer the OP a solution while protecting themselves (legally & otherwise). You can do a search of "lights shining" or "shines lights on house" or something similar. I pulled up an older thread, tho mirrors are mentioned, what caught my eye is the first advice given. Document the incidents because a police officer said a pattern of harassment appeared to be emerging.


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

Moonshadow: I checked out that website (NFB -Neighbors from H***). I only looked at one thread but there was one person who described their NFH as not liking their boat parked outside her daughter's window, between their houses, and another who described their NFH as not liking their 6 sets of windchimes. I'm not sure who the NFH really are in these scenarios.

I still think the OP should just take the high road and ignore them.
Dee


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

What a terrible situation.

I do agree with the previous posters that you should not do anything to antagonize these people (I am not calling them neighbors, that is a friendly word where I live!)

Some people are selfish, and others are going through life with bigger issues than we can imagine. That we don't want to imagine.

But as they are being completely illogical about running the car so long,by running the car when most people are not, and also by not even trying to be neighborly, that is a clue to you that something is wrong.

You can't fix what is wrong, so protect you and yours. And use this as an analogy to your child that you don't keep trying to pet a mean dog that bites.


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

Moonshadow: I checked out that website (NFB -Neighbors from H***). I only looked at one thread but there was one person who described their NFH as not liking their boat parked outside her daughter's window, between their houses, and another who described their NFH as not liking their 6 sets of windchimes. I'm not sure who the NFH really are in these scenarios.

One thread does not a board make, but I don't disagree. Used to read some threads there too that makes me question who the real issue was. (And saw others call some posters out on that very thing.) But that was the exception, not the rule. Many were dealing with genuine problems. And some real nut cases. Which is why I suggested it as potentially helpful. Had that board been around back when we had problems, there are some things we might have done differently or utilized (cameras, for instance). Hard to say, hindsight is 20/20. At the time we had no idea the ride we were in for.

I used to read it after a couple in our neighborhood broke up. No one was particularly close to them. We all chatted with them in passing, but it stopped there, no extra socializing. The one who owned the house kicked the other out, got a restraining order, and a stalker was born. In the truest sense of the word. Imbalanced does not begin to describe goings on, and any nearby neighbors were fair game in stalker's attempts to get info. After one particularly disturbing morning, I went into the police department to get advice from an officer. DH and a few others wanted to punch the moron's lights out. They got away with so much, always just thisclose to being caught or being able to prove it was them. That person made quite a few lives miserable for a couple years, and we weren't even the real target. The remaining neighbor being stalked eventually left in the middle of the night. Just disappeared. And a couple days later the house was on the market. That didn't end it, things escalated (suppose it infuriated the stalker). But they finally ceased. No one ever would have suspected this of an articulate, intelligent, well-educated professional. My point is, you just never know who has issues and what will set them off. No one should ever be a 'victim' in their own home or on their own property, but it absolutely pays to proceed with caution and if the law gets involved, credibility counts.


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

Maybe you could hang emergency blankets on the windows. They are reflective and may annoy the jerks. My only solar lights that are very bright are pointed at my car so that if the power/light goes out my car is not sitting in the dark to get vandalized as easily. Only other solar lights in the front are string. Somebody cut them all up yesterday even though they are soft lights so I made one big one. My advice would be to get a video of it and even of you talking to the home owner and then take it to the police. Make sure the video shows how bright it is inside.


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RE: OT - Neighbors Shining Lights

I just came across this, so it's a little late, but ... another possible solution is to outfit some black plastic caps to cover their truck's headlights while it's warming up. A Google search for "headlight covers" turns up lots of hits. Offer to spring for the cost if they'll pop them in before starting up the truck. Might be worth a shot, if in his mind he really has a reason for backing into his driveway. A black mat hung off the hood and kept in the garage might work just as well.


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