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Problem with next door neighbor: The Bully & the Fence

16 years ago

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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