Ever had a nosy neighbor? One who, no matter what, just always had to know everyone's business? They're horrible to live near, just ask these people!
People on Quora share the time a nosy neighbor tried to get them in trouble with the authorities. Content has been edited for clarity.
"It was when I was in college. I lived at home with my mother. It was a 'prep' day during the week before finals; professors had the option of canceling a class for any day of that week, or the entire week, so students could study for exams. My classes that term were all reading and writing intensive, and in addition to the final exam, there was also a paper due in two of them which was to be turned in no later than when we took the final exam. All three of my professors opted to cancel classes for Wednesday through Friday of that week so we could study and/or work on our papers. That’s why I was home in the morning in the first place.
I was taking a shower, and the phone started ringing. After the answering machine picked up, the caller immediately hung up and the phone started to ring again. I knew then it was important, so I hurried and went to see if the caller had finally left a message. It was my mom, and she needed me to call her at work immediately. I called back right away.
My parents were divorced, and my father had called her at work to tell her something he’d forgotten to let her know the day before. He had sent a check for a very large amount, and he had sent it overnight. The delivery was guaranteed to arrive before 10:30 am, but he’d looked at his receipt and noticed he’d forgotten to mark the box requiring a signature from the recipient. That meant that a check for $15,000 was going to be sitting in our mailbox by 10:30, and he thought it best, due to the amount of money involved, she run home on her lunch break to retrieve it. She’d simply said I was home prepping for exams that day, and she’d call me. But I happened to be in the shower at 10:35 when she called, so she asked if I could just run outside and see if it was there. She said I should go ahead and open it, as he’d said he’d sent something for me, as well.
So I ran outside. We had a long front walkway, and a long driveway, so it was a good distance to the mailbox. I got out there, found the envelope, and started back for the house. Partway up the driveway, I really began to wonder what was in it for me, so I took a moment to open the envelope. Inside, there were two business-sized envelopes, one with my mom’s name, and one with mine. Neither was sealed, as usual, since my dad hated getting paper cuts on his tongue. I looked in her envelope first, I knew how much the check was for, so that was no biggie. There was also a note, and I didn’t look at that. I knew it was just personal stuff. Then, in my envelope, I found an extremely generous check, much larger than the usual amount of money he’d just randomly send me, and a sweet and loving letter telling me he was proud of me, proud of my grades, and that he loved and missed me.
I stood out there in the driveway in my robe and slippers for maybe five minutes looking at stuff, and then I went back in the house, put the envelope on the table, and started heading for the bathroom so I could brush my teeth. I was just at the top of the stairs down to the door when the doorbell rang. It was two police officers, one male, one female. They were responding to a complaint and asked for me by name.
I identified myself and invited them to come inside since it was starting to rain, but they politely declined, and then asked if I’d been outside recently. I told them I had. They asked what I’d been wearing. I gestured to myself and just said, 'This. I was just going to go get dressed when you rang the bell.'
They both burst out laughing and then they told me the nature of the complaint, and the caller said I was, 'unclothed.' They were both laughing so hard, I started laughing, too. They had told me the complaint involved five young boys, so I knew exactly which neighbor had called the police on me, he was a real weirdo. They said they were going to go talk to the person who complained. I pointed to his house, and after a really nice apology for disturbing me, they left.
My mom was so furious with our neighbor. His wife had said to my mom, 'I am so frustrated with him. When I travel for work, he often keeps the boys home from school and has what he calls ‘Daddy Day.’ I wouldn’t mind so much if it involved learning, but it is him giving them snacks while he tells them about how fortunate they are to have such an interesting man for a father, and then he brags for an hour or two about something he’s done. It’s become so bad some boys are behind in their schoolwork, so I’ve told him he cannot do it anymore, but I think he does it anyway.'
His wife was, indeed, out of town, so my mom waited until she came home and went over and talked to her when no one else was home. She apologized profusely and said she’d take care of it.
Later that evening, about an hour after he came home from work, my mom happened to look out the window and called me over. He was loading a piece of carry-on luggage in his car, and then went back for his instrument case and his music stand. His wife was standing in the doorway, her face so red we could see it from a distance, and she was yelling, though we couldn’t hear her through our double-paned window. He went back for one final thing—his tuxedo in its carry bag, and we both laughed ourselves silly. He was a musician in our symphony, and there was no performance until the weekend, so he clearly planned to be gone for a few days."
"We had a 'Karen' in our neighborhood years ago, whose favorite pastime seemed to be walking past my house when I was doing yard work and telling me whatever I was doing was wrong. A real pain in the but.
One day I was weeding along the curb and here comes Karen. She said something obnoxious and out of nowhere, Grafin, my 100-lb. German Shepherd sprang from the front porch and raced down the front yard, barking menacingly at Karen. She got to the edge of the property and stopped, she was a well-trained dog who respected the boundaries I’d set for her, and stood there growling.
Karen screamed and backed away, flailing her arms and making such a ridiculous commotion even Grafin twisted her head in confusion.
'You need to have that dog on a leash!' She wailed as she scampered away.
Ten minutes later, I was still out front when the police car rolled up. ‘Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me,’ I thought. The cop got out of the car and I walked over to him.
'Hi. I’m pretty sure I know why you’re here,' I said.
'Yeah,' he said. 'We got a call about a dog attack? Or near attack?'
He looked over at Grafin, who lounged on the grass nearby.
I relayed what had happened, 'She gave the woman a scare, but at no time was she off of the property. She never leaves the property.'
The cop chuckled and turned to Grafin, who rose and walked toward us. She approached him tentatively, but when he extended his hand, she melted. He pet her vigorously with both hands as she laid down on her back, offering him a belly rub if he was so inclined.
He told me about his own German Shepherd his family had years ago, and what good watchdogs they are.
We chatted for a good ten minutes, and he even tossed her a few of our tennis balls. Really great guy that cop.
The best part was that I knew, two houses away, Karen must have been looking out her window the whole time. She probably figured the cop was going to issue me a summons and impound the dog or something, and here he was chucking tennis balls. That must have enraged her."
"Forced into finding any kind of summer job during my first few years of teaching, I ended up delivering an ad paper to mailboxes as one of two jobs one summer. I’d slowly drive up to each mailbox and my sister would hang out the passenger window to place the paper on a hook under the mailbox. Rinse and repeat.
At the time I was driving a Chevette badly in need of a muffler. I dreaded driving the thing, sure we’d be stopped by a cop, but I needed to eat, so we drove around delivering those papers, the Chevette announcing our presence everywhere we went.
We turned into the last of the streets in my neighborhood and promptly heard a metallic bang over the engine noises at the rear of the car. A glance at the rearview mirror showed a man rushing after us with some kind of club in hand.
We forgot about the papers and hit the gas to get out of there.
When we pulled into my driveway at the end of the street, a check on the Chevette showed, apparently, the guy had clubbed my car for some reason. The dent was fist-sized and ugly. Even uglier were the flashing lights that came up behind us.
Turns out the runner had been out doing his evening run when he thought we were trying to sneak up on him and run him down. He’d been carrying weights as he ran and used one of them to whack the car, then called the police on us.
My defense? I simply explained what we’d been doing, crawling along the street delivering papers. And to punctuate our side of the story, I asked him if I could turn on my car to demonstrate something important about my lowly Chevette.
The cop ended up having to shout at us to turn off the car, asked us if we wanted to press charges, and told us to stay in the vehicle while he talked to the runner. In lieu of pressing charges, we got the guy’s insurance information and a promise the Chevette’s dent would be repaired on his dime.
I bought a muffler for the beast instead."
"Many years ago, when I was about 11 years old, I lived in a subdivision. We had a young couple who lived next to us. They didn't have children but had two small poodles. We had an 18-year-old morbidly obese, three-legged, asthmatic beagle. This couple was the only couple in the cul-de-sac who didn't have children. The husband took meticulous care of his yard and screamed at anyone who came near it. One day, we were playing cul-de-sac whiffle ball when the ball went in his yard. Apparently, he was waiting for this moment and ran out of his door to grab the ball. He took it inside and called the police.
The police arrived and he was screaming about how the kids were trespassing and destroying his property. He even threw in our beagle was digging up his backyard. All of which were lies. We asked the police if they could get our wiffle ball back, and they made him return it. The police just listened to him yell, then left. That evening, I told my parents what happened.
About a week later, my father walked into the house carrying two small poodles that looked exactly like the neighbor's dogs. My mother asked where he got them and he said he found them pooping in our yard.
He said, 'If he wants to keep kids toys that wind up in his yard, I'll keep dogs.'
About 10 minutes later, we heard the neighbor frantically calling for the dogs. My father stepped out onto the deck holding both dogs. The neighbor saw them and went ballistic. As soon as he stepped into our yard, my father yelled to get off our property and told him he was trespassing. He immediately stopped and went back into his house to call the police.
The police arrived to find him screaming we trespassed onto his property and stole his dogs. The officers spoke to my father who admitted having the dogs but had found them pooping in our yard. The neighbor called my father a liar and again claimed our dog was tearing up his yard. My father took the officers to our garage where our beagle slept. The dog was barely able to hobble 10 feet without falling down. He then took the officers to where he found the poodles and showed them the fresh, small poop from the poodles. He further repeated since the neighbor felt he could keep kids' toys that wandered into his yard, he'd do the same with dogs.
The officers were clearly finding this humorous and began grilling the neighbor about how our dog could cause any damage let alone trespass when it could barely walk. Realizing he was not going to win this round, he asked for his dogs and my father handed them over. The officers lectured him on being a good neighbor and left. We moved a year later.
My brother stayed in touch with one of the kids on the street. One day, a letter came in the mail to my brother (many years before email). Enclosed was a photograph of the neighbor's front yard. Someone had written the word 'prick' in his yard with rock salt. We were told the grass never grew back and he had to re-sod the lawn."
"My dad worked for Dow Chemical as a research chemist until the mid-90’s. After he retired, he still wanted to dabble in paints and epoxy resins, his area of research and development at Dow.
There was a good-sized, cinder block shed in our backyard, so dad started to set it up as his own lab. This required the purchase of lots of lab equipment, such as test tubes, beakers, a balance for measuring mass, a Bunsen burner, etc.
Well, the neighbor next door saw the UPS van showing up repeatedly at our house, and being nosy, she went over and peered into the window of dad’s newly, set-up lab.
She called the deputy of our small town.
He showed up and requested dad show him what was set up in the shed, and just what dad planned to do with all this lab equipment. Dad was a little perturbed, and irritated, but showed the deputy to the shed, unlocked the door, and gestured the deputy in.
The sight of all the gleaming lab ware did cause a raised eyebrow, but the deputy was polite and questioned my father as to what his plans were for this setup. My dad explained. The deputy started to chuckle, then told my dad the reason for his visit.
It seems the nosy neighbor thought my dad was starting a lab in the shed. Fortunately, my dad thought it was as funny as the deputy did, and my dad didn’t get hauled off to jail."
"We lived in a run-down urban area south of LA county. We owned a nursery where we grew plants, and we rented a few vacant lots and used them to propagate ornamental flowers and grasses. The neighborhood was poor, but not really dangerous and it was cheap! We could rent abandoned rental property cheaper than rural farmland to grow our stock, and the soil was amazing one-mile deep chocolate-cake loam.
Our neighbors were mostly working-class migrants, with who we were friendly for the most part, but someone on the block was really annoyed by all our greenery. We got a call from the building department saying we had to take down all the trellises and decorative bamboo around our house because it wasn’t 'approved building material.' I told the inspector (it was a lady) the trellis weren’t holding anything up, just decoration with plants growing on it, so it wasn’t being used to 'build' anything. She said she realized that, but it had to be removed anyway because a neighbor was complaining about the plants.
'Is it illegal to have plants in your yard?' I asked.
'No,' she said, but the plants were not an 'approved building material,' so they had to go.
I told her to find me the specific law I was breaking and I’d respond, but just having plants near my house was legal and I was not going to just remove them because somebody didn’t like them.
She called the next week with the same complaint. I responded with the same response. We were getting nowhere, and the poor inspector was really frustrated. Finally, after about the 4th call (same conversation), the poor inspector told me the complaining neighbor was calling her daily and screaming at her to do something to make us stop growing plants! It was really upsetting to her and she just wanted us to comply so it would stop. I understood finally this poor lady was getting harassed by this crazy person! I told her I was very sorry she had such a hard time dealing with this nut job, but I couldn’t make it any better. She needed to deal with the complainer through her supervisor and not take any more abuse!
That was our last conversation. I assume she grew a spine and took care of the weirdo who really hated seeing green things growing in a perfectly awful urban desert."
"My husband and I had just come home from my birthday dinner. He’d gone outside to get rid of some black widows (spiders) we had in our garden, so the kids wouldn’t get bitten by them. I was heading on up to bed when I heard banging on the front door. I opened up to see six police officers in front of me, with four more in their cars. I was scared, had no idea what was going on.
One asked me, 'Miss, are you in your house alone?'
I said no.
'Who else is in this house with you?' they asked.
'My in-laws and my husband,' I responded.
'Where is your husband, miss?' they questioned.
'Outside in the garden, killing spiders, may I ask why?' I replied.
The police officer looked at me, saying he needed to go outside to talk to him, I showed them the way. They all went outside to investigate, then came back in.
'We are sorry to disturb you this evening, but someone had phoned in saying they believed somebody was being murdered,' the cops explained.
They said they saw a flashlight in the back and heard somebody shouting 'die, die, die.'
They looked around the garden and the house, then went outside and stayed for about 30 minutes. Still the best birthday I’ve ever had to this day."
"It was 1964 - I was a freshman in college in Chicago that fall. I was hanging out with a crowd of mostly first-year college students, and some high school students, all STEM students, math and physics majors, early computer science majors. Anyway, most of the kids were into playing chess - there were a couple of rated masters in the group. We used to have a party every Saturday evening.
One night it was at a big house in Evanston, an upscale suburb north of Chicago. This was really before many youths were smoking grass; That came about a year later. There were a few drinks, loud music on the stereo, and about 20 or more kids laying about all over the floors, playing chess.
At some point, neighbors called the cops about the wild, noisy party. A squad car pulled into the driveway, and two cops came in through the wide-open door and saw all these kids laying about the floor, playing chess. They walked through the living room, the dining room, the den, all filled with chess games. Loud rock and roll on the stereo, nobody saying a word, just intent on chess. None of the kids even noticed the officers walking through.
Finally, the cops went upstairs. One bedroom, another three chess games. Still, nobody noticed them walking in, or walking out. In the second bedroom, one of the guys, who was a rated chess master, was playing four simultaneous chess games with four different opponents, sitting in the middle of four boards. He, finally, noticed the two cops. He immediately picked up another chessboard, held it out to them, and asked, 'Game?'
Somebody in the living room looked up and saw them going out the door, shaking their heads."
"Eleven years ago, we rented a house from a friend.
They had bought a new house and since their existing house was paid off, they decided to rent it out for extra income. The house was located in a cul-de-sac with several other homes. Most of the residents had grown up there and were second generations with paid-off homes. Several of them did the same thing, bought a new house somewhere else, and rented the family home.
So the block was mostly renters when we moved in. There was one neighbor who had refinanced and so had to stay, and were not happy with the changes on the block. They were also the next-door neighbor that was on the corner and directly next door to us. Our driveway was the border to their lawn. They had available parking in front of their house and along the side. We shared a block wall fence across the backyards.
When we moved in, I was buying storage units and selling the contents. People put a lot of paper items in their storage units. I mean a lot. One unit I bought soon after we moved in had boxes and boxes of papers. The storage company said we should dispose of it, as they didn't want to deal with it. Most of it was pictures and receipts and other nonpersonal stuff. I didn't want to toss something that could have a social security number or other information that could be used to steal someone's identity, so we would burn the papers in the fireplace in the backyard.
One night, the cops showed up. They just walked into the backyard with weapons drawn. No warning, no knock on the front door. My husband and his son were burning papers. They both nearly had a heart attack.
Thankfully the cops were being observant and put the weapons away when they saw what was happening. Apparently, the neighbors had called saying we were selling substances out of the house. They did say we should find another way to dispose of the papers, but we had finished.
These were the neighbors from heck. They put up a fence along the driveway so we couldn't see oncoming traffic when backing out of the driveway. The woman told my husband we were just 'renters' and had no rights. My daughter had come for a visit and parked her car along the neighbor's side of the curb, as that was all the available parking. She left her window down as it was a hot day. This neighbor took her water hose and hosed down the inside of the car. Unfortunately for her, the cops were driving by and we flagged them down and reported the vandalism. The cops told her off and said he would write her up if we complained again. He also informed her we actually had more rights than she did as a homeowner.
After that, we didn't have many issues with her. The owner of the property said he finally had to change his number because she called him or his wife every day to complain about us. We lived there for nearly three years. I actually felt sad for this woman as she was seeing her friends move on with their lives while she was stuck. I am certain jealousy was a major factor in her behavior."
"My now ex-husband and I bought a house in a sleepy, but preppy neighborhood. As we were moving in, our neighbors came and greeted us. A week or so later, my husband and I go back to work and that's when it hit the fan. Our next-door neighbor Chad had an issue that a police car was parked in our driveway. So Chad called the other neighbors first and then the police department demanding to know why a police car was on my property. Spoiler! My husband was a police officer!
Word spread and I threw a housewarming party. The entire block was covered by police, sheriffs, and DPS cars. Chad sold his house shortly thereafter."