Author Topic: bad neighbors  (Read 2545 times)

stoaX

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bad neighbors
« on: June 30, 2017, 04:30:37 PM »
What do I do about my neighbors?  I live in a single family neighborhood, rather middle class and suburban in nature.  The house next door is a rental and the people who have moved in abuse their children, beat on each other, play loud violent music outside and litter in the street and in neighbor's yards.  Furthermore, they won't keep their children out of the neighbors yards and the children frequently tear up the plants in the landscaping.

We have tried talking to them about the children stomping on our landscaping.  Their response is always "they're just kids!".  Other attempts to talk with them have been met with dismissiveness.   

The police have been there several times and social workers with their clipboards show up every month or so...all to no effect.

The state of California pays their $2800 / month rent so the landlord doesn't care - the checks don't bounce. 

Any suggestions?

Zero Degrees

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Re: bad neighbors
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2017, 06:07:13 PM »
I'm sorry to hear that!  It sounds terrible.  If it were me, I would probably be calling the cops or CPS on them all the time.  But, I suppose there is a fine line where they could try to make your life more of a living hell than it already is.

Can all you neighbors come to a consensus and make a complaint or something? It's unfortunate that it takes a lot of complaints or something very serious before any change will happen.

Bottom line, regardless how big of ass hats they are, it is the children I would be most concerned about.

Good luck with that!  Again, sorry.

stoaX

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Re: bad neighbors
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2017, 06:14:25 PM »
Thanks ZeroDegrees - the neighbors and I commiserate with each other but we haven't done anything.  I think you're right, I will see if they will join me in complaining to the landlord...perhaps the lease won't be renewed...

Lepetitange3

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Re: bad neighbors
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2017, 06:52:07 PM »
So I'm not overly familiar with the laws in CA, but most states run fairly similar....so FWIW 1) this sucks 2) if you can prove actual crime is being committed you can get the police to take action, this means videotaping usually.  On your phone is fine or get an outdoor camera.  Beating on each other = assault ; kids messing up yards = destruction of property.  Presented with easy evidence greater than complaints, they will typically be much more likely to file charges. 

Spork

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Re: bad neighbors
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2017, 08:02:20 PM »
Posting to follow.  We have awful meth-head neighbors as well.  I figure one day someone will burn the house down or murder someone and that will be the end of it... but that might take a while.
Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight

stoaX

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Re: bad neighbors
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2017, 03:23:46 PM »
So I'm not overly familiar with the laws in CA, but most states run fairly similar....so FWIW 1) this sucks 2) if you can prove actual crime is being committed you can get the police to take action, this means videotaping usually.  On your phone is fine or get an outdoor camera.  Beating on each other = assault ; kids messing up yards = destruction of property.  Presented with easy evidence greater than complaints, they will typically be much more likely to file charges.

Amen to the embolden part of your post.  The outdoor camera sounds like a good idea if I can mount it discreetly and it doesn't surpass my "mediocre at best" technological skills.  Of course the mustachian in me is recoiling at spending any  money on this, but if it catches something important it will be worth it.   Thanks. 

stoaX

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Re: bad neighbors
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2017, 03:28:10 PM »
Posting to follow.  We have awful meth-head neighbors as well.  I figure one day someone will burn the house down or murder someone and that will be the end of it... but that might take a while.

Thanks for the perspective, I will be thankful that they aren't cooking up that stuff.  I also feel like my neighbors will eventually self destruct and move out but you're right, it can take a while. 

Cassie

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Re: bad neighbors
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2017, 03:29:09 PM »
I would install a fence so they can't get in your yard and call the cops if it is after 10pm that they are making noise. Get all your neighbors to call too. A friend of mine did that and after awhile there were so many complaints that the landlord had so many fines that he quit renting to them. If they are abusing the kids definitely report to CPS.

stoaX

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Re: bad neighbors
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2017, 03:50:18 PM »
I would install a fence so they can't get in your yard and call the cops if it is after 10pm that they are making noise. Get all your neighbors to call too. A friend of mine did that and after awhile there were so many complaints that the landlord had so many fines that he quit renting to them. If they are abusing the kids definitely report to CPS.

Thanks Cassie.  You've given me another thing to be thankful for:  they are quiet at night.  The f-bomb laden loud music has always been during the day.   And you're right, I gotta give out the landlord's phone number to all the neighbors.  Assuming the bad neighbors have a one year lease means that we only have 6 or 7 months to go before the lease renews or the landlord decides that better tenants can be found. 

Knaak

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Re: bad neighbors
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2017, 04:48:53 PM »
+1 to a security camera -- preferably one with sound recording.  I was having issues with the idiot neighborhood kids a few months ago and was going to get this one to replace my front porch light: https://www.amazon.com/Maximus-Video-Security-Camera-Outdoor/dp/B010FWU62E/

Only reason I didn't get it was because the operating temperature maxed out at 104F and I'm in the desert southwest.  104 is a warm spring day.

You said the state of California pays their rent.  Do you know which program this is through?  There are most likely some rules they have to follow in order to receive that money.  For example, the HUD website shows the following responsibilities for section 8 recipients:

Quote
Responsibilities to the Project and to Your Fellow Residents:

Conducting yourself in a manner that will not disturb your neighbors.
Not engaging in criminal activity in the unit, common area, or grounds.
Keeping your unit clean and not littering the grounds or common areas.

Find a list of responsibilities they are supposed to follow, document a few instances of them not following the list, and report it to their case worker.  If their free money is threatened, they'll either get their act together or find another place to live.  And of course if you catch the kids destroying your property, or an abusive conversation going on, you should send those recordings to the police immediately as well.

Spork

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Re: bad neighbors
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2017, 06:31:18 PM »
Posting to follow.  We have awful meth-head neighbors as well.  I figure one day someone will burn the house down or murder someone and that will be the end of it... but that might take a while.

Thanks for the perspective, I will be thankful that they aren't cooking up that stuff.  I also feel like my neighbors will eventually self destruct and move out but you're right, it can take a while.

Ours aren't cookers.  They're users.  A large bunch of seemingly violent folk living in a tiny 2 BR house with drunken parties/loud music/late night shooting and 4 wheeling.  We're out in the country, so they're not RIGHT next door... probably 100 yards away.

I like the camera idea.... if nothing else, but to have a pocket full of evidence if something happens.
Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight

stoaX

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Re: bad neighbors
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2017, 05:08:42 PM »
+1 to a security camera -- preferably one with sound recording.  I was having issues with the idiot neighborhood kids a few months ago and was going to get this one to replace my front porch light: https://www.amazon.com/Maximus-Video-Security-Camera-Outdoor/dp/B010FWU62E/

Only reason I didn't get it was because the operating temperature maxed out at 104F and I'm in the desert southwest.  104 is a warm spring day.

You said the state of California pays their rent.  Do you know which program this is through?  There are most likely some rules they have to follow in order to receive that money.  For example, the HUD website shows the following responsibilities for section 8 recipients:

Quote
Responsibilities to the Project and to Your Fellow Residents:

Conducting yourself in a manner that will not disturb your neighbors.
Not engaging in criminal activity in the unit, common area, or grounds.
Keeping your unit clean and not littering the grounds or common areas.

Find a list of responsibilities they are supposed to follow, document a few instances of them not following the list, and report it to their case worker.  If their free money is threatened, they'll either get their act together or find another place to live.  And of course if you catch the kids destroying your property, or an abusive conversation going on, you should send those recordings to the police immediately as well.

They receive subsidized housing but it could be thru the county or the state.  Interesting stuff about the rules - I think I need to do a little research and then decide if a security camera would work.  I wonder if the social workers that occasionally visit monitor their compliance with the rules of if it's outside of their job duties.  Thanks for the helpful info.

StacheyStache

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Re: bad neighbors
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2017, 06:22:02 AM »
So I'm not overly familiar with the laws in CA, but most states run fairly similar....so FWIW 1) this sucks 2) if you can prove actual crime is being committed you can get the police to take action, this means videotaping usually.  On your phone is fine or get an outdoor camera.  Beating on each other = assault ; kids messing up yards = destruction of property.  Presented with easy evidence greater than complaints, they will typically be much more likely to file charges.

Amen to the embolden part of your post.  The outdoor camera sounds like a good idea if I can mount it discreetly and it doesn't surpass my "mediocre at best" technological skills.  Of course the mustachian in me is recoiling at spending any  money on this, but if it catches something important it will be worth it.   Thanks.

Only thing I disagree with is mounting it discreetly.  Put it up where everyone can see and consider (if your neighborhood allows) putting up signs that say under video surveillance.  Often the threat of getting caught will deter the bad behavior.

This is my big concern:  How old are the children?  Do you have children/are you planning to?  Unlikely the bad neighbors will stay long enough for this to be a concern if the children are very young but I grew up in the same house all my life and so did my next door neighbors who were similar in age.  What started off as pulling up my mom's flower bed and writing curse words in the snow quickly escalated as they grew up and started acting out from what was without a doubt a bad home situation.  They chased my sister and her friend down on their bikes, forced them into a creek and tried to burn them with cigarettes.  They had street fights in the cul de sac (of an upper middle class neighborhoods!!).  When they learned to drive they tried to run the neighborhood children over.  This was absolutely intentional on their part.  My mom caught them in the act once time (a very near miss with a little girl on her bike who had to crash onto the grass to avoid being hit), stormed over to the mom's house and told her loudly and angrily what she just saw  Nothing was ever done.  The property damage escalated from flower bed destruction to broken windows, destroyed mailboxes, and dented front doors from throwing rocks.  On and on and on.   The only thing that ever stopped them from torturing us was the cameras but the children grew up to be worse than the parents. 

My point is you need to nip this in the bud now.  Sounds like they have a pretty sweet setup with free $$$ rent and you don't know how long they'll be there.  If the children are growing up in a home like that you need to be more afraid of them than the parents.

chasesfish

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Re: bad neighbors
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2017, 07:46:58 AM »
I would either buy the house or find code enforcement issues on the property - going after the tenant doesn't help, push the landlord via violations.
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Moonwaves

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Re: bad neighbors
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2017, 08:14:05 AM »
On a different note but just since I'm feeling optimistic and not-quite-as-cynical as usual today: you could always try to engage with the kids, maybe even get them helping in your garden (especially if you grow anything to eat, which I think can be more fun for kids). If they're helping to take care of it, maybe they'll be less likely to keep destroying it. And maybe it could help them get out of the cycle of abuse they seem to be stuck in a little bit.

Kl285528

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Re: bad neighbors
« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2017, 08:28:07 AM »
Lean hard on the owner. HARD. Getting the landlord bothered by their activities will create more leverage to get them out. Sadly, I predict that this situation gets worse not better until eviction.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: bad neighbors
« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2017, 08:43:42 AM »
I also found it helpful to:

1. Report EVERY issue.
So, not every third issue, or only the worst. Every single one.

2. Report to EVERYONE with jurisdiction. So, in my region, a noise complaint could go to:
*police
*bylaw
*building manager
*landlord

Where the last two are different people, the latter may hear of nothing (from the manager) until you call directly. Strata, HOA, etc, may also have jurisdiction.

3. Report every single day. Report every instance, every single day, to everyone with jurisdiction.

4. Escalate the reporting.
Call each in the middle of the night. e.g., Some landlord's don't care about how their tenants are disturbing others until they are disturbed themselves. Police are often more available at 5am than 2pm or 2am. If nothing is happening via bylaw, put a written record of calls into the bylaw supervisor or to the city. Etc.

5. Encourage neighbours to do likewise. Often the powers that be will do nothing if hearing from only one person, or two. Engage as many neighbours as are bothered.

misshathaway

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Re: bad neighbors
« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2017, 08:39:00 AM »
I've been in this situation, only it was in an apartment house and my apartment was above the loud child-abuser, wife-beater. Just keep in mind that your neighbors don't play be the same rules you do, and they might be dangerous if they feel like you are harrassing them. I wouldn't single myself out as the only obvious complainer.

In my case I finally made an anonymous call to social services when the kids had visible bruises. The screaming and abuse stopped due to DSS intervention, but I almost got beaten up b/c the guy thought it was me who called.
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lbmustache

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Re: bad neighbors
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2017, 10:52:35 AM »
Lean hard on the owner. HARD. Getting the landlord bothered by their activities will create more leverage to get them out. Sadly, I predict that this situation gets worse not better until eviction.

Yep. Start going directly to the landlord. This is the person that has the most power in getting the tenants out.

BNgarden

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Re: bad neighbors
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2017, 12:14:11 PM »
...
4. Escalate the reporting.
Call each in the middle of the night. e.g., Some landlord's don't care about how their tenants are disturbing others until they are disturbed themselves.
5. Encourage neighbours to do likewise. Often the powers that be will do nothing if hearing from only one person, or two. Engage as many neighbours as are bothered.

+1 to all points; echo esp #4 and #5 above--our experience w a rental complex.  Until I gained the landlord's number and called in the middle of the night when I was disturbed by tenants, nothing really changed.  Property managers are meant to keep this from happening.  Research ownership if need be, call the business number, try to find likely / actual home line and test as required.

In our city, police ONLY respond if there are multiple complaints (unless it's a really slow shift, which is rare).

Best of luck.

stoaX

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Re: bad neighbors
« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2017, 03:47:13 PM »
Thanks to all the responses!  My wife has made a few complaint calls to the landlord and things are a bit quieter.  In addition I have sent an anonymous letter to all the immediate neighbors giving them the landlord's contact info.   

I'm taking a walk to the big box home improvement store to look at surveillance cameras this evening. 

stoaX

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Re: bad neighbors
« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2017, 03:51:37 PM »
So I'm not overly familiar with the laws in CA, but most states run fairly similar....so FWIW 1) this sucks 2) if you can prove actual crime is being committed you can get the police to take action, this means videotaping usually.  On your phone is fine or get an outdoor camera.  Beating on each other = assault ; kids messing up yards = destruction of property.  Presented with easy evidence greater than complaints, they will typically be much more likely to file charges.

Amen to the embolden part of your post.  The outdoor camera sounds like a good idea if I can mount it discreetly and it doesn't surpass my "mediocre at best" technological skills.  Of course the mustachian in me is recoiling at spending any  money on this, but if it catches something important it will be worth it.   Thanks.

Only thing I disagree with is mounting it discreetly.  Put it up where everyone can see and consider (if your neighborhood allows) putting up signs that say under video surveillance.  Often the threat of getting caught will deter the bad behavior.

This is my big concern:  How old are the children?  Do you have children/are you planning to?  Unlikely the bad neighbors will stay long enough for this to be a concern if the children are very young but I grew up in the same house all my life and so did my next door neighbors who were similar in age.  What started off as pulling up my mom's flower bed and writing curse words in the snow quickly escalated as they grew up and started acting out from what was without a doubt a bad home situation.  They chased my sister and her friend down on their bikes, forced them into a creek and tried to burn them with cigarettes.  They had street fights in the cul de sac (of an upper middle class neighborhoods!!).  When they learned to drive they tried to run the neighborhood children over.  This was absolutely intentional on their part.  My mom caught them in the act once time (a very near miss with a little girl on her bike who had to crash onto the grass to avoid being hit), stormed over to the mom's house and told her loudly and angrily what she just saw  Nothing was ever done.  The property damage escalated from flower bed destruction to broken windows, destroyed mailboxes, and dented front doors from throwing rocks.  On and on and on.   The only thing that ever stopped them from torturing us was the cameras but the children grew up to be worse than the parents. 

My point is you need to nip this in the bud now.  Sounds like they have a pretty sweet setup with free $$$ rent and you don't know how long they'll be there.  If the children are growing up in a home like that you need to be more afraid of them than the parents.

You're right - the camera should be obvious.   And no plans to have any children (our kids have already left the nest!).  And so sorry to hear about the disfunction you experienced with your neighbors growing up, but thanks for the perspective - I could certainly have worse neighbors.

stoaX

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Re: bad neighbors
« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2017, 03:55:02 PM »
I would either buy the house or find code enforcement issues on the property - going after the tenant doesn't help, push the landlord via violations.

Zillow puts the price of the house at about $600k so that's a bit more than I can spend on a second home!  I gotta think about the code violation aspect...maybe there's something there...

Thanks!

esq

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Re: bad neighbors
« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2017, 07:12:59 AM »
The landlord may be getting his rent money without problems, but I suspect these folks are tearing up his $600k home inside. He should take a little more interest in his tenants. If he's far away, perhaps you can discreetly take pictures of damage/disarray in the yard.
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