Don’t love thy neighbor? 20 head-scratching neighbor complaints as told to a former property manager

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Many years ago when I worked in property management, one of my biggest headaches was responding to tenants' complaints about their neighbors.

I'd answer the phone and on the other end would be an angry, often sleep-deprived person. Often they would yell. Sometimes they would speak in a firm tone. Occasionally they would cry.

I'd do my best to put myself their position -- after years of hearing the same complaints, it was easy to become desensitized. To resolve the call, I would promise to send the offending neighbor a letter instructing them to cease the pattern of disturbance immediately.

A few days later, I'd get a call from person who received the letter. Invariably, this person would deny knowing anything about any disturbances and demand to know who complained. I would explain that in the interest of not starting a blood feud, the most specific term I could use was  “a neighbor.”

I usually assumed guilt -- and that the call back was just to save face.   He (or she, but let's say he) probably just had a few rowdy friends in town and stayed up too late listening to music too loud. Understandable. Forgivable. I'd instruct him to “just be mindful of your actions” and “this was probably just one of those things.”

That was usually the end of it. From a property manager's perspective, it was always preferable to stay out of every dispute as much as possible. All parties were paying customers. The infraction was usually minor. However, sometimes the complaint was strange enough that it just stuck in my mind.

So I'd like to share with you some of the strangest tenant neighbor complaints that I ever received:

  1. Every day at 6 A.M. my neighbor watches me through the gap between the bottom of my apartment door and the door jamb. I don't know which neighbor. I can only see the part of their face between the door and the door jamb.
  2. Someone is intentionally scattering used kitty litter all over my porch.
  3. My next door neighbor plays a bongo drum from 7 P.M. to 10 P.M. nightly. He can't hear me knock on his door to tell him to stop.
  4. My upstairs neighbor keeps falling asleep in a running bathtub. There are sheets of water pouring down my bathroom walls, again.
  5. Every weekend night, my downstairs neighbor watches the movie Armageddon in full surround sound.
  6. When the upstairs neighbors have parties, everyone pees off the porch. Well, not everyone. Just the men.
  7. The lady on the second floor waits for the UPS man to leave a package for someone else. Then she goes downstairs and takes it.
  8. It's perfectly quiet until my upstairs neighbor gets home from work. Then the elephant and clog party starts.
  9. Instead of taking their trash downstairs, the people on the fifth floor throw their full trash bags out the window in the direction of the dumpster.
  10. My downstairs neighbor plays his trombone all day. It sounds like a dying giraffe.
  11. My upstairs neighbor lets her kids dribble basketballs in the apartment.
  12. The guy on the third floor stands naked in front of his courtyard-facing window for hours every afternoon.
  13. Someone keeps bringing stray cats into the laundry room, feeding them, and then locking them down there.
  14. My upstairs neighbor drinks so much that he falls down several times a night. It makes a really loud thump.
  15. My neighbor parks her car in my assigned parking spot because hers “is too hard to get out of.”
  16. Someone has stacked four giant truck tires directly outside my back door. I moved them and they stacked them there again.
  17. The lady in the garden apartment has filled up the common area basement with things she collected from dumpsters.
  18. My neighbors are playing bean bags in the hallway at midnight.
  19. When I come home from work, my neighbor is always standing silently in the hallway like he's listening for something. It creeps me out.
  20. It makes a lot of noise when my neighbor and his friend drag his motorcycle up the stairs. Why can't he park it on the street?

Any complaints about your neighbors? Share them in the comments.

Published by

Jon Hoferle

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