The Neighbour from Hell

Annoying, nightmare, sleazy, sad, mad, bad. These are some of the many adjectives used to describe unpleasant neighbours, according to the Australian Resource Site And if you have ever lived next door to an unpleasant neighbour, you probably have a few choice words of your own that you could add to this list.

My own personal experience when it comes to nightmare neighbours consists of living next door to a drug dealer and sharing a fence line with an elderly witch.

The drug dealer was a friendly enough bloke. He was clearly very skilled when it came to horticulture as evidenced by the strong, healthy marijuana plants that would reach as high as an elephant’s eye, so that we could see them from our back verandah. He also had a blatant disregard for the law, as both our houses were opposite the local cop shop.

He wasn’t a bad bloke, but did have a lot of dodgy mates dropping in at all hours on very loud motorbikes. He was quite the social character.

Our other neighbour from hell, well to be honest I felt really sorry for. She was an elderly lady residing in a ransacked, falling down terrace house and appeared to have no family or friends. When we moved in, I decided to kind of adopt her and offered by assistance in any way I could, whether that might be doing the shopping for her, or taking her to doctors appointments.

I knocked on her door to introduce myself and explain my good intentions. She looked me up and down a few times, narrowed her eyes and screamed at me to “FUCK OFF” before slamming the door in my face.

And then she proceeded to be a pain in the ass for 2 years until we eventually had to move out. The final straw was when the police turned up at my door to investigate my illegal brothel that I was running…

But something started to niggle at my self-conscience.


Maybe I am the nightmare, doing things to provoke innocent people into acting is such a vile way. Do I play loud music? Does my dog bark all day? Do I throw my junk mail over the fence, or worse…

Am I running an illegal brothel and I don’t even know about it?


The most common complaints when it comes to neighbours from hell include stalking, fences, trees, noise, bullying, harassment, animals and rubbish. The first thing you should do is attempt to communicate in a calm and rational manner. Conflict resolution does not come easily to some, so the next step is to keep a diary of any incidents that occur.

NSW, Queensland and Victoria’s Department of Justices offer free mediation services. If it does not calm down and you are still getting screeched at when you go out to fetch the morning paper, you need to turn to the Police. And this, of course, is less than ideal.

But how to deal with a neigbour from hell on a day-to-day basis?

Well, like trying to train a puppy or deal with an impertinent child, ignore, ignore, ignore. Which I know is far more easily said than done.

Have you ever had a neighbour from hell?


  • The Irish boys in the bottom flat of a three story Deco number in Bondi where I lived for a year. I was on the top floor in a street full of similar buildings, all a scant car’s width apart. Upon investigation, only one of them was actually on the lease, but there were numbers of them coming and going. Their door opened onto the driveway beneath my bedroom window. So the drunken brawls at all hours of the night, people being locked out hammering on the door and yelling to be let in – also usually very drunk. Then the Israeli guy in the next building on the same level as me would start yelling out of HIS window down at them to shut up or he was calling the police, so the drunk boys would yell that they were coming u to do him too. It was all VERY delightful – not. I loved my apartment, but in the end was glad to leave it.

  • Donna

    Im very live and let live. I feed the neighbours barking dog bones. I laugh at the teenagers singing working class man long into the summer nights. I wave to the old man parking precariously close to my driveway. I think I was the annoying neighbour once upon a time and I’ve learnt patience.

  • Caroline

    We too have a druggie as a next door neighbour. nice bloke except for when he decides to clean up his backyard….. by putting all his rubbish in a large pile (near the fence we built and he still hasn’t paid his share of), including plastic bottles, then burning it all.
    The rest of our street is pretty awesome except for the ‘gentleman’ who moved in a couple of doors down about 6 months ago and has decided to bully another neighbour and get the police involved over trivial things then attempt to speak for the rest of the street about how we are all scared of said person he is bullying. *sigh* none of us are scared of this guy and we’ve all been here 10 years plus lol

  • Heidi D

    I tend to try & ignore things because I have a feeling we were the neighbours from hell when we lived at our last house. It was years ago & we had 3 foster kids. The two little boys were both rather wild & they loved to stand on the old brick bbq & throw sticks over the fence. This probably wouldn’t have been quite so annoying if it weren’t for the fact that they would wait until the neighbours had friends over & were in the garden before aiming the sticks at their table 😳 & before anyone freaks out, yes we did stop them when we saw it & did our best to catch them before they started

    • Cate Lawrence

      definitely sounds like the neighbours from hell! At least kids grow up I guess

  • Michelle Duncan

    We had the cranky ‘obsessed by the driveway’ neighbour who’s adult kids even admitted was a bully. Things deteriorated along with his mental health to the point where he threw rocks at my car as I left the communal driveway one morning. What an awful thing it is to live beside someone so filled with anger and hate that they take it out on the people who live around them. The sad ending is that he passed away in his bath (the window for which was on our side of the fence) on a Friday afternoon and wasn’t discovered until his kids came over looking for him on the Sunday afternoon. Tis a relief not to have to be anxious leaving my house but I still wonder was there something we could have done? 🙁

  • Cate Lawrence

    i went overseas on holidays. Came back to find the neighbours from hell, engaged in a screaming fight (basically a young tenant and her parents who didn’t like her being gay). After trying to get some peace multiple times, I called the police who made the woman’s mother leave. They remained there a few months which involved loud techno at 4am. In the end I contacted our real estate agency and said, look is there anything you can do? They hadn’t paid rent for 3 months so they were bid farewell

  • Oh dear sometimes I think the neighbour from hell might be ME..
    Too loud, too fat, barking – Me and Dog but she is faster at the gate. Lucky I only have 1 neighbour.