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Coffee with Clare

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Hi and welcome back to Coffee with Clare everything Thursday!  I hope you had a wonderful holiday season!

Dear Clare:

My problem, Clare, is our neighbors next door. We are in a small comfortable home, but our yards and homes are close together.  My next door neighbor, Sue, and her obnoxious husband, Rob, have 4 kids all under the age of 12.  They leave trails of their toys all over our front yard, have about 3 of their outside cats loose in our property to include peeing on our front garden (may I add right next to the front porch where I sit and can smell the disgusting cat pee) and park their van and work trucks often in front of our house – up on our curb onto part of our property.  We like Sue and have asked her often about helping us with these issues, but we can’t stand Rob.  We don’t want trouble with them – especially since they live right up under us – but what can we do.

Signed – Frustrated in Georgia.

Insane woman screaming for her life in shock and fear. Isolated on white background


Dear Frustrated:

These types of situations can be so, so annoying because your home should be your castle!  Obviously your neighbors just don’t get it – and chances are they may never “get it.”  I would try to be as nice as you can and continue to work on building a rapport with them. Don’t be accusing or judgmental …. don’t try to pin them down when they are running out the door at 7:30 a.m. heading to work because they won’t have time.  When you see them outside after work, or maybe on the weekend, ask them if you can chat for a few minutes.  Kindly, and gently, state some of these things that could easily be corrected, but, again, don’t accuse or start out by saying “You are making me crazy by doing….” – blah blah – which although IT IS TRUE this isn’t the way to solve anything.   You may also ask the children to collect their toys left in your yard, and you can ask your neighbors to not park in front of your house, so there is room for your vehicles – and that of your guests.   To send a stronger message, you may elect to collect the toys yourself and place the toys in front of their door each evening … a little more confrontational, but they may get the hint.

If none of the suggestions work, you may have to take stronger measures by getting authorities (police, city) involved or even use a mediator for these types of matters.  But, truly, if it were me, I would not go this route, because unless they are planning to move soon, you may find it easier to live with some inconveniences than with hostile neighbors!

One additional thought regarding the cats – you may want to check your local pet store chain (Pet Smart, Petco, etc.) as they carry products that “scare” and “deter” cats from “doing their business” in undesired areas.  I hear these can be quite effective – yet safe for people and animals. 

Readers – any suggestions for “Frustrated in Georgia”?



Thank you for stopping in today!  I invite you to email your questions, problems and “life challenges” directly to me at:   I would love to hear from you!

Until next time~



Clare is a 57-year-old fun loving Italian-American self-proclaimed “Jersey Girl” who believes, “Life ain’t easy street. Life is one of those crazy little city streets, complete with potholes that could swallow your car.” With one foot planted in fun and the other planted firmly in her Christian faith, Clare enjoys making people laugh while helping them navigate life’s “crazy little city streets”. Clare has raised two girls (now grown young adults) with her husband, Michial, Clare is ready to take on the challenges of making new friends through her blog, Life Ain’t Easy Street. With an aim to entertain while addressing topics important to women, Clare’s focus on the positive power of good stories, good friends, inspiring women, and strong faith will have you looking forward to reading the next post. Clare is a freelance writer who lives a real life in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

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  • Sabrina Fox says:

    Great suggestions! And such an appropriate way to go about it! I have upstairs neighbors that drove me crazy as well, and just waited it out! Now they’re moving and I’m so happy. LOL. It’s super irritating when people don’t want to think about others and how their actions are inconveniencing them, but I think a proper sitting down and talking to will help.

    • Clare says:

      It is so hard with difficult neighbors… and hate to say it but so glad yours are moving out! I know you are happy, too!

  • Christine says:

    I have dealt with bad neighbors in the past, it is definitely not a good time. Some people don’t care what their actions can do to others. You had some great suggestions.

    • Clare says:

      Thanks Christine and I sure hope this helps for Frustrated in Georgia! I know, oftentimes people don’t really consider those around them, unfortunately!

  • Kari says:

    What a frustrating situation! I’d be sure to keep everything well documented!

  • tianna says:

    great tips, Clare! I would seriously be so annoyed if that happened to me! Thank goodness I live in an apartment on the 4th floor so I don’t have to deal with people being above me. I have a feeling that would drive me nuts. You gave great advice on how to handle it though!

    stop by and chat with me ♥

    • Clare says:

      Oh, Tianna, must be better with noise if you live on the 4th floor! That’s great. Yes, I have been through this similar situation and it did drive me nuts!

  • Common sense advice. It’s amazing how inconsiderate some folks can be.

  • I love my new apartment except my upstairs neighbor seems to be preparing for a STOMP THE YARD revival.
    Given the floors and the fact that I’ve asked the neighbors below me if I am a problem, I can only assume they are aware that their music and stomping is loud. For all I know their lease ends next month but there was one week I didn’t sleep at all. I don’t understand moving around your apartment that much. I’ve decided the next time music is played loud to just call the curtesy office and if the stomping persists to see the complex because in apartment situations it’s normally better to get the office involved because A. it gives you some hope of not being pin pointed as the filer of the complaint and B. they may respond in a negative or aggressive way (I’ve seen some pretty nasty notes from angry neighbors).
    I think also if it is a constant and irregular noise problem (not just the typical apartment noise issues) it can lead to the steps being taken to the person getting evicted if it continues. I don’t want to get anyone kicked out but I am very conscious of my noise level and how it may affect my neighbors, so I expect others to be aw well.
    I’ve noticed that if there is a noise issue (like music) the apartment will either send an officer over, while it’s happening or distribute a general community reminder about noise policies to the residents.
    Okay ramble done. I do think that your advice is great for home owners or people who rent homes because it is a little easier to avoid someone if you only have a 1 year lease verse a house. Plus if it’s constant the apartment may let you move units.

    • Clare says:

      Dia, thanks so much for sharing this and you have given some wonderful tips for renters and also homeowners with “noise” issues… yes it is a bit different in a home but still I know it’s hard! I hope it works out with your neighbors and thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  • Kristin says:

    Definitely talk with the neighbors! That would drive me crazy. I get that sometimes there will be mishaps but it shouldn’t be a daily thing!

    • Clare says:

      Right, talking when we are not mad or ready to “blow up” is the way to go… one on one. Hopefully, this will work! Thanks for sharing!

  • Paola says:

    I guess not everyone has lovely neighbors. My parents have a really obnoxious neighbors but at my house we don’t really have trouble with our neighbors which is good.

    • Clare says:

      So glad you are blessed with wonderful neighbors! It can be challenging as you know when we have difficult neighbors!

  • Honeygirlk says:

    This is definitely an interesting situation but one that I think with a little chit chat – hopefully it can be rectified. We have issues with cats in our neighborhood. We have a dog and with a little bark in the night – my neighbors call Animal Control… dogs bark and it’s not often, but they call. But their cats are always in my yard, leaving their mess behind and have scratched the surface and paint of many of our cars. I have tried discussing with neighbors with no avail, but it’s something we are working on and trying to move past so I can totally relate to this poor person.

    • Clare says:

      Oh, thanks for sharing that! I know I live in a corner home and people walk their dogs day and night and leave little “surprises” from their dogs! I hope discussing this with your neighbors will work for you and for “Frustrated in Georgia”.

  • I’ve had some really terrible neighbors before. I’ve always taken a passive aggressive approach but sometimes you need to tackle the situation head on to get better results. Good luck!

    • Clare says:

      Yes, I agree, Heather… but it sure can be difficult and I know for myself tackling the situation when I have been mad or upset makes things worse. I hope Frustrated in Georgia can have a good one on one conversation with her neighbor when she is not upset and is calm – hopefully that will go well for her!

  • Great response! I definitely understand struggles with neighbors!!

    • Clare says:

      Yes, I think most of us have experienced difficult neighbors at some point in our lives! Thanks for sharing, Amanda!

  • Lindi Mogale says:

    This is a great and adult response to the problem. Living next to inconsiderate people is very hard and fustrating, but answering with aggression can someone’s lead to even more problems

    • Clare says:

      Yes, and unfortunately I am not proud to say, but oftentimes when I have talked with difficult neighbors in the past when I was ready to explode (or family and friends) really makes things worse because it just usually starts a negative confrontation! Thanks for sharing!

  • Tara says:

    The cat thing is tough. I’ve heard you can train cats, but I’ve never had any luck, and yes we’ve had neighbors complain to us about our cats. We were always at a loss. Should we keep them inside?
    Anyway, both of our cats died last year, and now we have stray cats peeing on our house. The tables are indeed turned, but again, how do you control what a stray cat chooses to do? I will look into the deterrent as you suggested.

    • Clare says:

      Yes, I certainly agree you can’t really control what a stray cat does…. and sometimes stray cats seem to “cling together” and the numbers can grow. In the meantime, I would go to to the local pet store and check out their products.

  • Jenny says:

    Good advise, these situations are tricky to deal with. Well all hope we get good neighbors, and sometimes we don’t.

    • Clare says:

      Yes, it is a blessing to live in peace next to our neighbors for sure! And these situations can get tricky because in my own experience not approaching these things calmly can start a battle which no one wants. Thanks for sharing!

  • Oh my goodness! I have never had neighbors like yours, in fact all of my neighbors are really nice and respectful. However, my parents own multiple rental properties and I’ve heard more stories like yours than I can count. So here is my advice to your reader in Georgia: Sit down and write a nice letter to your neighbors covering all of the issues you’ve mentioned above. Don’t ramble on or get wordy, just include a polite but firm intro along with bullet points. Conclude the short letter by letting them know you will be calling to arrange a sit-down meeting at their earliest convenience so you can hear what they have to say and discuss meaningful solutions. If possible, the meet-up should be at a neutral location like Starbucks. If they are not responsive or are not interested in becoming respectful neighbors, then I would take photos of the vehicle that parks on your property each time it occurs and keep a log of dates/times. I would also ask authorities to come out and ticket the vehicle. I would collect the toys left out on your yard and place them in garbage bags. I would place the garbage bags out on the curb in front of their home; after doing this twice the third time I would place the toys unbagged and grouped together along the curb to suggest to others that they are free for the taking. I would contact the SPCA to see what they advise for stray neighborhood cats that have become a nuisance. I really hope it doesn’t have to come to this, but if your neighbors don’t respect you then you won’t have a friendly relationship with them either way – whether or not you take firm action to regain control of the situation or do absolutely nothing at all. So with no neighborly relationship to preserve – TAKE ACTION.

    • Clare says:

      Thanks for jumping in here, Denay, with such wonderful suggestions! I think it is a great idea by sending out a very detailed letter and then agreeing to meet at a neutral location…. You have offered to resolve it quietly and for everyone’s best interest first. You have made some wonderful points, too, of what to do if they are not responsive! We appreciate this and I know “Frustrated in Georgia” appreciates this, too!

  • Mimi Rose says:

    Great advice! Trying to build rapport and working through the issue is always a better route, although it may be tough one to uphold sometimes when your neighbors are driving you up the wall. Best of luck, Frustrated in Georgia!

    • Clare says:

      Yes, it can be tough if the neighbors aren’t responsive or don’t want to make any simple changes. But starting out trying calmly and kindly I agree is the best way to go!

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