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How to Get Rid of Nosy Neighbors

Is there anything more important than your privacy? Sure, you usually want to be friends with your neighbors. But some of your neighbors might take this relationship too far. If you have a neighbor that is annoying, that continues to pester you, or is just overly friendly, you are well within your right to be frustrated.

Nosy neighbors tend to talk about anything and everything, which certainly includes their fellow neighbors that live around them. Who knows what they might be saying about you and your family when you are not around? If you have a nosy neighbor that refuses to leave you alone, do not despair. Whether they are confrontational, or are sneakily trying to spy on you, there are several methods you can follow to get rid of them. Read on to find out how!

1. Discover the cause.

Before you take any drastic preventative measures, you should try and find out why exactly your neighbors are so nosy. What is causing them to give you such a hard time?

One of the most common forms of nosy neighbor syndrome is jealousy. If you happen to have a nice yard, a nice house, or something exciting like a swimming pool, chances are high that they might be a touch jealous of the things you have. Perhaps they cannot afford them, or they are simply just curious about what you have going on.

Sometimes nosy neighbors are spying on you because they find you attractive, or they find someone in your family attractive.

Perhaps the biggest culprit of having a nosy neighbor is boredom. They might have nothing to do, so they take pleasure in bothering you every chance that they get. This behavior can be straight up annoying, or it might even be hurtful if they are trying to spread rumors about you. Don’t let this happen!

2. Confront them.

Once you have figured out why your nosy neighbor is giving you a hard time (or if you at least have an idea), it is time to tell them off. The usual chitchat that takes place between neighbors is perfectly acceptable, but if you feel they have gone too far, you are well within your rights to say something to them.

The easiest way to get rid of your nosy neighbors is to be harsh. It is unacceptable if they are constantly invading your privacy, and you should tell them so. If you have to get a little angry, that is fine. You should never resort to physical violence, of course, as this could get you in trouble with the law.

You can also try taking a gentler approach, which will likely be more difficult. Try reasoning with your nosy neighbors and politely ask them to give you the space you need. Clearly outline the behaviors you are unhappy with, and let them know that you will not stand for them.

Most of the time, a nosy neighbor will back off if you confront them. Perhaps they will be offended, but these sorts of people usually know when they are being nosy, so they can’t hold a grudge (or they shouldn’t, anyhow). Get your privacy back!

3. Build a fence.

If your diplomatic approach failed, it might be time for some more serious measures. What better way to get rid of a nosy neighbor than to deny them access?

One of the best ways to do this is to put up a fence around your property. If your neighbors can stroll onto your lawn or into your backyard at any time, you have a problem on your hands.

Obviously, a fence is a very clear indication that you are trying to make a change on your property. Frame the construction of this fence in terms of the protection of your privacy, rather than as a way to keep your neighbors out (even if this is the true purpose of the fence).

Always make sure you are building on your own property, and that you have the authority to do so. You would not want to accidentally sink a posthole on your neighbors’ property and have a nightmare to deal with when they file a trespassing complaint.

4. Plant a row of hedges or trees.

If you feel that a fence is too extreme of a measure, you can try planting some trees instead. This measure will provide you with some protection that is a little les obvious than a solid fence.

Keep in mind that this method will take some time to come into effect. You can buy fairly large trees that will serve your purpose, however. This is a smart idea, but these big trees will be quite difficult to install. Plants and hedges might also need some regular maintenance, so you should know what you are getting into. Keeping a garden can be a fun activity, of course, so if you are an active gardener, this might be the solution for you.

The advantages of trees are that they give you a nice natural look than a fence, while serving the same purpose.

Consider planting any number of these types of trees: pine, oak, maple, cypress, dogwood, poplars, or even fruit trees. Come up with something that you will not only enjoy but will also give you some solid protection from unwanted eyes or attention.

5. Keep your shades or curtains drawn.

If you are suffering from unwanted eyes peering through your windows, try using a privacy shield, like a curtain or a window shade, to deny these eyes any access.

Tinted glass is also a good solution if you have the money to have your windows tinted. The same idea will then apply that you have when driving your car. You can see out, but others cannot see in!

6. File a complaint.

Sometimes you just have to fight fire with fire. If talking to your nosy neighbor did not work, you might need to take a more serious step.

The behaviour of nosy neighbors can imitate that of a stalker, a potential thief, or even a voyeur. Is this neighbor going to cause physical or emotional harm to either you or someone in your family? If you think the answer might be yes, it is time to contact your local authorities.

File your complaint with your local police office. Your neighbor might be officially warned or even arrested, if the situation is serious enough. Try keeping notes of all the times you have been bothered by a nosy neighbor (or times that you have not felt safe) so that you have something to reference back to when the time comes.

7. Take them to court.

If all else fails, you might need to take this nosy neighbor to court. In severe cases, you might need a restraining order. Talk with your other neighbors to see if they feel the same way, and ask if they would be willing to provide testimony or evidence to help your case.

Getting rid of a nosy neighbor can be a challenging process, but it does not have to be impossible. There is certainly a line between annoying and over the top. If you feel your nosy neighbors have crossed the line, follow the suggestions in this article to get them to back off. Using the right combination of solutions along with a strong attitude, you (hopefully) will never be bothered by them again.

About the author

Nicole Harding

24 Comments

  • mine is pretty off the wall…… it is a she at that so I am thinking maybe she is a little lesbo or something..yuck.
    Maybe she is jealous or just curious of how me and my family live.
    She just ask weird questions… kid like too.
    Strange I think she is bored and very lonely and obvious her husband is not attracted to her at all but don’t take it out on us.

  • I have next door neighbors that call the police every time there is any kind of noise coming from our house and call the fire department every time we light our grill or have a fire in our legal fire pit. They have recently built a fence and I have caught them peeking through it and now they are making false accusations to the police that we are peeking through the fence at them. I have had the police at my home at least two to three times a week sometimes more. We are not the only people in the neighborhood that have had problems with these neighbors, they call on surrounding neighbors also. I am at my wits end and I am ready to do somthing drastic, I have talked to other neighbors and they want to join me. We own our house and all of our surrounding neighbors also own including the problem people. I have called the police on them for their nosiness and throwing nails and other things including shoveling snow into our driveway. What can I legally do to get them gone????

  • I wish I could offer you some suggestion; I also am in a Rock n Hard spot; in brief; was married 12 yrs; neighbor has daughter whom has “done” her sister’s husband; her best friends husband; and mine from all the tells etc; I’ve told her mom to keep her away from us; but her mom tried for years to let us let her daughter move in; < of course no way I would let her) Her mom and dad were friends to us mainly my Husband; But the mom, to me was abusing my husbands, help etc. Then telling him lies about me over time; up to the point we ended up divorced< and the neighbors knew abt it before I DID~: We spent 1 1/2 yrs apart; but both of us wanted back together; I moved back and the B##ch next door started crap again; this time involving my ex's family; Needless to say I got thrown out of the house again and can't even go visit my dog of 14 yrs; because the neighbor has harrassment order against me; < funny thing tho they both started their smartass comments; and I responded Mother Like daughter" and they both jumped off bench and attacked me on the street; yet they were able to get the harrassment order against me and that I couldn't even go next door >> good luck with your neighbors dear;

  • my nosy neighbors are so nosy every time i go outside , they open their picture window wider. when i come inside they close the curtain. now i go out and do my gardening at 5 o’clock in the afternoon, because the hot sun hits the window and they close it, but if i happen to be outside they open it a little. they dry to crazy, i dont get why they are so nosy. i come home at 11 pm and so i sometimes water at that time and they go outside at that time. so it does not matter what tiime i am out there they make sure they go outside. it is a couple that is already retired , but what is their fascination with my house?

  • 7 years of hell, over a few hundred thousnad dollars in landscape to make all three sides go away, and it still does not work, we can hear a pin drop in their yards, they actually set outside within 3 feet of our 10 foor high fence,(on their asphalt in the sun ) just so they can hear everything we do, and the wife constantly complains out loud about anything and everything we do, including, quietly taking my trash out to the cans on the side of our house, i could go on for days, it is the manson family all over again.
    help

  • I own a private home admist apartments.I was clearing the grass off my lawn to make a flower bed. My neighbor sees me doing it and said”Did you get tired of your lawn? I said “no, I am going to make a flower bed.” She said “I’m just being nosey!” I responded “That’s why I am going to build a privacy fence!”If you have a fence and the neighbors like to peer through it, then get some privacy cloth and staple it on your existing privacy fence.That should piss em’ off. I am so sick of other people and this loud screaming obonoxious kids and barking dogs. Thses days, the police want you to call them, instead of handeling it yourself.

  • My neighbors are a duo. Love her; hate him. She’s friendly and well-mannered. He’s pesty, obnowious, rude etc. The worst part is that he badgers me trying to keep a conversation going as well as he makes unwelcome sexual comments. I finally tried a drastic approach. I consistently kept my own standards by being cordial enough to greet him on the street or if we were both out in our yard or on the porch. I continued to ignore his requests that he come over or have a drink if I was enjoying one. Then I’d blast him with communication that was harsh, sharp and high in volume! Oh, and to the point that further interaction was most unwelcome. Everything has been fine now for months and months. We are all on civil terms; he’s no longer pesty.

  • I have the worst next door neighbors that had loud parties all the time. they also never parked their cars in the garage or diveway. they would rather park them in the street in front of other neighbors houses. we tried being civil and asking them to tone down the parties and park in their own driveway and in front of their house. and it stopped for a bit then it got worse. we asked again and found trash in our yard and front porch from one of thier parties. after i cleaned it up i dumped it in thier driveway and car and called the police. the next weekend they gave out 3 DUI’s and the party is over for these horrible neighbors.

  • I live in a apt, and my nieghbors goes into there bathroom everytimr i go into mine, just too annoy the stomp on the floors, kick on walls, run water everytime I do , these people are strange its like they have no mind of there own, just a big whole in there head or they are right down mentally ill, if thats not bad enough, if there dam mocking won’t work they come peeking into your window while you read a book, or just keep walking behind the apt, what can I do too get rid of mindless sickos, i really do not trust them I know there up too no good.

  • Is there a legal statute. or case number that I can spray paint on my freakin fence to warn the Peeping Toms on the other side that they are being watched too? It’s so embarrassing to KNOW I am being observed over my fence every time I step foot outside my back door.

    I want to announce to them in huge letters spray painted do daintily on my fence that I know they are there, I’ve heard their personal comments about me, and that I don’t appreciate it. Just a legal reference number, to throw out to encourage them to check their boundaries..

    The cops in my area can’t be bothered with this silliness. However, I have a right to privacy.

    My first inclination was to paint a huge hand with middle finger facing their yard. I can do it without setting foot on their property…any better ideas?

    Thanks- S

  • I have some nosy neighbours in the praries. Everytime im making soup out of buffalo spleen, i look over and see my neighbours peeking into my tipi. They also always wear the same feathers and moccassins that i wear and it is so annoying! I try to be stylish and wear pigeon feathers and they started to copy me!!! I think its revenge because i used to follow them and sometimes i would sleep outside their tipi. I am thinking of making a sign out of beaver fur to tell them to knock it off, maybe carve a middle finger in some wood. Any better ideas? I could always tell the chief and get him banished from our village

  • Sherri L.,

    We have the same problem with noisy children combined. My recommendation would be trees and/or a hedge combined. It beautifies and increases your property value as well as blocking the view, a win/win! In CA anyways we used a wax leaf Privet and it grows very quickly (1′-2′ ft/year) and it is dense and has pretty white blooms that attract bees (another way to keep people away from your property line in the spring:) I know how you feel. I thought about putting something offensive up too for them to see in our backyard since the kids are so interested in looking over the fence. To make it even better, they put a trampoline just feet from our already 6′ fence and the kids find it very amusing to look into our kitchen and make comments while I’m cooking dinner. We went a step above to put in an 8′ hedge and so the kids jump higher now so they can still see inside our home. We look forward to the hedge growing quickly!!!

  • Wow, Chief Running Water, your water doesn’t seem to run too deep. The middle finger was silly, agreed. Maybe this is all silly to you, as your mimicking tone suggests. Who cares, right? Just let the neighbors watch. Hmpf. I think perhaps you are bored. I’d suggest getting a hobby, but it seems your hobby is online voyeurism.

    A trampoline voyeur? Unbelievable. I’ll look into a fast growing hedge, thanks for the suggestion. I hate to have to shut myself inside and close up house, I like to see out, and I love to use my yard. It’s not as if they are observing anything too personal, but it is my sanctuary that they are spying on. I’d think I have a reasonable expectation of privacy in my own fenced yard.

  • My mother has been harrassed by her neighbors for 25 years. He runs a music business out of his house. He keeps trash, broken lawn equipment, the skull of his dead dog, and rubbish in his lawn (my mother’s yard is immaculate!). He constantly parks his beat-up car in front of her house every time he’s home — and he has three empty parking spaces in front of his house. He comes outside and looks at my mother everytime she works on her lawn or when she has guests. When she asks him why he parks in front of her house, he says, “I’m paying you back.” She asks, “Why? For what?” and he says, “Because it’s a free county!” He doesn’t work, so harrassing her is his hobby and job. To top it off, this man is 67 and has been doing this for 25 years! I often wonder why he hasn’t composed some beautiful music in this time, or accomplished something wonderful.

  • I think yall need some new perspectives on preventive neighbor maintenance.
    Fence watching can be limited by the installation of a fencetop fogger which soaks the fence watcher, or a New Zealand Fence Charger set on low impedience which you legally have if you are preventing varmints from entering your yard.
    Another technique is to transplant prickly shrubs along your fence. I also like the living fence. My father transplanted willow shoots 5 inches apart the length of his fence, interwoven together, and put on a drip irrigation with fertilizer to make them grow faster. Planting tall onions and garlic bulbs along your fence will give observers a new aroma to enjoy.
    If you live in Texas or the Southwest then buy or transplant Catclaw Shrubs and trees along your fence-very effective!
    If in doubt have a yard sprinkler on a timer so that at least once a day your sprinkler sprays the fences.

  • Tell them it’s none of thier kolaid and don’t be friendly with them if you don’t want them near you or your family.And if they are always waltzing in to your house without knocking the door or asking it gas gone very far that’s when you should not trust them and they just went over the line.One day they can walk in when you and your family is in the middle of a private convorsation.All it takes is saying get out of my house I don’t want anything to do with them.Or maybe they ask you about stuff that is way to private and you have to tell them it is none of your buissness and get away and never ask me or my family about anything like this.Do not let them call you family or friend because then they will think you have to tell them everything .

  • I have 2 nosy ladies that live in my neighborhood and feel the need to question you about yourself and any change they see you make at every opportunity. I actually like one of the ladies and think the really bullyish, contolling neighbor is just a bad influence on her. My husband and I just recently obtained a dog, who is fenced by the way, and they both showed up at our door questioning us about the dog. Do I have to answer to them about everything? I have already lost my temper and told off the bully after she started mouthing off to me one day when I was bringing in groceries. The other problem is that my husband is a jack of all trades and they are seeking free or cheap help for his services because they spend their money on self maintenance, salons, etc. and are too cheap to pay service people. They are both divorced several times and I can truly understand why!

  • Poor us! Right before we moved in our neighbor was injured and subsequently settled a lawsuit–enough so he never has to work again. Everything was fine until my husband stuck a wooden stake into the ground to determine where the line was one idle weekend. Never mind the reason behind it was the man next door moving 20 foot over into our yard consistently. Get this! Previously he had told my husband of sending a legal letter to the neighbor behind for crossing the line and mowing into his yard! Can anyone spell Hippocrite? Well this day, the day my husband was searching for the stakes, the wife came out to see what we were doing. She was not friendly and told us where the line was as she saw it. She also personally insulted us and went on to say that the mowing into our yard was “helping us out”. Next, while coming back from a walk, she timed it so she could brush past us in a bullying manner without saying anything. She then would gesture at the line (stand and point out acting as if she were determining where the line was as if she had an audience). She did this many times as we came home or back from a walk. Next, she began picking up sticks from her yard and throwing them into ours, and my husband always picked them up. This went on for two summers. She spent more time near the line digging her garden over the line and mowing over and over near our window to try to upset us. She once called my husband horrible names then said she was going to call the police because he told her to stop digging over the line. The worst part is our other neighbor befriended her husband since he never works either. Instead of keeping his nose out, he bought her version of things and joined the game himself! (so much for wisdom at age 60)They have all enjoyed the game for quite a while now. Finally, after her teenage son made an obscene gesture at my husband and child from the driveway, and then she barged up to me in my yard telling me I’d better watch what I say I reported everything to the police. We will put more security cameras up and lots of trees. We will hold our own and not cave in to this wacko bully.

  • I have a weirdo neighbor who “annonomously” reported me to CPS! She said I verbally abuse my DD, and my hubby.. I hit him regularly. Never mind my 2 other kids (I guess I am good to them) she sais there is lack of supervision. She is a liar and a snoop! She stood outside and shook her head at my kids because they were out playing in our yard. She thinks I am not watching them! I am no idiot, I watch my kids outside, I may not be constanly outside over them like airline pilot, but I watch closely, windows and door open! She is driving me nuts! I don’t feel at home anymore, if I yell for my kids across my house to come to dinner, pick up dirty clothes I feel I may set her off and she’ll report me again. this CPS thing isn’t even over yet. ughh. She got mad for me not joining her neighborhood watch ( I didn’t cuz it was a snoop fest, instead of for security)the list supplied CPS #’s and people to call for if people had too much stuff in their yards ect. I think she has too much time on her hands her hubby visits twice a month (works 2 hours away and stays there, my DH and hers worked at the same place till he got laid off, thank God my DH didn’t) her 3 kids are in school all day and she goes NO where, and no one visits her. So too much time, jelousy, who knows but it’s gone too far.. I am going to try writing her a note. She ignored my call.

  • We have a couple of neighbors that are creeps. They spy on people, make up rumors, just real bad news generally. The solution is to avoid them as much as possible while being polite when you do have to come into contact with them. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Build a good fence, plant trees and bushes strategically to block their views, install security lighting and a camera if you have to, and keep your internet/phone security tight (good phones that can’t be eavesdropped on and secure passwords you regularly change if you have wireless). Bullies always look for easy targets. Make yourself a hard target.

  • I have 2 nosey kids (one is under 2 and the other is 4). They constantly come down underneath our carport and snoop through the back fence or try and play under our carport leaving their toys and mess behind. We had to whisper in the backyard just to avoid their attention. I was just getting so sick of having to send them home 10 times a day. They are not even our direct neighbours but we share a driveway between a block of six units. Their parents are junkies and at least 4 people have warned me about them, maintenance calls them whackos and have found syringes in their window sills. An elderly man said the junkie lady stole $300 from him while he was chatting a 90 yr old friend. I told the cops and they said the females been there for a very very long time, to be careful who i talk to who may know her. He made excuses for the kids playing unsupervised and for stealing mail and leaving a mess saying “what can you do? they’re just kids”
    A snoopy ex neighbour was around the other day, she started b**ching about the junkies and the houses up front who apparently use to give the previous tenant of my property drugs etc. She apparently killed herself after her kid was taken away. Apparently the domestics have been going on for years and it was why she left. She started saying similar things like my junkie neighbour said when i first moved in a year and a half ago so i shut up and made sure i didn’t bag them out because i think she was sent to suss me out. This all happened after junkie neighbours mutt dog tried to attack my cat under my carport. I know its the female junkie who is the head bully, she can barely look you in the eyes, she’s very manipulative, her grandmother use to live there. She sometimes parks the car in the shared driveway, The elderly folk need access to the ambulance service and i need to get the taxi through with my shopping.
    I’ve been trying to think about subtle ways to piss them off but there home is in plain view. I know the females name but thats it.

  • I have a gossipy, nosy neighbor who is a real estate agent who moved next door to me 2 years ago. I’ve been in my house since 1975, living peacefully and unbothered, so I am used to being left alone, and I leave others alone. Ever since she moved in she has alternated between being a nitpicky little bitch and a nosy, caring saint. 12 hours after my husband died she was at my front door pretending to care then asked to sell my house for me. She goes around to all her neighbors with her little checkbook trying to buy their land from them. Then she showed up uninvited at my husband’s funeral with her boyfriend. Then she and her boyfriend started offering to do all sorts of things for me I’ve been doing by myself for years, and I refused. Then she started bringing down my mail, saying the guys fixing the road asked her to do it, and I could see her going through all the envelopes, looking for dirt. I acted irritated with her, thanked her curtly and slammed the door; days later her boyfriend was at my porch offering to fix my weedeater for me. Lame excuse to poke another nose in my business. I can get my own mail and fix my own weedeater and have been doing so since 1975. Then she wanted to move her horses onto my property; my husband said to me before he died: don’t ever let her put those horses on your land. You’ll never get it back. She thinks she owns my place. She can’t wait for me to move. Well, I got news for her. I am never moving, and one more lame excuse for barging over here, acting like she cares when all she wants to do is see what’s up, I’ll take my husband’s gun and blow her brains out!

  • Hello.. Well im like most of you i live next door to some one that thinks everything that go’s on at my house is there business.I have lived in the same house for 5 years and my next door neighbor was nice and friendly when we moved in but would complain about the neighbor on the other side of him.That he had to many cars or his dogs pooped to much or that is grass was higher then 1 inch petty things so i should have seen this coming.He turned in the guy so much that he finaly moved out Now we are his new targets.. We have had been turned in for everything from our grass being over a inch high to our kids not being in school when they were in school and having to many dogs having wood in my yard or a unplated car when i just bought the car and was getting it plated it only sat unplated for a week he complains that my dogs bark and keep him up all night but they dont stay out all night they go out do there thing and come right back in…The guy is never home so i dont see how he knows anything going on at my house maybe he is video taping me while he is gone idk but im gathering all papper proof and video i can to put a restaining order against this guy im sure this wont help but what more can i do?

  • I have a nosy neighbor who kept checking me n my family of what are we doing outside in my backyard. Everyday EVERY damn day i be outside gardening my plants or my husband cutting the grass and i could see the blinds be opening little bit. Which bothers me sooo much it annoyed me. Then he complain my dog go his yard and pooped. Really??my neighborhood has lots of dogs so how the hell he know its my dogs. Then day after day the blinds be open wide or little open. Then he be outside pretend to check his plants but instead i caught him staring at us of what we doing outside. Im planning to buy a cypress trees to block his view to seeing us. My nosy neighbor is an old man in his 60s he dont work he stay inside his house all day i dont see him leaving his house he have a car but that old man n oh yeah i forgot he live with his wife who works. That man wasting his life nothing to do only to check what we are we doing.

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