Neighbor harassing potential tenants

AN old lady that lives next door to one of our homes we rent is harrassing anyone coming to see the unit. She is telling them that NO SECTION 8 TENANT IS MOVING N THAT HOUSE AND THAT THEY ARE TRYING TO GET RID OF ME AND THEY MIGHT AS WELL NOT APPLY TO MOVE IN. Also, she has been harassing one potential tenant she saw in the neighborhood saying she better not move next door to her that she will get rid of her.

I know that the law does not allow homeowners to discriminate againist folks based on where they get there source of income. However, she is not the one renting the house. What are my options? How do I stop this woman?

I belive she has also come onto my property and cut back (chopped) by tree because she wants the leaves to stop falling in her yard.

Do I need an attorney? Can I file a small civil claim against her and if so under what law?

This woman is trying to keep me from renting my property to whoever I choose.



Consult a lawyer.

My initial thoughts would be to video tape her doing this. You would have to be stealthy about it. Once your proof is on tape, send her a certified letter of your intent to sue for damages. Your damages include property damage she caused (if any), loss of business, ect.

Again, talk to a lawyer but I would get your proof on video tape first. Without that, you have no proof aside from hearsay.

Get a friend who has never been to the property to go act like a prospective renter once your video tapes are set up and see if you can’t catch her. Make sure your friend acts normal and does nothing to provoke the woman’s actions. If she starts talking to him/her, be nice and let her talk her way into trouble.

Good luck

you are in a really tough situation. Basically she can stand at the edge of your property has scream at the top of her lungs all she wants. The only thing I can think of is to get her on a public nuisance charge.

before your call a lawyer (and spend money), I would make a personal visit to your local police station and in a very calm manner explain the situation. While their might tell you there is not much they can do, you might get some great (free) advice as well as (more importantly) set yourself up as the good guy. You might also consider to file a formal complain. In some cases they will “send an officer out to speak to the other party” to follow-up. This might either straighten her up or push her over the edge to violate a law.

Bottomline, if this lady owes the house next door, then you are in a difficult situation. if she is a renter then things get muich easier.

Freedom of speech is not freedom from consequences as a result of that speech.

You have to see what she is yelling. If it is slander, you can go after her for that. If she is yelling ANY obscenity, odds are it violates a city code. Swearing in public is a violation in most counties. An individual’s right ends when it infringes on the rights of another.

Still, without concrete proof, the case is dead. Get your proof in multiples and then go from there. If the lady is a renter, go to the property owner.

If she is not slandering, yelling obscenities, or violating any code, it will be tough to get anything done law wise.

It is like when you live in an apartment and the tenant upstairs is rude, makes all sorts of noise, and won’t stop. You can either move or get them to move. Nothing else is legally viable.

You could always go grade school on her and start egging her home and TPing it :smiley:

Let the neighbor wars begin!

Thanks all for the feedback. I was thinking of getting a piece order but that may be a waste as well. The tenant who moves there just needs to be time enough for her.

It had actually cross my mind to go over there and turn up some music early in the morning real loud. If she gets the nerve to come over and tell me about it I would ask if it is bothering her. Then tell her yelling at my prospective tenants is bothering me. I know juvenile.

OMAN that is a tough situation! I’d call John Adams – he’s a real estate guru who has a wonderful talk show in Atlanta. He only takes questions on the air, but he has great solutions to difficult problems. Saturdays 1-3pm and you’ll have to get on the line early. I tried to find their 800 number for you, but the site isn’t loading for me right now. It’s (Braves Radio 640).

When I’m driving around looking at properties today, I’ll be listening for you :smiley:

Good luck to you!

You’ll get cited for your disturbance. Don’t do it!!! I had a similar instance - write a letter to the woman stating what you know. Indicate in the letter that she is preventing you from “making a living” which is your right to do being a homeowner. You have instructed your potential tenants about her and that they each will report her to the police for their “own” personal harassment - get it, she harassed them. Also, indicate that for every day you home sits empty due to her harassing your potential tenants, you will seek damages against her in court. Write it very professionally. It worked for me. If you need help in writing the letter, shoot me an email.

That sounds like great advice! I hope I’ll never need it, but I’ll keep it tucked in the back of my mind!

Great advice Abray! I hope I never have to deal with this – what a nightmare!

I’ve encountered neighbors who come right out and tell me, “You’d better not rent to Section 8,” like it’s any of their business. So far though, I haven’t encountered this mess. I’m tucking Abray’s advice away for the future. Much appreciated!


Well, I am not a sec 8 person, but I would tell those people ok. Here is what I can get with a sec 8 tenant. If you find me a tenant within a week at that price or better that meets my selection criteria, you have a deal :smiley:

Dan, I so like your style! I’m not a Section 8 person myself. But how dare anyone tell me what I can and cannot do with my property?! And, I’m not exactly purchasing in areas where the current neighbors would be foreign to a Section 8 tenant (which btw is to provide housing to people in areas they otherwise could not afford.) If I get to Section 8, I’ll be happy to have the government to pay my mortgage. I’ve paid enough to them ROFL!

BTW the three people who asked me about Section 8 for my last property were all delightful. I have zero problem with people trying to get their act together, I just don’t do Section 8 at this time. It still urks me that anyone would have the balls to tell me what they think I should do. But, that is why I’m perfect for this job :-*I get urked LOL.

Now the stripper and her stay-at-home husband, who were not Section 8, did give me pause for concern – only because she could be fired so quickly. My husband just LOVED the idea and even offered to collect the rent… imagine that ;D

You men ;D, my favorite people.

How dare you quote me and then call me DAN :cry:

On the stripper, yea I would have to evaluate her “potential” first. Those girls come and go. Here in Vegas they flow like the water.

If her husband did nothing (most likely the case), I would not rent to them. That is just me though. I have known too many strippers (as friends not by going to clubs you naughty people).

I would not have your husband go collect rent if she is late. He might try to bargain . . .

First and foremost – MY apologies evergreen!

And, I did not rent to them :slight_smile:

Should I ever rent to a stripper with a stay-at-home-husband my husband would be the last one I’d send to collect the rent. First, this is my business; second his sense of direction is horrific at best LOL. However, he may be able to find a stripper hidden in the woods with her clothes on ;D Just a guess LOL.

My apologies again, evergreen :slight_smile:


Cat scratch fever dun dun dun cat scratch fever . . .

Sorry, got that song stuck in my head.

Strippers can make lots of money here quick, but they tend to flake out fast. Many end up in prostitution, trying to do adult films (really one in the same), or both.

This is a hot bed for that stuff. They come here from all around the world.

Well, now that we totally hijacked the tread, time to move on :smiley:

Yin…what I’m actually thinking:

“I invest for a living, and I have the financial wherewithall to cause someone causing me problems some very expensive problems of their own.”

“I’m going to send friends & family on occasion to look @ my home. If you harrass them…it will be recorded.”

“If you cannot control yourself in the future…I’ll hire a flesh eating attorney to crawl through your nether regions to see what you had for breakfast.”

[b]Yang…how it actually comes out (thank goodness):

“Mrs. So-n-So…there’s no need to be concerned about who I rent to. My properties important to me, and I don’t want anyone in there who wouldn’t be respectful of other people. If they’re not respectful to you…they probably won’t be respectful of my house either.”

“Here’s my card and if you ever have any concerns or see anything going on over there that you think I should know about…just give me a ring.”

“Or if you’d ever like to discuss property values or real estate matters…I’m a valuable source of information.”[/b]

If Yang doesn’t work (after numerous attempts)…there’s always Yin.


This is my most favorite post yet! Especially the part quoted above. With my luck that woman would be calling me every single day and a few times in the middle of the night with minor issues (thank goodness for business lines). But, I do think it is a great way to go. And, you can always hope she’ll kick the bucket soon :slight_smile: <I’m not as mean as this sounds – but business is business>

I have a neighbor behind one of my houses, the husband and wife came over to introduce themselves one afternoon. Each in their mid to late 70’s. So sweet, or so I thought – a minister and his wife.

One of my contractors was finishing up a punch list and I happened to be at the property. This contractor brings his dog, with my permission, and leaves him chained to a tree in the back (he did this for six weeks and there was never an issue). You never hear a thing out of the dog unless he sees his owner. Well, the dog saw his dad and starting barking and whining. All of a sudden I heard words you cannot believe coming from that old man. I didn’t leave him my card as promised, and I do worry for my tenants. They have three kids and this minister DOES NOT LIKE ANY NOISE LOL.

People are different to your face as the owner of the property, than they are to your workers and/or tenants. Because I know the rest of the neighbors are relatively nice, and they really love the minister – I’m hoping all will be OK for my tenants.

But, I’m keeping that flesh-eating attorney idea in mind, just in case :slight_smile:


Are there other flavors of attornies?

(LOL – just kidding of course.)


You have to deal with these people from what they understand. These types of people don’t think about threatening letters like you and I. They believe that they have a right to warn off bad neighbors that will threaten their property. My letter will first alert them that I am aware of their harassment, and then assure them that as the owner of the property you have a goal to rent to the best tenant possible. You will be following your leasing process which includes assessing the prospective tenant’s ability to pay as well as their character. While you can’t be held accountable for their actual character, you do have an interest in making sure the tenant passes some standards during background checks. If they allow you to use your tenant selection process it will reduce the time and also prevent you from having to report them to police send them lawyers, blah, blah, blah, etc., etc., etc.

I had a different problem. About 3 years ago, I had a guy that believed that he owned one of my properties (his grandmother owned it about 3 owners ago). When I would put up for rent signs, he would take them down. When perspective tenants would come by, he would tell them that he was the owner and the property was not for rent. I sent the police to see him, I had my lawyer threaten to sue him (but he owned nothing). I had to take matters into my own hands. I started to show the property to prospective tenants myself instead of having them just drive by and walk the property. Me being there, I was a deterrent. The only thing that really worked for that situation is that he turned up dead one day.

Inquiring minds want to know…

You have a harrasser that turns up dead…will we see this on an upcoming episode of “CSI”???

I though about after I wrote it. He really turned up dead. Although I am a big nasty guy with an ugly disposition, I had nothing to do with it.

The talk in the neighborhood is that he had a drug induced heart attack or something.