What can we possibly do regarding a problem neighbor?

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What can we possibly do regarding a problem neighbor?

We have a problem with neighbor who probably has some mental issues. He demonstratively turns on music loudly with foul language every time we get outside into our backyard or if we have guests. Our backyards are right next to each other. Sometimes when we sit on the deck and he knows that we can clearly see him, he comes out and then takes his pants off to start peeing. I don’t know if we can do anything about it since he’s in his own backyard, his property. However, the main problem started about 1.5 years ago. He started throwing trash on the street in front of our house. First, we couldn’t figure out who would that be but couple times he threw his mailings with the trash with name and address. He does that about 2-3 times a week in the early morning or at night. He dumps different stuff from paper to yogurt, tomatoes, cheese, magazines, legos, sandwiches, dirt clothes. Now we installed surveillance cameras. We are able to see that the car from which trash is dropped comes out from the street he lives on, it’s a car like he has one, yet on camera you can’t distinguish license plate. I don’t know if that would be enough, if we go to police, or if they need license plate? And what should we do with all of this?

Asked on January 10, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

To the extent he is violating municipal ordinances, such as regarding noise (e.g. after a certain time of day; or total volume), or littering, or public nudity or lewdness (being naked on your own property, if in a place you can be seen from elsewhere, is still "public" for this purpose), you can contact the police and file complaints against him, which may result in him being fined or otherwise penalized. You can do this based on your own testimony, even without definitive videographic or other evidence. You can get information about local ordinances from the town/city clerk's office.
However, to the extent he is not violating local ordinances, there is nothing you can do unless he starts vandalzing your property, threatening you, etc. (i.e. doing actual criminal things); the law gives people broad latitude about what they do on their own property, even if their neighbors find it offensive.


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