What can we possibly do regarding a problem neighbor?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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