What can I do to stop the harassment when a neighbor keeps calling and making false complaints?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What can I do to stop the harassment when a neighbor keeps calling and making false complaints?

I have moved in this townhome approximately 6 months ago. The second day I was there I was approached by a neighbor asking me to keep my dog in designated area. I called the townhome management to ask about the designated area and was told that I did not have any designated areas. The following I was approached by the same neighbor as me to park my garage in the garage because it squeaked so I once again complied. However, several days later, I had a written notice about the music I played and was asked to put my speakers on another wall by management because of the recent move-in. I informed management that I had no system hooked up yet. My next complaint was the smell of marijuana smell as coming from my home. I again contacted management that a family member that was on the lease had just passed a drug test from employment he just got management was very nasty and didn’t reply. Now I have been informed that dog feces has been left by my 8 year old daughter while taking him out. yet, my daughter does not leave the home without an adult. I need help with this neighbor and management company.

Asked on October 12, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The neighbor is making factually false, derogatory or negative accusations about you to third parties (the management company): that technically is defamation. You may wish to let the neighbor know, preferably in writing sent some way you can prove delivery, that if he does so again, you may sue him for defamation.
You should also complain about him to the management company--in writing, sent so you can prove delivery--that he is harassing you and disturbing your quiet enjoyment with false accusations; that you will take legal action against him if necessary; and that if management assists him in harassing you and disrupting your life, you will--reluctantly, because you don't want to do this--include take action against them, too. Stress that you do not want to take action against management, but will protect your rights and family from unwarranted harassment.
If you believe that a protected factor, such as your race, religion, national origin, marital status, or family status (e.g. under-18 children in your household) are a factor in this treatment, you could file a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division (CCRD).
The above said, if you can move without too much cost or disruption, you may wish to at least consider it: I practice landlord-tenant law in NJ, and from extensive experience, I can tell you that once a relationship with a neighbor or a managment company turns toxic, it generally remains toxic. Usually the best you can manage is to push back and force them to back off, but there is usually simmering tension that simply waits for the chance (i.e. an excuse; something you actually do wrong, even if trivial) to resurface.

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