Dealing with a nuisance neighbor can be extremely frustrating.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, over 3 million households (101.4 victimization per 1,000 households) in the U.S. experience some type of property crime each year.
If your neighbor recently threw something at your house, it’s understandable to feel angry and violated. However, it’s important to confront the issue legally and strategically.
This blog post will provide 11 tips on how to properly handle the situation if your neighbor throws something at your property.
1. Assess the situation for safety
Do you ever have one of those neighbors that makes you want to go all Spiderman on them and shoot them with a web grenade?
Well, before you go calling the Avengers, first check to make sure no one’s hurt.
I’m talking physically hurt here. Emotional pain comes later.
If that jerk chucked a brick through your window or launched rotten tomatoes at your siding, take care of injuries and dangerous debris first.
Safety’s gotta be priority number one. Document the damage, but call 911 if there’s an emergency.
Once you’re sure everyone’s OK, you can move on to plotting revenge.
But seriously, remain level-headed and keep your cool. Retaliating will only escalate things further.
Take some deep breaths and continue reading.
I’ll walk you through dealing with the situation legally.
So, the first step – make sure your family is safe. Are we good?
Great, let’s move on.
2. Stay calm and do not retaliate
I know, easier said than done, right?
When someone messes with your home, it’s infuriating. You want to stomp over there and give them a piece of your mind (or fist).
But trust me, that’ll only make things worse. Retaliating puts you on their level. Be the bigger person and keep your cool.
Here are some tips to avoid losing your temper:
- Take deep breaths. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Rinse and repeat.
- Go for a walk or do an intense workout to release that pent-up aggression.
- Vent to a friend on the phone or over text. Get the frustration out of your system.
- Remind yourself that retaliation could backfire. Yelling at them may feel good temporarily, but you could get in legal trouble or provoke them to escalate.
- Visualize yourself calmly handling the situation. Picture positive outcomes, not confrontational ones.
Staying calm neutralizes the situation and puts you in a better mindset to handle it rationally. So rage internally if you must, but keep your external reactions in check.
On to the next tip!
3. Check local nuisance laws
Your neighbor’s antics may be breaking some community rules.
Do some Googling to find noise and nuisance laws in your area. Print out the specific ordinances that apply.
Then reference them if you:
- Send a cease and desist letter
- File a complaint with law enforcement
- Take them to small claims court
Citing real laws adds serious weight to your argument. It shows your neighbor their actions have legal consequences.
For example, you could say:
“Per Anytown noise ordinance 309-B, excessive and unnecessary noise is prohibited. Throwing objects at my home violates this ordinance.”
Having legal standing strengthens your position big time. Instead of a squabble between neighbors, it becomes a criminal offense.
Use local laws to your advantage and put the scare into ’em. Maybe they’ll think twice about chucking stuff after that!
Onward to the next step.
4. Document the incident
If you end up needing legal remedies, evidence of the incident will be crucial.
Document the heck out of what happened with:
- Photos of damage
- Video footage, if possible
- Written records like a journal or log
- Police reports
- Quotes from repair companies
The more proof you have, the better.
Dates and times are also key. If this wasn’t an isolated occurrence, keep track of:
- When it happened
- What was thrown
- Where it hit your property
- Any injuries or other consequences
This creates a paper trail of your neighbor’s behavior. It proves a pattern vs a one-time thing.
Documentation covers your behind if you have to go to court or file insurance claims. Don’t skip this step!
Alright, onto preventing more objects from being hurled your way.
5. Confront your neighbor
Before going Defcon 1 with lawyers and police, try resolving things one-on-one.
Your neighbor may not grasp how much their actions are affecting you. Have a friendly chat to explain politely but firmly.
Here are some dos:
- Speak calmly and respectfully
- Use “I feel” statements
- Stick to the facts
- Suggest solutions like keeping things off each other’s property
And some don’ts:
- No accusations or attacks
- Don’t yell, insult, or threaten
- Avoid exaggerations or lies
You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. If approached courteously, they may agree to stop.
At the very least, you can say you tried before getting authorities involved.
If they don’t respond to a civil conversation, then it’s time to escalate. However, interpersonal communication is worth attempting.
Now, let’s get formal with a cease and desist letter.
6. Send a certified letter
If asking nicely doesn’t work, it’s time for a cease and desist letter. This is an official written demand that they stop their unwanted behavior immediately.
Send the letter via certified mail and request a return receipt. This proves they received it if the issue escalates to legal action later.
The letter should include:
- Your contact info and their contact info
- Summary of the incident(s)
- Statement to stop throwing objects at your property
- Reference any local laws or ordinances they are violating
- Notification you will pursue legal action if the behavior continues
Close with a sentence like:
“If I receive further unwanted contact or objects thrown onto my property, I will have no choice but to take formal legal action which may include contacting law enforcement, suing for damages, and seeking a restraining order if applicable in this jurisdiction.”
It’s stern but covers your behind legally.
Hopefully, the letter motivates them to quit the crap. But if not, you’ve got options…
Now, onto resolving this mess.
7. Find a resolution
The ideal outcome is resolving things peacefully. Here are some possible solutions to propose:
- Apology – Your neighbor recognizes they were out of line and apologizes.
- Repayment – They pay for any damage or medical bills caused.
- Mediation – You participate in a mediated discussion to air grievances and find a compromise.
- Behavioral contract – You both sign an agreement prohibiting throwing any objects onto the other’s property.
- Fence – A fence is constructed on the property line to prevent future incidents.
- Landscaping – Trees or bushes are planted to block paths for throwing objects.
The right resolution depends on the situation. But the goal is to stop their behavior and restore relations.
Propose an idea you feel addresses the conflict. Being proactive about finding a mutually acceptable fix will get this resolved faster.
If they refuse and continue acting aggressively, harsher measures may be needed. But hopefully, things don’t escalate further, and you can make peace.
Now let’s talk about getting backup…
8. Contact your landlord or homeowners association
If negotiating directly with your neighbor fails, getting your landlord or HOA involved can add pressure and oversight.
For rentals, landlords have a vested interest in resolving disputes between their tenants. Inform them of the incidents in writing and any efforts you’ve made to mitigate them.
They may be able to intervene or provide mediation.
If you live in a neighborhood with a homeowners association, report the problem to the HOA board. Include evidence like photos. The board can send violations and warnings if they determine your neighbor is breaking HOA rules.
Having the authorities governing the property on your side gives you backup. Your neighbor may be more motivated to comply if the request to stop their behavior comes from both you and the landlord/HOA.
If that still doesn’t work, time to lawyer up.
Onward to small claims court…
9. File a lawsuit
If your neighbor refuses to quit chucking junk onto your property, you may need to sue their butts.
Small claims court handles cases under a certain dollar amount – usually $5,000-10,000, depending on your state. Make sure your damages fall within the limit.
You can sue for:
- Property damage
- Medical expenses
- Emotional distress
- Loss of use/enjoyment of your property
- Court costs and attorney fees
Document all your evidence and bring it to court – photos, repair estimates, police reports, etc.
Present your case explaining exactly how their actions violated the law and harmed you financially and emotionally.
If the judge rules in your favor, your neighbor will have to pay any damages awarded plus court fees. And getting sued may motivate them to cut the crap for fear of another lawsuit.
Taking legal action puts the authority of the law behind you. If you’ve tried everything else, don’t hesitate to go to court.
Speaking of law and order, time to sic the cops on them!
10. Contact local law enforcement
If your neighbor’s behavior seems criminal – like causing property damage or physically harming you – get the police involved.
Call the non-emergency number and explain the situation. Be ready to provide:
- Your contact information
- Suspect description and address
- Details of what was thrown and the damage caused
- Dates and times of incidents
An officer will likely come to take pictures and document evidence. Depending on the circumstances, they may talk to your neighbor as a warning or even make an arrest.
Having a police presence can help end the neighbor’s actions through deterrence. And it starts a paper trail if further legal intervention becomes needed.
You can also request extra patrols in your area to discourage future throwing incidents.
Getting law enforcement in the loop now can prevent the situation from escalating dangerously. Don’t wait if it’s a criminal matter.
Lastly, let’s chat about keeping communications open.
11. Keep communication open
Even after taking formal steps, try to maintain open communication with your neighbor.
Leave the door open for peaceful reconciliation down the road. Once the conflict is resolved, check in periodically to make sure things stay respectful.
I’m not saying to become BFFs and have weekly potlucks together. However, keeping basic neighborly rapport can prevent future issues.
Here are some tips:
- If they apologize, politely acknowledge it as a sign of good faith.
- Wave or say hello in passing to establish a cordial dynamic.
- Periodically touch base to ask if there are any ongoing concerns between you.
- Suggest mediation if conflicts arise again.
- Remain calm and diplomatic in any further interactions.
With consistent, positive communication, you can move past this incident and avoid repeating it.
Don’t let your neighborly relationship be permanently damaged if the throwing stops and fences are mended, literally and figuratively.
Having stuff thrown at your house is mad frustrating. But losing your temper won’t help resolve the situation.
Follow the confrontation tips I’ve outlined here for dealing with the issue strategically and legally.
The main takeaways are:
- Prioritize safety and document damages
- Try resolving it civilly before escalating
- Utilize local laws and enforcement to your advantage
- Take legal action if needed to protect your rights
With the proper protocol, you can get your neighbor to cease the unwanted behavior.
Don’t become another property crime statistic. Handle the problem proactively but productively.
And if all else fails, maybe it’s time to move or invest in some hurricane-proof windows! Just kidding…kind of.