Neighbor Wars, Episode IV

I’ve written sporadically about our situation with our neighbors. For those of you that are keeping score, here’s the latest development. About 9:00 this morning my girlfriend (who’s on her summer break from teaching) is awakened by somebody pounding on the door. It’s one of our rear neighbor’s daughters. My gf answers the door and Daughter starts yelling at her about calling the pound regarding rear neighbor’s dog (which she bought in a half-hearted attempt to keep the cats away). Daughter demands that my gf “Come out here where I can see your face” and the like. My gf who just climbed out of bed and is in her underwear at the door refuses. Daughter stalks off and, as she’s rounding the corner, fires off “Things around here were great before YOU moved here.” The end. All fine and dandy, except that WE DIDN’T CALL THE POUND ABOUT ANYTHING. The only thing we’ve ever discussed with Animal Control was the cat situation, and Rear Neighbor hasn’t been involved in that for months. In fact, we haven’t been involved in it in almost a month. So now, not only do the neighbors hate us when we ask them to be considerate, they hate us when we don’t complain.

How did we manage to buy a house situated directly between the three worst neighbors on the block? No joke. If were were four houses north of where we are now, I would really like Historic Filipinotown. As it is, the neighbors hate us. I can’t get the LAPD to do anything about the drug dealing or prostitution that goes on in BROAD DAYLIGHT across the street from our house (Note to LAPD: If you require me to wait until I witness the deal to call you, the people involved are going to be gone when you arrive 30 minutes later, if you even bother to come at all). I can’t do anything to stop people from leaving entire bags of garbage all over the unattended areas, or to get the business owners to call for graffiti removal on their own buildings. Even the regular, everyday people that travel through are as likely to stop their car to get out and urinate on the street (or, occassionaly my fence) as the homeless population. I’m really getting tired.

9 thoughts on “Neighbor Wars, Episode IV”

  1. Neighbor and landlord/tenant disputes can be a sticky wicket. If things escalate, City of Los Angeles residents can avail themselves to the City Attorney’s free Dispute Resolution Program.

    Please accept my best wishes for a quick, simple and complete resolution of your concerns.

    Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

    Brian Humphrey
    Public Service Officer
    Los Angeles Fire Department

  2. Yo 5000.

    I think your discovering that many (not all) people of different economic levels (not just lower) and ethnic backgrounds have completely diffent ideas of what is acceptable in their neighborhood.

    Your a living example of why people of similar incomes and backgrounds chose to live amongst people that remind them of themselves.

    Kinda sucks being the odd couple out!

  3. Just wondering: Is it possible that your contacting Animal Control about the cat problem led them to impound the neighbor’s dog? If so, that might be why you’re getting blamed for it.

    However useless it is I fully empathize with your predicament and echo Firefighter Brian above in hoping for an amicable resolution.

  4. ahhh the plights of million dollar homeowners in Los Angeles these days….yes, that was a joke. I don’t know how much you paid for your place, but in west LA, houses have doubled in price in two years…houses right across the street from drug dealers and hustlers. I gave up on househunting and found a new apartment to rent.

  5. Brian, thanks for the sentiment.

    Michael, you’re right. Though I grew up on food stamps and hand-me-down clothes from the neighbors in one of the poorest counties in the state and I don’t think it ever occured to any of us to relieve ourselves on our neighbor’s house! :)

    Will, what you’re suggesting is entirely possible, and probably the most likely situation. Though she specifically and clearly said that “The Pound” told her that the neighbors had called about the dog. I actually asked about confidentiallity when we first started dealing with Animal Control Services about the cats and they assured me that complaints were kept anonymous. So, I don’t know what the hell is going on.

    Shpanky, no where CLOSE to $1 million. House prices are indeed way up. We’ve actually been talking about selling in 3 or 4 months (ALREADY!) and renting again for awhile until the market corrects itself.

  6. Regarding the drug dealing & prostitution, the best way to handle that is to contact your Senior Lead Officer. Let them know where, who, what, how & they may be able to set up a task force. Calling the front desk will get you know where when dealing with ongoing issues.

  7. It takes a lot of effort… but, a neighborhood watch program could help. It’ll help increase the frequency and immediacy of police calls, especially since you’ll be assigned a unit and given a direct number. After you have the cops over for coffee, their response time will be much better.

  8. As someone who bought a house in a neighborhood where everyone from the termite inspector who grew up here and the real estate agents said “why the HELL would you buy a house there? you are insane!”, my advice is to stick it out.

    When I first moved into this neighborhood, I was plagued by drunken teenage cholos peeping in my windows, dozens of roosters, all-night parties, shootings, repeated tagging of my property and packs of loose dogs that would follow me home from the Metro station. (It’s a pretty pathetic situation when you have to drag a stick to and from the train station and jab at dogs the whole way home).

    Eventually the neighborhood changed for the better (within 2 years) and the things that other people might find annoying or unacceptable (loud all night parties, bands, horrific karaoke echoing throughout the canyon, domestic disputes that are taken to the streets, street racing, fireworks, dogs that bark all night and roosters that crow all morning) as a compromise. I’ll sleep through all this ruckus because when my friends come over on a Sunday night and we rage and blast music and scream and sing, they neighbors can’t say a damn thing. If I have Metallica play in my front yard at 6 am, they STILL can’t say a damn thing and they don’t.

    Sure, some of my neighbors still do f*cked up things like dump couches in front of my house and let their dogs run amok. I have a restraining order against my next door neighbor who chased me down the street and tried to run me off the road because I laughed when he asked me to pay for a fence on the property line that he built without asking me and tied to the end of a tree. I don’t care. My house is worth 4 times what is was when I bought it and is a fortress. From my front porch I have a view of Downtown, Dodger Stadium, the Hollywood Sign and Griffith Observatory.

    If I would have left when the problems started and sold my house like the police suggested I do, I’d be living in Watts now.

    I suggest you contact your local lead officer in your division and try and work something out. Have them go over and talk to the neighbors and let them know that it’s not ok to threaten or intimidate you. That will usually scare them off. I tell ya, once I had the police stop over at my neighbor’s house it all stopped. I then got a lawyer and had him serve him a restraining order. That REALLY kept them on their best behavior. They don’t even look my way now.

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