D.C. from Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
My condo neighbor threatened to kill me and threw a garbage can at me. He also swore at me and called me derogatory names. I am a single woman and afraid to even take out the garbage or go on a walk. He complains because my vehicle sticks out a little and the postman can’t get the right angle to reach our two mailboxes. Also, he is angry because garbage collection tosses the empty can and it sometimes lands in front of our two mailboxes. The result is not that the neighbor moves his mailbox or the postman drives his vehicle from the other direction. The result is that I can never use my driveway which I pay for the use of. I feel angry and I hate this bully. What can I do?
Mister Condo replies:
D.C., neighbor versus neighbor violence in condos is the worst type of conflict most condo owners will ever face. The nature of condo living means close quarters and unavoidable encounters with neighbors. Your neighbor’s behavior is amongst the worst I’ve heard of and it would appear to be escalating to a full out confrontation. You need to sound the alarm and reach out for help from several parties. First and foremost, call the police. No one, condo neighbor or otherwise, has the right to threaten you, throw a garbage can at you, or verbally assault you. Be prepared for the fallout of this call in advance because once you call, an officer will be dispatched to hear your complaint and take action, which may include arresting your neighbor. You might also seek a restraining order to discourage further encounters.
It sounds like there are some logistical issues that your Board and/or Property Manager need to be made aware of to see if they can remedy the parking situation. Of course, you have the right to use your driveway. However, if parking a short distance away makes everyone’s life simpler, you might consider doing that just to keep the peace. Cramped parking in condos is an ongoing saga in many condominium communities. Large cars and small parking spaces are a bad combination no matter what you do. My advice is to follow the rules on parking and ignore your neighbor’s complaints. You can always call the police again if he threatens you or verbally assaults you.
D.C., I encourage you to get immediate help from the police to protect yourself from your neighbor. You deserve to have reasonable and peaceable enjoyment from your condominium as do all of your neighbors. I encourage you to lose the anger and hatred and not sink to your neighbor’s level. I hope your neighbor behaves more like a neighbor moving forward and that he realizes you will not hesitate to call the police and have him arrested if his illegal and abusive behavior continues. Best wishes!