Q:

What are some legal ways to annoy your neighbors?

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Quick Answer

Legal ways to annoy your neighbors depend on your neighbors’ specific temperaments and preferences and by the laws and ordinances applicable to your neighborhood. FindLaw lists noisy activities, especially during nighttime, as the top reason for neighbor disputes. However, Kinetics Noise Control notes that local ordinances often set legal limits on noise, which may thwart your plans. Neighboring properties that are a visual nuisance also cause disputes, so try painting your house a lurid color or installing ugly lawn ornaments.

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Full Answer

City and state noise ordinances can limit maximum allowable noise in residential zones at different times of day and night, notes Kinetics Noise Control. You can only legally annoy your neighbors with noise from a loud lawnmower or from a stereo that is loud enough to annoy them but is not louder than the legal limit. Look up your locality’s ordinances to determine at what time you can legally make enough noise to annoy your neighbors, then check if your neighbors are usually home at that time.

If your locality allows you to bill neighbors for the cost of trimming plants or trees that have encroached on your property, send them these bills often. Neighbors are annoyed by this because they are forced to either pay up or spend an inordinate amount of time landscaping, notes the Today Show.

WikiHow also suggests directing door-to-door solicitors to your neighbor’s house by claiming that the neighbor in question is enthusiastic about the solicitor’s cause. This is even more annoying when you tell solicitors to be persistent because your neighbor is a little shy.

For apartment-dwellers, Wikihow suggests stomping around or cooking smelly food. Be aware that while these activities may not be illegal, they can prompt your neighbor to complain to the landlord, which may jeopardize the terms of your lease.

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