Verbally Abusive Neighbour - What to Do?

We bought our first home in a suburbia a little while ago. We later found out our next door neighbour is extremely inconsiderate and also verbally abusive.

Below are some of the issues (there are other problems but I won't detail them here):

Issue 1: Constantly stepping on our lawn

Our neighbour and their entire family have walked over our front yard (unfenced) numerous times. We have politely asked them to stay off our lawn, as we are trying to regrow it but they completely ignored our request.

Examples include:
(a) Their car is parked so close to our boundary, that they can only get out of their car by stepping on our lawn.
(b) They placed a basketball hoop right near our boundary. As a result, their kids' basketball often bounce onto our lawn and our driveway, and they have to step all over our lawn to pick it up.

Issue 2: Rubbish on our lawn

Not long after we moved in, we started noticing our next door neighbour's rubbish (including used tissues and wipes) on our front lawn and driveway as a result of their overflowing garbage bin. Imagine picking up someone else's used tissues in the middle of COVID :S

This lasted for a few months and eventually we had had enough. Spoke to the wife and the issue was fixed.

Issue 3: Verbally abusive

The other night the weather was terrible, very windy and rainy. We heard a loud noise and found out the next day it was the neighbour's basketball hoop that fell onto our lawn and our stone pavement.

My husband went and spoke to them about their fallen basketball hoop, and suggested maybe we should consider building a fence.

The neighbour then went berserk, started yelling, swearing at him and calling my husband stupid and petty. The neighbour did not apologise at all, and continued to make personal attacks (e.g. looking at you apartment owners etc). He even threatened (although claimed to be a joke) that "I will make sure it falls on your house next time" (exact words).

This whole incident has left us very upset and distressed :( We have been very polite and respectful and it's disappointing that this is not reciprocated.

Now… as I am typing this post, their basketball hoop has once again fallen onto our lawn…

Can anyone please give us some advice? Thank you in advance!!

TLDR:

Our neighbour's basketball hoop has fallen onto our lawn and pathway second week in a row. They have a track record of not respecting our boundary.

Last time we spoke to them about this, they became very aggressive and verbally abusive (swearing, yelling and threatened that "I will make sure it falls on your house next time").

What do we do now?

Edit: 100% agree that building a fence is the only solution as our front yard is currently unfenced.

Edit 2: Thank you for everyone's advice. It was a very long-winded post and I really appreciate all of you reading through it and providing constructive feedback.

Comments

    • Yes, they do have an untrained puppy that barks right outside our bedroom at 7am. They once had a visitor who pissed on our front lawn. Yes there are many other incidents which I have not detailed in the original post. Unfortunately people have decided to jump to conclusions without seeing the full picture. That's ok. I don't mean to put my life story up here, and thanks for your time reading through it anyway :)

      • -2

        Unfortunately people have decided to jump to conclusions without seeing the full picture.

        There is always another side to every story.

        Next time your husband goes to harass them at their home, get him to ask them to signup on here and give us their side. Thanks :)

      • You must be kidding mate.
        My neighbour is a single guy who has two big dogs and they go cray every noon and start crying/howling.

        Instead of making an issue out of it, I try to go out to my deck and talking to doggies (no pun). I understand the single guy busy earning his wages and cant be with dogs all the day.

        If there are no wild parties all the time, dogs not waking you up all the night - let me break the news to you "you are not good neighbours".

        • It's interesting that you only seem to focus on the puppy. Not sure if you saw the bit about a visitor pissing on our front lawn?

          What do you think about that?

          • @fortunecookie: well mate i missed you mentioned visitor pissing on your lawn. And my opinion is purely based on you taking offence of a puppy barking.

            See how I would handle this situation, obviously based on this small detail you have mentioned here :

            1. In first week of moving, I would gift chocolate boxes to my immediate neighbors and try to break the ice with my lame jokes.
            2. I don't complain about any issues immediately as i would rather give time to things to settle down before i even make my mind
            3. I would not bother kids / dogs / sharing unfenced lawn - unless it is causing me some financial issues.
            4. I would have asked them if they need help moving the hoop and would share some coldies on weekends.
            5. Ignoring the noise and small petty issues are the only two thumb rules to live peacefully.

            Having said that, if things go wrong for any reason :
            1. No one, I repeat no-one, talks to my wife in rude voice without serious consequences. I will make sure to make an example out of that bitch.
            2. I bet you with my beretta, no one can piss on my lawn.

  • +10

    Cheapest investment I could make was security cameras on my property when faced with a similar odd sort of neighbor. I am on a 2.5ha property and have a km of fencing around the property +/-.

    Was warned about him after moving in; he is consider the neighbor gossiper and would approach the fence and yell at the partner that the dogs are too loud. He would then walk up and down the fence antagonising the 3 dogs we had on the property. Yelling at them, threatening to shoot them; the usual neighborly stuff.

    The 3 dogs were trained to alert bark as there is a history of threats/bikies/survelling my previous property in the city due to a relative being a DPP prosecuting them.

    The cameras helped a lot; doesn't do it any more after he complained to the council about the dogs; saying they were dangerous and asking them to be put down. Claimed the dogs ate holes in the fence (it's wombats - the force needed to breach the fence couldn't be done by the dogs and they could all clear the fence if they wanted). Footage of him yelling that he was going to poison/shoot the dogs was provided to the council officer dealing with the complaint and police decided eventually to pay him a visit.

    He wasn't too happy that the footage of him yelling things like "we all want your dogs put down - referencing other neighbors - eg "mick [another neighbor] wants them dead too" being provided to the said neighbors…

    Consider yourself lucky; some people are just a bit odd sadly. No winning at the end of the day.

    Serve a fencing act notification and include an amicable agreement if they don't further tresspas; but expect resistence. People are odd sadly.

  • Either neighbourhood war or move.

  • +2

    It sounds like you are going out of your way to surveil your precious lawn. If it bothers you that much then put up a fence or other means to make it inconvenient to trespass. And if its the verge their walking on then you are the problem.

  • +4

    Set up sensors on lawn that trigger a targeted sprinkler system.Or spring traps that fling dog shit.

  • +2

    I feel for you OP. This must be taking the shine from your first home experience. You says it’s in the ‘burbs so I’m presuming it’s a stepping stone to a better place closer to town than a forever home. If it is, sit tight and know this too will pass.

    This is a salient lesson for other first home buyers to do their due diligence on the neighbours, especially when you’re living cheek by jowl like they make them these days in the outer fringes.

  • +1

    I think there's only one real solution here…bikes!

    Nah but seriously though you might consider calling police over threats like that, especially if there have been any threats to your physical safety. The police might just decide there's enough to warrant issuing an Intervention Order. The penalty for the neighbour for breaching it is up to 2 years jail.

    • +3

      Bikes? So you can ride on their lawn?

      • Dammit that was meant to say bikies!

  • +3

    Next time the basket ball hoops in your yard it's yours. The age old law of finder keepers :)
    But like most said, build a wall and talk to council about splitting the bill. Also make a record of any abusive conversations incase they continue or escalate. Good luck, bad neighbours can ruin a home.

  • +16

    OP, can I just say that you and your husband need to improve your interpersonal skills. If you can't deal with these sorts of issues, then don't live in suburbia where these sorts of issues are abound.

    If you genuinely want to resolve issues with your neighbour, then don't pick fights with them. Become their friends, have a beer with them, get to know them. This way you actually develop some form of human connection with them that means you're more likely to both be considerate and forgiving of each other.

    Rather than thinking "who cares about that (profanity) next door, I'm just going to step on his lawn", they're actually going to be considerate when you're coming over with a beer to watch the footy with them later that night or they're coming over to yours to have a BBQ over the weekend. It's easy to be a dick to people you don't know and care about (evidence - how people act towards one another on the internet), much harder to be a dick to people you actually know and see around and socialise with.

    It goes the other way as well, when you get to know them, rather than thinking "it's that (profanity) next door stepping on my lawn again", the next time you're both munching down on a sausage, bring it up in a jovial way. Regardless of how you might think you are approaching your neighbours, to them, it probably feels like you're genuinely attacking them.

    Put yourself in their shoes - it was a stormy night, lots of things have fallen over or might be damaged, and all of a sudden "that moron from next door" comes charging out of their house and starts laying blame for your basketball hoop, completely unhelpful, starts suggesting building fences rather than even trying to help put the basketball hoop back up. Do you see the issue now when you think about it from that point of view?

    If you don't want to deal with people, get to know them and be a part of the community, then live in a walled apartment or gated off block in the country where you don't ever have to see anyone. Part and parcel of living close to others is that you have to learn how to deal with people.

    This whole incident has left us very upset and distressed :( We have been very polite and respectful and it's disappointing that this is not reciprocated.

    If anything, I think this is the problem. When those with poor communication skills think they're being "polite and respectful", they are actually coming across as cold and confrontational.

    I get it, I'm probably gonna get some hate for this comment, but OP, regardless of whether you agree with me or not, you have to live with your neighbours. Do you prefer them to be friends or enemies? Your choice.

    • +7

      ^This, it’s a windy night and next thing you know your neighbour is yelling at you about a baskball hoop falling over that didn’t even cause damage? What a (profanity).

      • +1

        It did cause damage! It fell on their precious lawn that needs to grow. They put so much effort into that little strip of grass

    • There will just be people in life you can't get along with, no matter how good your interpersonal skills are. Some people are just (profanity)

  • If you decide on a Colorbond fence, be prepared for that basketball to be bouncing off it at all hours of the day and night.

  • +3

    This is what scares me about stopping renting and buying a place. If can be a nightmare

  • +1

    Personally I think you're far to worried about the little things in life. If this is the worst thing in your day then I wouldn't be too worried haha.

    I'd just play some basketball too!

  • Install a camera. Just in case. Some people just like picking on others.

  • -2

    Get Trump to build you a fence, I hear he has some free time on his hands.

    • +1

      Jeez, glad I don’t live next door to you.
      Oh hang on a minute, maybe I do🤔

      • exactly you wouldnt know i'd never bother you, i'm clean tidy and quiet

    • +3

      This sort of response just makes me roll my eyes. If there are two types of people I cannot stand, it's passive aggressive people, and it's people who like to pretend they are tough. These traits don't make you a big boi, they make you an antisocial moron.

      It is because of this attitude that these sorts of issues blow up, and why we can't seem to make peace with anyone. At the end of the day, what are you trying to achieve? Do you want to just get back at your neighbours because it makes you feel like a man, or do you actually want to peacefully coexist with them? If you just want to one-up them and get into a petty war, then you are part of the problem.

      • +1

        i dont see how i'm acting tough, stupid while posting on internet surely…
        in the OPs example the neighbour isnt open to dialogue and doesnt seem receptive to make peace, its the neighbours strategy of intimidation that isnt right rather than the OP caring about his own lawn.

        i just cant believe so many people are blaming OP simply because he doesnt come over with beer and chat footie to a neighbour who obviously doesnt care

        "do you actually want to peacefully coexist with them? If you just want to one-up them and get into a petty war, then you are part of the problem."

        you are absolutely right, but its the internet and i do like the odd prank

        • -1

          i dont see how i'm acting tough, stupid while posting on internet surely…

          Yes, because peeing on their property or dumping piss on their land or throwing shit onto their roof is not trying to be macho man…

          in the OPs example the neighbour isnt open to dialogue and doesnt seem receptive to make peace, its the neighbours strategy of intimidation that isnt right rather than the OP caring about his own lawn.

          I disagree with this - it actually seems that the neighbour does want to make peace, e.g. when OP mentioned the rubbish situation, the problem stopped.

          I also do not see how the neighbour has a "strategy of intimidation" - FWIW, they got into an argument, which OP was equally responsible for starting regarding a basketball hoop. I don't see how the neighbour has intimidated OP.

          i just cant believe so many people are blaming OP simply because he doesnt come over with beer and chat footie to a neighbour who obviously doesnt care

          And that is part of the problem - I'm not blaming anyone. Also, beer/footy is just an example - the point is that, like with any form of dispute resolution, you have to befriend and humanise both sides first.

          It also goes a long way to think about how your behaviour is perceived by others. Put yourself in the neighbour's shoes - you have some annoying new guy lecturing you about how to get out of your car, where you have your basketball hoop…etc. when you've never had any issues in the past. Is this the best way to resolve the situation?

          • @p1 ama: re the pees and poos, i suppose i dont convey my tone when i type, i didnt expect anyone to take this seriously.

            re: the neighbour, we seem to have a different understanding of the situation. OP simply wants the neighbour to respect his boundry in his request. Thats not telling him how to get out of his car ect.
            some people dont want to befriend or be humanised by you no matter the context, the offerings…

  • +2

    Bring out the angle grinder and cut it in half ?

  • +5

    Absolutely disgusting that they'd step on your lawn.
    Dont those idiots realise that grass is endangered (i think, dont quote me on this)
    And if you walk in grass I'm pretty sure it instantly dies (again i dont have any sources to cite)
    I would be thoroughly enraged if anyone stepped into my grass. Probably would move

  • +2

    Just cover the edge of the lawn with manure and they won't step on it.

  • +2

    There really is nothing of substance that you’re complaining about and your complaints do sound quite petty. I think you need to introduce yourself to your neighbours and start again. Stepping on lawn is hardly a capital offence. The basketball hoop? You basically antagonised them. It happened once a week. Big deal.

    Look at yourself before you look to fix others. Think about how your complaints might be received by others before you raise them. Is it really worth the stress? Lawn isn’t a big deal.

  • +2

    booo hoooo hooo the basket ball hoop fell on your lawn. the poor little tufts of grass ..

    • +1

      found the neighbours!

    • +1

      Lucky it didn't fall on a person

      • -2

        Exactly! What if it fell on a small child and seriously injure them?

        I suppose if that happens, I will put a post up here again and will hopefully get more support then lol

        • +1

          You won't. You might get blamed for not supervising your child.

  • NO. 1 rule - make friends with your neighbours from the very start. Even if you have to pretend to be nice

    Minor requests and conflicts can be dealt with much more amicably from that point onwards

    For example, I am certain the basketball issue would have been resolved a lot easier if you had a relationship with them where you could go around, have a beer and a yarn about the windy rainy weather etc…."oh and by the way….your basketball ring keeps……."

  • +1

    Are both you and your neighbors of same/similar ethnic/cultural background?

    The problem you are facing may be cultural misunderstanding, which does not preclude you from having expectation of peaceful enjoyment of your property.

    • +1

      What does ethnicity have to do with neighbours trespassing? I'm curious

      • +1

        Some ethnicities don't care and blame others even if they are in the wrong.

        • Care to name them? I'm really curious now

      • Some appreciate more privacy, some have more "relaxed" attitude to privacy. One person's trespassing may be considered by others as "what's the big deal". And it goes without saying that some ethnic/racial bias may be at play too.

        • It's an interesting point. I have thought about this as well.

          Regardless of one's cultural background, if I am trying to regrow my lawn and have nicely asked the other person to refrain from stepping on it, I would think the message is quite clear.

          If they are considerate and care about others, they would NOT then knowingly walk all over my lawn (not talking about stepping on 1mm of my lawn, but walking all over it, day after day, acting as if they legally own my lawn).

          • +2

            @fortunecookie:

            Regardless of one's cultural background, if I am trying to regrow my lawn and have nicely asked the other person to refrain from stepping on it, I would think the message is quite clear.

            Just go to Bunnings and buy grass and install it. Your lawn isn't going to magically appear if nobody steps on it a few times a day. Your lawn is also not going to die if someone steps on it a few times a day either.

            It's grass - it's meant to be walked on. You're acting as if someone stepped on your ballsack.

            If you have a problem with the neighbour's kid stepping on your lawn to retrieve a basketball then I would surmise that you are the problem, not them. FWIW, I don't doubt the neighbours may have done things to annoy you. However, I think you've made them out to be public enemy number one in your head and hence, you rationalise them to be responsible for everything.

            By your own admission, the last time you had an issue with them, they seemed to have resolved it without any issues (the rubbish on your lawn).

            Honestly, I don't get it though, do you just sit on your front porch and just watch for the neighbour and their kids 24/7? I couldn't even tell you when my neighbour comes home and I honestly have no idea if they are even stepping on my lawn or not (they may well be). Get a hobby or something.

            • -4

              @p1 ama: No, I don't watch them 24/7, and I don't have any issues with kids playing or retrieving basketball. Thanks for asking.

              You may think 'it's just grass no big deal' but to a lot of people, who don't own a lot of land to start with, that bit of dirt does matter to them.

              This is old news but I'm sure you've seen this:

              Scott Morrison's HomeBuilder announcement interrupted as NSW man urges media off his grass - ABC News

              Is he being petty? I don't think so but some of you might. Petty or not, he is well within his right to speak up.

              At the end of the day, it's about being respectful and considerate of others.

              • +2

                @fortunecookie:

                No, I don't watch them 24/7, and I don't have any issues with kids playing or retrieving basketball. Thanks for asking.

                Yet, in your OP, you clearly write:

                They placed a basketball hoop right near our boundary. As a result, their kids' basketball often bounce onto our lawn and our driveway, and they have to step all over our lawn to pick it up.

                Clearly, given how much you bring up the issue of the basketball hoop and kids playing basketball, it's clear this is an issue to you.

                Is he being petty? I don't think so but some of you might. Petty or not, he is well within his right to speak up.

                I've never once called you petty. Feel free to find a quote of me saying that.

                I am simply answering the question you posed in the opening paragraph:

                What do we do now?

                Do you actually want suggestions of what to do now (e.g. I gave you one re. grass given that you want to have grass), or are you just here to have a rant about your neighbours?

                To be honest, given how combative you are on an online forum to people who've done nothing but challenge your views, I'm not surprised you have issues with your neighbour. I'm not saying it's unfounded, I agree your neighbour is probably annoying you, but given your reactions here, I don't see the issues with your neighbour going away any time soon.

        • Trespassing has a legal definition.

  • Act like Jack Nicholson in the departed. That'll scare them straight. "eat your clams c****su kers" 😂

  • So whats a good way of doing due diligence on neighbours before you buy?

  • +6

    Put an ad on Facebook Marketplace for the basket ball hoop. Price is free of course. Pickup from verge.

  • Tell them their house is haunted. At least the very least you might get a laugh out of them & break the tension.

  • +4

    Theres a big diffrence between "get off my lawn" and "we are trying to grow our lawn, please dont walk on it and ruin it"

    You aren't being petty,

    They are just being inconsiderate of other peoples things.

    Its likely they are now blowing up at you or not caring because they dont understand whats important to you and dont see it as important and that you're being petty…

    Contact the council and get the ball rolling on erecting a fence

  • Bikies

  • -1

    Go to bunnings, buy a bag of concrete, pour some into a coffee mug, mix it with water with the ratio on the bag and enjoy a nice cup of….

  • +1

    just move away from everyone and get a mansion with no neighbours. easy fix.

  • +1

    Get a diesel generator and switch your household power to that. Put it on their side of your property. Make sure the muffler hasn't been serviced.

  • +3

    Find something to do with your time and you won't overthink your lawn and related anxiety

  • Sprinklers with a motion detector, and a camera to watch.

  • +1

    Sounds like one of those streets where the houses are so close to each other you can't even fart without the neighbours knowing….

  • +1

    This is a nice looking fence
    https://imgur.com/a/19LtIBq

  • +2

    Call A Current Affair. Let Tracy Grimshaw sort them out

  • This one is both verbal and a danger to others
    https://www.facebook.com/cjudd13/posts/10155434765187167

  • +1

    Neighbours are the worst.

  • +1

    I have an issue with my neighbour driving over my lawn. Mostly unintentional, but one day I confronted and they denied. Even with cctv video. Ever since then I've got some large rocks that will otherwise destroy their wheels and body work. Now they don't drive on the lawn anymore. There are some decent rocks you can get.

    About the abusive part….call on backup.

  • A basketball hoop fell over….thats what they do. trash gets on the ground, its what trash does. Maybe you should get used to living in a community. these things happen, and will continue to happen. you sound like an incredibly annoying neighbor.

    • 100%

    • In what universe is someone else's basketball hoop constantly falling over into your property a normal thing? You sound like an incredibly inconsiderate and selfish neighbour who has no respect for other people's boundaries.

      • -1

        The other night the weather was terrible, very windy and rainy.

        Doesn't sound like a normal or constant occurrence. OP's biggest problem is the kids coming to retrieve their ball from the lawn:

        kids' basketball often bounce onto our lawn and our driveway, and they have to step all over our lawn to pick it up.

        • +2

          It happened twice in two weeks. That's constant enough for me and should be a prompt for the neighbour to do something about it.
          It's also a safety hazard if it's so light that it falls down when the weather is bad.

          • -2

            @keejoonc: By that logic trampolines are safety hazards because they fall over and fly away in bad weather…
            If you don't like it then it may be an idea to offer to drive in a star picket and tie it to it. Problem solving isn't that hard people, neither is just picking the thing up twice in two weeks. Why are people so petty

            • @jdj230: what a stupid comment. yes, if a trampoline is prone to flying over and falling, hell yeah it's a safety hazard.
              problem solving should be done the by the owner of the said object, not by someone else. that's the most stupid and illogical comment I've seen.

              • -1

                @keejoonc: Nah mate, your logic was if it's so light that it falls when the weather is bad, not the frequency. You can't go changing your reasoning when it suits. You've just pointed out your initial comment as stupid and illogical, nice one. And if only the world were so lucky that "safety hazard" would fall and bonk some common decency into all this pettiness. And you and the OP would be the ones who would have the problem to solve, not majority of those in this thread who think the whole thing is petty.

                • -1

                  @jdj230: WTF are you on about? what does it matter what the reason for falling it is? If it falls for whatever reason or flys around in bad weather, it's a safety hazard regardless. Gotta love inconsiderate idiots calling other people "petty" when techincally they are the ones encroaching on other people's property. Your logic purely from that perspective is so stupid. It doesn't matter how petty it might be. It's not a decision you get to make iIf you are not the property owner. Common decency is making sure you don't have crap entering or falling into other people's property.

      • -1

        I went outside today, got on the bus, went to the shops. There were people there and they talked amongst themselves, they moved around the store. when I got home I had a really nice tasty lunch. These are normal things.

        I went outside today, the sun!!! it had the nerve to shine on me!! in my own property! The bus driver didn't pull the ramp out cause he is a lazy (profanity), I don't need the ramp but its nice occasionally. When I got to the shops all the annoying people kept standing in front of me! not walking fast enough can you believe they have the nerve to talk! around me!!! even though it annoys me!!!. I could barely stomach the food I ate I was so mad!!!

        see, you can look at things lots of ways. you can choose to be angry, and upset about things that don't matter. or you can move on and enjoy the other things in your life.

        • Your examples don't even compare to what's being discussed here. Don't be ridiculous.
          All of those things are in public space, not at your own private property. Not that hard to see the difference there is it?
          Don't make this out to be like you are some enlightened angel and the OP is some weirdo who can't stand anything that moves near him/her.

          • @keejoonc: idk where you live but your house exists in the public space. your front lawn? public space. you don't like it? put up a fence.

            my example had nothing to do with public or private, it was saying that things only bother you if you let them.

            • +1

              @sarahlump: Idk what universe you live on, but private property is not public place and no, my house is not public space. If your house is in public space, I guess any random person should be able to visit your house and hang around in your yard without getting into trouble with the law?
              You seem to be confusing council land vs private land. Just because there is no fence, what is private property automatically becomes publc space LOL

              Did you eat your logic for breakfast this morning?

              Just because you are not bothered by something, it doesn't mean others aren't. You are not the judge.

  • +2

    sometimes during storms things fall over. blame your diety of choice, or blame poor people and immigrants. those are basically your only 2 courses of action.

  • +2

    Get a rocking chair so you can sit there and yell "Git off my land!"

  • By the sounds of things your neighbours are a bit unreasonable, which sucks.

    Of the various neighbor offences though, the only one I would consider a real problem is the verbal abuse.

    Hopefully a one off incident. If their behaviour escalates to a more serious level, I would install a security camera.

  • Buy spikey plants / bushes to plant close to their side, and nice plants / hedges / bushes towards your side.

    If their basketball hoop tips over and damages plants, make them pay reimburstment for damages.

  • -2

    Get a staffy, beef it up

  • +1

    OzSocialAdvice

  • Can you move their basketball hoop without engaging with them if it falls on your property. At least until you build a fence. Avoid the comfrontation.

  • put a bbq smoker pit right beside their car and use it every day.

  • You got to explain in details! Please note every single interaction you ever have with this neighbour, don't miss out any details then repost it here.
    Hopefully that will reduce the chances of you being seen in the bad light by some ozbargainer.
    Don't blame them though, current situation just get people mood in the constant negative way or some people are just born that way, they tend to justify the perpetrator than the victim, again not their fault. Just like mentally ill people, you can't blame them for being mentally ill.

  • +2

    Are they walking on the land between your mailbox and the road? That is public. If your problem is actually trying to grow grass, just buy some and put a string line around it with please keep off grass.

    You have taken the wrong approach in dealing with people. If the basketball hoop fell over, why not either move it off your lawn or just wait a couple days for them to pick it up? Going straight over and knocking on their door is rude tbh.

    If all else fails, build a nice raised garden bed where they are walking

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