How to Be an Undesirable Neighbor (without breaking the law)

A registered sex offender has moved into the house next door to ours. They’re renters, a couple of houses in our little subdivision are usually rented out and this is one of them.

It’s not one of those “She told me she was 18!” situations, his victim was 40 and so was he. Convicted of sexual battery and served 6 months. He’s on lifetime notification status because some kind of violence/force was involved.

We’ve talked to our 6-yr-olds about stranger danger, and watched that John Walsh video with them (it’s actually REALLY good). Hung heavy curtains in the windows on that side of the house. We’re being careful about locking our doors.

But I’d REALLY prefer they choose to move away. Soon.

Any suggestions for making their stay unpleasant? Without breaking the law?

We live out in the country, so there aren’t as many restrictions. Like most of us have fire pits in the backyard. One neighbor fires guns in his yard, I think he’s aiming at targets - it gets annoying when they spend a whole weekend shooting, sounds like Beirut or something but the Sheriff’s office says as long as they’re not presenting a hazard it’s not prohibited.

So I think we should use that leniency to our advantage.

For example, we’re thinking that side of the yard would be a GREAT place for our new compost pile. The one with a LOT of manure.
FYI, we don’t know the landlord, he lives out of town and we haven’t been able to find a phone number. Not sure it would make any difference anyway, the house was empty for a year so I’d bet they were desperate.

Why don’t you just ignore him and tell your kids not to interact with him? He’s not a pedophile, he’s served his time. What makes you think he is any more danger to you and yours than anyone else? Give him the stink eye and most likely he’ll not come knocking on your door. Why are you borrowing trouble?

I don’t see the issue. If he was a pedophile, then I’d probably PM you with some fairly heinous suggestions (since you have kids in the house). But given that he apparently raped an adult, I’d say just to ignore him and tell him to fuck off if he talks to you.

Mr. Sali has a pale pink thong in his underwear drawer, which he has never put on, but is keeping as a weapon. If a neighbor he despises ever moves in across the street, he has threatened to mow the lawn wearing only boots, ear protectors, and the pink thong.

You sound a bit paranoid. I would think your kids would be in little danger from this guy. It seems childish trying to think up things to drive him away, what do you want to do, blast polka music his way day and night??? I would ignore him. People like that don’t seem to settle down in one place for very long anyway, I would bet good money he’ll be gone in a year.

He’s a guy that fought with, and molested his 40 year girlfriend. While this is despicable it’s not kiddy diddling. Don’t you think that getting your kids wound up to fear him as a potential sexual predator is kind of nuts, and just a bit malevolent on your part?

I know this isn’t the answer you’re looking for, but purposefully making things unpleasant for him will make him more likely to retaliate. I’m not saying he’s going to rape your family in their sleep, but if you blast music all day to annoy him, he might decide he can only think clearly enough to tune up his lawnmower at 3 am. I spent enough time living in apartments to have learned that you’re better off just ignoring the situation then trying to piss him off. Neighbor spats can escalate very quickly.
You may want to talk to the police and find out what exactly his crime was. You might find out that the victim was his wife of 10 years (and the only thing on his record). Not that that makes things any better, but I’d be more comfortable finding out that then to find out that it was just a random person or a neighbor that pissed him off.

Sheesh, the guy’s got a right to live somewhere, doesn’t he? Move away if it’s this big a deal.

Fessie, it’d be more realistic to see him as a potential theat to you than your kids, given that his victim was an adult.

I fail to see what you accomplish by getting your kids worked up over someone with no history of hurting children, and potentially causing a huge problem for yourself with your neighbor.
If you go through with making things unpleasant for him, it’ll most likely play out in one of two ways: 1) If he made a mistake that he genuinely regrets, or if there are mitigating circumstances, you’re hurting him for no reason and he’s probably desperate enough for a place that would take him that he can’t move anyway, or 2) he really is a first class asshole and you’re going to experience retaliation for annoying him, wherein he escalates the situation much faster than you will.
There is no win in this for you.

Put a bunch of loud dogs who bark 24 hours a day in your backyard. Of course, some folks seem to think that loud dogs are fine and dandy, so it might not work.

This is one of those threads that isn’t playing out the way the OP anticipated. ::sigh:: I may have lost perspective. You may be right. But it does surprise me that the consensus here is sanguine about a convicted, violent criminal living right next door.

Perhaps it’s a difference in our cities - this is a small, quiet, midwestern town. I consider a sense of personal safety an appropriate trade for the extra opportunities we gave up when we moved away from Chicagoland. I liked letting my guard down, it’s how I wanted my kids to be raised — which is why I didn’t bother to show them John Walsh’s “The Safe Side” video before now. Some moms consider stranger danger training an essential part of their job, which is why I was able to borrow the video from a friend. I HAVE to warn my kids - and no, I absolutely DON’T want to terrify them. I’m the one who has to put them to bed at night remember.

You guys seriously don’t look on the sex offender registry when you’re picking a neighborhood? Because that’s something I absolutely did. Don’t you imagine having a registered sex offender in the neighborhood (a small enclave of about 50 homes) is damaging our property values? In a town where there are so many other neighborhoods that DON’T have registered sex offenders?

As to my safety v. my kids’ - yeah, it IS creepy. And there are some single women living back here. I dunno, I don’t know what-all is in his past, there’s no way to tell. Is he remorseful, was it a singular event, or does he pal around with a pack of criminals who might have other victims in mind? I don’t really want to get close enough to tell.

I’m sure you’re right though, Joey P and Vihaga; I don’t want to antagonize him.

Really I was just thinking if this was one of those neighborhoods where everyone mowed their yards at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, it might be less appealing than otherwise.

And we DO already have a compost pile. The manure would be a new addition.

There’s a lot of middle ground between being sanguine and completely overreacting. I seriously doubt this guy poses a danger to your children. Would you react the same way if you found out he had been convicted of hitting his wife or beating up another guy in a bar? This probably isn’t a guy you want to invite over for dinner or ask to babysit your kids, but to try and drive him out of the neighbourhood? That’s a bit extreme.

I’ve noticed another neighbor’s yip-yip dogs doing an extra bit of barking lately. Perhaps he’s taken that notion himself. :wink:

Boy, I don’t know - it might be a topic for another thread, but I tend to steer clear of people who break the law. Because if they’ll cross ONE line, I imagine it’s much easier for them to cross MORE lines.

It has seemed that way to me, that people who get into trouble are people who OFTEN get into trouble.

Look, he did his time, and is now finished. According to the law, he is now able to interact as a normal citizen with the caveat of registering as a sex offender. He did not transgress against a child, your kids are probably not in danger.

How about giving him a break and treating him like a normal guy that screwed up and paid for it? How about taking a hint from Les Miserables - if you continue treating someone like they are a criminal, and refusing them to try and live a law abiding life, they have no recourse but to live as a criminal.

If he was a pedophile, or ephebephile, I could see having issues. I doubt he is interested in anything except getting on with his life.

Well, you seem to be making my point for me. Don’t associate with him. Trying to “drive him out of the neighbourhood” probably isn’t going to work, and it will definitely put you on his radar.

I also disagree with your broad brush characterization of people who have gotten in trouble with the law. Some are repeat offenders, some are not. Knowing only that a person has a criminal conviction isn’t enough information to determine whether he made a one time mistake or he is a dyed in the wool bad apple. You’re looking for help in trying to conduct a campaign of harassment against someone you know very little about. That doesn’t look very good on you, IMO. Saying you’re doing it to “protect the children” is a pretty lame justification.

That’s a good point. I’m sure I’m also trying to assert my sense of control over my life. Because it really pisses me off that I went out of my way to find a safe neighborhood and failed. And also because my sister was robbed at gunpoint on Christmas Eve by a guy who marched her up to her apartment, gun at her temple, swearing he’d kill her (but who ran off when her 80 lb dog answered the door), and my father-in-law was just diagnosed with stage IV cancer and will be lucky to live out the year, and damnit, I really liked living in a quiet neighborhood where there were no KNOWN hazards. And now that’s gone too.

Of my three complaints he’s the only one I can actually point at and I wish he’d leave.
But it doesn’t appear to be my choice to make.

I’m with the general theme of this thread: the guy did his time, has been released, and is probably not a threat to you or your kids. Sure, it’s not a great situation, but I don’t know that you should try to drive him out of the neighborhood. (And frankly, I’m not sure that you could: moving is an expensive and draining thing, and not many people will do it just because their neighbor does something annoying every now and then.)

Do you know some more about him? How long ago did his crime happen? Does he have a steady job? Is he married with children, and does he go to church every Sunday? Just knowing his name is on a registry doesn’t tell you everything you need to know - it may be that he’s an upstanding citizen who is deeply ashamed of his crime and has done everything he can to repent for it. If, on the other hand, he’s an, I dunno, unemployed, alcoholic loner who stares at you intently when you’re bringing in the groceries…that might be cause for concern.

Do you think that checking the sex offender register and finding none in your area is any better than finding one next door? I would bet there’s one in almost every neighborhood no matter what. At least now you know who to watch out for.

You might be able to find out in old newspaper articles online some details of his crime. It’s somewhat likely that it was a domestic incident and it could even be that the woman involved exaggerated what happened. If it was local you might be able to get the police to give you some details, just say you’re his neighbor and you want to know whether or not to worry.

I wouldn’t suggest pissing off someone who could have an anger problem.

I’m going to re-mention my suggestion from before. Go down to the police department and ask for the report on his case, it’s public record and at most it’ll cost you a few dollars for the copies (and a lot of states have it online for free). Also, you can ask them about any other trouble he’s been in. That there should answer a lot of your questions. On the one hand, you might find out that he’s been a drug dealer and a bank robber and he a child abuser. OTOH, you might find out that the victim was his wife who had been arrested several times for hitting him and this was an isolated incident in the heat of the moment and that you really have nothing to worry about.

But really, if you start tormenting him, no good will come of it. Do you really want to aggravate a person that you describe as a “violent criminal”?