Turf Wars: Horror Stories of Lawn Disputes Between Neighbors

Problems with neighbours


Cheapism is editorially independent. We may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site.
Problems with neighbours

Mow Better Blues

It’s the American dream for many: a home with a great, green patch of grass to call all your own. But sometimes, even a private yard can’t create enough distance to keep away terrible people. Here are some stories of neighbor disputes over yards that made the news for their absolute insanity.

Related: Homeowners Association Horror Stories

Rand Paul
Anna Moneymaker / Staff / Getty Images News / Getty Images North America

His Politics 'Leaf' Much to Be Desired

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky had his ribs broken by his neighbor, but it wasn't over his political views. The senator was out mowing his lawn when his neighbor of 17 years could no longer "leaf" well enough alone and tackled Paul, leaving him hospitalized with five broken ribs. So what happened? Turns out the pair have been fighting over leaves and grass clippings along their property lines for years. The neighbor, also a prominent member of the medical field, was arrested and charged with fourth-degree assault. Paul also sued the man, who was later ordered to pay Paul some $582,000. 

Related: Signs You Belong in the Suburbs

yard sign

War of the Words

Things became tense in a neighborhood in Alexandria, Virginia, when yard signs turned from a statement into a duel. It started when one house put a sign out front that said, “In this house we believe: Black lives matter, women’s rights are human rights, no human is illegal, science is real, love is love, kindness is everything.” Agreeable enough. But then a sign went up at the house next door: “In this house we believe that simplistic platitudes, trite tautologies and semantically overloaded aphorisms are poor substitutes for respectful and rational discussions about complex issues.” Yikes. It was definitely a statement when another nearby house put up yet another over-the-top sign: “In this house we believe that using snark and sarcasm and pedantic, overly complex language to respond to others’ somewhat meaningless virtue-signaling is just divisive and trollish behavior, but hey, signs are fun.”

Related: The Truth About Campaign Signs

Worker in dark protective clothing with a gas mower in his hands, mowing grass in front of the house. A man mows grass with dandelions on a rainy spring day. Trimmer in the hands of a man.

Get Off His Lawn

A 90-year-old man in Florida was arrested after punching a landscaper in the face … for stepping onto his lawn. The worker was mowing next door when the elderly homeowner started spewing profanities at him for allegedly putting a foot on his property line, culminating in the curmudgeonly senior throwing punches as the landscaper attempted to defuse the situation.

Related: These Are Some of the Worst Neighbors Ever

artificial green grass

Turf Or Bust

Two homeowners in Boise, Idaho, fought with their HOA because they decided to replace their front lawns with synthetic green turf, hoping the move would save time, money, and water. Instead the HOA came after them for violating the subdivision’s rules that it had to be grass, and only grass, in yards.  

Old apples

Something Is Rotten

A woman in England was forced to pay huge sums of money to her neighbor after the pair fought over a 40-foot Bramley apple tree. The tree apparently was dropping rotting apples into the neighbor’s yard, attracting swarms of wasps that allegedly sent the neighbor to the hospital with stings. The homeowner of the property with the tree refused to prune it as a jab at her neighbor, and even kept a strong-smelling compost bin nearby in a bid to bring more wasps to the neighbor’s yard. She also allegedly spied on and stalked her neighbor, adding insult to injury.

For more offbeat Lifestyle stories, please sign up for our free newsletters.

Leaf blower clearing driveway

Get a Leaf, Lady

A 66-year-old Florida woman was arrested for stabbing two of her neighbors with a steak knife when she returned home and saw leaves on her lawn. She believed the leaves to be put there by the neighbors and lost it. After getting out her leaf blower and blowing the leaves into the neighbor's yard, the homeowners came out to confront the woman, allegedly culminating with her slapping and stabbing them. 

Using lawn mower

Oh Mow

A woman in Oakland Hills, Illinois, was arrested for attacking a neighbor who was mowing their own lawn. The woman came over demanding the neighbor give back her lawn mower, resulting in the woman pushing the neighbor to the ground and punching her in the face. While it’s not clear whose mower it actually was, the woman was booked on a $2,000 bond thanks to her violent attack, undoubtedly costing her more than just buying a new mower. 

Shoveling Snow from Sidewalk

BYOE: Buy Your Own Equipment

A man posted on Reddit about his experience with his neighbor’s “ridiculous” yard request. To be nice and neighborly, the man mowed their lawn for them a couple times as the new owners did not yet have yard equipment. He even made suggestions that the new owners may want to buy their own equipment due to an upcoming snowstorm. But instead of buying their own shovels, when the snow came, the neighbors came knocking, demanding the man shovel for them. When he refused, they became angry at him and blamed him for making them miss work.  

Detail of half of green grass mowed.

Where The Grass Is Greener (And Mowed)

A Twitter user demonstrated how his neighbor made a “grass” of themselves when the neighbor mowed their side of a small patch of grass, leaving the other tiny half technically not belonging to them overgrown. He tweeted about his neighbor’s shenanigans: “Decided I am going to leave it, when their grass grows back I’ll mow mine; I will like this game.” The post prompted thousands of people to weigh in with similar catty stories and ideas for revenge.

Gilligan's Island

Not Too Rich for Pettiness

It all started when Bill Gross, a billionaire bond investor in Laguna Beach, California, installed a 22-foot-long sculpture in his yard that required protective netting. This prompted his nearly equally wealthy nextdoor neighbor to complain to officials that the netting blocked the views from his multi-million dollar home. In retaliation, Gross blasted the theme song to "Gilligan’s Island" on repeat and accused the neighbor, Mark Towfiq, of being a peeping Tom. As of now, after going back and forth making numerous petty complaints about each other, eventually things led to a restraining order and five days of jail for Gross, plus thousands of dollars in legal fees for both. 

Man watering flowers with a hose

The Hose Knows

A man in Austin, Texas, protected himself with water when a stranger came up to him on his property screaming at him, “White lives matter,” upon noticing the “Black Lives Matter” sign in his yard. When she wouldn’t back down and continued to shout comments at him, he turned his sprinkler on her and blasted her with water, which finally, ahem, soaked in, and got her to stop.

Find more fun Lifestyle stories from Cheapism right here