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'AITA for throwing cigarette ends back over my neighbor's fence?' 'She has kids.'

'AITA for throwing cigarette ends back over my neighbor's fence?' 'She has kids.'

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"AITA for throwing cigarette ends back over my neighbor's fence because she has kids?"

So, our neighbor (23F) is an absolute NIGHTMARE- we got on at first but once the following situation happened, she turned volatile and unhinged. “Jane” is a single mother with a 5-year-old & a 4-month-old. It’s just our two houses connected and our front gardens are connected with no fence/wall boundary. Important to note she has family and friends very locally that come round a lot.

So, a few months into living here, my partner (29M) and I (24F) go to tidy our front garden and notice there’s loads of cigarette ends. Neither of us smoke and neither does Jane but we have seen the mum (visits a lot) smoke out the front of the house a lot and usually has a cup used as an ashtray.

We assume she’s thrown them on the floor or the cup has knocked over and the wind has blown them into our garden- annoying but no biggie. We look closer and there are A LOT of cigarette ends, not just a few so I politely text Jane informing her of the situation and ask if she can come and clear them up as there are quite a lot. She replied bluntly saying they aren’t hers.

I replied I know she doesn’t smoke but we know her mum does and say again I know it was probably the wind blowing them but there are quite a lot so can she come clear them. She says her mum doesn’t smoke out the front- only the back, I say we have seen her out the front smoking, she then says her mum puts them down the drain (illegal where we are).

I replied saying can you please just come sort them out and she never replies. We don’t put a time limit on it but we leave it a week and no one comes to clear them up. We contact our local council about them (in case it happens again) and they said take pictures, bag them and count them and then return them to Jane. So that’s what we do…

42 CIGARETTE ENDS! My partner (I’m disabled) goes outside to clear them up after a week. I was stood near him and about halfway through Jane leaves the house with a guy & the pram and they both stopped, stared at us and then just walked off. When we’d finished, taken pictures etc. we wrote on the bag “42 cigarette ends”, sealed it (Ziploc bag) and threw it over the back garden fence into their garden.

A few hours later she comes home and finds them, takes a picture and messages me saying “Thanks for throwing these in my garden knowing I have children." I then pointed out that they were in a sealed bag and that originally, they were all loose in her own garden where her child could have picked them up, eaten them etc. and I asked her a week ago to pick them up.

For additional context, Jane has always been abusive to her kids (we’ve heard and seen a lot) and we were constantly contacting CPS and all sorts so her saying we don’t care about her kids is a joke because we cared more than her (I don’t know if the internet will let me say what she’s screamed at them). I also have enough drama from this neighbor I could write a GD book!! So, AITA?

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

CandylandCanada said:

NTA. The baby isn't crawling out to the bag; if the four-year-old finds it before she does then that's on her. Next time put the bag on her front porch and take a photo of same.

RandoName44 said:

NTA. You tried to be polite. Children that age should be watched outside, so she should be able to intervene before they get into her guest's trash.

Ok-Rip2794 said:

NTA I would definitely get a camera that shows them throwing trash in your yard. I would also file a complaint if possible. Littering is a crime so maybe you can get proof of them doing it.

noccie said:

ESH. You need a camera to show that you aren't the unhinged one. I'm not sure what you thought pictures would prove, or why bagging and counting was necessary. You shouldn't have tossed the butts over her fence without evidence that these came from her mother or other friends.

Butts are light and can blow in from anywhere. That's an awful lot of butts, so you might be correct about the source, however, you need pics of the smokers not pictures of the butts.

uTop-Artichoke5020 said:

NTA. Speaking from experience, there are few things more difficult to deal with than an obnoxious neighbor. It just never ends and you lose the peace of your home, the place that should be your sanctuary!! We moved!

While the opinions were fairly divided for this one, most people were on OP's side. What's your advice for this neighbor-to-neighbor drama?

Sources: Reddit
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