Dear PoPville – How do I get my Neighbor to Stop Peeing Off his Porch?

by Prince Of Petworth March 21, 2012 at 10:30 am 123 Comments

Dear PoPville,

I live in a great neighborhood here in DC. All my neighbors are phenomenal except for one. The guy who lives next to me is friendly enough on the surface, but has the disgusting habit of pissing off his front porch, mostly in the dead of night. Sometimes it’s directly into my yard, sometimes the yard on the other side of him. Sometimes he’s “courteous” enough to keep it on his lawn. The guy clearly has some issues and I feel bad for him, but this has got to stop.

At first, we ignored it. Then, I tried talking about it with him without actually referring to what it was he’s doing. I’ve also learned to immediately walk out to my front porch whenever he heads out at night (this usually makes him scurry inside). Finally, the other night I was smoking a cigarette out on the front porch and he just walked out and quietly pissed into my yard with me sitting there. I lost it, yelled at him and then called the cops. By the time they got there he had gone back inside and they couldn’t do anything based solely on my word.

What the hell do I do now?

  • SS3345

    Film him doing it (on several occasions if possible), then provide that to the cops. That’ll do it.

    • ah


      Why couldn’t the cops go smell the wet spot on the ground?

  • Anonymous

    yeah, document this and get a huge flash light to shine on him while hes doing it.

  • me

    Is there any way you could install a motion-sensing light, making it turn on whenever he does this? It may be a deterrent. (Though, since he obviously has issues, maybe not…)

  • MV

    I wish there was a like button on PoP.

  • EdTheRed

    Two words: Electric. Fence.

  • There are motion sensor cameras that you can find in outdoors shops, it will click a bunch of pictures when it is tripped and the pictures are time stamped so you don’t have to be up to catch him. That is seriously disgusting.

  • Anonymous

    Reminds me of the first episode of the show Hung. The star is pissing into the lake behind his property where he lives in a tent because his house was destroyed in a fire. The asshat neighbor, who’s also a lawyer, repeatedly comes outside to tell him to stop. Then lawyer films him peeing in the lake and calls the cops.

  • Anonymous

    Dear PoP,
    How do i get my neighbor to stop smoking cigarettes on his front porch? The poisonous smoke comes into my porch at night. As a deterrent, I’ve started pissing off my porch toward his lawn.

    • Best post ever.

      • racoon

        hahaha the comments today are amazing.

    • Love this.

    • Wobber

      Piss Off Smokers!

      • anonymous

        Oh, I see…you’re friends with the urinator, aren’t you?

        • Seinfeld reference alert! Seinfeld reference alert!

    • Anon

      + 1 million

    • Yes

      That was the first thing I thought of, too!

  • Anon

    He pulls a knife, you pull a gun, he sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue, he pisses on your lawn, you take a dump on his.

    • If we had “Stand your ground” laws here, you could shoot him and say he was threatening you.

      • Lost in the Ghetto

        I wonder how many states have keep-your-ground-dry laws?

      • Anonymous

        too soon

      • Anonymous

        Eve 50 years from now this joke would be too soon.

    • Anonymous


    • dcd

      It’s the Chicago way.

    • brilliant

  • mike b

    Spray him with a hose, like you would any other animal you want away from your yard.

  • A friend gifted us one of these. It’s greatly reduced the number of alley pissers. http://www.amazon.com/Saturator-SIG556-Water-Gun-Blue/dp/B003A01ZDI/ref=pd_sim_t_6

  • Surveillance cameras. While the police may not do anything officially with the video, the embarrasment ought to be enough.

    • Might not stand up in court, but with some evidence like this, I’d hope that the cops would strongly admonish him, or perhaps even write a written warning for indecent exposure.

      (what’s required to catch a flasher? Do the cops have to actually see the guy flash? Seems that this is the same)

      • Once I get enough videos of people peeing in my alley (maybe after this year’s Caribbean festival?) I’ll have to post the series on youtube. Any suggestions for a soundtrack to go with that?

        • fh

          R Kelly?

        • “Born Free”
          “Don’t Rain on My Parade”
          “What the Big Boys Eat”

  • This may be my favorite PoP question ever. Please keep us updated on the Porch Pisser.

  • Anonymous

    Please post video on POP!

  • Madame le guillotine!!

  • Not to sound gross but

    Please post video on POP!

  • Anon

    Public shaming. Post his name and address.

  • live from Columbia Heights

    I hope this doesn’t turn into a pissing match.

    • eb

      Urine one already

  • anonymous

    Urine contains large amounts of urea which is an excellent source of nitrogen for plants. In fact due to the presence of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium it is widely considered to be as good as or even better than commercially-available chemical fertilizers. You should put a flower bed in his line of fire. It’s actually really good for tomatos as well.

    • ah

      It has to be sprayed well, though. That’s why dogs that piss on lawns create circles of dead grass, although the grass right around the dead circle is usually extra lush because it got only a little pee.

    • anothermom

      Urine has too much nitrogen, actually, and will kill plants. Also, I would not recommend using pee on edibles. I have heard, however, it is an effective rat deterrent.

    • If that’s true, then why does the grass die everywhere my dog pisses?

      • Our dogs totally killed our grass. We were told it was only female urine that kills grass. Or something.

      • Our dogs totally killed our grass. We were told it was only female urine that kills grass. Or something. We might have heard that from a candidate for the Republican nomination though.

    • Kam

      Did you catch that show the other night where this woman drinks her urine all the time? Not only that she brushes her teeth with it, uses it for her skin and hair. She says that it is good for you and has helped her cancer. No joke. I forget the name of the show but it was one of those “strange habits” shows. Hell it may have been a segment on some national news show.

  • NE John

    Follow him while wearing a ski mask and carrying a small Al bat. Wait until no one can see you.

  • Introduce him to Loreena Bobbitt.

    • That was funny – but how many kids these days remember her?!

      • Yeah, I wondered about that. I’m glad someone remembered.

  • svi

    finally POP ran out of firstworldproblems and moved on to address the third world problems.

  • reallynotpostingfastatall

    sorry to say this, but you should have been totally upfront when you tried to talk to him the last time. the time you beat around the bush. maybe a “hey, could you stop pissing on my lawn? it kills the grass and stinks to high heaven. thanks” would have been appropriate. good luck to you.

  • as a point of fact

    is it illegal to piss off your own porch into your own yard? yes, its weird. but illegal? maybe into someone else’s yard. i have felt the urge to piss in my own yard as a way of marking my territory and asserting my freedom. but then i fear my neighbors may be watching. in a way, i applaud this guy for his lack of inhibitions.

    • Anonymous

      It’s probably considered indecent exposure, but if you wish to mark your territory (or fertilize plants, as someone educated us above) you could always collect the piss and sprinkle it around.

    • Anon

      Yes, there’s a law on the books for this “Uninating or defecating in public”

      • But if it’s off his porch in the dark, is that “in public?”

  • Josh

    To those that have responded with real advice, thank you very much. To the morons who have nothing better to do than comment on my smoking habit, let me know where you live and we’ll decide which one of the following is worse. First, I’ll smoke a cigarette on the sidewalk outside your house. Then, I’ll piss on your front door.

    Seriously folks, when people have serious questions why does the discussion always have to become some circus? Smoking is (I admit) bad, but pissing on my lawn AND the lawn of the non-smokers on the other side is inexcusable and gross.

    • Mike

      Unfortunately, the best advice I can give you is to not let the peeing bother you too much. Are the efforts to stop him and the ramifications of having this guy furious at you really worth it? My advice would be to just ignore it. And I say this in all seriousness….its just a little pee.

    • Josh – perhaps not now but with time perhaps you can see the humor in this.
      If you can’t laugh at life you have bigger issues that a neighbor pissing on your yard.
      With that said – best of luck.

      • Agree andy2. This is one of the best chains of comments I’ve seen in a while. Having a great time reading all the pithy stuff. We need these every now and then.

    • live from Columbia Heights

      I wouldn’t want you to do either in front of my house, especially the smoking.

    • anonymous

      You have your beef, we have ours.

    • Anonymous

      I want to weigh in here because your righteous indignation is just so incredibly appalling. I lived for three years on a first-floor apartment in my building right next to the front door. My neighbors down the hall regularly smoked right outside the door and smoke often wafted into my apartment. I also happened to live in Adams Morgan on a street with a lot of dogs and a lot of late night drunks. The exterior wall outside my apartment was regularly covered in pee–be it the human or canine variety. I can tell you without reservation the smoking was more offensive and more pervasive. I never once had a urine smell in my apartment, but it constantly stank of my entitled neighbor’s obnoxious, disgusting tobacco.

      People were only making a joke at your expense. You really ought to calm down. But for what it’s worth, your behavior is every bit as obnoxious and disgusting as your neighbor’s.

      • Anonymous

        Multiple people smoking frequently, in an enclosed space shared by many other people who have to walk by it, is not the same thing as a single person having a single cigarette, outdoors, on his own porch, at night.

        I can’t believe people are getting so hung up on this little detail.

        • anon


          I hate cigarette smoke (and as a college student, I was once living across the hall from a guy who smoked so much that I could tell WHEN HE OPENED HIS DOOR because the smoke would waft across the hallway, through my closed door, and into my dorm room).

          But I imagine that any smoke that could be wafting from the OP’s porch to the neighbor’s porch is minimal.

          Plus… public urination is illegal in D.C., and smoking outside isn’t (at least not yet).

      • Josh

        I give up, haha. I get plenty of crap for smoking from my relatives, and you’re absolutely right, I should quit. But seriously, you can smell the piss down the block. If someone asked me not to smoke out front because it was bothering them, I would absolutely stop. But is he entitled to piss on my front lawn? give me a break. As for smoke smelling more than piss, and considering it was adams morgan, maybe the high alcohol/water content made it less smelly? Thank god there wasn’t an asparagus restaurant next door to your apartment. :)

      • Anonymous

        Why did you live for three years in a building that allowed smoking if it bothered you so much?

        • Anonymous

          I didn’t. Read it again. My apartment was on the first floor, next to the front door where people stepped outside to smoke. A smoker’s natural habitat.

          • anon from 1:41 p.m.

            I too interpreted “My neighbors down the hall regularly smoked right outside the door” to mean THEIR door, not the front door.

            So Anon from 1:46 p.m. wasn’t the only one to read your post that way.

          • Let’s all be friends

            It’s pretty arrogant of you to speak of “smokers” having a “natural habitat” as if they’re a different species of human. Guess what– a lot of people you are friends with, or work with, or are related to, have probably had a cigarette at some point in their lives. That doesn’t make them any less human– they’re just a little more open to trying new things than you are. I’ve always found the smoker/nonsmoker distinction abrasive, especially as someone who doesn’t normally smoke but has a couple of cigarettes a year.

      • H Street Landlord


        Post of the year Anon 1:25!

    • Anonymous

      You possibly had my marginal sympathy until you posted this. Smoking is gross and doesn’t stay in the confines of your private space. Peeing is gross and, apparently in this case, doesn’t stay in the confines of your neighbor’s space. You’re both externalizing your bad habits. To my mind, you deserve each other.

      But if you want my real advice, since you’ve already escalated and called the cops, call in a landscaper/lawn guy to say some patch of grass has been killed by his piss. File a trespass claim in small claims court seeking damages adequate to have your law re-sodded because you now have potentially provable damages. Take pictures to show him actually doing it so you can prove liability and the act of the trespass. You’re going to want to show the stream landing in your yard, so switch over to video mode a few times. Then enjoy living out your time at this place with a toxic relationship with your neighbor. And for crying out loud, while you should feel free to pursue civil remedies as you see fit, please quit wasting city resources for something this petty by calling the cops.

      • Not a smoker but come on

        Posting petty, judgemental insults is gross and doesn’t stay in the confines of your private space. You’re externalizing your bad habits. To my mind, you deserve to have someone peeing on your house.

    • Anon

      It’s not a joke. Urine is gross, but it’s sterile and doesn’t pose a risk to anyone. Cigarette smoke is gross, and also a known carcinogen to you and those around you.

      I would suggest having a calm, polite conversation where you explicitly state your concerns. Making him feel defensive via yelling, calling cops, installing floodlights etc. is not going to improve your neighborly relations. At least give him a chance to change his behavior first.

    • Dude

      Dude, no offense, but if you wanted a serious answer, ask a lawyer. You are asking this on PoP so you are going to get some good ones!

  • I believe public urination is against the law in D.C., whether someone is urinating on his own property or elsewhere.

    I’d go with the suggestions above re. motion detector lights, a motion detector camera, and/or getting video.

    I’m not sure that “ignore it” is really a valid option at this point… the OP already blew up at the neighbor and called the police on him, so the relationship between the two is already strained.

    • well, actually

      its not public urination. its private urination, it just happens to be outdoors when op is watching.

    • anonymous

      It’s public exposure, which is illegal–on his own property or not. And as inconsiderate as smoking outside, and having that smoke waft into someone’s open window is (admittedly, I’m sure I’ve been guilty of it), that is not illegal.

      And that’s the crux of the issue.

  • Anonymous

    Does he live alone, or with others? We had a neighbor (long ago moved away) who would piss in his back yard and wave his wand around if anyone was in my backyard. He was an adult child living with his parents so I talked to his Dad about it and his Dad shamed him (and possible beat him) into stopping the behavior.

  • Jstreet

    The Dude: “Walter, the Chinaman who peed on my rug, I can’t go give him a bill, so what the f#$k are you talking about?”

    Walter: ” What the f#$k are you talking about? The Chanaman is not the issue here, Dude. I’m talking about drawing your line in the sand, Dude. Accross this line, you DO NOT…. Also, Dude, Chinaman is not the perferred nomenclature. Asian American, please.”

    • Glad to see someone else thought of Big Lebowski when reading this post.

    • It really ties the thread together.

  • Sir Douchy

    Sorry, I didn’t realize you were on your porch having a smoke at the time.

  • Sir Douchy

    Btw, where does one buy that fantastic no pissing sign? I’m guessing that my local Ace Hardware probably either doesn’t stock them or has ran out of them – it;s got to be one or the other.

  • Matt G

    Take a dump on his porch.

  • huh?

    “I tried talking about it with him without actually referring to what it was he’s doing.”

    How exactly does that conversation go? “So, I noticed you have a rather unusual sprinkler system for your lawn. Perhaps you shouldn’t use it anymore.”

  • I am guessing is kind of dark in the area where he does that; try installing a flood light activated by motion detector; if he still does it, go for the camera. Living in another country, a guy from across the street would cross the street to pee in front of the single woman’s house next door to mine. I think he was marking his territory :D

  • I can see how this would piss you off.

    • Doug

      Now you’re just taking the piss, right?

  • Trixie

    I love how you people immediately focus upon what the OP must be doing “wrong” instead of the question they asked.

    Smoking = not illegal. If it bothers you oh so very whiny much, either ask the smoker politely to put it out or walk away from the situation. Peeing in someone’s yard is just disgusting and should be addressed regardless of how you feeeeel about the OP’s legal habit.

    • Anonymous

      I’m floored by the fact that a few people think peeing on someone’s yard is more socially acceptable than smoking outside (in today’s society, not in some idealistic utopia). It makes me a little worried that some people are so out of touch with the rest of the world.

      • it never ceases to amaze me how ready people are to ignore everything else and attack smokers. if only people went after other things as aggressively, like, oh, people who drink too much and then drive, text while driving, do illegal drugs… yeah yeah, smoking is bad, but a lot of other things are worse. Like habitually peeing on your neighbor’s lawn.
        OP, I’d light that porch up like Friday Night Lights, then find your inner Zen and tell your neighbor that his habit is illegal and gross and has to stop. You might do it this way – point out to him that he could get arrested for indecent exposure, and you’re just looking out for him. Good luck.

  • Former Neighbor?

    Do you happen to live on Irving Street in Mt. P?

  • Anonymous

    are we sure he is not sleepwalking or something like that?

    • Ditto

      +1 and if you know for a fact that he is not then i echo the sentiment of taking a poop on his porch.

  • classic_six

    I can’t believe this is a real question.

    Maybe the guy’s plumbing inside the house isn’t working. Since you probably already offended him with your discussion of his nocturnal habit, maybe you should offer to have his plumbing fixed.

  • j

    Toss your butts on to his porch/yard

  • chln

    That the pisser retreats when the OP comes out on the porch certainly points to him knowing what he’s doing and knowing it’s wrong.

    • chln

      Whoops- meant as a reply to the sleepwalking comment.

  • Motion sensor light! I’m hopeful that you’ll find at least some relief from that, assuming that he dislikes being spotlighted while doing something that he must know is not acceptable public behavior.

    And I definitely have sympathy for you! Our neighbor two doors down had a similar habit (peeing on the fence/house after drinking all night, five nights a week in his driveway whenever it was warm enough) and it definitely stunk, even those there was a house in between us. He was otherwise a really friendly, good neighbor, but I’m relieved that he’s moved.

    • “I’m relieved that he’s moved”… no pun intended?


  • kpindc

    I can’t believe people are actually saying smoking on your own porch is worse than the neighbor’s exposing himself and peeing on your property. Really?! I have a three year old daughter and I am not okay with her seeing the neighbor’s junk. It’s not on my bucket list either. Peeing outside is illegal and disgusting. Good luck OP, I’d try the motion sensor lights and try to get some proof for the cops.

    • Agreed. I mean, smoking is yucky and a carcinogen, but so is smoke from grills, car exhaust, etc. And no one complains when people grill (usually) or drive cars. Smoking on your own porch is different than urinating on someone else’s lawn.

  • Can someone in PoPville rig up a motion sensor-sprinkler?
    When the guy pees he gets sprayed!

  • Anonymous

    taser to the weiner. or maybe a throwing axe?

  • rockcreekrunner

    if he’s so anti-indoor plumbing, give him a brochure for an outhouse.

  • No need to get pissy down at the bottom of the page. Did you expect no one in the city to laugh in addition to feeling great anguish for your dilemma? Potty humor will outlive us all.

  • Nickeeeee

    That’s just part of the “Local Color” of living in D.C.

    Could be worse, at least he’s not a carpet pisser.

    I say YouTube’im.

  • Old Town

    THIS is why I would never live in D.C., seriously? You’d prefer someone pissing on your lawn than a next door neighbor smoking OUTSIDE? For fuck sake, move to the country if you require such precious air, the pollution from cars, busses, trains, etc. (hell, even outdoor grills), is going to be in your environment and affect your “quality of life”. But I should warn you – the country has a lot of pollen, and other “natural” offenders, so get ready to be up in arms about what makes your life so hard. #IhopeYouGetPoisonIvyThisSummer

    • Former Old Town Resident

      Well to be fair, in Old Town the neighbors would complain about the peeing, the smoking, and the mere act of being outside late at night, and would file a complaint with the city to get both parties evicted.

    • Anonymous

      Oh come on, a normal DC resident would prefer outdoor smoking over public urination– the outlandish beliefs expressed in these comments are one or two outliers who probably don’t get out much anyway.

      Incidentally, the times I encountered adverse reactions to cigarette smoke were all when I lived in Northern Virginia. My cousin in Fairfax had a roommate who would not let her smoke outside on the patio, and I had a roomate in Alexandria who flipped out and started screaming at me because I had the windows open and some phantom smoke had (according to her) drifted up 12 stories to our apartment. Oddly, smoking was still allowed in DC bars at that time and neither of these people seemed to mind it when we went out!

  • pee

    Can you get some of the local dogs in the neighborhood to post a sign with big letters that says: “Warning! People Urine.” Then have the sign inexplicably connect your neighbor’s political beliefs with his urinating in public habit and call him several horrible names, but end the sign with “Respectfully, Your Neighbors.”

  • hello

    get a motion camera

  • Anon

    Try living next door to college students that rent an apartment with a roof deck. They were urinating on my tenants windows from above. The officers that happened to be outside patrolling Dupont wouldn’t do anything. I called 911 at times when it happened during parties, but since the intercom on their building was broken, the police just left. After much dealing with the students and their property manager, the management finally got tough and put a stop to everything. Such a stupid problem to have to deal with.


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