We’ve likely all experienced a neighbor that was less than perfect. An occasional loud party or a dog barking are to be expected. But what happens when you have a neighbor that is consistently difficult to deal with? Bad neighbors can not only affect your sense of peace within your home, they can also have a negative impact on your property’s resale value. For this reason, issues with problematic neighbors should be swiftly dealt with. Here are some ways you can approach this sticky subject.
It is a lot easier to disregard someone you have never met before. That is why it is a good idea to introduce yourself to neighbors as soon as possible. Knowing your name and having a general sense of what you are like can be a huge step in creating a more respectful relationship.
Going forward, you may want to inform your neighbors of any upcoming events that could disturb the peace. For example, let them know in advance that you will be having contractors over for renovations, or that you plan on hosting a rowdy kids birthday party. Again, extending this courtesy to your neighbors will make them more likely to reciprocate in the future.
Lead By Example
Start by demonstrating the kind of care and respect you would like your neighbor to be showing.
You will have a hard time convincing your neighbor of any wrongdoing if you, yourself, are guilty of a similar affront. Consider the reasons for your disapproval. If your neighbor is too loud, how do you measure up? Do you have pets or children that make noise outside? Do you like to mow your lawn at 6 am on Sundays?
Similarly, if your complaint has to do with the way the neighbor’s yard looks, yours had better be pretty tidy. You will also want to verify that you are one hundred percent respectful of boundary lines between properties before you go accusing anyone of invading your space.
Try not to assume that your neighbor is being inconsiderate on purpose. In many cases, they may not even be aware that they are doing something that is bothering you. Give them the benefit of the doubt and approach the situation in a calm, polite manner.
Try to avoid ambushing your neighbor with a laundry list of concerns. You might invite them over for coffee, or mention the issue over a dog walk. You can knock on the door, but ask your neighbor if they have a moment to chat before you broach the subject.
Document the Issue
If you are hitting a dead end when it comes to communicating with your neighbor, you might need to involve a third party, such as your Homeowners Association. Photographs, invoices for damage, text messages, emails, and any other evidence will be helpful in establishing your concerns as valid.
On that note, make sure you have researched your HOA’s rules and regulations before you file a complaint. Some issues may be annoying but not necessarily a breach of the HOA regulations. Make certain that rules are actually being broken before pursuing outside assistance.
When to Contact Authorities About a Bad Neighbor
If the issue is regarding a hazardous or potentially illegal situation, it is best to contact law enforcement. Situations that warrant a call to the police include suspected drug abuse, drug production, animal abuse, domestic abuse, or hazards that pose a threat to others (like fires). In short, if your neighbor is engaging in behavior that makes you feel threatened, call the police.
Get the Scoop on Neighbors Before You Move In
If you are looking for a new home, it is a good idea to do a little investigating to see if there are any issues with current neighbors. Open Houses are actually a great way to do this. There is usually at least one interested neighbor wanting to survey any possible newcomers to the community. Feel free to ask them about other neighbors and concerns they have. Your Realtor can also help you get a feel for the neighborhood and help you spot any red flags.
If you are ready to purchase a new home in Colorado, contact Brenda Kellogg Meyer. Brenda is a licensed Realtor with an eye for detail and a passion for finding the perfect home for her clients. Call or go online today to get started.
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