article

The Nightmare Next Door: What To Do When Your Neighbor Is a Nuisance

By Jaymi Naciri via Realty Times

bluehammer

The animals that live in the house across the street bark incessantly. The people two doors down play their music so loud you now know all the lyrics to every Kendrick Lamar song ever written. And something, presumably a dog (you hope) keeps leaving presents on your lawn. Annoyances like these can make it unpleasant to live in your neighborhood. And, they can quickly escalate, becoming dangerous or even in need of legal intervention.

So how do you know how to handle a nuisance neighbor, and what should you do when the situation gets out of control? Knowing who you're dealing with is step one.

Annoying but (probably) not dangerous

The situation: Your neighbor is a busybody, always in everyone's business and clearly enjoys spreading it around. The animosity she creates is making it hard to enjoy social outings in the neighborhood.

The strategy: Have a talk with her. Perhaps the simple act of honest discourse is enough to get her to curtail her behavior. After all, no one wants a "Desperate Housewives" scenario.

bluehammer CBS News

Multiple people may need to be in on this act to get the point across that her behavior won't be tolerated. As a worst case scenario, disinviting her from social events may be necessary. Uncomfortable, but necessary.

Could go off the rails if provoked

The situation: Your neighbor complains about EVERYTHING. The way your kids' friends park on the street in front of your house. Your dog that barks exactly one time a day, for a 30-second period, when the mail is delivered. Even the way your trashcan faces on trash pickup day.

And it's not just you. He's been terrorizing the neighborhood since the day he moved in, and everyone's too scared to confront him.

bluehammer A Plus

The solution: Kill him with kindness - but only if it seems safe. Could be the neighbor is a lonely man who doesn't know how to reach out and is channeling his sadness/lack of social interaction in a negative manner. Taking over some cookies, bringing in his newspaper, or offering to water his flowers might be the icebreaker you need to start breaking down those walls.

But, being able to judge a situation is key to knowing how to handle it. If you're not sure if your neighbor is just sad and lonely or if he's going to turn into a psychopath and burn your bunny, you probably want to keep your distance.

You should definitely watch your back

The situation: There has been a rash of vandalism in the neighborhood, with cars being keyed and landscaping being ruined. Or perhaps you've experienced hostile behavior from a neighbor yelling profanity at you or your kids.

The solution: There are some situations that can't be resolved any other way but getting the police involved. If you feel unsafe or if anybody is being threatened, don't be afraid to get the police involved. It could be that the scare is enough to alleviate the situation.

Involving the police could also be necessary if a neighbor is breaking the law.

"When only one person or a small number of people are disturbed by a nuisance, it is a private nuisance," said the Chicago Tribune. "Examples include a noisy neighbor, a barking dog, a trash-filled vacant lot and trespassers attracted to a vacant building. If a state or federal law or a local ordinance is being violated, the police or other officials should be notified to abate the nuisance."

Sometimes, a neighbor's antics affect more than your daily enjoyment of your home. If money or land are involved, things can get beyond testy. If keeping things calm and out of the hands of professionals isn't working, it may be time to take legal action.

"Consider having the property surveyed, which should resolve any questions about property lines. (And a survey could nip the problem in the bud, since the person who wants something to happen usually pays, said Emily Doskow, an attorney in Berkeley, California, and the editor of Neighbor Law: Fences, Trees, Boundaries & Noise on CNN. "The cost can vary anywhere from $300 to $1,500, depending on where you live and how complicated the survey is."

Be aware that there are several defenses that could derail your plight (knowing about the private nuisance when you moved to the neighborhood or tolerating it over a period of time are a few of them). Your attorney should be able to advise you of whether or not you have a legitimate case.

Want to estimate your home improvement costs before talking with a contractor? Claim your home for free with bluehammer to estimate costs, secure your home inventory and learn more about your home.

* THIS REPORT IS AN OPINION THAT MAY BE INACCURATE AND IS PROVIDED SOLELY AS AN INFORMATIONAL TOOL NOT DESIGNED TO PROVIDE DEFINITIVE ANSWERS. ALL ELEMENTS ARE OFFERED "AS IS" AND BLUEBOOK EXPRESSLY DISCLAIM ANY AND ALL WARRANTIES, REPRESENTATIONS, AND GUARANTEES OF ANY NATURE, EXPRESS, IMPLIED OR OTHERWISE, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABLITILY, NONINFRINGEMENT, TITLE, QUIET ENJOYMENT, ACCURACY, OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. IN NO EVENT SHALL BLUEBOOK (OR THEIR SUPPLIERS) BE LIABLE FOR ANY GENERAL, DIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OF ANY KIND, OR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, THOSE RESULTING FROM USE OF THE PRODUCT, INCLUDING : (1) RELIANCE ON THE MATERIALS PRESENTED, (2) COSTS OF REPLACEMENT GOODS, (3) LOSS OF USE, DATA OR PROFITS, (4) DELAYS OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTIONS, (5) AND ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OR PERFORMANCE OF INFORMATION) WHETHER OR NOT BLUEBOOK HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

Know what you should pay for your home improvement projects with bluehammer.Claim your home. It's free!

Popular


Choosing Window Treatments: Pros and Cons

Deciding on the right size, color, fabric and pillow configuration for your couch took three weeks. You still haven't decided on the paint color for the bedroom, despite having seven different shades of blue in swatches up on the wall. It seems like every design decision you've made in your home was critical, but the one that will help pull it all together hasn't garnered a moment of thought.

New Windows Changed My House - and My Mind

It was exciting to contemplate city life after living in smaller towns. Apparently, everyone else thought so too, because by the time I decided I liked a house, it was gone from the market.

Creative Ways To Keep Your Home Cool Without Running Your Air Conditioning 24-7

Heat wave! Are you feeling it? Are you over it? Are you dreading this month's electric bill that will rival your monthly grocery budget? There are a few tricks that can help you keep cool at home without running your air conditioning all day.

Clever Tips To Make Painting Your Home Easier

Painting is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to transform a space. But it can also be a hassle, what with all that taping and prepping and cleaning up. These clever tips can make it easier. Fun, even. (That might be a stretch.)

Best New Security Tips To Keep Your Home Safe While You're On Vacation

Nothing kills your vacation buzz like getting a call from the police back home letting you know your home has been burglarized. Basic home security tips are great, but safety measures are continually evolving, with new and more refined ways to keep you and your home safe.

New Designs In Cabinet Refacing

You may be one of the fortunate homeowners whose kitchen just needs an update instead of a full remodel. Cabinet refacing is an economical option that can give your kitchen a quick makeover in no time. Rather than gutting your cabinets and replacing them with new ones, cabinet refacing allows you to update the exterior of the cabinets you already have. It's also a fabulous way to add contemporary design elements to your space, both with cabinet doors, colors and hardware. Let's take a look at the latest designs in cabinet refacing.

8 Paint Colors for a Standout Front Door?

Extend a standout greeting with a memorable hue at your home's entry

The Most Expensive and Most Affordable Maintenance Projects to Update Your Home

A functional and beautiful home is important for you and your family. When it comes to home improvements and maintenance projects, your budget is likely a major deciding factor when it comes to upgrades.

House Fires: Less Than Two Minutes To Survive!

Have movies and super heroes lulled us into a false sense of security when it comes to house fires?

Home Repairs VS Improvements: No Clear Answer

Question: I am having trouble figuring out what constitutes an improvement and what is ordinary maintenance. Thinking ahead to selling my house in a few years when the market rebounds, I have been keeping accurate records so that I can deduct these costs to lower the capital gains. Recently, I remodeled a bathroom, replaced a deck, replaced and upgraded the spa filter and motor, replaced the front door with a fiberglass model guaranteed to last more than my lifetime, and replaced a roof and rain gutters. Which of these can I safely regard as improvements, and which are just maintenance?

See More Articles