They say that good fences make good neighbors, but sometimes there aren’t enough fences in this world to make living next to some people tolerable. Loud backyard parties every weekend throughout the summer, dogs that seem to never stop barking, broken down cars in the driveway—there are many reasons big and small that your neighbors might get on your nerves.
At Kelly Legal Group, we advise clients all the time on how to deal with less-than-ideal neighbors. Here are some steps to take to help you keep the peace.
First: Are You the Problem?
Sometimes we get to the point where everything our neighbors do, no matter how innocuous, seems like a major offense. Take a step back, keep your emotions in check, and think about whether your neighbor’s actions are the problem or if you’re being too sensitive. It may help to ask a friend or family member for their opinion. Setting off backyard fireworks on the 4th of July is a one-time annoyance; setting off fireworks on a weekly basis is a different story.
To help you assess the situation objectively, start keeping a log tracking the offending behavior. This can be especially helpful if you’re a renter or your neighborhood has an HOA. Research your community’s rules or local renters’ rights and see if your neighbor’s behavior is violating any of them. Rental tenants rights, for example, give renters the right to quiet enjoyment of their home.
Try to Work It Out
Most people have no idea that their actions are causing their neighbors annoyance—and they would likely feel mortified to find out. Approach your neighbor about the situation before you involve the police, HOA, or landlord. Be friendly and open-minded, but also direct and firm. In most cases, the conflict can be resolved amicably, which is the best case scenario for everyone involved.
Depending on the nature of the conflict, your neighbor may simply be willing to change their behavior, or you may need to come to a compromise, as is often the case in property line disputes with neighbors. Before you speak with your neighbor, have a compromise or remedy in mind that you would feel happy with, even if it’s not your ideal solution.
Seek Professional Assistance
Assuming you are unable to come to a resolution with your neighbor and your landlord or HOA have not helped either, it may be time to consult with a neighbor dispute lawyer. At Kelly Legal Group, our attorneys can advise you on the best steps to take to resolve your conflict, ranging from sending a formal letter to your neighbor, helping you break your lease, or even filing a lawsuit in civil court.
Learn More About Handling Conflicts With Neighbors
Whether you’re a renter or a homeowner, if you have a conflict with a neighbor, it’s a good idea to consult with an experienced neighbor dispute lawyer. Contact us at 512-505-0053 to book a consultation with one of our attorneys. When you need help resolving a dispute with your neighbor, We Get It Done.