Dealing with Bad Neighbors

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Messy neighbors can be a pain, whether you happen to be living next door to them, or are a realtor who is looking to sell a property that happens to be located next to an unkempt house. Residents will undoubtedly be distressed by the eyesore they are living next to, while realtors will find it difficult to make a sale if a property is located next to a house that looks like a junkyard. However, whatever your position, there are certain tactics you can employ in order to deal with a messy neighbor.

Draw clear boundaries

Reinforce the distinction between your property and that of the neighbors by erecting fences and drawing boundaries. Using fencing is a natural way to separate two properties and if the house next door is unkempt, the best way to deal with it is to keep your property separate from theirs.

Once you’ve reinforced the boundaries, you can work on making your own yard look fabulous – if you are a resident, this might drive your neighbor to clean up, and if you are a realtor, you might be able to focus the attention of the prospective buyers on the positives of the house you are selling, instead of the eyesore next door.

Offer to help

Try to remedy the problem by offering your help. The neighbor’s house and yard might be messy because s/he is struggling with health issues, or has fallen on hard times financially, and in this case, they will be grateful for your help. Offering to help will also work if the neighbors are just downright lazy, as they will be glad to have someone else do their work for them.

Know what you can clean up

Check the laws that apply in this case, and then go ahead and attempt to clean up everything that you legally can. Laws generally allow homeowners to care for their property by trimming and pruning neighboring trees and shrubs that grow over the dividing line and into their property. Clean up to the extent to which you legally can.

Check whether the law is on your side

If the messy neighbor refuses to clean up, rebuffs all your attempts to assist him/her in cleaning up, and deliberately acts like a nuisance, you might want to use the law to fight the battle. When no other options remain, you can consider legal action. Some areas have laws that make it mandatory for owners to keep their properties well maintained, so check to see if the law is on your side in this regard.

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