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How to Handle Neighbor Disputes

Even the best of neighbors don’t see eye to eye all the time. To help you make peace with those who share your property line, here are five tips for how to handle neighbor disputes. Use them to settle your differences before things get out of control.

  • Understand the problem. Before things escalate, make sure you completely understand the problem. If it is a property-line dispute, check your deed to see where the line actually lies. If it’s a noise dispute, keep a detailed record of how often this problem occurs and for how long. It’s possible that the problem may not be as bad as you think. If it does require action, documentation will strengthen your case.
  • Know thy neighbor. It's common these days to know very little about our neighbors when compared to previous generations. Learning more about your neighbor could be beneficial to your long-term relationship. Discuss things you both have in common, such as your families, your neighborhood, your hobbies or sports. If you and your neighbor know each other as people apart from any complaints, any concerns will be easier to resolve.
  • Be respectful. When it comes time to voice your concern to your neighbor, the manner in which you do so will have a huge influence on the result. If you yell at your neighbor or are visibly angry, you can expect to receive the same treatment in response. If this happens, neither side wins. Instead, it's best to voice your concerns in an even tone and take the time to listen to your neighbor. Maybe he simply isn’t aware of the problem. Or maybe he is and has already taken steps to fix it. If your neighbor is not aware of the problem, seek his insight by asking what he thinks can be done to fix the situation. Offer your own solutions, too. Working together is the best way to ensure a good outcome.
  • Consult with other neighbors. If the issue is known all around the neighborhood, other neighbors may share your concern. Take the time to discuss the issue with your fellow neighbors and see if you are all in agreement. There is strength in numbers, after all. Just be careful not to “gang up” on the unsuspecting neighbor.
  • Seek professional help. Unfortunately, not all situations can be handled amicably. If a disagreement with a neighbor can’t be resolved, it’s best to get professional help involved. Police, city employees or lawyers can all help explain the law and clear up the situation. Doing so may be uncomfortable, but a final resolution will keep you and your neighbor on good relations.

ERIEĀ® insurance products and services are provided by one or more of the following insurers: Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Company, Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Company, Flagship City Insurance Company and Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home offices: Erie, Pennsylvania) or Erie Insurance Company of New York (home office: Rochester, New York).  The companies within the Erie Insurance Group are not licensed to operate in all states. Refer to the company licensure and states of operation information.

The insurance products and rates, if applicable, described in this blog are in effect as of July 2022 and may be changed at any time. 

Insurance products are subject to terms, conditions and exclusions not described in this blog. The policy contains the specific details of the coverages, terms, conditions and exclusions. 

The insurance products and services described in this blog are not offered in all states.  ERIE life insurance and annuity products are not available in New York.  ERIE Medicare supplement products are not available in the District of Columbia or New York.  ERIE long term care products are not available in the District of Columbia and New York. 

Eligibility will be determined at the time of application based upon applicable underwriting guidelines and rules in effect at that time.

Your ERIE agent can offer you practical guidance and answer questions you may have before you buy.