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5 Common Neighbor Disputes

Neighbors are a reality for most of us. And while most of the time our relations with them are peaceful, there are times when you just don’t see eye to eye.

If you have ever had an issue with a neighbor, you’re hardly alone. A recent FindLaw survey revealed that 42 percent of respondents said they have had trouble with neighbors. It doesn't matter if you live in a single-family home, an apartment or a townhome—we all have the potential to clash with a neighbor from time to time.

There are things that neighbors everywhere clash over. Some of the most common squabbles include:

  • Noise: This one will ring especially true if you live in an apartment building and the loud party next door is causing your photos to fall off the walls. That kind of noise can be incredibly irritating, especially if you weren’t invited to the bash. Single-family homeowners aren’t exempt; from the go-getter who starts cutting their grass at 6 a.m. to the teenager who loves to rev up his engine all hours of the day, there are plenty of noise disturbances on their end as well.
  • Property line disputes: Boundary disputes have landed more than a few neighbors in court. Whether the issue stems from the placement of a new fence, children treading across the border or the reimagined use of open land, boundary disputes can escalate quickly. If you are considering any adjustment to your property near a boundary, it’s a good idea to have your property surveyed ahead of time so you know you’re acting within your rights.
  • Children: Kids are naturally curious, and sometimes that leads them to trespass or damage property, a child’s parents can even be held liable for what their kids do on a neighbor’s property.
  • Aesthetics: Aesthetics issues range from your neighbor’s grandiose holiday decorations to trash on the property to neglected yard signs and more. According to the FindLaw survey, one in five disagreements between neighbors stem from visual eyesores.
  • Maintenance of Shared Property: Sometimes maintaining and caring for a lawn isn’t as simple as just mowing along your property line. Oftentimes, neighbors are asked to share maintenance of something that stretches into both properties. This could be as complex as a shared garden or as simple a neighbor’s leaves blowing into another person’s yard. In either case, failure to resolve the problem will leave one side feeling as though they are doing all the work for what should be a shared job.

Neighbor disputes come in all shapes and sizes. While these squabbles can be aggravating, it's in your best interest to focus on solutions. In the next post, learn how to have a civil conversation with a difficult neighbor.

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