Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Good relationships between neighbors strengthen the community you live in, however conflict between neighbors can lead to serious tension, lawsuits and even violence. “Discerning between an annoyance and a true nuisance will help you decide what course of action to take,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent homeowners insurance agency.
Below are a few of the most common neighbor complaints and how to handle them graciously.
Firing up the lawn mower at 7 am on a Saturday, a barking dog, loud music or parties can violate your peace. Whether you live in an apartment, condo or home with a yard, noisy neighbors are unsettling. Addressing your neighbor about noise is best handled with diplomacy while keeping your cool. Dealing with the issue before it threatens your civility is recommended. If the noise continues to persist after making a request to your neighbor, check to see if your community has laws prohibiting unreasonable noise, a noise ordinance or designated quiet times. You can also contact your landlord, or neighborhood association.
“If it comes to it, reach out to law enforcement who are trained to handle enforcing noise ordinances,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent homeowners insurance agency.
Trees contribute to the beauty of nature and provide wonderful shade; however, they are also the source of hostility between neighbors. Here is the lowdown on how to handle potential tree issues. You can cut back overhanging branches but avoid pruning a tree if it will cause damage to it. Most communities have laws against excessive pruning. It is a good idea to alert your neighbor before pruning. If a tree trunk straddles property lines, you and your neighbor both own the tree, so it is best to get your neighbors permission to prune.
Consumer Reports informs, if there is a hazardous tree belonging to you or your neighbor, the local government will often step in and handle the situation or force the owner of the tree to act. You can locate the appropriate agency by contacting city hall or the county courthouse. When it comes to leaves, fruit and debris, if a tree is jointly owned, you and your neighbor share the maintenance as well as the rewards. If the tree is not commonly owned, each of you deal with the debris on your own property.
According to legal support website, LegalZoom, “If the roots are pushing onto your property, they are considered an encroachment in the same manner as fences and other physical belongings.” They go on to explain, if the roots cross your property line, the tree owner is responsible for the removal.
If you feel as if your neighbor is encroaching upon your space, you will find yourself in a boundary line dispute. A little research is required. Check your deed or settlement papers indicating your property lines. If you cannot locate them, try finding your plat online. Assume, it was a mistake and show your neighbor your findings. It might be necessary for you to both have the property surveyed. Mediation is the next suggestion. If a situation gets out of hand, call the police and report trespassing.