We impliedly noted a widely swinging pendulum concerning neighbors in our immediately preceding blog post. We stressed in our October 12 entry at The Law Office of Rajeh A. Saadeh that the people next door might be regarded as either best friends or, well, something else.
Like your worst nightmare.
Legions of homeowners in New Jersey and nationally – especially those with a bank of past memories regarding neighbors to rely upon – are flatly thankful for the individuals and families residing in adjacent properties.
And others are truly depressed with each passing day, owing to nearby behaviors that diminish their quality of life.
That latter sentiment is far from rare. We noted in the above-cited post that more than 40% of all American homeowners have reportedly had problems with the neighbors.
One online article spotlighting neighborly discontent and across-the-fence disputes lists some oft-cited sources of discord that materially color neighborly arguments and can even lead to legal disputes.
Unsurprisingly, noise leads that list. Maybe you prefer Pavarotti wafting over the fence line and are getting Led Zeppelin instead. Reportedly, near half of all neighbor disagreements relate to loud noises.
And then there is that menacing-looking dog, of course. Maybe it’s barking non-stop, or lunging, or leaving unwanted material in your yard. Animal-linked disputes vie with noise complaints for supremacy on problems-with-the-neighbors lists.
The other usual suspects show up, as well. They encompass unruly kids, property eyesores (the above article refers to “unkempt lawns, offensive signs or overflowing trash cans”) and boundary issues. That latter inclusion can be especially problematic, since it can affect property values in a potentially big way.
What do you do if matters with the neighbors simply seem to be untenable and growing in magnitude?
You can directly communicate, of course. That often solves the problem.
Conversely, though, it sometimes escalates it. The same can be said for official police interaction.
You might also reasonably reach out to an experienced attorney, especially one with a demonstrated history of client advocacy in dispute resolution matters germane to real estate. Proven legal counsel can seek to promote your best interests through informal processes (mediation, for example) or, when necessary, through aggressive representation in court.
It’s your property. You have a right to reside on it without having to endure nuisances and intrusions that circumvent legal rules and standards.