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How To Deal With Nightmare Neighbors 
by Iris Blasi May 20, 2005

Your Rights

If the Issue is Noise

If it is noisy neighbors who are bothering you, go to your local library or town hall and get a copy of your town’s noise ordinance. Are your neighbors violating it in any way? A violation of an ordinance means that a phone call to the police is warranted.

The police may not be able to do anything other than knocking on the neighbor’s door to let them know a noise complaint was lodged against them, but surely a few repeats will be more than enough to get even the most decibel-loving person to turn it down a few notches.

If the Issue is Tresspassing

If your neighbors are intruding on your property, this is trespassing on private property and this is also something you can report to the police. Are their numerous kids running around on your yard? Are they letting their dog go to the bathroom on your front lawn? Take a video of the behavior whenever you notice it and keep that as your record. In time, this may be a useful piece of evidence to show to local officials.

If the Issue is Who-Owns-What

The neighbors want to cut down the old oak tree on the border of your properties and you can’t bear to see the thing – which you believe is legally yours – go. The neighbors want to build a fence and you don’t think that they actually own the land on which they plan to do it. This is a game of who-owns-what and you need to figure out exactly where your property lines are drawn.

Most likely, this will be hard to eye-ball and you’re likely to have more success with your argument the more certain you can be. You have to go back and find the deed to your property and clearly measure things out. In cases like these, clarifying the property line can make a world of difference.

If you go ahead and dig up your deed, be aware that you may not find things to be in your favor. So be prepared for things not to go your way. If your neighbor wants to put up that fence or cut down that tree and it turns out that, legally, they are allowed to do so, you will just have to learn to live with it.



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