Easy Strategies for Dealing with Difficult Neighbors
Nightmare neighbors are more than just an inconvenience. They can make it hard to feel safe at home, and their inattention to their own home and yard could even drive down property values.
But you're probably limited in what you can do about it. This may be one of those times when a Homeowners Association can really help.
Before you go that route, try a few of these strategies for engaging with difficult neighbors.
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Just try talking to them
Try knocking on the door, even if it is a little scary. Or maybe you'll see your neighbor outside in the driveway one day, and you can introduce yourself. Subtle hints may work. Try these:
"Boy, it's tough to mow the lawn in the summer, when it's so hot, right? Would you like the number of our lawn company? They're great!"
"By the way, let us know if you see our teen driving too fast! She just got her license. By the way, we really loved the class she took from Buddy's Driving School. They did a great job teaching parking."
"Golly gee, I remember when our Fido was a puppy. It was so hard to keep the little rascal from tearing up the yard! Our dog trainer really helped. Here, let me give you his number!"
Win them over with a bit of neighborly hospitality
You may even want to stop by with a plate of brownies, and let them know you wanted to welcome them to the neighborhood sooner, but you've been busy with work, kids, whatever. Maybe they're still overwhelmed from their move and just need some good local references for people who could help with the upkeep of their new home.
If all else fails, go the HOA route
Or maybe they really are the nightmare family next door. In that case, you may want to start with your homeowners association, if you have one.
If your neighbors are violating the rules of the neighborhood, your HOA can send them a letter about the issues. If you don't have an HOA, check your city or county's regulations. Most places prohibit things like non-working cars in the yard and busted mailboxes.
If your neighbors aren't doing anything that's against the law or prohibited by municipal or HOA regulations, unfortunately, there isn't much you can do, other than hope they move soon and that someone more conscientious buys the home.
Neighbors, the good and the bad, are a fact of life for most people. Maybe you should consider buying a country home in an isolated area next time?