The list of what causes neighbor fights is endless. However, most conflicts will fall under one of these headings:
- Quit Being Noisy: Noisy neighbors may have late night parties, kids playing basketball in the backyard during naptime, adults yelling abusively, a boy band in the garage, etc. Some of these disputes will overlap with some of other conflict causing headings.
- Control Your Animals: A few actual cases have involved a rooster who loved crowing all day long, neighbors who suddenly acquired horses/sheep in a residential neighborhood (oh the smell!), barking dogs, and cats who use a neighbor’s yard as the litter box.
- Control Your Kids (and Husbands): Disputes can be based on everything from small children making noise during the daytime when a neighbor who works nights is trying to sleep to children defacing property. In one instance a neighbor’s husband chased a raccoon into his neighbor’s yard while they were away so he and his friends could watch the ensuing dog fight. His neighbors returned home to find two wounded dogs and a dying raccoon locked in their dog kennel.
- I Hate Your Yard: Some visual offenses block the view of your neighbors while others anger them because of your neglect (e.g., old junker cars missing tires, unkempt yard, debris or trash pile-ups, etc.).
- You Have Boundary Issues: Sometimes neighbors don’t agree on where their property ends and the other guy’s property begins. In one case, a neighbor wanted to put up a fence and the other neighbor refused to allow any type of fencing at all. However, property boundaries may also involve neighbors who spray their property for bugs fighting with neighbors who are trying to grow an organic garden for personal consumption.
Most conflicts have at least two sides to the story. Once you add a few extra neighbors, you may see a small conflict balloon into a large one. The best way to handle neighbor conflict is to actually make friends with your neighbors before conflicts arise. Visit with your neighbors when they’re out in their yards, host a neighborhood cook out, or have a few neighbors over for dinner. People are often more tolerant of each other if they have taken the time to get to know them.
If you are friendly with your neighbors, a problem may be easily resolved by heading over to their house and chatting with them. This isn’t always effective, but it’s worth trying if your neighbors are approachable. Don’t send anonymous notes or letters; this would most likely offend and upset them without moving toward actually resolving the problem. Carefully consider asking the authorities to intervene but only if there are laws being broken that support your position. If these remedies fail to produce peace between neighbors, consider using mediation to resolve the dispute.
Mediation is a process in which you and your neighbor would sit down and work out your differences. The mediator does not make any decisions, the responsibility and right to fix the fight remain in your arena. The mediator is specially trained to guide you through the fight and toward potential ways to solve the problem at hand. Mediation will cost you a lot less than suing your neighbor and may save your relationship with your neighbor while preserving peace in your neighborhood.
Contact us to hire a mediator for your neighbor fight.