Approaching Your Neighbor
Approaching Your Neighbor
Howard Gould (Neighbor Law Expert, Finestone & Richter) gives expert video advice on: How should I approach my neighbor with a nuisance problem?; What can I do if I have written my neighbor a letter, but the problem hasn't stopped? and more...
What do I do if my neighbor is violating an ordinance?
After you've carefully reviewed the ordinance yourself and perhaps even talked to somebody at the city, if there's an appropriate department to talk to to make certain you're understanding and interpreting it properly and applying it to your facts. It would be a good idea to certainly make certain you have a copy of it, Speak with your neighbor about it, have the ordinance with you in case you need to show it to them, perhaps even a copy to leave with them should they want you to. I would start off with a conversation just describing why you have a problem and what the situation is and that they may not be aware of it. I don't think it's necessary to put the statute or the ordinance in front of them. At the beginning of your conversation you want to approach them as a neighbor, discuss what the issue is, and you may not even have to show them that piece of paper in order to catch their attention and get their cooperation, but it's a good idea to have it with you in case you need it.
What can I do if I'm uncomfortable talking to my neighbor about a nuisance issue?
Generally, it's going to be best to try to approach your neighbour in person if you can because that type of communication is generally more successful in sorting out a nuisance issue. This is unless you're going to be unable to control your emotions or the manner in which you're going to state things to them. If you're in that situation and you feel you need to do it some other way, then I would write them a letter. If you have stationery, use your stationery; use something appropriate to write them a note. Think about it carefully so that you're not being too antagonistic. You may want to approach them at first by saying, "You may not be aware of the following, but I think you should know..." and explain it to them politely; explain why you're raising it, what sort of problems it's creating for you, and ask them if they might be able to remedy the problem in some way. You don't necessarily have to make suggestions to them in the first contact; you may want to, but it may be a good idea just to ask them to think about what they could do to remedy the problem and let you know.
What can I do if I have written my neighbor a letter, but the problem hasn't stopped?
If the letter hasn't worked and you don't think a second letter is going to be helpful, you're going to need to find some next level to take it to-whether it's a complaint to the city, whether it's calling the police the next time it happens, or potentially going to small claims court or finding a lawyer to file a superior or district court case for you, and finding out what all the procedures, costs, and ramifications are of taking things to that next level.