Avoiding Neighbor Disputes 101

In the words of a very old meme, when it comes to neighbor disputes: ain’t nobody got time for that.

There is so much about home ownership that you can control. You can pick the neighborhood you buy into, the type of property, the size of the garden. But the one thing you can’t pick is your neighbors.

Maybe they will turn out to be the best friends you never knew you needed, popping into one another’s house and sharing your lives together. Or, they could be your worst enemies.

That’s a problem on two levels. Firstly, there’s the simple matter of the stress that comes with living near someone you have an issue with. If you’ve never lived it, then you might not be able to conceive of just how difficult it is to share such a personal space with someone you dislike. If you want to enjoy life and keep it as worry-free as possible, then you don’t want to be tangling with the neighbors.

Secondly, there’s the financial factor. Bad neighbors can and do cost people a lot of money, both in avoiding one another and even potentially in legal fees. Given that your home is the biggest investment that you’ll make, this is an added expense you definitely don’t need.

Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that the relationship never deteriorates to that point. Get together with your neighbor and establish firm rules, so you’re both well aware of the expectations.

What Is Your Land?

You need to know the exact boundaries of your land, because it’s one of the most common flashpoints between neighbors. Not only do you need to know it in abstract, but it makes sense to mark the separation as well. The likes of https://www.fencingdirect.com/blog/one-website-all-fencing-needs can give an idea of the type of fencing that might suit both parties, and make sure you don’t have any arguments in the future.

What About Overhanging Trees?

Overhanging trees are another potential flashpoint. While the trees roots might be on one side of the fence, they could potentially hang onto the other – so who occupies the air? And what happens come fall, when leaves begin to tumble and clog up the garden of the non-tree owner?

If it’s your tree, then you should probably offer to ensure that all leaves and debris will be collected for your neighbor. It might even be advisable to prune the tree back so it only hangs onto your land; https://www.angieslist.com/articles/6-reasons-why-you-should-prune-your-trees.htm has some great ideas of how to make this work.

What’s Your Noise Policy?

Sometimes, houses get noisy – you have parties, or want to work in the garage with power tools. It makes sense to agree a general noise policy, such as “all loud intrusive noise must be completed by 7pm”. If one of you wants to have a party and extend that, it’s common courtesy to agree you will give your neighbor a heads-up about the situation, so they can be prepared.


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