You have moved into your dream house, condo or apartment in a great neighborhood, but almost inevitably, a problem arises with one of your neighbors. Whether it is noise, a parking problem, a property line dispute or another issue, how you address and solve these problems will go a long way toward making your living experience a good one.

Some typical problems that arise between neighbors include:

  • noise issues (loud music, barking dogs, pets, screaming kids);
  • property line issues (trees, fences);
  • water or storm damage;
  • failure to take care of property (lawn care, trees, garbage cleanup);
  • parking issues (taking up too many spots, blocking driveway);
  • laundry room issues (apartment or condo);
  • trespassing;
  • construction issues;
  • snow removal;
  • home-based business (noise, traffic); and
  • criminal activity.

You can solve many neighbor-related problems by simply talking with your neighbor about the problem. It is often the case that he or she may not have even been aware of the issue. But what is the proper response for neighbor-related problems-such as noise, property damage, or trespass? When is an issue actionable? And to what extent (a brief talk with the offending neighbor, a call to the local police department, or taking the neighbor to small claims court) do you follow through to get the problem resolved? This chapter will detail some of the major neighbor-related problems and provide you with tips on what you can do in each situation.