Don’t Let a Bad Neighbor Ruin Your Life
If you live in a city or in a suburb, the last thing you want to worry about is a bad neighbor. Your house may be beautiful. Maybe you got it for a bargain, by Bay Area standards, but a single nightmare of a neighbor can ruin it all.
Be ProactiveDo Your Homework
If there’s a dispute over land use or a fence, document everything and check with the city about laws and property boundaries.
Discuss the Problems
If a situation begins to build, address it head on. Talk about any impending problems with your neighbor before they turn into a major incident. Listen and don’t take things personally. If your neighbor believes your son vandalized his home, and you know he didn’t, assure your neighbor that you will talk to your son and make sure it doesn’t happen again. If that doesn’t solve the problem, offer to help your neighbor figure out who did it.
Talk to Your Other Neighbors
Your other neighbors could be allies, especially if they have had run-ins with the neighbor before, but don’t make the mistake of badmouthing your neighbor. Approach the situation by saying something like, “our neighbors, the Smiths, feel that our dogs are too loud. Do you feel that way as well?” If the other neighbors agree, it’s time to bring your dogs inside or hire them a walker. If they don’t, perhaps they’ll offer some advice on dealing with the other neighbor.
Involve the Law
If your neighbor is a true nightmare, and they are breaking laws, call the cops. If, though, it’s a civil issue, consult a lawyer or a mediator. Use this as a last result because there’s no going back after involving the law.
If your complaint is below $7,500 in California, you can take your neighbor to small claims court.