Who was it who said that neighbors would be wonderful, if they just didn't live so close? Perhaps someone who had lived across the street from an unusually noisy household, next door to someone who refused to trim a heavy branch that looked like it would come down in every storm, or down the street from a barking dog.
Neighbor issues are particularly thorny because by definition, you're going to be dealing with these people again. You're going to see them on the street and probably run into them at the grocery store or your kids' soccer matches, and you don't want to ruin whatever relationship you have. So when trouble is brewing, take a breath before deciding to enforce your legal rights to the absolute maximum. Always learn about the law and then start with a conversation, even if you're doubtful it will help.
In some circumstances, another good avenue for neighbors can be mediation--a session with a trained, neutral third party who can try to help you arrive at a good solution. Many cities now offer free or low-cost mediation services for neighborhood disputes.
Do good fences really make good neighbors? These frequently asked questions may help you decide.
How Do I Stop My Neighbor From Building a Front Yard Fence?
Looking at whether local laws or regulations prohibit, or at least place restrictions on, building a front yard fence.
Neighbor Built Fence Over the Property Line. Does He Now Own That Land?
The fact that your neighbors are not actively "using" the portion of your land behind their fence would not stop them from asserting an ownership claim based on adverse possession.
What's a Spite Fence and What Can I Do About the One My Neighbors Built?
If your neighbor constructs a spite fence, making the neighborhood look terrible and calling attention to the property, can you file suit?
How Do I Make My Neighbor Pay for Damage Caused to My Fence?
Explaining to a neighbor that he is actually responsible for fence maintenance, either because it's a shared boundary fence or because it's shared property; and remedies if you can't convince him.
Answers to your questions about noisy neighbors.
When to Call the Cops on a Neighbor
Neighbors can engage in all sorts of activities that can annoy, bother or even scare you. But is calling the police the answer?
Barking Dogs: State and Local Laws That Can Help
What are your legal options if you have a barking dog problem in your neighborhood?
Many cities limit dogs to two or three per household.
Barking Dogs: Suing for Nuisance in Small Claims Court
If neighbors won't keep their dog quiet, as a last resort you can sue in small claims court.
Can We Keep a Lost Dog We Found?
If a dog turns up on your doorstep, you are not free to decide that "finders are keepers" and do whatever you want with it.
How Animal Control Authorities Can Help a Barking Dog Problem
Animal control departments might be able to help with a neighbor problem.
My neighbor shot my dog for trespassing. What can I do?
Legal realities after a neighbor harms or kills a pet.
Talking to Neighbors Who Have a Barking Dog
Even if you think it won't help, it never hurts to try to work something out.
I Live in a No-Animal Rental Building, But Neighbor Has Cats! What Do I Do?
Where to turn when an apartment neighbor violates a rule against pets.
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Anyone owning or purchasing land naturally hopes that it's truly, fully theirs. On the other hand, most homes, particularly in urban areas, come with what are called "easements." These constitute someone else's legal right to use your land for a particular purpose; though in many cases, it's a purpose
To Grant My Neighbor a License or Easement, Do I Need an Attorney?
Creating an easement or license wouldn't require high legal fees, but would be well worth getting done right.
Prevent Neighbors From Blocking Your Solar Panels: Get Solar Access Easements
Solar panels require direct access to sunlight to generate energy; but what can you do to prevent the possibility that your neighbor will add a second story or plant a large tree?
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Neighbor Law: Fences, Trees, Boundaries & Noise
Issues with the neighbors? Learn your rights -- and responsibilities -- with Neighbor Law, Nolo's comprehensive guide to the laws concerning common neighbor disputes.
Every Dog's Legal Guide: A Must-Have Book for Your Owner
The nose-to-tail guide to barking, biting, leash laws, traveling regulations and more.
Neighbor Disputes Over Water Damage
Flooding, surface runoff, and even leaking sprinklers can spark disputes between neighbors.
Contrary to popular belief, most homeowners do not have a right to their view.
What to Do When Your Neighbor Has a Drone
Not only can drones be loud, but they sometimes are equipped with cameras and telephoto lenses. What should you do if you see that your neighbor is flying a drone over your property? Does the law prohibit such activity?
Buying a Home in the Country: Do Your Rural Neighbors Have the Right to Farm?
Before you build your dream house in the country, thoroughly investigate the surroundings.
FAQs About Mediating Neighbor Disputes
Mediation is one of the most effective ways to deal with disagreements with neighbors. But how does one deal with some of the thorny details of reaching and living by a compromise?
Does My Neighbor "Own" a Parking Spot on a Public Street?
Generally speaking, an individual citizen has no “ownership” rights to a parking space on a public street. These spaces are open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.
What to Do When Your Neighbor's Property or Unit Has Pests
If critters are skittering, creeping, or crawling from your neighbor's property or unit to yours, here are some measures to take.
Stealing or Borrowing Wi-Fi From Your Neighbor: A Victimless Crime?
The downside of getting caught piggybacking on a neighbor's wireless network would likely outweigh the upside of saving money.