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Nuisance neighbor? What you can do

On Behalf of | Nov 29, 2023 | Real Estate Disputes

As developers build modern homes closer to each other, maintaining distance from noisy or careless neighbors becomes more difficult. You might be able to resolve issues through conversation or involving the Homeowners Association (HOA). However, a neighbor might cross the line from merely annoying to a nuisance. In that case, seeking legal remedies may be necessary.

Dealing with a nuisance neighbor

Simply put, Washington defines nuisances as actions that annoy, injure or endanger others or their use of property. Unfortunately, there are many people who have little regard for others who live nearby. Some neighbors host loud parties until the wee hours, have dogs that bark nonstop or do not respect property boundaries.

While tolerating a nuisance neighbor might be possible for a while, enduring their behavior for years could drive you to your wit’s end. More importantly, if your safety is at risk, you need to take action immediately.

There are a few ways you could deal with a nuisance neighbor:

Talk face-to-face

Your neighbor may not be aware they’re causing a nuisance. While your emotions may run high out of frustration, it is best to stay calm when talking to your neighbor about the problem to avoid conflict. Tell them about your concern and wait and see if they resolve it.

Document nuisance behavior

To bolster your case, it may be helpful to collect proof of the nuisance your neighbor causes. This could come in the form of photos, recordings or witness testimonies.

Consider involving the Homeowners Association (HOA) or other community associations

The area where you live likely has an association that implements rules and procedures that all members must follow. They could shed some light on relevant ordinances, help mediate further discussions with the nuisance neighbor or take action on your behalf.

Call the police

Unfortunately, in some situations, there is nothing you or an association can do. If no discussion or intervention seems to be working or you feel unsafe, call the police.

Seek legal counsel

When your neighbor has committed a crime, such as trespassing, causing property damage or creating excessive noise, you may be able to pursue legal action. A successful nuisance lawsuit could award you fees, an injunction, or compensatory damages. A lawyer can advise on whether you have a viable nuisance claim and what measures to take next.

Nothing compares to relaxing at home, and it can be frustrating when an inconsiderate neighbor disrupts that peace. In that case, it is essential to remember that you have options. After all, your home is your sanctuary, a place you should enjoy and feel at ease.