Moving into a new home is a big life event. There’s the excitement of new surroundings and the promise of a fresh start. The experience can become stressful, however, when a conflict springs up with a neighbor. From personality clashes to arguments over property, neighborly rifts can upset an otherwise peaceful community and leave homeowners both at odds and at wit’s end. Oftentimes, though, even the most difficult disputes can be settled in an amicable manner. Here are some tips to help you navigate the rough waters when those living nearby feel more foe than friend.
You can’t spend your whole life indoors, so if you need to escape the disapproving eye of a neighbor, a privacy fence might be in order. There’s a famous poem that claims “good fences make good neighbors,” and the idea certainly is valid for providing both parties personal space and solitude. Before installing a fence, however, confirm that proper etiquette will be followed. This includes placing the fence within your property limits, keeping up with regular maintenance requirements and adhering to local zoning laws and regulations.
Talk It Out
Part of being a good neighbor is being courteous, so try to settle disagreements with a constructive conversation before a situation turns into a full-blown fight. This is especially important when you are considering significant property changes, such as removing trees or installing new structures. These actions can affect a neighbor’s property value, so give them an opportunity to voice concerns or ask questions early in the process.
Seek Professional Help
Some neighborhood quarrels, especially those involving debated property lines, devolve to a point where it requires professional mediation. Instead of counseling, however, you might be better served by hiring a professional surveyor. He or she will research your deed and then use tools such as a 3D scanner and trundle wheel to definitively determine a yard’s boundaries.
Don’t let property problems leave your idyllic neighborhood feeling like a war zone. Try using kindness and courtesy to diffuse disputes and you might just turn those nay-saying neighbors into “yay-bors.”