Neighborhood with houses along a winding street.

How to deal with neighbor complaints or issues

From noisy neighbors to adventurous pets, there are ways to successfully resolve disputes.

Common neighbor complaints

Whether you rent an apartment or condo, rent a house or own your home, good relationships with neighbors help make life easier. Even in the nicest of communities, complexes and neighborhoods, full-blown arguments do happen and several end up in the midst of a longstanding feud. Why do neighbor complaints end up in disputes and how can they work toward a peaceful resolution? Consider the following tips and also make sure you understand your renters or home insurance coverages.

Property line disputes

The adage "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" applies here. Before using what is considered a shared rental facility or installing a new fence, check with a landlord or have the property surveyed to determine the legal lot line. For the latter, the expense may save money — and a substantial headache — in the long run if it helps prevent conflict.

Noisy neighbors

Noise is a very common complaint between neighbors. It's important to discern between one-time occurrences — for example, a last-day-of-school gathering — versus an overall issue with noise disturbances. If noisy apartment neighbors or neighbors playing loud music during the day interfere with your quality of life, engage in a neutral, calm conversation about concerns. If things don't get better over time, involve the landlord. Most lease or rental agreements include a clause called "Quiet Enjoyment,"and if several neighbors complain, the landlord most likely will order the tenant to comply with the lease or face eviction. If the landlord won't do anything about the loud neighbor, then research local noise ordinances for guidance. However, the first step to most neighbor complaints is to try to talk it out before escalating the situation.

Wandering pets

It can be frustrating to come home from work to find the driveway or lawn littered with the leavings of a neighbor's cat or dog. And some animals can be dangerous or bite when left to prowl the neighborhood unattended. Know what the leash laws are in your area. If a low-key conversation doesn't work, take a look at local regulations governing things like the number of animals allowed per household or per the lease. Then decide the next step to take. If you are a pet owner, explore if pet insurance would be a good fit for you and your family.

Nosy neighbors

Some busybody neighbors are just curious or sometimes a little too curious. If their interest isn't causing harm, let them be. It's easy enough to change the topic if the conversation becomes too personal or to convey discomfort with questions they shouldn't be asking. It's typically not worth fighting about something that can't be controlled.

Maintenance issues

Eyesores aside, unmowed grass, untrimmed trees or bushes and unkept trash piles may be in violation of either tenant or ownership regulations. Again, try to have a conversation first. If neighbors that rent or own are having trouble keeping up their property due to their age, illness or finances, offer to lend a helping hand. After all, it's hard to squabble with someone who's mowing the lawn.

Be sure to talk with your State Farm® agent if you have any questions about your renters insurance or homeowners policy coverages.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

These tips are not and should not be considered legal advice. If complaints or issues escalate, you may want to consult a lawyer.

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