A neighbor battle is unsettling. For Stacy Williams, the six chickens in her backyard in Omaha, NE, are a blessing. But to the next-door dwellers, Brad and Lynn Perry—not so much. The Perrys say the animals are a nuisance—and a judge recently ruled in their favor, saying the chickens have to go. I assume, according to Omaha.com, because the subdivision of Trendwood has a 40-year-old covenant banning livestock and poultry. I often wonder in situations like this, “What would Tony Soprano do (WWTSD)?” I wouldn’t recommend taking the law into your own hands, but really what should you do with a nuisance neighbor?
Think about moving – Maybe this is the excuse you need to move to somewhere quieter. A place away from the noisy traffic, the school, cars parked on the street or in the yards. Think of your needs.
Introduce yourself – Familiarity can go a long way in defusing future problems. Knowing you makes the neighbors more respectful/
Timing and empathy – approach the neighbor with the barking dog, by saying something about your noise, how you hope it isn’t disturbing and he might acknowledge his barking dog. You can suggest the dog be brought in the house before 10pm.
Don’t make assumptions. – The overgrown yard next door may be the result of sloppy neighbors. Or it may be because someone is ill or recently widowed.
Know the governing laws in your neighborhood. Ask politely that high weeds be cut, for example, then go to the police. The neighbor, however, will probably know who turned him in.
Gather evidence. If a problem persists, keep a journal of dates and times of ongoing offenses.
Calling the police may have negative repercussions. See why I asked WWTSD?
Consider mediation. – a mediator can help resolve your differences.
If you live in an apartment
Check your lease – see the rules for late night noise for example.
Talk to your neighbors. Do they share your concerns? If they do, you have more power together.
A polite knock and calm conversation may resolve the problem
Don’t live in a glass house. Assess your lifestyle.
Call the landlord – If you tried to make nice, but no one’s budging,calling the landlord or management company may be your next option.
Call the cops.
Keep records of conversations and the dates and any emails.
Live with it. I once complained to a friend about the noise. He said don’t listen to it. It really works.
Oh go ahead. Ask WWTSD.
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