In film and television, neighbors are either portrayed as being best of friends or mortal enemies. In the real world, a survey by business development solutions provider FindLaw found that 42% of homeowners have had recent disputes with those in their neighborhood.
Depending on the severity of the dispute, neighbors may resort to making threats, damaging property, and even getting into physical altercations with one another, which may result in the police getting involved. In residential communities that operate under a homeowners association (HOA), however, there are alternative ways to resolve common neighborhood disputes.
Noise complaints are very common
One of the most prominent causes of neighborhood disputes is noise. In fact, 48% of responders in FindLaw’s survey stated that this was their biggest complaint. Noise complaints can stem from various sources, including loud music, the use of power tools, and revving engines. While some noise disturbances may be unintentional, others boil down to sheer insolence, and are often a direct violation of HOA rules.
If the noise is not an ongoing problem and it does not appear that the neighbor has complete disregard for everyone else, raising your concern with the offenders in an amicable manner may suffice. If not, the HOA board may be obligated to step in and resolve the matter.
Many arguments have ensued over parking
Although most residential communities are constructed with parking for both residents and their visitors in mind, parking still accounts for a considerable amount of neighborhood disputes. HOA parking issues can arise from a number of factors, such as overflowing driveways, insufficient parking spaces, and overcrowded streets.
By enforcing parking rules, the HOA can ensure that all residents within a community will have sufficient parking available. Even with clear and concise policies in place, parking issues may still arise between neighbors, however. When neighbors are unable to resolve these issues among themselves, the HOA can help facilitate a resolution.
Pets and children both have a habit of trespassing
According to the survey, 29% of neighborly disputes stem from pet-related issues, while 20% can be traced back to the unruly behavior of children. Both children and animals tend to be naturally curious (and noisy) by nature, which can cause great frustration to residents who need their peace and quiet. Destructive children can also cause damage to property, while roaming cats and dogs have been known to defecate on properties not belonging to their owners.
When problems concerning pets and children arise, it is important to check whether there are any rules and regulations in place that apply to the matter. In some instances, the matter can be resolved by speaking to your neighbor. Other times, it may be necessary to involve the HOA.
Although neighbors can’t be expected to always be on great terms with one another, there is no reason why they should not be able to live in peace. By adhering to the rules drawn up by the HOA and resolving issues as soon as they arise, your neighborhood can become a peaceful, enjoyable place to live.