09.12.14 by Jeff Johnson
Now that you’re getting ready to sell your house, what can you do about nightmare neighbors whose behavior could sabotage the sale of your home? If your neighbors don’t maintain their yard, they’re loud and stay up too late, or their dog barks any time you go near and leaves smelly “presents” too close to your fence, here are some ideas.
It is much better to solve a problem with a neighbor without initiating a lawsuit. Bringing a lawsuit against a neighbor for sloppy upkeep, loud pets or general bad attitude is the last resort. A court will never provide you the remedy you are looking for in a timely manner. Although lawsuits can be filed in an attempt to recover financial damages caused by unruly neighbors, such as those related to broken windows or fences, damages for a lost sale would be hard to prove because you would need the potential buyer to testify that they would have bought the property at a certain price but for the neighbor.
Offer Your Services
You could simply offer to clean up the neighbor’s yard. If you pay for the cleanup yourself or offer to do it, you may save money and a headache in the long run. For loud or unruly neighbors, diplomatically informing them of the issue and politely asking them to make a change could be effective.
Appeal to the Neighbors’ Interests
Neighbors who own their home have a vested interest in making sure homes near them sell for top dollar. You may be able to discuss the situation with them or offer some sort of incentive for them to get the issue resolved. If the property is a rental, contact the owner or property manager to ask for help; again, the owner has a vested interest in the value of your property when sold.
If the Neighboring Property is Abandoned
A neighboring property that is abandoned or in foreclosure still has an owner that is required to obey all laws, including local requirements. Call local officials to see if there is any program to address the blight. Call the bank holding the property to insist it maintain the property.
Whatever you do, avoid confrontation, which could make the situation worse.
Source: Zillow Blog