Five Reasons Your Neighbor Could Sue You

Green Houses MonopolyThe act of dealing with people can be one of the hardest things of your day, especially if you are surrounded by difficult people. While we all know the golden rule, “Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you,” however it can sometimes be easier said than done. This can be taken up a notch if you don’t get along with your neighbors. Back in the good ol’ days, “June Cleavers” were everywhere, delivering fresh baked goodies and keeping good neighborly relations set straight along the block. Fast forward to today, people are working longer hours, barely getting by and definitely not focused on building relationships within their neighborhood. That being said, you may have someone you don’t see eye to eye with, but it’s best to proceed with caution and keep to yourself when at all possible, especially if you aren’t sure how vindictive this neighbor can really be… while it’s not common, there are instances where your neighbor can sue you (usually in small claims court). This is a headache you want to stay away from, so if you have a neighbor from hell, or maybe you are the neighbor from hell, stay on top of some of the typical reasons a neighbor might sue you over.

  1. Noise - You could be a lover of hard rock, jamming out on your drum set in the garage and driving your neighbor insane, one beat at a time. Noise is probably the number one complaint between neighbors, especially those living in apartment complexes. However, rock n’ roll isn’t the only cause that could send someone complaining. Listening to music and movies too loud or even having a dog that barks a little more than usual can all be a nuisance to your neighbors. So take it down a notch. If it’s your dog you’re trying to keep quiet, you might try a bark collar.
  2. Dog Bites - If you have a pet that happens to bite a neighbor, they could have the right to sue you for medical bills and possibly pain and suffering. The best course of action is to, one, train your dog only to act when physically threatened and, second, to keep your dog on a leash or maintained properly in your yard to keep this unfortunate act from happening. If this does happen to you, you might want to profusely apologize for the incident and offer to pay before the headache of a lawsuit were to happen. The same can be said for other animals, but these situations are most commonly known to involve dogs.
  3. Property Lines - Some people are very touchy when it comes to their property, especially if you have a tree that is causing a negative effect with their property. For example, you have a big oak tree boarding your property line. If your tree becomes diseased with a large branch breaking off onto their property this could damage a fence, a roof, a car… As the owner, you’re responsible for keeping up with your landscape so it’s not interfering or ruining your neighbor’s property. Word to the wise, maintain your landscape!
  4. Water Damage - Say you have planned the vacation of a lifetime – skiing the slopes in Vail. While you’ve been enjoying your time with family, there was a sudden cold snap and you forgot to winterize your sprinkler system. Not only have your pipes burst, water is now flooding yours and your neighbor’s property. This can and has happened, as well as even leaving sprinklers on too long or altering your landscape in a way that causes the water drainage to runoff into your neighbor’s yard. All scenarios that could cause damage and a reason for your neighbor to take you to court. Take precaution with your property and how it could affect your neighbor.
  5. Harassment - You are frustrated beyond means with your neighbor’s unruly child, dog or maybe it is even your neighbor himself. Keep your snide digs to yourself. If you threaten, harass, or say anything that could cause them grief or mental anguish you could find yourself in a neighborly dispute that could arise to a lawsuit. Best course of action is to try and work out the underlying issues, and/or just respect each other’s privacy and keep to yourselves.

Susan Wright DVM works for DogFenceDiy. If your dog is a escape artist and is causing trouble in the neigborhood we can help you understand your options when it comes to installing an invisible fence alternative from wireless units to wired technology.

Comments

  1. Vengeful says:

    Residents of two homes across the street (certainly not “neighbors”) intentionally and consistently walk their dogs off their own lawns for urinating in other lawns–but always making sure to target our yard. We cannot keep grass looking nice as their are dead/brown spots constantly b/c of their actions. No local ordinance (other than trespassing which won’t be enforced simply b/c of a dog) protect homeowners from urinating dogs and the trespassing issue. Asked politely for it to stop which sparked outrage and has led to the bullseye on our property now. Has turned me into a vengeful person who contemplates how to subtly but legally harm their properties.

  2. Randy D. says:

    My neighbor always watches my and my family’s every move, listen in on everything we talk about when we are outside, keep tracks of who comes and goes from our house. They wrote my wife a letter telling her to leave me. She also asked to speak to my wife while I was gone and asked my wife if I was a drug addict, if I sexually assult my daughter and if I beat my daughter. Then that same day we were walking home from the bus stop with my daughter and a few of my daughters friends and the neighbor opened her front door and yelled at the top of her lungs saying I was a phedophile and I molest my daughter several times and told me I was an asshole and an abuser. Made my daughter cry and then also told me I was sleeping with the neighbor (my daughters friends mother) beccause her pipes burst and her husband wasn’t home, which I explained that to her and she told me that I don’t know shit about shit. My wife asked her very politely to stop saying those things about me especially because my daughter was right outside hearing all of this. Then the neighbor still went on and called me a phedophile at least 7 more times and said she would not stop saying it because it involves my daughter. And everyday since then she is still calling me a phedophile, I abuse my wife and sexually abuse my daughter and beat my daughter as well as calling me a drug addict. They also keep feeding my dogs rawhide bones to my dogs which makes them sick after we asked them to stop and they opened my fence and let my dogs outside. Is this enough to presue a lawsuit for slander and mental embarrasment and abuse. My daughter doesn’t even want to go outside beccause she has anxiety caused by these neighbors and because she always catches them watching her.

  3. Samantha says:

    I have neighbours that continue to write letters and post them about my yard I am a single mother I try my best to do what I can I don’t own a ride on like them . Today I even got sworn at to mow it they are absolutely disgusting . And to top it off I have been told they have been doing it to people for the past 10years not only for keeping your yard tidy also about pets cars.caravans you name it .would like to know what can be done as I don’t own my house I rent and they own theirs

    • Take your children out in the yard with you and show them that this is our yard and we have to mow the grass and keep it neat. This should be your responsibility as a good parent single or not. I’m by my self now and i’m74 years old, I still mow my grass.

  4. Julie Zornado says:

    I have a niebor.has. 5 cars on ptopertu 3 tvs people live in two of them. A constuction tailor a utility trailper a wood trailor riding. Lawn mower agist and pushing my fence over wallnitree hands over and the blackberry vines as thick as my fingrer comming yhru fence

  5. Janet L Thompson says:

    I have a neighbor no matter what time of day when my one dog is outside and the rest are in the house she comes out in her yard and stands there doesn’t say anything to my dog which she is 14 cant hear too good video tapes her when she notice her thenshe starts barking her at which makes my dogs in the house start barking she then calls animal control what are my rights with this ALSO we do not let our dogs out without someone being outside with them

  6. Michael says:

    I have an Issue with Neighbors across the street, a nearby healthcare facility recently banned its employees from smoking on any property including parking lots, and on public sidewalks bordering the facility, my b=neighbor across the street now allows many of these people to smoke at all shifts every day of the week and weekends on her front lawn, the smoke comes into my home day and night, her response to me when I complain, sell if yo don’t like it…I feel my only course f action is a lawsuit, what di you al think?

  7. you really do have to be careful about the property lines. that is a very touchy issue for many people

  8. To follow up on the dog bites issue, a neighbor could also be very upset if your dog is barking all day and all night for no good reason. They might not be able to sue but they could go to the landlord or association and ask for something to be changed. That’s why a simple and safe way to deter a dog from barking is through an effective bark collar.

  9. I’m completely agree with all this post, and of course we have to be very carefully with our dogs, and try to keep good vibrations with our neighbors, at the end, they live close to us, and you never know if you could need something someday… so better to take care of everything or will be a nightmare for all…

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