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Neighbor Issues: When and How to Seek City Intervention

Neighbor Issues we all know, unneighborly behavior is a concern for a lot of us. Sometimes, it just doesn’t seem fair that we have to put up with noise and other inconsiderate acts from our neighbors. But you might be surprised to find out that there are rules for dealing with your neighbor. Let’s get started because there are times when calling the city on your neighbor is entirely justified, even recommended!

How to Call the City on Your Neighbor

Neighbor Issues

Calling the city on your neighbor is a risky move, but sometimes it’s the only way to get them to do something about their annoying habits. If you have a persistent problem with any kind of noise or behavior that’s disturbing other people, don’t hesitate to call your local authorities.

The best way to deal with an issue like this is to call the local police department or city council office instead of posting about it on social media. You can try calling them directly, but if that doesn’t work, here are some tips on how to get through:

Be Polite

Remember that when you call 911, you’re going through a dispatch center that may not know anything about your neighborhood. If you start yelling at them because they don’t seem concerned with your complaint, they may just hang up on you. When you talk with dispatchers, be sure to remain civil and polite throughout the conversation.

Know What Code Enforcement Does And Does Not Handle:

The first step is to identify the violation and confirm it meets the city’s standards.

Code enforcement covers noise complaints, front yard waste, parking concerns, and other property management issues in most cities. If someone is harassing or threatening another individual (or vice versa), they should call 911 instead of code enforcement because those calls are criminal, not civil.

If you hear loud music, make sure it’s from a car stereo or house party, not someone having fun in their apartment. Before calling the police over noise from your neighbor’s yard, verify your community’s noise rules.

Once you know what rule was breached, call the city department that enforces it, depending on where you live. Most cities’ environmental health departments handle noise and sanitation complaints such trash collection and insect management (in certain places, an animal shelter does). If this is a recurring issue that needs higher-level action, contact your mayor or local council representative.

When Can You Call the City on Your Neighbor?

If your neighbor is being a total jerk, you may want to call the city. But what kind of things can you report to the city? Here are some examples:

Illegal Parking:

If someone is parking their car illegally in front of your building or apartment complex, call 311 and let them know so they can send an officer over to ticket the driver responsible for the violation (and hopefully make sure they don’t park there again).

Loud Music:

If your neighbor is playing loud music, phone 311 to report a noisy building or apartment complex. This noise will be investigated by a city official to ensure no laws are being committed.

Animal Cruelty:

Immediately report animal cruelty or neglect to the police. The police will investigate and issue a penalty or arrest the owner if they find the animal was abused. This applies to dogs, cats, and horses.

Dangerous Structures:

If you see something that appears unsafe or dangerous (such as a tree with branches hanging over your neighbor’s property), call the authorities and let them know about it so they can send someone out to investigate.

Illegal Dumping:

Call 311 to report someone tossing trash on public property or into a dumpster so they can dispatch an officer. You can also email images of unlawful dumping sites with your complaint to provide judicial proof.

If you’re wondering whether or not it’s OK to call the city on your neighbor, here are some guidelines:

Is It Illegal to Call the City on Your Neighbor?

Neighbor Issues

First, notify the authorities if the neighbor is conducting an unregistered company or selling drugs from home. If they commit a crime, they should be arrested and charged.

Having noisy pets or kids isn’t prohibited, so you may want to approach with care before calling the police. You could wrongly make an enemy of someone who has done nothing wrong but annoy you with their child’s laughter or pet’s barking.

Is It Really Annoying?

It can be annoying when your neighbor plays their music loudly or hangs laundry outside their window on a clothesline that sticks out over your property line. But is it really worth getting mad about? If not, just ask politely that they turn down the music or move their property.

Final Take

When you’re living next door to someone, it’s not always easy to get along. The noise, the trash, the loud music. What can you do?

The first thing is to try and talk to your neighbor. If that doesn’t work or if there’s a problem with them or their property, then call 311 (or whatever your city or county’s non-emergency number is) and report it.

What will happen after you call? That depends on the severity of the complaint. If it’s a fire hazard or something else extreme, then emergency personnel will be dispatched right away. If it’s something less urgent, like a loud party or barking dog, they’ll send an officer out as soon as possible (usually within 24 hours).