In the modern world, where the individual has more and more autonomy and ever-decreasing interdependence, we tend to grossly underestimate the impact of a neighbor in our lives.
Few things are as loathsome as a nuisance neighbor who cannot get along with anyone on any issue, however, minuscule.
Conversely, among the truest blessings you can enjoy, is a good neighbor. That said, we also tend to be cognizant of the proverbial speck in another’s eye, while remaining ignorant of the lumber yard in our own, so examine your own behavior and determine if you are an excellent neighbor.
It could very well be that you are the loathsome neighbor everyone has to tolerate. The pendulum could swing either way. Neighborly disputes are as old as the human race itself.
Your neighbor has elected to desecrate your space by placing garbage cans in front of your house. This cannot be accepted and in dealing with your neighbor, the last thing you want is to escalate a situation that could have been handled easily and quickly.
So before you cause a ruckus, take things one step at a time.
Neighbors put garbage cans in front of my house: What to do?
There are many ways to resolve conflict and while some may breed immediate results, some may not.
A lengthy conflict is a nuisance to everyone. In fact, conflict tends to be most burdensome to those who favor and crave peace while being a mere game for those who are drawn to squabbling.
- Return the garbage cans to their property and talk to your neighbor
If you come home to find the neighbor’s garbage cans outside of your house, you will immediately get irritated at the sight, and with the day’s fatigue on your shoulders, you will be tempted to fire off at the neighbors. If you do, you may create a problem where there was none, to begin with.
Anyone could be the culprit including a child or a visiting relative and since you do not know who, reign in your temper move the garbage cans back to your neighbor’s property and politely knock on the door to speak to your neighbor.
Ask to see the tenant or homeowner and do not raise this issue with anyone else in that household. Greet and explain politely and clearly that you found their garbage cans outside your house and have moved them back to their property.
Unless this was a move to start a feud, their likely reaction will be to apologize and promise that it won’t be repeated.
A resolution could be this simple but if fate is of a different opinion, you may find the garbage cans outside your house every day which means the neighbors intend for this to be the new way of disposing of their garbage. This is unacceptable.
- Involve the Home Owners Association
Most if not all living communities have an association that governs and oversees the social atmosphere. Some even handle legal and business matters of the community.
This is the next option after a simple chat has failed to produce a change in your neighbor’s behavior.
These associations have laid down regulations that all tenants and homeowners must follow so your unruly neighbor will be hard-pressed to defy the rules set forth by the association.
The integrity of your property is a key right that must be respected by those who live next to you and should anyone be unwilling to live according to the guidelines of the community, they do forfeit their right to be members of that community.
Warnings, fines, and evictions are options that homeowner associations have in their arsenal.
Unless your neighbor wishes to move, they will have a hard time defying the laws that govern your community and breaching the contracts that they signed as they joined the community.
- Take legal action
If your neighbors’ associations still cannot resolve this, you have the option to take this to court. While it can be a tedious, time-consuming, and costly affair, you are left with no other viable option at this point.
Most of these disputes, however, tend to be resolved within two to three hearings to avoid a protracted dispute that could escalate while the dispute remains unresolved in court.
The court system also avoids dragging out such cases to avoid clogging up the system so the dispute is not likely to take much time.
The most important aspect of the legal proceeding here will be the records and evidence presented by a representative of the homeowners association you belong to which includes the contracts all tenants signed and therefore are bound by.
Some homeowners associations have the legal mandate to act as attorneys for their tenants in such cases and this will spare you the added burden of bringing in a third-party lawyer to represent you.
Your neighbor will have to be exceptionally obtuse to go up against the court orders to remove their garbage cans from your property since the only consequence of defying court orders will be jail time which could mean they will lose even more.
Their jobs and eventually, their property could be lost in this futile tussle.
A court order should be the last you hear of this issue and your neighbor should be deterred.
- Demarcate your property
Most people operate within the bounds of reason and common sense and most people are very agreeable neighbors. In many instances, neighbors form solid bonds to rival those of family.
If you are not fortunate enough to enjoy this kind of experience, it may be enough to simply avoid as much contact as possible with a difficult neighbor.
The silver lining is that you are within your right to demarcate your property since you own it. With the help of a landscaping expert, make a physical barrier around your property ensuring it complements the general outlook of the community.
This way you create a physical deterrent to any kind of association with the neighbor and more so with regards to garbage management.