Man mowing front lawn

When you own a home, you will meet new neighbors in your community; sometimes they become life-long friends and sometimes they end up being a nuisance. But what happens when they decide to paint their house bright green or leave piles of junk in their yard?

Not only could this be a health hazard to you and your family, but it could also drastically affect your chances of refinancing or even selling your home. Your neighbors’ unpleasant property could be costing you time and money. So, if you’ve found yourself in this situation where you need your neighbors to clean up their lot, here are a few ways to resolve your predicament.

Be Friendly

This may seem obvious, but try to make friends with your neighbors first. How many times have you become frustrated over a problem without simply addressing it? By making the effort to build a relationship with your neighbors, you are taking one step closer to resolving your issue.

Even try bringing them cookies to get the conversation started.

After you have established a solid relationship with your neighbors, try broaching the topic. Ask your neighbor if they can help you with your predicament. That’s right: It’s your problem. Your neighbor may not even be aware that there is an issue.

By being respectful and open, you may be able to solve your neighbor’s curb appeal with a simple conversation. You never know what you can accomplish by simply asking.

Offer Assistance

Your neighbor’s unkept yard may simply be the case of them feeling overwhelmed. Your neighbor may not know where to start or who to ask for help. This is where you come in. Offer to assist them. There are several ways you can offer assistance. Try these suggestions:

  • Hire your lawn care company to pull their weeds or mow their lawn. This may cost you a few extra dollars, but it could help you get the ball rolling.
  • Offer to babysit their children so they can clean their garage or take care of some of their clutter.
  • Assist them with throwing away some of the junk in their yard. Together, you may be able to help them accomplish this feat sooner.
  • Connect them with a charity that may take some of their old items. This may also help them save some money on their taxes.

There are plenty of ways you can offer assistance to your neighbors. Ask how you can be of help and get creative.

Get Your Neighbors Involved

Chances are you’re not the only one who views your neighbor’s property as an eyesore. Whether you believe it or not, this may be a great opportunity for all your neighbors to improve their curb appeal. If you don’t want to make your one neighbor feel uncomfortable, try encouraging your entire neighborhood to improve their properties.

Ask a local real estate agent to give free consultations on the properties in your neighborhood. This will be a good marketing tactic for the real estate agent and give your entire neighborhood advice in the process. Once the advice has been given, spend a few weekends with your neighbors and help them improve their properties.

Look for External Help

If you don’t have the resources or time to help your neighbor, there are plenty of organizations that may be willing to lend a hand. Here are a few you could start researching:

  • Green Drop is a free service that helps you recycle. They will come to your home and help you get rid of unwanted clothes or items. Then their drivers will stop by and pick up all of your donations.
  • Rebuilding Together has a network of charities and volunteers that help low-income families revitalize and rebuild their homes.
  • Habitat for Humanity has a network of volunteers whose focus is to rebuild and restore homes around your community.

Do a little bit of research and discover charitable organizations that can help your neighbor clean up their yard and unkept property.

Contact Your Homeowners Association

A homeowners association, or an HOA, is a group of property owners in a community that enforces property standards, rules and regulations of each home within the neighborhood. They are created to uphold a standard and maintain the value for the community.

If you’re still dealing with your neighbor’s property, the HOA may be a great place to turn. They will be able to issue notices in the case the neglect continues. Your neighbor may be more receptive to a large group of people instead of listening to just you complain.

If you do not have an HOA, try forming one. This may not make sense if you’re dealing with just one neighbor. But if this is a neighborhood problem, it may be a good idea.

Pursue Community Mediation

Community mediation is when a third party leads a conversation between two or more people who disagree. This is a less expensive alternative to taking your neighbor to court. Mediators are professionally trained and committed to peaceful resolutions. Sometimes getting a neutral party involved will help you see common ground and resolve your issue.

Community Mediation centers are mostly nonprofits or public agencies. Sometimes centers offer services regardless if the client can provide payment.

Contact Your County or City Officials

As a last resort, contact the officials in the county or city you reside in. You only want to do this if there are no other options available. Every city and county has various laws and regulations; check them out before moving forward.

Keep in mind that this may require both parties to go to court if the situation continues to escalate. This is why this should be your very last option. You don’t want to create conflict if it could have been resolved in a different manner.

Block Your View

If your neighbor’s property is not causing your home’s value harm, you may just need to block your view. Try building a fence or installing new landscaping. This will prevent you from looking at the eyesore every minute of the day.

This may also add curb appeal to your home or increase its value!

The Bottom Line

If your neighbor’s property is an eyesore or is affecting the price of the sale of your home or refinancing, there are plenty of options to resolve your issue. Try speaking with them as a first option. You never know how far you can get simply by asking.

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