1. Home
  2. Blog
  3. Homeowners Tips
  4. How to Deal with a Neighbor’s Unkept Yard
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.

This Post Has 21 Comments

  1. I live in a condo community. HOA has sent the neighbor in question letters regarding the problem. To no avail. Problem in question is leaving a poop bags in her front steps for days at a time. This is a health issue, aside from having to look at such grossness daily. We’re a small community and my front steps are 25 feet away from hers. Side yard is filled with a garden hose that not allowing landscapers from mowing that section, a garden dirt bag, 10 flower pots filled with weeds and a large sign. She is aware that signs are not allowed. Several neighbors including my self have approached her regarding the poop bags.

    1. Hi Naida:

      You might consider legal action at this point. Especially if you’ve already talked to her and she has been sent letters. I hope this helps!

  2. I walked past a neighbours yard and they had 5 vehicles parked on the lawn in their front yard. What is the limit?

  3. My neighbor owns his own land he has been putting old wrecked cars everywhere on his land it looks messy nasty and it ruins the value of my home I’m already spoke to him and his mother it has done no good the city will not do anything about it because it isn’t ordinance what can I do there’s all that legs definitely all that stuff going on the ground looks like it might be getting a well I am disabled I can’t walk real good and is running my property I’m afraid we’re going to get rat snakes etc thank you Linda McSwain

    1. Your options might be limited but you could see if you can talk to a lawyer about anything you might be able to do at this point. That’s the only other step I can think to take.

  4. I totally sympathize with a lot of the comments here. However, I have been in a situation where my backyard (a biodiverse garden with plenty of native species) was destroyed by an entitled neighbor who felt that they could trespass and cut it all down. He didn’t like that it that I had herbs and various ground cover plants instead of a plain grass lawn. I appreciate what you are trying to share with others. Please be mindful that what some people may not find pretty could be an important ecosystem for native wildlife.

  5. My neighbor never weedeats his yard or picks up anything and has a pool that is a mosquito and frog breeding ground. The mosquitoes are so bad that we don’t even like to sit outside. He says he’s going to do things but never does. I live on the outskirts of town and really don’t have a homeowners association. His home is the worst taken care of in the area other than the couple vacant ones. It definitely isn’t good for property values. Please advise on routes to go.

    1. Hi Chris:

      Even if you live on the outskirts of town, there’s likely some local authority who has jurisdiction. I would reach out to them and see if there’s an ordinance that can be enforced. Thanks!

  6. Our neighbor has grass 3 feet tall full of garbage boxes bags bottles food you name it it’s there . Address *************** it’s rented to a mobile phone store . It is a place that is an eyesore and area where rodents scamper. I am elderly and don’t know how to contact the owner can someone please complain to the right people so it gets cleaned up ? Thanks in advance , Robinhood

    1. Hi Robert:

      While I sympathize with you, you cannot put residential addresses in this public comment section. My recommendation in your situation would be to contact city or township authorities.

  7. Iv got a neighbor who’s overgrown vegetation has taken over my fence and is tearing it down, he refused to stop it!

  8. I have a neighbor that has a bunch of trash around the yard and driveway which goes into the street or in my yard. They have a half a dozen cars that are parked in front of my driveway or blocking the street sitting on the grass. There is seven dogs seven ducks and seven chickens and roosters that this run all over the place . I am always dealing with a ton of company over there and loud noises loud music no respect for anybody what can be done?

  9. I’m so sorry but my neighbors have 3 junk cars and 3 running cars their grass is a disgusting mess and don’t seem to care can we do anything about this

  10. That’s such a nice way to settle a dispute, WHEN the neighbor cooperates.
    We don’t expect him to do anything but cut his grass… Right now his grass is about 18″ tall. All we ask are the basics… Someone on our block offered to cut his front yard for him, at least for a while, but he said no. If he’d said yes, my husband and I would have stepped
    up to also cut his front yard at times, at no cost to the guy.
    We were all trying to give him the benefit of the doubt, thinking maybe he was not feeling
    well. Him saying no showed us it’s not that he can’t, it’s that he won’t. Big difference.
    Service from the city is slower now than before, since the covid ordeal. Plus we are out
    of the city limits, but still, it’s a residential neighborhood filled with children. We have
    a department that will come out to our location, but last time I called to report the overgrown grass, a woman came out and said it had to be 18″ tall, and it was “only” about 15″. All I ask is how long would it take her to report her OWN neighbors if THEIR grass was “only” 15″ tall? I’d bet she wouldn’t give them ANY leeway, she’d forget about the “rules”
    and send a crew out to cut her neighbors yard. We’ve been here for two decades, and
    that neighbor moved in next door, 15 years ago; I don’t think he’s cut his yard more
    than two or three times a year on average. And when he does he makes big circles with his lawnmower, in the grass, doesn’t circle back to cut where he missed, and it looks
    terrible, but it’s still preferable to him not cutting it at all. Sometimes “nice” doesn’t cut it
    although I agree it’s best to start out that way, but what happens when you’ve exhausted everything??

  11. Community needs help. We have complained numerous times to board of supervisors, road manager, sheriff, chancery clerk. We live in the county where we have no code. Household garbage terrible. (pictures if requested). We live on a main road and garbage is all in the road . Four young children that play outside barefooted in the garbage. Please send me suggestions.

    Thank you
    Dorothy Blankinchip

    1. Hi Dorothy:

      Unfortunately, I’m not sure what you can do because that’s the responsibility of the community to take care of those services. I assume you pay for garbage service either through your taxes or privately. Someone should be cleaning that up. I would try to complain to the state if the community and county aren’t doing anything. It’s definitely a health issue.

    1. Sorry, there’s nothing you can do until July….IF the Xmas lites are still left up that officially puts their mess over the limit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *