Take Out the Trash! Learn How To Complain About a Neighbor’s Yard
Nothing can ruin your barbecue or pool party like the smell of trash coming from your neighbor’s yard. While it certainly is unpleasant for both your nose and eyes, your neighbor’s unkempt yard can also be dangerous.
There are many polite ways to deal with this type of a bad neighbor, but you should learn how to complain about a neighbor’s yard, just in case!
Whether your neighbor’s unkempt yard is only an eyesore or a potential hazard, there's no need for you to suffer silently. There are many reasons why you should file a complaint against your messy neighbor, and here are some of them:
|Reasons for Reporting Neighbor’s Messy Yard||Explanation|
|Overgrown lawn and weeds||Depending on your community’s ordinance, the grass in a yard should be between eight and 12 inches. Having grass higher than 12 inches is considered a violation. Not mowing the lawn regularly is not only an aesthetic problem—having overgrown grass and weeds in the yard can be potentially dangerous because they make a good home for ticks, snakes, and other dangerous insects and reptiles|
|Traffic-blocking live fences||Live fences are pretty and refreshing, but if they are left uncut, they can become a safety hazard. If your neighbor’s house is on the street’s corner and has overgrown bushes and hedges, you (or someone else) might not be able to see vehicles coming down the cross street|
|Trash, debris, and rubbish||If your neighbor’s yard is full of rocks, litter, broken household equipment, or any other type of trash, we feel for you! Having to smell and look at piles of trash is annoying, but it can also be a fire hazard. Besides, that kind of environment can attract many wild animals|
|Outside storage||Even if they don’t have storage space—e.g., a shed, garage, or basement—leaving various household items outside is prohibited in many states. Here’s what can be left in the yard or driveway:
If your neighbor leaves couches, armchairs, appliances, and similar household items outside, you can report them
|Hazardous trees||Does your neighbor have a tree in their yard that is damaged, diseased, or decaying? It can be at risk of falling and damaging your property or cause other health issues. You should write your neighbor a letter about the removal of the tree to prevent potential problems|
|Animal waste||Animal feces smell bad and are bad for your health. Besides that, it is considered animal cruelty not to clean your pet’s waste. Whatever the reason is, you should always report your neighbor if you notice this kind of behavior|
A messy yard can be a somewhat delicate topic for your neighbor. They might not be doing it on purpose, and they might not have the resources to make changes. If you need help dealing with this issue, try some of these approaches:
- Discuss the problem with them—The first step when dealing with any kind of neighbor-related dispute is talking to them in person. When you do this, try to be friendly and understanding. They are more likely to do the right thing this way
- Offer your assistance—If the problem is that they don’t have time or resources, you should offer to help them. You can:
- Babysit their children while they clean
- Hire a lawnmower or mow their lawn yourself
- Offer your storage space if they don’t have any left
- Include other neighbors—If you don’t enjoy looking at the trash, chances are none of the other neighbors do. You can all get together to help or sign the petition to involve the city if the situation doesn’t improve
- Involve some organizations—There are a myriad of organizations where volunteers offer help when it comes to cleaning, recycling, and even building storage spaces
- Contact the local Homeowners Association—Most communities have a Homeowners Association. They impose rules, standards, and regulations for the whole community, and what is more important, they can issue a notice if the situation with the messy neighbor doesn't improve
- Get a mediator—If you cannot discuss the issue with your neighbor, you should involve a community mediator. With a professionally trained third party, you two might come to an agreement faster
If you don’t get along with your neighbor or they’re too stubborn for negotiations, it’s time to take some real action! With DoNotPay and our Neighbor Complaint product, you can show your neighbors how serious you are.
Regardless of the issue you have with them—noise, pets, or harassment—you can send your neighbors a demand letter informing them about the legal actions you’re going to take if they don’t do what you ask.
Sign up for DoNotPay and draft a demand letter to your neighbors by following these steps:
- Locate the Neighbor Complaint tool
- Specify the problem you’re having
- Give us more details about the situation
We will generate the demand letter containing:
- Your complaint
- Arbitration notice
- Compensation amount you’re seeking
- Legal actions you’re going to take
In case you tried every other option and it didn’t work, it’s time to contact the city or county officials. Depending on your city or county rules, your neighbor might be given up to three months to improve the situation, so you should plan ahead.
Use this option as a last resort and keep in mind that contacting government officials can lead to going to court if the dispute escalates.
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