Home Owning

Neighbor Relations

The world is full of people with different personalities, quirks, moods and attitudes. In many ways human interaction is one of the most complex, or simple experiences we all share together.

When they live right next door, or just down the block, many people tend to pay more attention because of the proximity, others just don’t seem to want to get involved. Neighbors can become lifelong friends or remain like two ships passing silently in the night.

Because neighbor relations can have lasting effects and often-complex situations arise, the best answer, if there is one, is not always clear. Dear Monty answers questions on a variety of questions that appear principally because it involves a neighbor. If you have a question, just Ask Monty.

  1. We are dealing with a municipality issue. We have a big problem with a new fire code. Do you have any advice for us?

    Reader Question: We are dealing with a municipality issue. We have a big problem with a new fire code dictating new elevations and width measurements of the easement road which currently services eight homes. Our real estate agent discovered it answering a prospect’s question about fire codes. We requested a variance in this provision in a […]

    January 16, 2019
  2. We have a weak homeowners association board. What can we do to change things?

    Reader Question: We have a weak homeowners association board. Our homeowner’s association (HOA) has bylaws. The HOA is not proactive in enforcing them and has allowed residents to violate, only addressing the violations if someone files a complaint. This refusal to proactively monitoring property conditions puts the complaining homeowner in harm’s way by exposing them to […]

    February 21, 2017
  3. Tree trimming is in order because their tree is polluting our pool. They say no. Can we rid ourselves of this mess?

    Reader Question: Our neighbor has a tree with branches that encroach on our property and pollutes our swimming pool. Our neighbor says we cannot touch their tree, as it will ruin its shape. Can we rid ourselves of this nuisance? Monty’s Answer: Many property owners see trees as a valuable resource that adds value to […]

    November 6, 2015
  4. I want to make a proposal to my next door neighbor to buy his property. Do you have any suggestions as to how to approach them?

    Reader Question: I want to create a successful real estate proposal for a property owner. These are modest houses in a decent neighborhood where we own other rentals. One is vacant. We have a rental right next to the homes I would like to purchase. I have become somewhat of a friend of the homeowner to […]

    September 22, 2015
  5. All the owners except one keep their homes sharp. One owner's house looks like a junkyard. Can we sue the owner for loss of property value?

    Reader Question: Can you tell me if a homeowner can sue a sloppy neighbor or the city for not taking action on a neglected property? We have owned our home for fourteen years now. The neighbors take good care of their property. But, three years ago the pristine property across the street was sold. The […]

    September 1, 2015