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 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. Violation of HOA rules creates conflict

    Reader Question: I am a resident homeowner in an HOA with 88 homes. Some months ago a homeowner installed new windows with a green-tone trim. The other 87 homes have white window trim as originally constructed. Our HOA Declarations require any changes to be consistent with the “harmony of external design in relation to surrounding […]

    November 17, 2014
  6. Is my neighbor committing mortgage fraud?

    Reader Question: I am pretty sure my neighbor has committed mortgage fraud. She is a Realtor with a company in my state. She recently changed the title of her house from her and her mom’s name to only her mom. Then about two months after, did a short sale on the house, which she sold in five […]

    February 5, 2013
  7. “For Sale” sign installed without permission.

    Reader Question: Can my neighbor put up a 4 x 12 “for sale” sign on my property without my permission? What do you suggest I do about it? Monte Monty’s Answer: Hello Monte, thanks for your question. No one can put a sign up on your property without permission. My advice is to see, call or […]

    January 24, 2013
  8. Homeowner Mulls Trading Part Of Lot With Neighbor

    Reader Question: Monty, I have a neighbor wanting to buy a small piece of frontage on my lake property because a small slew on the waters edge on my easterly lot line places part of my lot on his side of the slew. I am trying to decide whether or not I should agree to this proposition. If I […]

    August 21, 2012