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Neighbor disputes: is there a solution?

Confrontations and disagreements are two experiences most Seattle residents would prefer to avoid. But what if such incidents are simply unavoidable? The background noise of city life is one that is typically ignored, yet there are other distractions that can make doing so especially difficult. As with most states, Washington generally cannot become involved in neighbor disputes. However, there are ways to to minimize such predicaments that can help individuals avoid the involvement of a third party altogether.

Most Seattle residents can attest to some level of neighbor-related frustration, whether it is due to noise, unappealing odors or inappropriate public behavior. The Seattle Times reported on a local editor who experienced all three of these neighbor-related disruptions, which eventually played a part in her choice to move away. The Times points out that, while a home in disarray can constitute as a city code violation, foul odors and other unpleasantries cannot be officially reported anywhere. Furthermore, experts note that a house near troublesome property can result in up to a 10 percent reduction in the house's price. It is true that each individual has different levels of tolerances regarding neighbor disruptions, but the news report also shares the disconcerting fact that there are varying guidelines on what information real estate agents can disclose to potential buyers.

There is clearly more than one drawback to having troublesome neighbors, as mental, physical and financial stability can all take a harsh hit when problems do not reach a resolution. Seattle's official website contains a segment on unruly neighbors that outlines the possible paths one can take when experiencing such issues. Another issue many residents face is the dispute over property lines. This segment points out that the city cannot officially intervene these disputes, but that there are a number of land use codes one can refer to in the case of disagreement. Those who cannot reach an agreement with a neighbor can also obtain a survey, as well as take legal action.  





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Riach Gese Jacobs, PLLC
7331 196th Street, SW
P.O. Box 1067
Lynnwood, WA 98046

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