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Managing difficult neighbors

| Dec 29, 2018 | Neighbor Disputes |

It is not uncommon for residents shopping for a new home in Washington State to fall in love with a particular property only to end up realizing the neighbors are anything but dreams. It is also possible that a really great neighbor leaves and a new, less desirable one, moves in. In either situation, homeowners have a few choices about how to deal with difficult neighbors or situations that are unpalatable to them.

As explained by The Spruce, a person might see a neighbor starting to work on a project, such as building a new fence, that encroaches on their property. In this situation, proactivity and promptness are essential. The person should speak up before the work has gotten underway or made too much progress so as to minimize any work that may need to be undone eventually.

According to Today, when needing to discuss a delicate subject with a neighbor, it is best to attempt to have at least an initial conversation in person. This should be done on neutral territory at first if possible, such as on the sidewalk between the two homes. The conversation should try to be positive. The initiator should avoid accusatory statements and instead try to solicit input from the other person in a problem-solving manner. A post-conversation letter or email could be sent to document the discussion.

For neighborhoods with homeowners’ associations, the rules should be reviewed before having any conversations so that the initiating party is fully educated about any ramifications relating to the rules.