A dispute with a neighbor can be a particularly frustrating and disruptive problem. Neighbor disputes can escalate quickly, be difficult to solve, and have a big impact on your peace and quiet. A particularly unruly neighbor can cause you to fear for your own safety or sanity. However, there are some things you can do to prevent a dispute with a neighbor from getting out of control.

  • Document everything. Date, time, who was present, what happened, and where.
  • Get third party intervention early. This could involve calling the police, but there are also other professionals who may be able to help, such as an attorney, surveyor, arborist, or engineer. If your neighbor’s actions constitute harassment, you can get a restraining order from a court.
  • Keep your own emotions in check.
  • Try not to overreact, but also do not ignore things and let them fester.
  • Create a paper trail. Take photos. If you decide to send the neighbor a letter, use certified mail. You may also ask other neighbors to give written statements of what they saw or heard.

You have the right to the peaceful enjoyment of your own property, and to feel safe and secure in your own home. A disruptive neighbor can be intensely annoying. Whatever you do, make sure your reaction is on the right side of the law. And if you do find yourself accused of wrongdoing, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.