Unsightly Neighbors: What You Can Do About It Under Real Estate Law

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on December 2, 2013

The difficult thing about issues regarding what you see out your window that you don’t particularly find enjoyable to watch is that technically those types of things exist outside your home. If you happen to see something on your lot — like your side yard, front or backyard — that’s another story. But a neighbor? We’re treading on a thin line.

However, as long as you’re on that line, you do have options. Just think like a tightrope walker, and you’ll be good. Here are some tips:eyesore

  • Notify the Homeowner’s Association — It’s that association carrying the basic power to take some kind of action to alleviate the eyesore, whatever it may be, to a certain extent. The policy, particularly if you’re actually part of the association, will literally spell it out for you. Issues that are easily remedied by the association would include mowing lawns and other maintenance issues. And, thankfully, the bill is sent to that resident.
  • Talk to the Neighbor — It can be scary, but oftentimes it solves the problem immediately, without having to go through the hassle of legal paperwork or anything. Just be sensitive, though, and cautious. You don’t want to be rude.
  • Local Ordinances Might Help — Really research into it, because you never know what you might find. Many ordinances in state and local jurisdiction have specific statutes regarding proper maintenance of property. That could include anything from privacy to simple stuff like the proper gutters. It can’t hurt to look.
  • Abandonment or Foreclosure — This does happen, and this would be the only instance, really, where you can literally take legal action and address the issue across your fence. If that house has been abandoned or foreclosed, legally, you can report that, and action will be taken to clean up the property. Eyesore has been rubbed sufficiently.

Solutions may differ based on where you’re living, though. Here in Florida, from county to county, you might be looking at a plethora of differences within ordinances and code compliance. So it’s always a good idea to consult with your very skilled real estate attorney about your options. See you soon.

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