Do you find yourself thinking these thoughts?
- She has weeds growing three feet high – it makes the whole neighborhood look trashy, and the weeds spread into my yard!
- He has two junk cars rusting in the yard, but he says they are “classics” he’s going to restore.
- They have broken toys and garbage all over the place, and they never clean it up. I think there are rats over there!
- These are some of the most common neighbor complaints JCMS hears. If you take the time to keep your home looking nice, it can be upsetting to have a neighbor who doesn’t.
There are many reasons people don’t keep up their yards. Sometimes older people or those with health issues have trouble doing yard work. A single parent may be overwhelmed just keeping the household running. One person’s treasure is another person’s trash. Maybe your neighbor just doesn’t think the appearance of the yard is very important.
If you are comfortable doing so, you can talk (politely and respectfully) to your neighbor. Maybe he/she isn’t aware that the old cars bother you. You could provide the name of your yard care people. Perhaps you could even offer a little bit of help with cleanup or mowing.
You might be planning to put your house on the market, and you could mention courteously that you can get a better price if the neighborhood looks nice. People are sensitive about what they perceive as criticism, so be prepared to stay calm. If your neighbor takes offense at what you say, back off – don’t let the situation get out of hand.
If you don’t think you can approach your neighbors in person, you could try leaving a note for them, explaining your concerns and asking for their help.
If that isn’t successful, most municipalities have code enforcement, and neighborhoods with homeowners’ associations have their own regulations. You can contact them and make a complaint. If that doesn’t work, or there are no zoning codes or regulations where you live, think about trying mediation.
JCMS offers FREE mediation to Jefferson County citizens and businesses. Mediation is a good way to discuss a dispute reasonably, with a neutral third party (a mediator) to facilitate the conversation. The mediators won’t tell you what to do, give legal advice, or say who is right or wrong, but they are trained to help people with disagreements to work together to find a resolution, instead of having a shouting match. Mediation is also quicker than going to court. For more information on mediation, go to our website at www.JeffcoMediation.com, or call us at 303.271.5060. Para Espanol, 720-577-5826.