- Being Harassed by Your Neighbor? Here Are Some Tips
- August 17, 2013
- Law Firm: Goodwin Scieszka - Birmingham Office
A person's home should function as a safe haven and a generally happy place to be. However, having harassing neighbors can make this difficult or downright impossible. Harassment from neighbors can come in many different forms, from having them constantly pounding at your door or even making unpleasant comments or gestures toward you and your family members. Regardless of the specific harassment you are enduring from your neighbor, the good news is that there are some tips that you can try out as a way of ending the harassment and possibly even getting to be on good terms with your neighbor.
Figure Out the Cause of the Problem
The truth is that you cannot fix the problem between you and your neighbor without first finding out what is wrong. If you are not comfortable with approaching your neighbor and asking directly, consider analyzing your own behavior. Have your children been playing on his or her lawn? Have you possibly been playing your music too loud or otherwise disturbing him or her, even if unintentionally? If you are able to pinpoint any potential cause of the animosity, consider modifying your own behavior or speaking with other members of your family to prevent it from happening again.
If this does not seem to stop the harassment, consider asking your neighbor outright if there is anything you or your family members have done to contribute to his or her attitude.
Give it Some Time
If you believe your neighbor's animosity and subsequent harassment was caused by an isolated incident, then consider sending over an apology gift and then simply giving him or her some time to forgive. You may find that, in a few days or weeks, your neighbor will have forgotten about the incident and will stop harassing you. On the other hand, if you do not believe that you did anything wrong to cause the harassment in the first place, then be sure to stand your ground calmly and cite neighborhood or local laws, if necessary. For example, if your neighbor claims that you have set up a fence that is actually on his or her property, consider pulling up a neighborhood map from your local municipal office and kindly show your neighbor that you are in the right.
Get Authorities Involved
If the harassment from your neighbor does not stop or if the harassment ever escalates to the point that your neighbor is making threats or intimidating you or your family members, it may be time to get the police involved. Call a non-emergency number, if applicable, and report the incident to your local authorities. They will make their way over to your home, take a report, and will likely speak with your neighbor. A lot of times, this alone is enough to stop your neighbor's harassment. If not, however, then at least you will have proof of a written report if you ultimately decide to take the matter to court.
Hire a Lawyer
If all else fails and you cannot get your neighbor to stop harassing you, it may be time to call a lawyer. He or she may be able to get the court to issue a no-contact order, which will prevent your neighbor from speaking to you or otherwise making contact with you. This should stop the harassment, as your neighbor can go to jail for breaking a no-contact or civil harassment order.
Nobody should ever have to deal with harassment from a neighbor, but the unfortunate truth is that this happens quite frequently. Fortunately, by following the above steps, you should be able to diffuse the situation before tempers flare and one of you ends up losing your cool.