Shut the Front Door! Dealing with Neighbors from Hell

Front entrance to a residential home with a red solid wood door. The surrounding walls are covered with shingles.Even the most coveted neighborhoods can become a nightmare when living next to the wrong people – and can drive the most Zen person crazy.

In fact, a company called BioPet Vet Lab has been selling its PooPrints DNA testing kits to catch those bad neighbors who don’t pick up after their dogs. A dog owner can simply get an initial DNA sample by swabbing the pooch’s inner cheek and mailing it to the lab in a plastic bag. With a 99.9 percent accuracy rate for IDing the guilty dog, the technology used is the same as you see on the CSI: guilty dogCrime Scene Investigation TV shows.

In addition to careless pet owners, you may discover you live next to a neglectful neighbor, a tyrant, noisemakers or even criminals.

new tampa neighborhoodBefore You Move to a New ‘Hood

  • Walk the neighborhood during rush hour. Travel not just the block of your potential new home, but the blocks and main thorough surrounding it. Befriend a few neighbors along the way and ask questions.
  • Cruise the neighborhood after dark. Many times, you’ll see a night-and-day difference when viewing the neighborhood after the sun sets. Everything from parking and traffic to noise level and street lighting could vary.
  • Investigate the county property website. This is an easy way to find data on which neighboring property owners have filed for what, such as building permits in the near future.
  • Do a deep dive online. Use ‘Google Street View’ to zoom in on questionable areas. Check online registries to find out if any sex offenders live nearby.

But if you’re already living next to nuisance neighbors, here’s how to deal:

Be Proactive

  1. Introduce yourself. Whether you’re new to a neighborhood or have lived there for over a decade, knowing neighbors by name and building a relationship with them can diffuse a situation before one starts.
  2. Approach neighbors at the right time and place (not in their yard at midnight when there’s a dog barking). And don’t make assumptions. An overgrown lawn or forgotten trash cans and mail could be due to a recent death or illness. Visit your neighbor to see if the need any help.
  3. Do you live in an HOA or CDD? Make sure you know the regulations for pets, noise, parking, trash and unkempt homes in your area. If you can’t resolve an issue with a neighbor in person, you can file a complaint with your local law enforcement, homeowners association or county office. Keep a detailed record of dates and times of ongoing offenses. You may even want to install surveillance cameras to capture evidence of infractions.

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