1. Headline
  1. Headline

Video: Tips to fight that next-door nuisance

TODAY
updated 8/21/2007 8:53:07 AM ET 2007-08-21T12:53:07

Even the most beautiful home, in the most serene town can become a nightmare if you live next door to the wrong kind of people. And dealing with nasty neighbors can be enough to drive even the most peaceable person to distraction. If you find yourself in this situation or would like to do your very best to avoid it, take some of real estate expert Barbara Corcoran's practical advice —  here are the five big offenders in the world of nasty neighbors and tips on how to deal with them:

1. The racket maker — screaming moms, fighting spouses, horn honking and tire squealing drivers, loud music fanatics and late-night partiers

2. The property line fanatic — someone who trims boundary trees and sends you the bill

3. The slob, like one who lets the grass grow, puts trash out days in advance, and leaves garbage cans unlocked

4. The careless pet owner

5. The extreme weirdo — drunks, drug dealers, and the neighbor that never says anything

Spot them out
If you don’t want to end up with one of the above as your new neighbor, here’s what you can do to spot them early:

1. Cruise the neighborhood at night. You’ll see the guy next door while he’s at home (rather than at work).  Most people make the mistake of seeing a home during the day and looking again during the same time a few days later.

2. Talk with the local store owners. They’re always the first to tell you who the pains are, who stiffed them, and who’s involved in a lawsuit.  (“I’m thinking of buying the Smith house.  Do you know it?  Know the street?  What are the neighbors like?”)

3. Walk the neighborhood during rush hour. Not just block, but the four blocks surrounding yours.  Befriend a few neighbors along the way.  (“I’m thinking of buying the Smith House at 12 Maple Avenue.  Do you know the neighbors?  What are they like?”).

4. Look for basketball hoops, skateboard ramps, and trampolines, all tell-tale signs of the racket-maker.

  1. More from TODAY.com
    1. TODAY's Takeaway: Savannah overshares; Billy Crystal brings '700 Sundays' to TV

      Witnesses describe hearing the Mount Everest avalanche, Savannah already overshares and Billy Crystal brings "700 Sundays"...

    2. 'You helped me': After 23 years, Desert Storm veteran thanks pen pals
    3. Alan Thicke: 'I have a better body' than Homer Simpson'
    4. Kids scared of the Easter Bunny? Well, look at him!
    5. 'We are not equipped for this': Tamron, Willie face off against animals

5. Watch and listen for the barking and unleashed neighborhood dogs. 

6. Poke around the town clerk’s office to find out which neighbors have filed for what, like permits for building a house extension over the next 12 months, a noisy new tennis court, or a new pool.

7. Take a cyberspace tour on ‘Google Street View’ to check out empty lots and backyards that look like a landfill.

8. Check on-line registries for the location of any local sex offenders.

Don’t buy next door to certain establishments
Be sure to stay away from the following:

Country clubs
Empty lots
Bus stops
Halfway houses
Garbage routes
Intersections with stop signs

How to handle bad neighbors
If you are already in the situation of having nasty neighbors, here are some failsafe strategies:

1. Call ahead and pick a time to talk. 

2. Meet on the sidewalk or on the property line.

3. Don’t accuse; let them know how the problem bothers you and suggest ways to solve it together. 

4. If that doesn’t work, check out local noise and disturbance ordinances and write a personal letter.  Offer a solution.

5. Consult your condo or block association.  Ask them to send a standard letter citing the ordinance or by-law.  A condominium association’s right of first refusal is a little-known clause that can be used to buy your neighbor out.

6. Should that fail, call your local precinct.  Keep a record of your complaint.

7. Call in an expert mediator.  (To find a mediator, check with your local courthouse, police precinct, or bar association).

8. As a last resort, file a complaint in court.

9. For the property line fanatic, walk the property line together to determine what belongs to whom; consider having the property surveyed to nip the problem in the bud.

© 2013 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

TODAY's Takeaway
  1. TODAY

    Savannah overshares; Billy Crystal brings ‘700 Sundays’ to TV

    4/18/2014 8:29:08 PM +00:00 2014-04-18T20:29:08
  1. Doomed South Korean ferry’s captain taken into custody

    The captain of the sunken ferry in South Korea was taken into custody Friday and is facing five charges, including criminal negligence.

    4/18/2014 8:35:55 PM +00:00 2014-04-18T20:35:55
  2. Did South Korea ferry’s sharp turn cause it to sink?
  3. Teen ferry survivors comforted in devastated town
  1. Courtesy of Shawn Stock

    'You helped me': After 23 years, Desert Storm veteran thanks pen pals

    4/18/2014 8:51:52 PM +00:00 2014-04-18T20:51:52
  1. Courtesy of Kristen Hazelwood Jo

    Kids scared of the Easter Bunny? Well, look at him!

    4/18/2014 7:18:23 PM +00:00 2014-04-18T19:18:23
  1. This weekend on TODAY: Apps to keep teens from texting and driving

    Janice Lieberman takes a look at three new apps that are designed to keep your teens safe behind the wheel. Also, Ed Weeks from “The Mindy Project," the right way to cook a perfect Easter ham and more.

    4/18/2014 4:41:45 PM +00:00 2014-04-18T16:41:45