How to annoy neighbors

Neighbors argue in the hallway

To prevent a dispute between neighbors from escalating, you should remain calm and know your rights. Here are the most important rules about the most common causes of a neighbor dispute.

Neighbors argue in the hallway

To prevent a dispute between neighbors from escalating, you should remain calm and know your rights. Here are the most important rules about the most common causes of a neighbor dispute.

Greeting neighbors in a stairwell

Strollers in the staircase

Good neighborliness

  • When neighbors fight
  • Common reasons for the neighborhood quarrel
  • 1. Neighbor disputes over construction issues: Keep your distance!
  • 2. Neighbor dispute over property issues: Get off my land!
  • 3. Neighbor dispute in the garden: Hands off my tree!
  • 4. Neighborly quarrels that go to the senses: barbecue, disturbance of the peace and chaos
  • How to prevent neighbor disputes?
  • When neighbors quarrel
  • Common reasons for neighbor disputes
  • 1. Neighbor dispute over construction issues: Keep your distance!
  • 2. Neighbor dispute over property issues: Get off my land!
  • 3. Neighbor dispute in the garden: Hands off my tree!
  • 4. Neighbor dispute that goes to the senses: barbecue, disturbance of the peace and chaos
  • How to prevent neighborhood disputes?

When the sparks fly on the property line or in the stairwell, it is advantageous to keep a cool head. Whether it’s over barbecue, a leaning tree or a noisy family, taking a neighbor dispute to court should be the last option. We have compiled for you an overview of the most common issues in neighbor disputes, as well as one or two suggestions for resolving them.

When neighbors quarrel

One stroppy word leads to another, and in no time at all a minor disagreement turns into a loudly escalating neighborly dispute. The trenches are deep, neither party wants to retreat, there is sharp shooting with lawyers’ letters and reports to the public order office or the police, there is support from legal protection insurance companies and lawyers who have specialized in disputes between neighbors: More and more frequently, the neighborly dispute is moved from the stairwell or garden fence at home to the courtroom, local courts have to deal with smoking neighbors, noisy pets or trees that damage the garden fence in civil proceedings. In Germany, around 300.000 lawsuits, about 9.000 lawsuits are filed because of quarreling neighbors. Around 30 percent of people living in Germany are familiar with disputes with neighbors from their own experience – whether in a rented apartment or in their own home. Interestingly, there are more frequent disputes between landlords and tenants without judges.

Common reasons for neighbor dispute

But why do neighbors fight?? We’ve taken a closer look at the reasons for the disputes and broken them down for you into the four most common categories: Building issues, property issues, garden issues, and disputes over noise, stench, and clutter. In the following, we give you a rough overview of the issues that can arise per category and how to proceed.

Man is awakened by noise

Nocturnal disturbance is one of the main causes of ongoing neighborhood disputes.

1. Neighbor dispute over construction issues: Keep your distance!

The property next to you is being built on and you have the feeling that the new neighbor is getting right up your nose? Just check the rules for boundary development, which clarify how much distance there must be. If the distance regulations are not respected, you as a neighbor also have the possibility to object to constructions. Also and above all against constructions, which are carried out after the actual house construction – for example additional garages, carports, garden houses or still another floor on the house of your neighbor. Because your neighbor is required by law to be considerate. If, for example, he places the garage in such a way that it affects your health or quality of life, then he may have to dismantle it again or he may not use it.

2. Neighbor disputes over land issues: Get off my land!

My house, my property, my car: Anyone who allegedly sets foot illegally on a piece of land that is not their own is now living dangerously not only in the United States of America, but also in Germany. Therefore, the issue of right of way is also a hot potato. Once granted, it is simply withdrawn again by some neighbors because they have changed their minds after all. Unfortunately, those affected don’t always communicate this clearly; for example, they simply build a new gate in the middle of the path or put up construction fences. Before claiming or granting a right of way, think carefully about its benefits and pitfalls. Perhaps the easement would be a more solid solution for you? This is an agreement between two property owners in which one owner allows the other owner certain rights of use on his own property and these are also entered in the land register.

To secure their own property, many homeowners install motion detectors, the light of which is disturbing. Depending on the location and setting of the outdoor lights, this can lead to neighbor disputes, because if your light is more than 40 watts and the neighbor has a sense of "significant nuisance", it is your duty to reduce the wattage. By the way, your neighbor does not need to install curtains or lower the shutter to reduce his sense of annoyance.

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