Getting on the wrong foot with the neighbors can mean a lot more than stress and uncomfortable meetings. Here are a few things that neighbors will not tell you. You might find them out the hard way.
1. You’ll pay for complaining
When we moved into a new home, our next door neighbors invited us for dinner. We had a great time and some cordial meetings followed. This wasn’t destined to last long. Within a few weeks, I found that their kids created unnecessary noise each morning. I wasn’t sure how to convey this, so decided to leave a note on their door asking whether the kids could be quieter before they left for school.
This was enough to make them lose their heads, when all I intended to do was to explain how connected our living spaces were. Relationships soured forever more and I found out the hard way that bitter neighbors have the power to sue you over innumerable petty issues like a barking pet or inconvenient street parking. It’s best to try building good relationships with neighbors because friends don’t usually sue one another.
2. You might get arrested because I used your Wi-Fi
It’s quite common for people to use neighborhood Wi-Fi Internet services without permission. This thieving can increase your Internet bills substantially. Worse, you cannot control what is done with your signal. If they’re doing something illegal, you could land in trouble.
It’s difficult for an investigation to prove whether a network is being used by an account owner or not, so you could end up with big legal hassles. A solution to this is securing your Wi-Fi and changing passwords regularly. This might not work perfectly, but it at least sets up an obstacle, and thieves might decide to look for another easier connection.
3. We’re planting corn in place of flowers
An increasing number of people fancy themselves as farmers and choose to grow their own fruits and vegetables. What’s good for a farmer might not be so good for his neighbors.
According to a study, good landscaping with pristine lawns boosted property values by about 7.5%.So a neighbor’s home that has no landscaping to speak of and a garden full of corn, soy beans, peppers, or tomatoes instead is not likely to add much to the curb appeal of your home.
Maybe a silver lining on this cloud would be your neighbor agreeing to share the harvest with you! A friend says she has a neighbor who brews beer in her garage. God bless her!
4. I’ve quietly been making your land mine
“Adverse possession” is a legal way through which a neighbor can stake a claim on your land. For example, a neighbor shifts a wall or fence and encroaches on your land. You don’t notice this for a while. In some states, he can claim continuous, open, and exclusive use of the land and sometimes even ownership after a certain period of time. This might potentially increase his property’s value and decrease that of yours.
It’s a fact that many people fail to check the boundaries of their land until it becomes too late. Even though you might wish to avoid making a fuss with neighbors, securing your boundaries before it gets converted into a big issue is important.
The Bottom Line
Try to maintain cordial relations without getting too personal. Be careful how close you allow your neighbors to get. You must have the ability to do some straight talking, if it’s ever required.
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