You’re selling your house and are looking forward to getting away from them, but how can you convince whoever might be buying to live next to them?
They don’t take care of their house – it’s in obvious disrepair and is falling apart. They have a big loud dog, their yard is full of junk, rusty car parts and an overgrown lawn that hasn’t been tended to all year – or longer.
Your gorgeous home, perfect pricing and immaculate yard might not be tempting enough if there’s an eyesore next door.
Despite the state of their yard, it’s most likely the neighbours aren’t despicably horrible people and don’t intend to create such an awkward situation with you. There might be a very good reason their house seems neglected, such as an illness or disability.
The obvious first thing to try is speaking to them directly. Be non-threatening and as tactful as possible. Explain that you’re trying to sell your house and need a little bit of help on their end. If they are physically unable to do it themselves, offer to help them with a little bit of landscaping work. You can do it yourself for free, or shell out a little bit extra for some neighbourhood teenagers or a professional company. At this point, selling your house is more important than the principles of picking up someone else’s responsibilities. On your end, bushes and other landscaping or fences can quietly aid in blocking out the offensive view from your house or yard.
If the good neighbour approach fails, there are a few tricks left that might help you come to a resolution. The problem neighbours might not appreciate it, but you’re moving away anyway.
Find out if the neighbours are breaking any bylaws. This should be done fairly soon in the selling process as while the bylaw officers can attempt to get your neighbours to comply and have the power to ticket and impound if they refuse, this eventual process can take time. If there is one, a homeowner’s association they may come in handy for rule enforcement as well.
Mediation is also a good option, mediators help parties come to resolutions on their own, and this is usually a far more low cost option than legal action. Some volunteer mediators even work for free, and problem neighbour cases are common for them.
At your new residence, start fresh and welcome your neighbours with cookies or a friendly hello. While some neighbours are conscious of how their property looks and affects others, some are simply not and establishing a connection early on will go a long way.
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