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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5809
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Need to know how to handle a neighbor who lives below me.

Resolved Question:

Need to know how to handle a neighbor who lives below me. She has disrespected me with acts and verbige. she has turned off the sprinkler system. so now my plans can die, is not flexable about the use of the laundry line to hang my sheets, which I do once a week I am only allowed to use half, even if she is not using it. because half is hers Sheallows her kids and their friends drop there bikes and other riding equipment on the front lawn. these actions gives me such upset feelings. I want to know how to solve the problem with out making it worse.
Thanks I am 72 and this couple have 2 boys 9 and 14 they are in the 45 t0 55 age group HelpLinda Reisen
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question. I need to ask a few questions to help me give you the best answer possible.

Do you rent? Is this neighbor another renter or is she the landlord?


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
We each own our own property Codo's I live here all the time they are Summer residents but also take a few weekend during the off season We are at the Beach in Ocean City NJ
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
What else do you want to know
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for the additional information.

Your first step is to talk with your neighbors. You may have already tried that, but if not, approach them in a friendly but direct manner. Let them know that you wish to work out a better arrangement. Then spell out what you want. For example, if you want to use the wash line two times a week, ask them which days they would like to use it then let them know you will be using it the other days- the full line, not half. For the lawn, can you get a small fence for your side? They do sell half fences or lawn fences you may be able to set up to mark your side. Then if they cross it, you know it is deliberate.

If you can, try to set up your own laundry line, watering system and other personal property that they cannot use. Set up a sign in your yard that says no trespassing. Try to make your boundaries clear so the kids know where they are. Kids sometimes don't realize that any yard they see is not theirs.

If they are not willing to work out a compromise, then you may need to start keeping track of what they are doing. Write down each offense with the date and if you can, take pictures. Date each picture. Then write a letter to them stating very factually what you see, state the evidence, and suggest they work with you.

If that fails, you may need to file a complaint with the homeowner's association if you have one. Or you can complain to the local county or city offices. Make sure you bring evidence and your written notes. Although they are not doing anything to be considered harassment, you can get some advice from the county or city as to what your rights are.

Worse case scenario is hiring a lawyer or moving out. Although you probably don't want to do either, especially since they are only there part of the year, it is an option to keep in mind. Sometimes a letter from an attorney with a well worded warning is enough to keep others away.

If this situation has made you upset to the point of having trouble relaxing, consider talking to a therapist, even for a brief time. You can talk out your stress and find ways to relax. Trouble with neighbors can often make us feel nervous and upset. Having your peace disturbed at home leaves you feeling that you have no safe place to go. Talking to someone can help you feel you have someone on your side and help you learn to cope with the stress.

I hope this has helped,

TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you