RE Q&A: What if a Neighbor Does Mean Things?

A homeowner had a falling out with a next-door neighbor, but it didn’t end there. He now has a floodlight directed into his home and sees other irritating behaviors.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Question: My neighbor and I had a falling out, after which he set up a bright flood light that points directly into my home. I cannot keep the blinds open on an entire side of my house.

He also harassed me in other ways, such as throwing junk over the fences and making loud noises at inappropriate times. What can I do? – Anonymous

Answer: I usually advise people in your situation to speak with their neighbors and resolve the misunderstanding. However, from your question, it seems like that ship may have sailed.

If you have not already tried to talk it through with him, I recommend you try it. If you live in a community association, you should speak with management and see if they can help.

You can also check your city’s code to see if the bright lights and inappropriate noise are violations. If so, you can make a report to code enforcement or even call the police for loud late-night noise.

You can also look at more creative solutions if they are allowed where you live, such as raising the height of your fence to block the light.

If these possible solutions fail, you will need to sue your neighbor. Everyone has the right to peacefully enjoy their home, and it is actionable for someone to interfere with that right.

The law considers it a “nuisance” for your neighbor to expose you to unreasonable amounts of lights, noise, smells and smoke. This type of suit can also deal with posting indecent signs or directing water drainage toward your property.

The court will consider whether what your neighbor is doing is reasonable; if it is not, it can grant an “injunction” ordering your neighbor to stop and possibly to compensate you for the damage he caused.

If your neighbor ignores the court, he can face serious consequences.

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