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kls1976's avatar

Landlords responsibility towards neighboring homeowners?

Asked by kls1976 (16points) June 5th, 2011

I own my own home and the neighbor is a rental property. He is currently renting to a family with 2 kids, mother and boyfriend and their 4 dogs. This neighbor’s 4 dogs bark nonstop when we are in our own yard and if we ask them to quiet their dog they get verbally abusive. However they will make barking noises (the kids) when we have our dog in our own yard to get her to bark and then they yell to quiet the dog down or else. They have thrown things over our fence into our yard and if we ask them to be careful they start cursing and threatening us with violence. We have contacted the local police department about this issue and they advise us to contact the landlord. We have but he does nothing. The situation is getting worse and summer is coming up. Can anyone give us advice on how to stop this before it gets worse? We live in Pennsylvania and need advice.

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8 Answers

iamthemob's avatar

You deal with the police. The police get to deal with the residents AND the landlord.

Don’t take that BS. If they are violating city ordinances, that’s the polices job. And you tell them that.

Judi's avatar

I don’t know where you live, and I can’t find the documentation (darn it!) But there was a precedent setting case in California where the neighbors got together and sued a landlord for the behavior of a tenant. I think it involved drug activity, but the neighbors documented everything that happened on the property, documented the number of times they contacted the landlords and eventually won the case. They ended up owning the property.
My advice would be to call the landlord every time the neighbors annoy you. Just say, “they’re at it again.”
Get a bunch of stamps and keep a log. Every week, send the landlord a list of the things they have done to affect your quiet enjoyment of your home. (Use those, words, quiet enjoyment.)
You have to document that you did everything in your power to let the landlord know what was happening.
If it gets unbearable, the contact an attorney.
My guess is, that the Landlord will get so tired of hearing from you that he will do something about it.
I know that the police will consider it a civil matter and won’t do anything.

WasCy's avatar

Welcome to Fluther!

The advice from @Judi isn’t bad advice, except for the last sentence. As a “disturbance of the peace” civil matter, as well as “threatening”, which in itself is an overt crime this most certainly is a police matter.

The original advice from the police to “contact the landlord” would not have been bad – if it worked. It’s always better to correct things like this at a non-official level if possible. That doesn’t seem possible any longer.

This is most definitely a police matter if you can’t reach a compromise with the neighbors or get the landlord (or other neighbors) to weigh in and support your position or aid in negotiating a workable peace.

If you have the patience and stamina and discipline to follow @Judi‘s advice to document, document, document and mail, mail, mail (certified mail each time, and save those receipts), then you will certainly be building the foundation for a later lawsuit. But who wants to go through that hassle for such an uncertain result, especially in the face of threats?

Judi's avatar

I say do both. But if you call the police to often when there is a real threat they migh just blow you off. I think you will get better results by calling the landlord every time they act up. He is more likley to be irritated enough to do something about it than the police will be.
I know that if I got 5 phone calls a week about my irritationg tenant I would start thinking about finding a new tenant.
My daughter had a neighbor like this and it only took one call to the landlord for the neighbor to straighten up, but I think 2 or three neighbors called in the same week. You may want to give the landlord’s number to your other neighbors too.

SoupDragon's avatar

I would both push back on the police and contact the landlord. In the case of the landlord, I would tell them that you specifically talked to the police about the tenants, as you did not blame the landlord for their behaviour, but the police have forced your hand to tell the landlord and, through the actions of the police, it has forced you into bringing the landlord into the dispute. Hopefully this will direct the landlord’s ire towards both their tenants and also the police, so that the police will be obliged to perform their duties to the letter of the law!

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Do you own a video camera? Recording the neighbors’ words and actions could help support your case.

There is the possibility that the landlord is doing something about it, but hasn’t made you privy to what it is. Do you know how much longer they have in the rental agreement?

zenvelo's avatar

You might want to check with animal control to see if they have two many dogs on the property, or call them when the dogs are barking. Different places have different laws about pets.

You can also file noise complaints about the dogs if they bark while no one is home.

Also, if they are bothering your dog, you may want to keep yours inside more or somewhere safe.

jca's avatar

Please post an update as to what you end up doing and the outcome. Thanks.

The Update lady

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