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How To Legally Handle Neighbor Disputes in Illinois

 Posted on December 20,2023 in Civil Litigation

DuPage County civil litigation lawyersUnfriendly or annoying neighbors are more common than you would like to think. Often, they are little more than a nuisance with petty squabbles over easily forgettable issues. Yet, neighbors sometimes become hostile and prove themselves more dangerous than otherwise expected. At this point, you will need to take care of the situation as best you can in a strictly legal way. Consult a civil litigation attorney for additional information regarding complications with hostile individuals or less-than-friendly neighbors.

Types of Neighborly Disputes

One can face three primary disputes with their neighbors in Illinois that can cover a good range of issues. The three disputes are the following:

  • Boundary
  • Property Damage
  • Nuisance

These disputes can be dealt with legally, often through a homeowner's association (HOA), landlord, or property management company. However, if the conflicts stem from or cause illegal behavior at any point, you must get the police involved before it gets any more complicated.

Boundary Disputes

Possibly, the most common dispute deals with where one neighbor's land ends and the other's begins. Neighbors will sometimes have disagreements over property lines and boundaries for where a fence has or has not been erected. If not a fence, then possibly a hedge meant to indicate property lines. The disputes can be over the land itself or who is required to repair or replace a damaged fence. Property owners can establish their legal property boundaries by surveying the land. Doing so can help alleviate disagreements between neighbors by uncovering any easements or former agreements made between the previous landowners on property lines and boundaries.

Property Damage Disputes

When a property is damaged while crossing over into a neighbor's property line, it can cause heated arguments between neighbors in need of a resolution. A tree branch falling on a neighbor's car could hold the tree owner responsible for damages. On the other side of that coin, a neighbor who cuts the branches of a tree that dips too far across the property line could owe the owner of the tree for damages done. Refusal to pay what is owed could make it necessary to engage in civil litigation between neighbors to resolve the issue.

Nuisance Disputes

Nuisance disputes have by far the most extensive variety of concerns involved. The list of nuisances that could cause complications and conflicts between neighbors may include:

  • Loud music or parties that disturb the peace
  • Allowing pets to defecate on a neighbor's lawn
  • Annoying barking dogs at all times of the night
  • Improper property care
  • Possible illegal activities
  • Zoning law violations
  • Trespassing

The list is exhaustive. In some situations, resolving these issues requires nothing more than clear communication. Voicing your concerns or complaints with a neighbor can often clear the dispute of any misunderstanding. Keeping things civil may be the best way forward. Other times, a mediator can help both sides come to a more amicable and acceptable solution.

Sadly, not everyone is receptive to a polite and civil request for common courtesy. There may be a need to involve the HOA if your community has one. When your neighbor engages in activities that can lower the overall value of your home, the HOA is more than likely to take an increased interest in resolving the issues.

If your neighbor chooses to harass you because of the actions you have decided to take in hopes of resolving the disputes, it may be time to involve the police. Whenever you feel scared, or your life has been threatened, you have the right to inform the authorities of the situation. The police will conduct their own investigation into the matter and, if necessary, call you as a witness to testify if the case winds up in court.

Contact a DuPage County, IL Civil Litigation Attorney

 Having good-hearted, friendly neighbors is a blessing in any community. It should be something to strive for, as a little common courtesy and understanding can go a long way. However, it is best to consult a Wheaton, IL civil litigation lawyer once the issue grows into something that cannot be handled civilly. The attorneys of the NN Legal Group are at your disposal, readily available to help in any neighborly dispute you may face. Contact the firm at 630-474-0925 for a free consultation.

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