Being Harassed by Neighbors? Here’s how to take Action

by RyanD on August 29, 2012

(US law and generally) Harassment is a serious issue, and though we might expect it on the street or even at work, it often blindsides us when we are at home. In some cases, the worse harassment comes from your neighbors, and if your neighbors are engaging in harassment directed towards you, your family and your property, you need to take action. Harassment is not necessarily something that goes away on its own, and it can have far-reaching effects that touch every aspect of your life. If your neighbor is harassing you, consider some essential steps.

Identify
First, identify the harassing behavior. One common form that harassment takes involves police agencies. For example, your neighbor may start calling in noise complaints to the police directed at your property. He or she might also surreptitiously destroy your property or damage it. These behaviors may seem minor at first, but they can escalate, and even if they do not, they may be persistent. Harassing behavior can have some profound effects on your life and your health, so take it seriously.

Document
Document everything. If the police come to your home, ascertain why the came and the name of the officers in question. If you notice damage on your property, take pictures of it, and if you have any threatening confrontations with your neighbor, write down the date and the subject of the confrontation. If they ever touch you or act in a way that is unwelcome, mark that down as well. A log like this can help you establish a pattern of harassing behavior if the matter needs to come to legal issues. You will also find that in some states, recording your conversations with someone else is entirely legal. Before you do this, however, you should always make sure that you know what the laws in your area are like.

Communicate
Talk to other neighbors. You may find that you are far from being the first victim of this kind of abuse. Many people who harass one person are willing to harass more, and you will find that this kind of behavior might be wide-spread, even if you have never heard about it before. When you are asking around, speak to your neighbors in a calm and deliberate manner. Tell them that you are not interested in causing trouble, but that you have been feeling very frustrated and angry. This is something that can help you figure out if there is a pattern to the harassment and if others have gone through the same thing that you have. If you find that other people are suffering too, you will discover that this can strengthen your case significantly.

Be very clear in confrontations with your neighbor. It is not typically advised that you confront your neighbor but some contact may be unavoidable. If you need to simply ignore your neighbor and to remove yourself from the situation, then do so.

Contacting Legal Authorities
It is important not to take harassment from a neighbor lightly. If they have gone to some trouble to harass you with police presence, your life can easily be disrupted. Most of the time, the violations that they have accused you of will simply result in a warning, but in other cases, you may fined or worse. These are things that can have a lasting impact on your life, even if the original charge seems ridiculous or like something that would be quickly dismissed.

Harassment from a neighbor can quickly become an issue that impacts your life in a big way. Ehow states that you should take a moment to consider contacting an attorney, especially if the police have been involved (http://www.ehow.com/how_2140660_deal-harassing-neighbor.html). Make sure that you know your legal rights and that you understand what recourse you have.

This article was written on behalf of Avalon Construction in Malibu, CA, a leading custom home builder in Southern California.

RyanD

RyanD

RyanD

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