Living in proximity to others can sometimes cause conflicts. There are some ways, however, that you can work to resolve the situation. Here are some ideas:
1) Always talk to your neighbor first. Sometimes neighbors are not aware that their behavior is causing problems. Perhaps they have a situation (illness or disability) that is preventing them from doing chores like mowing the grass. Try to come to an understanding and help solve the problem together.
2) Determine if there are any ordinances or regulations prohibiting the behavior your neighbor is displaying. Some links to help you include:
- Neighborhood Code Compliance -- weeds, abandoned vehicles, dead trees, trash and debris, etc.
- Fort Wayne Police Department -- privately report suspected illegal activity
- Animal Care & Control -- Animal Care ordinance
- All Fort Wayne Ordinances -- search by topic
3) If things don't improve, ask your neighbor again -- this time in writing -- to change the behavior that you believe is a nuisance. Don't make threats, but state that if the situation doesn't improve you'll be forced to notify the authorities. Enclose a copy of any pertinent ordinances or regulations. Keep a copy of your letter.
4) If you are a tenant, notify your landlord. Standard leases and rental agreements often contain clauses that prohibit undesirable behavior, such as unreasonably loud noise.
4) Suggest mediation. Mediation is an informal process in which a neutral third party – known as a Mediator – helps you and the other party reach an agreement on some or all of your differences. In the mediation process, the mediator helps the parties identify important issues, clarify misunderstandings, explore solutions, and negotiate a settlement rather than having a costly and time-consuming lawsuit. In mediation, decision-making by the parties must be voluntary, so only those issues upon which both parties can agree. For the Allen County Mediator list click here.
5) Contact the authorities. 311 can help you decide the correct department with which to file a complaint.
6) If nothing works, consider moving. If you have exhausted all options, including talking to your neighbor, contacting the police, seeking mediation and even taking your neighbor to small claims or regular court, you may consider moving.