Some people take great care of their yards, while others let them go completely wild. It can be frustrating living next to a neighbor with an overgrown and unkempt yard that’s full of all sorts of junk. What can you do if your neighbor’s yard looks like a junkyard?
If your neighbor’s yard is junky, try politely talking to them about the state of their yard. If that doesn’t work, contact your city’s code enforcement department to issue your neighbor a citation for violating city ordinances. Lastly, you can take legal action by filing a nuisance lawsuit.
No one wants their neighborhood to look messy, so there are ways to approach this topic with your neighbor. In this article, we’ll explain how you can approach your neighbor and what other steps you can take if your neighbor is not responsive.
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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!
If your neighbor has a messy junkyard, you probably don’t want to look at their yard every day. After filing a complaint with your HOA or city council, invest in some privacy. Not only will you not need to look at your neighbor’s junk, but they also can’t look at your yard either.
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Neighbors Yard Messy?
There’s nothing like sitting outside and drinking a cup of coffee, except for the eyesore that is your neighbor’s yard.
In this section, we’ll discuss how you can talk to your neighbor or what other steps you could take.
How Do You Deal With a Messy Neighbor?
Arrange a meeting with your neighbor to discuss your concerns. This can be a formal meeting or a casual barbeque. Sometimes people become accustomed to their messiness and don’t realize how it looks from another perspective.
In most cases, after a direct discussion, the neighbor will do something about their eye-sore yard.
However, if your neighbor is not, you can contact your local Home Owners Association (HOA).
What to Do When a Neighbor’s Yard Is Filled With Junk?
Apart from having a direct conversation with your neighbor regarding your concerns, you could contact your local HOA or even the city council. If the city finds that your neighbor is violating any junkyard codes, they will be forced to clean up.
Every county has different codes regarding junk in a yard, but most find it illegal to store or park junk in an open area.
To prevent unnecessary confusion, you should research the codes in your county before calling the city.
Can I Report My Neighbor’s Yard for Junk?
If you live in a community that has a Home Owners Association established, you can report your neighbor’s yard to them. Alternatively, you can contact your local city council and report your neighbor’s yard for junk.
Depending on the junkyard codes for your county, your neighbors’ messy yard might be illegal. If that is the case, the city will force your neighbor to clean up their yard.
The HOA can also force your neighbor to clean up their yard.
You might also enjoy our post on What to Do if Your Neighbor Has Bed Bugs
What to Do About Neighbors’ Eyesore Yard?
The easiest option would be to have a conversation with your neighbor. Explain your concerns, and most likely, your neighbor will do something about the problem. If not, there are other solutions.
Alternatively, you could research your state’s property regulations. Most counties have regulations against weeds, tall grass, and trash in the yard.
You could file a complaint with your city officials and have them contact the owner of the house.
Talking to Neighbors
You know that it’s time to address the elephant in the neighborhood, your neighbor’s yard. How exactly do you approach them? What do you say?
Read this section for our best advice on how to talk to your neighbors about their messy yard.
How Do You Politely Ask Your Neighbor to Clean Up Their Yard?
People do not like to feel attacked, so don’t talk to your neighbor in an accusing or degrading tone. Invite them over for a dinner and have a casual conversation about your own yard maintenance. Then you could broach the topic of their yard maintenance.
Sometimes people become accustomed to their messy yards and don’t realize how it looks in the neighborhood.
A conversation about yard maintenance could be all the encouragement they need to clean up their yard.
How to Deal With a Neighbor’s Unsightly Property?
The easiest option is to have a conversation with your neighbor about their unsightly yard. However, if that doesn’t do the trick, you could file a complaint with your HOA or the city council to do an inspection of their property.
If you know that your neighbor is not the owner of the house, you could attempt to contact the owner and complain about the state of the property.
This is not the most neighborly option, but it could do the trick if you’re desperate.
Should I Write a Letter to My Neighbor Asking Them to Clean Up Their Junk?
If you are not on friendly terms with your neighbors, you could write a letter addressing your concerns (remember to make a copy before sending it to them). You should reference local city laws to corroborate your concerns.
Referencing local property laws might encourage your neighbor to clean up since they don’t want to involve any authorities.
If the letter does not evoke action, file a complaint with your HOA or local city council.
How to Politely Tell Neighbors Their Junkyard Is an Eyesore?
Don’t ambush your neighbor and start ranting about their yard. Rather invite them over for dinner or something casual. Talk about other topics first, and you could start talking about the junk in their yard.
You could ask them if they know where the local dump is and maybe offer to help them clean out their yard and transport the junk to the dump.
Although, your neighbor might feel offended when you mention their yard. You need to use your own discretion.
You might also enjoy our post on What to Do if Your Neighbor Has Too Many Dogs
Legal or Not
If, after talking to your neighbors, they aren’t showing any signs of cleaning up, what are the next steps?
Read this section to discover what legal steps you could take to force your neighbors into cleaning up their junkyard.
What Should I Do About My Neighbor’s Illegal Junkyard?
You should file a complaint with your Home Owners Association as this is usually the type of situation that they handle. If your neighborhood does not have an HOA, you can file a complaint with the city council.
After filing a complaint, there is not much more you can do. The city will contact the homeowners and give them a timeframe to clean up the mess.
If the homeowners do not comply, additional action will be taken by the officials.
What Do I Do About My Neighbor Not Maintaining Their Property?
Besides having a direct conversation with your neighbor, you could file a complaint. Complaints about property maintenance can be made to your Home Owners Association (HOA) or the city officials.
If your neighbors are only renting the property, you could contact the homeowners to complain about the unmaintained property.
This might not be as easy, but it does avoid contacting the authorities.
How Many Junk Cars Can You Have On Your Property?
Every state has different laws regarding junk cars. However, most do not allow any junk cars to be visible on any public or private property. There are permits that can be issued for the storage of junked automobiles, though.
In Wisconsin, it is completely illegal to accumulate or store junked cars in any area in the town or city unless a permit is issued.
You can contact the city council to have a permit reached out or to check if your neighbor has a permit to keep junked cars on their property.
Can I Call the Health Department About My Neighbors Junkyard?
If your neighbor is not cleaning their junkyard, you should contact the authorities – but not the health department. You should lodge a complaint with your local Home Owners Association or the city council.
After a complaint is issued, the authorities will inspect the house and take the next necessary steps.
You could offer to help your neighbor clear out their yard, depending on what your relationship is with your neighbor.
Is It Legal to Run a Junkyard Out of Your Yard?
In most states, it is illegal to own, establish, expand or maintain a junkyard from your yard without a permit. It’s not particularly easy to obtain this permit either. A junkyard cannot be in a residential area either.
A junkyard can be run out of a section of land that is zoned for commercial salvage/junk yards.
If you notice someone in your neighborhood establishing a junkyard on their property, you can report it to the city council.
Property lines are sometimes hazy, and you might have different knowledge than your neighbor. This is most often the case.
So, in this section, we’ll discuss how to approach a situation when your neighbor crosses the property line.
Neighbor Has Junk Leaning Against My Fence?
Have a straightforward conversation with your neighbor and ask them to take away the junk against your fence. If they do not solve the problem, start documenting everything you do. Take pictures and write down conversations with your neighbor.
Once you have enough evidence to show that your neighbor does not want to move the junk that is leaning against your fence, contact a lawyer.
There are lawyers who specialize in property disputes. Present the evidence to your lawyer and have them decide the next move.
Can I Move Neighbors’ Junk off My Property?
You can move your neighbors’ junk off your property without any legal backup. However, if your neighbor starts to get hostile, you can hire an attorney. You should have documentation that proves where the property line is.
In most cases, the neighbor isn’t aware that they are storing junk on your property because the property line is not completely clear.
So when you move the junk, just explain in a calm tone of voice that this is your property.
You might also enjoy our post on What to Do if Your Neighbor Keeps Throwing Trash in Your Yard
What to Do About Neighbors Putting Junk on Our Property Line?
You should contact the Home Owners Association about your problem. You could file a private nuance action, but we would highly recommend discussing it with your attorney to find the best solution.
Having a casual conversation with your neighbor and reminding them where the property line is might also be enough to get them to remove the junk.
Sometimes they are not clear where the line is. In any case, be sure to take photos and have sufficient evidence.
What Can I Do About Messy Neighbors?
The easiest thing to do is to have a conversation with your neighbors. Don’t be too direct or blunt, as no one likes a lecture from their neighbor. If talking doesn’t work, there are legal steps you could take.
Contact your local HOA to complain, but if your community does not have an HOA, you can file a complaint at your city council.
Different areas have different codes surrounding messy yards. The city will most likely do an inspection and take it further if needed.
What Do You Say to a Rude Neighbor?
Always be polite and be a better person. We know it’s easier said than done, but you will never feel embarrassed about acting mature and calm. You don’t have to be best friends with your neighbor.
If a problem arises, try to find a compromise that suits both you and your neighbors. Although this usually works, sometimes neighbors can cross the line.
If you ever feel intimidated or if your neighbor threatens you, contact the police.
After carefully reading all this information and following what would be useful in your situation, your neighbor’s yard should be cleared in no time.
Don’t forget that your neighbors are also just human like everyone else. Sometimes, they get overwhelmed and just need some light encouragement.