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When prospective buyers look at a house, they also pay attention to the neighborhood as a whole. One unkempt, overgrown yard can lower the value of surrounding properties, even ones that are immaculately maintained. If you’re concerned about how your neighbors’ neglect of their property could be affecting your own home’s value, there are several ways you can address the situation.

Find Out Why Your Neighbors Aren’t Taking Care of Their Yard
If you have a good relationship with your neighbors, try to have a pleasant chat about the situation in order to determine why the property is being neglected. They might not realize how the condition of their yard affects everyone else’s property values, or they might be unable to properly care for their yard because of physical limitations, financial costs, hectic work schedules, or family responsibilities.

If your neighbors are unable to handle the upkeep of their yard, you and others in the community might be able to volunteer a few hours on a weekend to help out, or local teenagers might be willing to perform yardwork at much lower rates than professional landscapers would charge. Another option is to organize a neighborhood-wide cleanup effort and encourage everyone to participate so that no one feels singled out.

What to Do If Your Neighbors Won’t Listen
If you’ve tried to address the issue politely, but your neighbors were dismissive or hostile, you can bring the issue to the attention of authorities. If your community belongs to a homeowners association (HOA), take the issue up with them. The purpose of an HOA is to enforce rules and standards to maintain the appearance of the neighborhood and to protect everyone’s property values. The body can contact the homeowners in writing to let them know that the current condition of their property violates the rules, require specific corrective actions, and impose penalties for noncompliance. If other neighbors share your concerns, the HOA will be more inclined to take the matter seriously.

If your neighborhood doesn’t belong to a homeowners association, you can raise the issue with the local government. In addition to your concerns about property values, there could be other dangers, such as broken items in the yard that could harm children or pets, and possibly crime. If other neighbors express similar concerns, you can present a united front to the local government and encourage them to address the issue with the homeowners.

Try to Handle the Issue Amicably
It’s generally a good idea to avoid confrontations with neighbors whenever possible. When people live close together and see each other every day, conflicts and misunderstandings can quickly escalate. If your neighbors are neglecting their property, that might be a sign that they need help. Try to find out why they aren’t taking care of their yard, frame your concerns as a desire to protect everyone’s property values and safety, and look for ways to provide assistance if needed. If those efforts fail, contact your homeowners association or local government.