Bah Humbug Alert! It’s officially the holiday season and we hope you’re enjoying every merry minute of it! During this time of year, seasonal decorations start popping up on every rooftop and lawn in sight. And while we hate to sound like a real Scrooge, we know that occasionally homeowners go a little too over the top on all things merry and bright. So, what exactly do you do when a neighbor keeps you up at night with bright lights and loud holiday music?
If you have the misfortune of living next to a Clark Griswold wannabe with a holiday display that can be both seen and heard from outer space, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few tips to help you regain your silent nights.
Talk to your neighbor
This one sounds like a no-brainer but may be the hardest for some to complete. We understand a fear of confrontation, but if you’re unwilling to ask your neighbor directly to tone down the decorations, then you have no business complaining. No need to go full on Grinch-mode. Perhaps you can work out a schedule or compromise with your neighbor.
Check with your HOA
When a direct confrontation doesn’t solve your problem, then it’s time to speak to someone with authority. If you are part of a homeowner’s association, there may already be policies in regard to holiday decorations. A violation will typically result in a written warning and/or fines to the homeowner. If there is no written policy, your HOA may be able to direct you to the next step or appropriate form of enforcement.
Check zoning ordinances and public regulations
Local ordinances can also help when it comes to overly festive holiday displays. While most regulations typically do not site holiday décor directly, your neighbors may still be in violation of everyday regulations. Because these claims are handled by a city enforcer and rarely find their way to the courtroom, you and your neighbor will most likely have a timely and cost-efficient solution.
File a private nuisance claim
If you’ve exhausted all other resources, you still have one trick up your sleeve. While the specific requirements for filing a private nuisance claim will vary by jurisdiction, doing so can be an intense approach, and you may require attorney assistance.
While we hope you never need to use the steps above, in the event a neighbor is spreading too much holiday cheer this season, you will be fully equipped to handle the situation and have a holly jolly Christmas!