You wake up one morning to find your neighbor’s garbage cans in front of your house. This wouldn’t be a big deal if it were trash day, but it’s only Tuesday.
Now, their ugly bins are blocking your mailbox, your view, and the curb space you use to park. Talk about an eyesore!
Visual nuisances are the leading cause of neighbor disputes, triggering disagreements in 18% of cases, according to a FindLaw survey. Unkempt lawns, offensive signs, overflowing trash cans, and other eyesores on a property can create ill will between neighbors.
As you can see, disputes over trash and recycling bins are one of the top complaints among neighbors.
So, how do you deal with neighbors who leave garbage cans in front of your house? You can prevent them from doing so by:
- Talk to your neighbor, check local regulations, contact your HOA, involve the waste company, document evidence, report to authorities, try mediation, and explore legal options.
- Install barriers, use motion sprinklers, post signage, add visual cues, speak to the waste company, and suggest alternative spots.
|Speak to your neighbor
|Install physical barriers
|Check local regulations
|Suggest alternative spots
|Use motion spray devices
|Contact your HOA
|Post visible signage
|Involve waste management company
|Educate them kindly
|Add decorative items as cues
|File complaints with authorities
|Document evidence thoroughly
So what do you do when your neighbor constantly places their garbage cans smack dab in front of your property? Is it even legal for them to do that? Here are some tips to remedy this rubbish situation (pun intended).
Is it legal for my neighbor to put their trash cans in front of my house?
Before taking any action, you’ll want to understand if your neighbor is even allowed to place their cans in front of your house. The short answer is – it depends.
While trash cans are considered public property, most cities or counties have rules about where they can be stored. Oftentimes, each household is assigned a specific location for their bins, like along the curb or alley beside their property.
So, if Jamal from next door is constantly wheeling his trash barrels over to sit right in front of your porch, he may be violating local laws. Here are some important factors to consider:
- Location: Are the cans blocking your driveway, sidewalk, or mailbox? That’s usually prohibited.
- Size and number: Does Jamal have a massive collection of dumpsters worth of bins? Excessive containers can be against city codes.
- Frequency: Is Jamal leaving his cans out for days or weeks? Most places regulate how long bins can stay curbside.
- Local laws: Check your city or county’s official rules on trash can placement. This will clarify if Jamal is breaking any codes.
- HOA regulations: If you live in a neighborhood with a homeowner’s association, they likely have guidelines for storing cans. See if Jamal’s actions violate any HOA rules.
- Common courtesy: Even without strict laws, putting trash cans in front of your neighbor’s house is quite rude. Jamal should know better.
Why are my neighbors putting their garbage cans in front of my house?
So what would cause your neighbor to keep invading your space with their garbage cans? There could be a few explanations for this rubbish behavior.
- Convenience: It’s just easier for them to roll the cans straight out their front door rather than around the side of their house. Lazy neighbors looking to cut corners could be dumping their trash in front of your place out of pure convenience.
- Lack of space: Maybe your neighbor’s got a ton of bins but barely enough room to store them on their own property. By putting them in front of your house, they free up their limited space.
- Confusion: Perhaps they’re new to the neighborhood or genuinely confused about where the cans should go. Ignorance could be why they’re putting cans where they don’t belong.
- Spite or malice: We all have that one neighbor who takes pleasure in doing things to annoy us. Intentionally putting their garbage front and center on your property could be their way of getting under your skin.
- Unaware it’s wrong: They might just be oblivious that it’s frowned upon and against the rules in your area. Your neighbor may need some education on proper trash can etiquette.
Don’t assume your neighbor is intentionally being difficult. There may be valid reasons why they are unaware of local rules about keeping their trash cans in permitted spots.
|New to the area
|Educate them on local codes for bin placement.
|Provide translated copies of the regulations.
|Unaware of rules
|Politely show them the relevant statutes they’re violating.
|Gently remind them each time they place cans incorrectly.
|Offer to help move cans to the proper location.
No matter the reason, it’s inconsiderate to treat the front of someone else’s home like your personal landfill. Time to figure out how to nip this problem in the bud.
How to complain about neighbors’ garbage cans in front of your house
Dealing with a neighbor who repeatedly places their garbage cans in front of your property can be frustrating. But before taking matters into your own hands, there are some proper channels you should go through to complain officially.
This section outlines various options, from having a friendly chat to exploring legal action. Follow these tips if your neighbor’s trash cans are cluttering up your curb.
1. Have a conversation
Start by casually bringing up the issue with your neighbor. Politely explain how the misplaced cans affect you, whether blocking your mailbox or driveway. Suggest some reasonable solutions, like keeping the bins in front of their own house. If approached courteously, your neighbor may agree to move their cans.
2. Review local regulations
Do some research on the official rules and regulations in your area regarding trash can placement. Most cities or counties have laws designating where garbage bins can be stored. Print out or highlight the specific statutes that prohibit your neighbor’s behavior. Show them the rules they are clearly breaking.
3. Contact your Homeowner’s Association
If you live in a neighborhood with a HOA, reach out to them for help. Explain the ongoing issue with your neighbor’s cans and ask if they can enforce any relevant HOA guidelines. As the governing body, the HOA may be able to compel your neighbor to comply.
4. Involve your waste management company
Get in touch with your local garbage collection company, whether municipal or private. Explain the situation and ask if they can speak directly with your neighbor about properly storing their trash cans. The company can reinforce that bins must be placed according to local laws.
5. Document the offenses
Every time your neighbor places their cans in front of your property, document it thoroughly. Take photographs showing the misplaced cans, making sure street signs are visible. Write down the exact date and time it occurred. This creates a paper trail you can provide as evidence if further complaints are needed.
|What it Entails
|Photograph the misplaced cans, getting house numbers and street signs in the shot. Use date/time stamps.
|Record the date, time, and other details like how many cans there are.
|Log each incident
|Keep an ongoing record of every offense in a notebook or spreadsheet.
|Ask neighbors to also document when they see the cans placed incorrectly.
|Back up photos/notes in cloud storage or on a hard drive in case originals get lost.
6. Report to code enforcement
If discussions with your neighbor fail to resolve the issue, reach out to your city or county’s code enforcement office. File an official complaint providing details about your neighbor violating local statutes on bin placement. Include copies of your documented evidence. Code enforcement can investigate and take corrective action.
7. Pursue mediation
Some cities or counties offer voluntary mediation services to resolve neighbor disputes. A mediated discussion with your neighbor provides a neutral environment to help them understand how their actions directly impact you. Having a mediator facilitates a constructive conversation.
Bonus: 8. Explore legal options
As a last resort, if no other actions succeed, consult a lawyer about additional legal remedies. They can advise if sending your neighbor an official cease and desist letter is worthwhile. If the offenses continue, you may be able to take formal legal action over their repeated code violations.
How can I stop or prevent my neighbor from putting their trash cans in front of my house?
Even after lodging a complaint, Jamal may continue his rubbish behavior. So, what proactive steps can you take to keep his trash cans away from your house? Here are some tips under subsections:
- Install a barrier: Put up a small fence or landscape border to block off the front of your property. This prevents cans from rolling over.
- Use motion sprinklers: Devices that spray water when triggered can gently shoo away any cans about to be placed in front of your home.
- Post signage: Place stakes or signs that read “No cans past this point” to deter Jamal from dumping bins near your house.
- Add visual cues: Put large planters, benches, or other decorative items where Jamal tends to place his cans. This visually blocks the space.
- Talk to the waste company: See if your garbage hauler can mandate that Jamal only place cans in front of his own address.
- Suggest an alternative: Compromise by telling Jamal he can place his cans in a less obtrusive spot on your property, like beside your garage.
With some simple preventative measures, hopefully, Jamal will kick his nasty habit of using your house as his personal landfill. No one wants to live next to a neighbor with trashy behavior!
Don’t let your neighbor trash your curb
Having a neighbor place their garbage cans front and center on your property is more than just an eyesore – it can be illegal, hazardous, and downright disrespectful.
If polite requests for them to stop fall on deaf ears, don’t just accept their trashy behavior. You have options like lodging complaints, installing preventative measures, and referring to local laws that prohibit their actions.
Here are a few parting tips when dealing with a neighbor who treats your curb like their personal dumpster:
- Be patient but firm when asking them to move their cans.
- Clearly communicate how their actions specifically affect you.
- Research your local codes so you can explain exactly which rules they are breaking.
- Thoroughly document each offense with photos, notes, and dates.
- If needed, don’t hesitate to get authorities like your HOA or city involved.
- Explore creative deterrents like barriers, sprinklers, or decorative items to block the space.
- Offer reasonable compromises, like designating a less intrusive spot on your property.
With some friendly discussions and firm boundaries, hopefully, your neighbor will clean up their act. And you’ll be able to reclaim your curb from their trashy invasion!