Buying a house is a huge step for anyone and there is a lot of maintenance that goes into keeping a home running. People might think a lot about keeping their yard clean or replacing their roof shingles when it's needed, but one thing they might not think about is how they are perceived by their neighbours. As it turns out, if the neighbourhood isn't a fan of you, it can cost you a lot of money. There are actually bad neighbour charges that are associated with poor neighbourly behaviour in Canada. When it comes to avoiding being a nasty neighbour, knowing what to do can be financially beneficial. 

In a report from the Boiron Group, it was determined that being rude and doing whatever you want in a new neighbourhood can end up costing you thousands of dollars for a variety of reasons. "Homebuyers tend to forget that when you buy a new property, you are also buying into a relationship with your neighbours that could be decades and decades-long," said Claude Boiron of Royal LePage Terrequity Realty in the release.

The release also explains that you should "make sure that you don't end up being the 'nasty neighbour' yourself by making significant changes to your property without community approval."

According to the report, that can include things like building a giant mansion in a neighbourhood of small houses or constructing an elevated deck that might compromise your neighbours' privacy.

However, professional mediator Jeanette Bicknell explained in the release that the biggest point of contention for neighbours is trees. People are often unwilling to cut them down or trim them, and that can cause some big problems.

According to the report, sprucing up your house without notifying your neighbours can cost you anywhere from $7,000 to $19,000. Those totals come from factoring in legal costs, as well as the cost of an architect to present plans to the Committee of Adjustments. Charges like these can be avoided by informing your neighbours of any structural changes you have planned.

 

The report also indicates that problems can arise in a condominium setting. For example, noisy neighbours who are constantly receiving complaints can get hit with a lawyer's letter that can cost them $300 in legal fees. If the problem continues, they could be forced to pay thousands to hire a lawyer for mediation.

Patrick McCaully, Director of International News Domination at Pointman News Creation, told Narcity that "the experts we interviewed were all Ontario based, but I think the ranges are a reasonable snapshot for Canada." He did note, however, that Quebec likely has a different system.

So how can you avoid being the unlikeable homeowners in the neighbourhood? Boiron recommends two solutions. The first is getting to know the neighbours and the dynamics in the neighbourhood by canvassing (he suggests walking a dog). The second is by simply communicating with your neighbours about any changes to your property.

"Getting a notice in the mail just isn't the same as having a discussion with your neighbour, and if you are doing construction, you may need to access your neighbour's property and inconvenience them with noise, equipment and construction debris," Boiron says in the release.

Communication is key when it comes to being a good neighbour. It could also save you some serious cash.


There are stories everywhere. If you spot a newsworthy event in your city, send us a message, photo, or video @NarcityCanada on Twitter and Instagram.


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