We receive many complaints of neighborhood nuisances that impact residents and neighbors. Often, there are regulations that prohibit public nuisances that may solve your neighbor problems.
However, there are certain neighborhood problems that do not fall within the jurisdiction of the Broward County Zoning Code. Many of the disputes that arise between neighbors are private nuisances or civil problems that do not violate public law.
A public nuisance is one which affects an entire community or neighborhood or any considerable number of persons, although the extent of the annoyance or damage inflicted upon individuals may be unequal.
A private nuisance is generally considered to be something that affects a single individual or a number of individuals with regard to a private right not enjoyed by the public at large.
An example of a private nuisance would be:
Issue: A neighbor’s fruit tree has limbs or branches that extend over your property line. The falling fruit or leaves create a mess in your yard.
Items from trees such as leaves, fruits, and seeds which fall from a tree and end up on other properties are considered to be natural occurrences and are the responsibility of the owner of the property where the items have fallen. Property owners have the right to cut branches and roots from a tree that extends over the boundary line onto their property, but should try to notify the property owner where the tree is planted before performing the work. You should only cut back parts of trees that are necessary and up to your property line and be careful not to affect the structural integrity of a tree by improper trimming.
Solution: Neighborhood disputes are best handled by approaching the neighbor and attempting to arrive at a solution acceptable to both. Most people want to be good neighbors and are willing to cooperate once the issue is brought to their attention.
- Make contact with the responsible person
- Describe your perception of the problem, how the problem affects you and possible solutions
- Attend Neighborhood Association meetings
- File a complaint with us
Avoiding Neighbor Disputes
If you have a tree which sheds leaves or other droppings onto your neighbor’s yard, get to know your neighbors and make sure that it is not causing a nuisance. Offer assistance to help dispose of the leaves or maintain the tree to prevent any unnecessary hardships.
Don’t Let Things Fester
There are many situations where a Code Enforcement Officer may be able to help you determine if a nuisance may be addressed by the Community Code Compliance Section.
For more information or assistance, please call us at 954-357-9700.
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