How many times I have addressed this issue when marketing a home for sale here in Denver I cannot say. In the old days neighbors would band together to water and mow the front yards of abandoned, or even properties that were in foreclosure. Some folks do run into financial issues, and my experience here in Denver has been 2 fold: a. they appreciate the help or b. they bury their heads even further hoping things will fix themselves. Either way, a neighborly offer of help may be the most appropriate way of approaching the folks involved. You might even find they could use help from someone like myself (introductions appreciated).
A home that isn’t being maintained like others in the neighborhood can negatively affect your visual sense of appeal and in some extreme cases, even affect property values. It might be an overgrown yard, a fence in need of repair, excessive noise, unruly pets, paint peeling on the home or even a car or boat parked in front of the home that hasn’t moved in weeks.
Most people want to be good neighbors and may be willing to correct an issue once it is brought to their attention. A practical but possibly, confrontational solution is to contact the responsible person and describe your perception of the issue. However, they may not always agree with the same urgency and it might be necessary to seek other remedies.
An owner-occupant may be more sympathetic to the neighbors and willing to correct the issue. If you think the home might be a rental property, check with the county tax records or me, to identify the owner. They may be unaware of the situation and welcome the notification to protect their investment.
Another alternative might be to notify the homeowner’s association, if there is one. One of the benefits of a HOA is to enforce community appearance standards as set in the covenants or bylaws that specify how properties must be maintained. This could be a less personal method of reaching a beneficial outcome.
If the source of the problem is a code or housing violation, the city may be the ultimate authority. Most cities have a separate code and neighborhood services division and some cities have 311 for non-emergency assistance.
Talk to your neighbor first! We had a barking dog out back and she barked well into the early morning hours in our quiet suburban neighborhood of Denver. The past 5 years there was nothing like this from the dog but my blood was boiling! When I called I had calmed down and the neighbor explained his son had fallen off a roof, broken his neck, and they had been spending their days and nights at the hospital, never thinking about the dog. They apologized and I almost ate my hat!a So before you turn them in to the authorities here in Denver, or any other part of the world, be neighborly and talk to them first.