Selling Home - Neighbor has barking dog

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XtremeSki2001
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Selling Home - Neighbor has barking dog

Postby XtremeSki2001 » Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:04 pm

Hi All,

We've finally saved enough to begin our home search and list our unit for sale. It's a one bedroom first floor condo in a great place to live outside Philadelphia. Unfortunately, first floor one bedroom condo's are difficult to sell - according to our realtor. We have no interest in renting out our unit.

Our neighbor (directly above us) has a dog that barks constantly at all hours, but only when the owner is home with the dog. It's become worse over the years and my wife has spoke with the neighbor on a few occasions and we've complained to the condo association about the noise - she now ignores my wife when she sees her outside.

I don't care about the relationship with the neighbor since we're moving, but I don't want to make her upset enough to actually make things worse for us. I'd like to speak with her and, politely, tell her she needs to control her pet. I don't think threats are effective in most cases, but I also think it makes sense to advise her the condo association will fine her if the noise continues.

What would you do and how would you handle this conversation?
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livesoft
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Re: Selling Home - Neighbor has barking dog

Postby livesoft » Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:13 pm

I would personally offer to train the dog not to bark over the next 2 months.
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steadyeddy
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Re: Selling Home - Neighbor has barking dog

Postby steadyeddy » Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:22 pm

See if you and your wife can take her out a nice dinner and a few drinks. You might become friends, and friends keep their dogs quiet.

stan1
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Re: Selling Home - Neighbor has barking dog

Postby stan1 » Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:23 pm

Remind her you are hoping for a quick sale at a good price, and that the value of her unit will be directly impacted by the sale of your unit.

Where I live you would need to disclose this information to the buyer whether the dog is barking at the time the unit is showed to the buyer or not.

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Re: Selling Home - Neighbor has barking dog

Postby livesoft » Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:32 pm

stan1 wrote:Remind her you are hoping for a quick sale at a good price, and that the value of her unit will be directly impacted by the sale of your unit.
Some folks want the value of their unit to go down because it means lower property taxes. This is especially true for people who do not intend to move in the next 20 years.
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Fallible
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Re: Selling Home - Neighbor has barking dog

Postby Fallible » Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:05 pm

XtremeSki2001 wrote:...

Our neighbor (directly above us) has a dog that barks constantly at all hours, but only when the owner is home with the dog. It's become worse over the years and my wife has spoke with the neighbor on a few occasions and we've complained to the condo association about the noise - she now ignores my wife when she sees her outside.


Is this right? The dog barks only when the owner is home? If so, this is unusual (dogs will often bark out of loneliness when the owner is gone) and suggests the dog barks because of something the owner is doing.

Also, you might check to see if your city has anti-noise laws that include a barking dog, although your condo association should already be aware of this.
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wingnutty
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Re: Selling Home - Neighbor has barking dog

Postby wingnutty » Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:10 pm

I don't think there is much you can honestly do. She obviously doesn't care about her barking dog and its affects on others, otherwise she would have done something about it long ago. My guess is that talking to her at this point will likely only cause her to become more annoyed at you. Seems like you've brought it up with the Condo Assoc. and they won't do anything either, so I'm not sure that you have a lot of reasonable options at this point besides pulling a Seinfeld and dognapping the pooch and giving him a home in the 'country'...just don't wear a retro-style shirt with fabric that tears easily 8-)

Try to show the condo when your neighbor isn't home :D

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Re: Selling Home - Neighbor has barking dog

Postby investor1 » Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:14 pm

Avoid the John Mcafee approach.

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Re: Selling Home - Neighbor has barking dog

Postby rec7 » Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:06 pm

Fallible wrote:
XtremeSki2001 wrote:...

Our neighbor (directly above us) has a dog that barks constantly at all hours, but only when the owner is home with the dog. It's become worse over the years and my wife has spoke with the neighbor on a few occasions and we've complained to the condo association about the noise - she now ignores my wife when she sees her outside.


Is this right? The dog barks only when the owner is home? If so, this is unusual (dogs will often bark out of loneliness when the owner is gone) and suggests the dog barks because of something the owner is doing.


I was thinking the same thing it is odd.

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Re: Selling Home - Neighbor has barking dog

Postby donall » Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:27 pm

Good luck in selling your condo. I remember that barking dogs next door turned us off on putting in an offer on two houses. But they were outside and barking at strangers. The barking when the owner is home is odd, perhaps they are talking to each other.

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Re: Selling Home - Neighbor has barking dog

Postby Steelersfan » Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:31 pm

Fallible wrote:
XtremeSki2001 wrote:...

Our neighbor (directly above us) has a dog that barks constantly at all hours, but only when the owner is home with the dog. It's become worse over the years and my wife has spoke with the neighbor on a few occasions and we've complained to the condo association about the noise - she now ignores my wife when she sees her outside.


Is this right? The dog barks only when the owner is home? If so, this is unusual (dogs will often bark out of loneliness when the owner is gone) and suggests the dog barks because of something the owner is doing.



There's a dog in a unit three stories below mine that only barks when the owner is home. It only barks when there's someone around the unit, either walking outside near the unit or coming through the common entrance. She thinks it's protective instincts cause it.

Since it's so far below me I never hear it unless I'm the one causing it to bark. And since I pass pretty quickly by the unit it's not a big deal to me.

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jidina80
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Re: Selling Home - Neighbor has barking dog

Postby jidina80 » Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:37 pm

Most commmunities have 'nusiance laws' that cover barking dogs, bad smells, etc. Suggest you call the appropriate law enforcement agency in your area (police or animal control (often within the police department), and ask them to enforce the law.

travellight
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Re: Selling Home - Neighbor has barking dog

Postby travellight » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:21 pm

those laws are difficult to enforce. I had to sell my home at a big loss due to a barking dog next door.

khh
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Re: Selling Home - Neighbor has barking dog

Postby khh » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:25 pm

Our neighbor (directly above us) has a dog that barks constantly at all hours, but only when the owner is home with the dog.

Are you sure it's the dog?

lws6772
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Re: Selling Home - Neighbor has barking dog

Postby lws6772 » Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:00 pm

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that telling(no matter how politely) her "she needs to control her pet" would be like telling someone "they need to control their kid". I think the condo association is your only chance. Because logic may be useless on anyone would can listen to a constantly barking dog, unless she wears hearing aids and turns them down. :?

stan1
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Re: Selling Home - Neighbor has barking dog

Postby stan1 » Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:25 pm

If the dog is only barking when she is home, I'd guess it is because she gives the dog food after it barks (to get it to stop barking), it barks at her to get attention, or it barks when she is playing with it.

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Re: Selling Home - Neighbor has barking dog

Postby westie » Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:29 pm

If this persisted and caused the home to be unsellable, I'd introduce them to the Trans Siberian Orchestra every time I left my home. You may be best served by a complaint lodged against you at this juncture, to create some leverage.

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bertie wooster
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Re: Selling Home - Neighbor has barking dog

Postby bertie wooster » Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:50 pm

I was in a similar situation a few years back. Talking to her will do nothing and will only cause her to become more hostile and/or passive aggressive - I do not recommend trying that anymore.

You should be (or should have been since it seems this has been going on for quite some time) very pro-active about talking to the HOA. Complain and if there is no improvement a week later, complain again. They will warn her a few times and eventually fine her (and she will absolutely hate you, but who cares?). Once she either has the threat of a fine or an actual fine she will comply (and if she doesn't they will continue to fine her.

But you have to be very pro-active with the HOA, bug them regularly. And don't think you're being mean or rude or unneighborly. She is. You are just trying to live your life in some semblance of peace and quiet. If you start feeling bad for her, then you'll lose.

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Re: Selling Home - Neighbor has barking dog

Postby Mudpuppy » Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:25 am

There's a difference between talking with your neighbor and telling your neighbor what to do. Communication is all about the former, but I find people who have difficulty talking with their neighbors often take the later approach. It's just human nature to resist doing what someone is telling you to do. If you instead approach it like she would be doing you a big favor and you aren't telling her what to do (in fact, don't even suggest any remedies, instead ask her what she thinks could calm the dog down), the results can be much more fulfilling for both parties. Basically, you want to make her feel like you are her friend, not her enemy, and you want to work collectively together to make things better for everyone.

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Watty
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Re: Selling Home - Neighbor has barking dog

Postby Watty » Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:39 am

One problem you might have if you get her to temporally keep the dog quiet is that once the new owners move in they might be very upset that covered up the problem and didn't disclose it. I'm not a lawyer or anything but you might look into what your local laws say about this.

It could be that seeing a lawyer would be a good thing to do anyway since the amount of money involved is so large. It could be that a letter from the lawyer to her or the home owners association would get some results.

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DiscoBunny1979
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Re: Selling Home - Neighbor has barking dog

Postby DiscoBunny1979 » Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:23 am

When dealing with dog issues, you have to get to know the 'dog' from an arms distance. For instance, does the Condo have a weight limit for dogs allowed to be kept? If so, does that dog comply with being in the weight limit? Dogs can often get rid of if the tenant doesn't conform to policy. also, a dog must have its shots - rabies and others - does it? How does the Condo association keep track of such records? If they do not, does the town? Are the shots current? If they are not current, then the animal control should come out AND at the same time inform them about the barking.

Usually barking situations often require documentation form a 3rd party - like another neighbor - to verify the problem. The two parties then go head to head with the problem neighbor, getting code enforcement or animal control involved. Sometimes animal control doesn't have the ability to write a fine, but the disturbed neighbor can. In my area, I can write a fine to my neighbor for about $275.00 for barking that is uncontrollable. Do you have the same capability?

A condo situation is a little different than a single family home. But there should be rules governing barking dogs. Such rules described in the condo literature, suggests that the Condo association is the recourse for 'new' owners and that you might not have to disclose a 'barking' dog problem since the Condo has rules against it. The question is whether inaction by the Condo association to address such concerns is the problem and therefore the dog issue doesn't get listed as a 'defect' but the lack of help from the Association to address tenants concerns does. Is lack of Condo Association addressing it's own rules a defect to owning the condo?

TRC
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Re: Selling Home - Neighbor has barking dog

Postby TRC » Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:46 am

I hate neighborly situations like that. I would definitely encourage taking a peaceful route vs. getting the condo association involved (as a first step).

Like others have said, maybe you (not your wife) should approach her in a friendly manner and just explain the situation and be open and honest about it. Something to the effect of:

"I love animals and your dog is very cute (flatter her). Though as you know, we're trying to sell the unit and some prospective buyers have noted that the barking noise was an immediate turn-off. I'm sure you want to see or condo sell for as high a price as possible to boost the value of your unit, but I'm concerned that won't happen with the noise coming from your unit. What do you think we should do?"

Put the solution in her court and see what she comes up with. She might surprise you.

If she doesn't, then I would approach the condo associataion (in person) and explain the concern.

tim1999
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Re: Selling Home - Neighbor has barking dog

Postby tim1999 » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:15 am

I went through a somewhat similar issue with a neighbor where I used to live. However, that involved detatched houses and a dog that only barked when the neighbor wasn't at home; the dog was left outside and wanted back in. Initially I was hesitant to do anything about the situation, as I didn't want to destroy "good neighborly relations." Then eventually I just couldn't take it anymore, said "screw it" and just called the police every time the dog barked for more than a few minutes.

The municipality thankfully had an ordinance that basically said if an animal made a constant noise for more than 5 minutes that could be heard on an adjacent property, the owner could face a fine up to $250 if a complaint was made.

My neighbor with the dog (who was a renter) eventually got tired of paying fines and moved away.

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Re: Selling Home - Neighbor has barking dog

Postby Jim127 » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:49 am

There is another solution. It will cost a bit, but is cheaper than the expense of selling and moving. You can install a product, such as this:

http://www.quietrock.com/

This product can be applied over your drywall

There are other products as well, such as mass loaded vinyl, resilient channel, a layer of green glue with another layer of drywall, etc.

I would bring in a contractor that has used quietrock and have the person look at your condo to see if the application could work or other options are suggested. If you can't find anyone, go to a local home theater store and get contractor recommendations for sound treatment contractors.

Potential buyers are probably going to notice the barking dog. To sell your place, you will still probably need to address the noise issue or be prepared to sell at a huge discount.

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Re: Selling Home - Neighbor has barking dog

Postby Calm Man » Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:57 am

This indeed can be troubling. First, OP, can you tell us what the condo association rules say and what the local ordinance is? That would help us all advise you.

Next, although I love animals, a barking dog can drive one crazy. I don't think the conversation with the neighbor will go well as she might say or think "What can I do? I've tried a trainer and the dog keeps barking". I cannot imagine she likes to hear the dog barking unless she is very unusual.

donall
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Re: Selling Home - Neighbor has barking dog

Postby donall » Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:16 pm

Jim127 wrote:There is another solution. It will cost a bit, but is cheaper than the expense of selling and moving. You can install a product, such as this:

http://www.quietrock.com/

This product can be applied over your drywall

There are other products as well, such as mass loaded vinyl, resilient channel, a layer of green glue with another layer of drywall, etc.

I would bring in a contractor that has used quietrock and have the person look at your condo to see if the application could work or other options are suggested. If you can't find anyone, go to a local home theater store and get contractor recommendations for sound treatment contractors.

Potential buyers are probably going to notice the barking dog. To sell your place, you will still probably need to address the noise issue or be prepared to sell at a huge discount.


OP, I've reread your original post and it seems the barking is heard inside your condo. Although it may make sense to try to add drywall to your condo, this is expensive and disruptive. Sound traveling can be difficult to remediate, so seeking the least costly and most simple solutions are best. Any cracks in the plaster should be repaired and sealed (such as settlement cracks, where sound transmittal gets worse as the crack gets larger). Sound can also travel through utility runs, so sealing these also helps. If the heating/cooling is not individual, then sound can also potentially travel through the vents. Isolating noise from vents may be simple or complex and may also he a condo board responsibility. Make your condo association aware of the noise remedies you are doing and if possible try to get the condo association to pay for these costs. I doubt that you will be reimbursed (depends on the condo rules, etc.), but at least you will have them notice you more, as people tend to perk up more when money may be involved.

Concurrently seek help in numbers. Are others also tired of the barking dog? Talk to others with condos that are not contiguous, as sound often travels in paths that do not seem logical. Unreasonable dog owners tend to piss off more than one person. Is the dog leaving traces of itself? Is the dog vicious to others. Did the dog engage in a dog fight? As other poster said, is the dog even legal? Having others complain will help your cause along.

And then there is the just plain old calling the police (check the regulations on barking dogs) and someone on the condo board every time the dog is barking. Try to have the officer or board member be in your condo while the dog is barking. You may not get the action you want, but the more people are involved, the better. Happy dogs do not bark constantly when an owner is home. Does this person lock the dog in the bedroom while they are at home?

I wish you luck and hope you will find a suitable solution.

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Jerilynn
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Re: Selling Home - Neighbor has barking dog

Postby Jerilynn » Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:08 pm

Even if you can figure out a way to get the dog quiet temporarily, I think the issue needs to be disclosed to any potential buyers.

Of course, if you can't sell it because of the dog issue, you can always sue the neighbor. [if you can win anything is a different story]
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reggiesimpson
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Re: Selling Home - Neighbor has barking dog

Postby reggiesimpson » Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:27 pm

Offer to walk the dog for her ...........a very, very looooong walk!


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