The following is a guest post by Louis Myers, the Law Library’s current Librarian-in-Residence.
Now that we have reviewed several research guides on a range of topics, including How to Find Free Case Law Online and Municipal Codes: A Beginner’s Guide, Research Guides in Focus presents another guide, Neighbor Law: A Beginner’s Guide. This guide provides readers with resources covering common issues they may experience in their neighborhoods.
The guide begins with a philosophy championed by President Lincoln—the first step in a legal dispute with your neighbors is to attempt negotiation before litigation. Many researchers seek our help in clarifying their property rights with respect to their neighbors. Although we cannot give legal advice, we are happy to direct visitors to resources that may answer their questions. This guide, for example, begins by explaining some common issues between neighbors, and offers readers general resources.
The guide also breaks down two popular issues, disputes involving trees and laws related to homeowners’ associations (HOAs). Trees can cause strife between neighbors, and the guide offers resources on how homeowners can protect their trees and prevent encroachment from trees on neighboring properties, with the aid of municipal laws, books, and online resources. Certain interactions with the local HOA can also result in homeowner consternation. We have compiled resources from the state and local level that provide guidance from the perspectives of both property owners and HOAs.
While we are spending more time at home, these and similar issues may come up more frequently. This guide is a great resource to consult when dealing with issues that arise with your neighbors, and can even help you when planning your next big stay-at-home yard project.
We hope you find this guide helpful in your research. As always, you can reach out to us through Ask a Librarian if you have further questions.