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Neighbor disputes over barking dogs

Most California residents genuinely want to get along with their neighbors. On occasion, however, there are situations in which conflict arises between people who live near each other. If the parties cannot resolve the problem on their own, they may end up having to turn to their landlord, homeowners association, or condo board for help. From there, the landlord or managing board may seek legal remedies.

It is generally accepted that both homeowners and renters have a right to quiet enjoyment of their homes. When a neighbor behaves in ways that make it difficult for to enjoy being in their own homes, both civil and criminal law may come into play. One common example is that of dog barking. While it is expected that animals will occasionally make noise, persistent barking can become a major nuisance that infringes on the rights of neighbors.

However, those who are the target of dog barking complaints still have a right to due process. In a New York case, a woman was accused by her neighbors of creating a nuisance for her failure to stop her dog from barking. Her condominium board eventually brought a civil suit against her, but she prevailed because the board's witnesses were a married couple who had a history of conflict with the tenant. The court was left with little choice but to find for the dog owner.

Individuals and organizations, such as condominium boards and homeowner associations who are in this type of a situation may benefit from speaking with an experienced real estate attorney. Counsel could review the homeowner dispute and make recommendations regarding ways to address the problem.

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