One of the reasons that municipalities have so many bylaws is to ensure neighbors don’t unnecessarily escalate disagreements and complaints and thereby put demands on intervention or enforcement officials. So, if you have an issue with your neighbor, and have been unable to resolve the problem with them directly, consider the following advice offered by many government and private services to help achieve conflict resolution.

If you belong to a homeowners’ association or a condo membership, refer to its conflict resolution protocol. Otherwise, consider enlisting a person as an advisor or go-between. That person could be a neutral community member, or a professional counselor. A professional counselor can help you understand another point of view, to help you appreciate possible compromises. Ideally, third-party mediation empowers parties to communicate their needs, and helps create a safe space to give voice to grievances, while aiding the process towards a solution. This could help avoid the cost and anxiety of escalating to litigation.