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Frequently Asked Questions...

What to do about Fraturnity house across the street?

We live in a small college town. Our house was a nice little starter house that we have spent a lot of time renovating and are now looking to move. Across the street is a house that is for rent. It's large house and it's normally rented to families, but not this year. A fraturnity, who I will not name, has moved in across the street from us, put up their large letters in the front yard, trash everywhere, every window has a lighted sign, and cars parked everywhere. It wouldn't be such a big deal if they cleaned up every once and a while or if the could keep their fights and drama inside the house. The landlord dosen't really seem to care what is going on as long as he gets his money. Will this cause us to loose money on the house? Is there anything I can do?

It just seems to me that you can't just put places like this just anywhere.

Best Answer...


I'm absolutely not a lawyer, and recommend you seek one over my unprofessional opinion.

Given that, here is my $0.02

First of all, documentation. Log every problem. If this goes to a lawyer, you'll need it.

If you feel comfortable, approach the frat and talk to the president. Get his name, and document the meeting. It shows you are reasonable and making good faith attempts at resolution. Who knows, it may work.

If during this period, something gets out-of-hand, and call the police. Remember to only address real complaints, don't be petty, but don't take any crap either.

After you've logged some legitimate problems. send a certified letter to the landlord, with a list of the complaints, including the police call, with the police report number. Tell the landlord you feel you are suffering real monetary injury from his tenants.

Meanwhile, check the zoning and homeowners association (HOA) restrictions. Most counties have on-line property appraiser sites, and you can see what the house is zoned as. You may have to call the county directly. If it is single-family house, great! Call the county and inform them several unrelated adults are living in the single house.

If your and/or the other property is in a HOA, secure all of the HOA documents and read them. If they are committing any violations, request time to speak to the HOA board. Go to the HOA board meeting. Clearly speak your case, and hand them written documentation. If you feel the HOA won't take action, right after you hand them the written documentation, request that the documentation be "read into the minutes".

Good luck!