What to do if my next door neighbor is inconsiderate in his use of a sensor light?

UPDATED: Jan 19, 2014

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What to do if my next door neighbor is inconsiderate in his use of a sensor light?

It shines in my kitchen, livingroom and master bedroom waking me up at night; my dog barks each time that it occurs. It also shines into my neighbor’s bedroom across the street. I have tried to speak to him about this a number of times and he refuses to correct this problem. Will you please help me? I’m a disabled widow and he is a retired bomb squad police officer and I’m afraid of him. He is also a pastor.

Asked on January 19, 2014 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

First, speak to your muncipal housing or code enforcement division/department: he may be violating a local ordinance (probably not, but it's worth checking) with the placement, aiming, intensity, etc. of his light. If he is, then housing department should help correct the situation.

If there is not code violation, then the best you could do is to try to file a "nuisance" action against him. However, be aware that to be a "nuisance," this would have to be a use or activity which is not reasonable for  the neighborhood, and given how commoon sensor lights are, I suspect his light would have to be unusually powerful or aimed directly into your window to meet that test--that is, while you can try this, you are most likely to lose. The fact is, there may be nothing you can do; that said, you may wish to discuss the specifics of the situation in detail with a local real estate attorney to see what he or she thinks, based on the nature of the neighborhood and the precise facts about this light.

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