Leer en español: Cómo lidiar con un vecino molesto
Whether it’s a barking dog, cars in the front yard, illegal activity or loud parties, there are ways to deal with challenging neighbors.
We spoke with Archie Blunt, the special enforcement manager for the Department of Neighborhood Services, to answer questions about the process.
What’s considered a nuisance?
There are over 25 nuisance activities included in the City of Milwaukee code of ordinances, including indecent exposure, loitering, illegal drug activity, harassment and littering. These can apply to both residential properties and businesses.
What can you do?
There are a series of steps you can take.
The first is reaching out to the property owner. You can locate a property owner by looking at the Department of Neighborhood Services property data.
If that doesn’t work, you can call the non-emergency number (414-933-4444) to report nuisance activity. You can also report a nuisance property by calling or emailing your Community Prosecution Unit, or CPU, or completing a hot spot form and submitting it.
How does the process work?
Blunt says residents should try to understand the full process when making a complaint.
To qualify as a nuisance, there has to be a minimum of three phone calls for service in 30 days or two vice, violence or gang complaints in one year.
Once a property qualifies as a nuisance property, a file is opened, and a letter about the nuisance is sent to its owner that requests a plan of action (also known as an abatement plan) within 10 days to address the problems.
If the problem is not addressed in 10 days with a plan to modify, the property will be monitored every 30 days and billed for nuisance activity.
How do I know what’s happening with a complaint I made?
If you go to the city’s site, you can search the address at hand, Blunt said. When you look at the property data, you can see what ordinances that property has on them.
He also said that if you call in a complaint, you receive a complaint number that you can use to follow up on what’s going on. Your district’s police department may send you email updates if you provide that information.
Anything else I should know?
The Department of Neighborhood Services does not fix building code violations. “It is our job to assess the issues and follow protocols to send property owners to court, if necessary,” Blunt said.
For more information, you can check the city’s website.