New Yorkers are no strangers to navigating the politics of living in very close quarters. Newcomers often learn the ins and outs the hard way.
But even the most seasoned veterans can come across vexing situations. And with the real estate market being as hot as it is in Harlem and across New York City, we thought our readers might benefit from this book, the author of which (Bob Borzotta) was recently featured on 20/20.
"Bob Borzotta is to to folks with nuisance neighbors what Dear Abby is to women with meddling mothers-in-law," says USA Today. Neighbors From Hell: Managing Today's Brand of Conflict Close to Home -- goes beyond the legal manuals and stories from the front to 1) articulate the suffering and anxiety caused by noisy, in-your-face, trashy neighbors who are multiplying like bunnies, and 2) present genuinely workable methods for managing these childlike adults by lawful and socially responsible means. Peppered with sarcasm and straight talk, the book presents today's communities as war grounds, where the bad guy keeps winning as authorities and better neighbors prove useless in our struggles to feel safe and happy in and around our homes. Author Bob Borzotta keeps it tight for busy readers, makes it insightful and informative, and offers the first forensic study of what makes these scumbags tick. A former news reporter, Borzotta dealt with his own hellish neighbors, later establishing a global support center for others in his shoes -- seeking answers to an age-old problem on modern-day steroids. The answers do not come easily today -- police want little to do with neighbor disputes, which is one reason neighbor-on-neighbor violence is so much on the rise. He is fair-minded to all sides, but is decidedly a good-neighbor advocate. His newsletter, Good Neighbors Rule, is among the most widely read by audiences seeking guidance and the media, who regularly consult with him on the subject when covering neighbor stories. Reviewers have found Borzotta's work not only dead-on but truly useful. He is not a touchy-feely self-help writer, although he knows the pain of dealing with derelicts in close proximity quite well. He has engaged several neighbors who presented problems from noise and boundary disputes to harassment and property damage. He wins these battles because, he says, THEY CAN BE WON. The reason they're often lost is this: good neighbors seldom have the time or inclination to take on Neighbors From Hell. We are productive, positive people with real pursuits. When we do have free time, we hate dedicating it to quashing the antics of un-neighborly neighbors. Also, he says, we are not built for conflict the way they are -- they can round up supportive scum more easily than we can convince people similar to ourselves to engage in our problems, since people like ourselves don't look for fights and don't seek involvement in other people's affairs. Neighbors From Hell and their bretheren do. But that doesn't mean they have to win. These people are actually very weak, and are typically positioned to be victimized just as we are. Correcting them by legal means, remaining upstanding citizens not brought down to their level, is a challenge. They're aggressive, but we're smart. Since one book cannot address every unique problem one can have with a neighbor, Borzotta explores the basic points of conflict and draws from them into some specifics. He then provides in-person, specific guidance via his web site, message board, one-on-one email and social media sites. You could say, he's not in this for the money.