Is It Rude to Mow Your Neighbor’s Lawn?

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So you have a neighbor that doesn’t keep up with their yard and it’s getting out of hand? Living next to one of these neighbors whose house becomes the eyesore of the neighborhood is not a fun experience. Not only does it make your home look bad but it also affects the entire street and maybe even the whole neighborhood! It becomes a topic of discussion for all the neighbors or anyone walking or driving by.

If you have a neighbor that has let their yard grow out of control and does not keep up with it regularly, is it rude or even legal to just go mow the darn thing yourself?

It’s best to talk with your neighbor before mowing their yard on your own. Mowing it without permission could be considered trespassing and could get you in trouble with the law. If you have an uncooperative neighbor with an overgrown lawn, it’s best to report them to your HOA or local authorities.

Push mower cutting through tall grass

Unfortunately, I have lived beside neighbors like this who had a habit of letting their yard get out of hand. Some have let their entire yard go while others have maintained it some while allowing tall weeds and missed patches of grass to continue growing out of control. This is frustrating, especially if you are trying to do all that you can to make your home look good.

It’s especially bad if you are trying to sell your home and you have someone like this living next to you. Who’s gonna want to buy into that?

There are different types of people like this who let their yard grow out of control. It isn’t always out of spite or just because they are too lazy to mow. Some people move into houses and truly don’t know how to keep their lawn looking nice. While it seems quite obvious and elementary to those of us who care about it, some people who move from the city to the suburbs may have never had a yard to maintain before.

This sums up a specific neighbor I had in the past. The neighboring house was on a 1/2 acre lot and it was clear that the occupants had no idea of the maintenance required for a yard of this size. With their small push mower, they tried to do the work but it just got out of hand after the rainy summer season.

They mowed the yard but left weeds to grow out of control around the house, shed, fence, trees, mailboxes, etc. These overgrown areas were certainly ugly to look at and made the entire property look terrible. It became a discussion of concern from others in the neighborhood.

As a concerned neighbor myself, I asked my neighbors if I could mow the yard for them but they declined the offer. Instead, they wanted their child to continue mowing it in order to get some exercise and get away from playing video games. Problem was, he wasn’t mowing it very often and no one was keeping him accountable.

Unfortunately, the only thing left to do was to get the HOA involved. This did the trick and the neighbors took it a little more serious thereafter.

Reasons Your Neighbor Won’t Mow Lawn

We may never know why neighbors don’t want to mow their lawn and keep it looking nice. People do things for different reasons but there are few reasons you can expect if you run into it.

  1. They just don’t care. Many people have no concern for this and don’t consider it an important chore. There isn’t much hope for these people except to get backup from other neighbors or get the HOA or local authorities involved.
  2. They don’t have the time. Maybe they work a ton of hours at their job and are never home. You can probably talk to these neighbors and offer to mow it for them. They may be happy to pay you to do it.
  3. They are sick or have another family issue going on. These people could probably use some help and may appreciate a neighbor helping out.
  4. They don’t know how. Perhaps they have never had a lawn before and aren’t sure what to do at this new house. They might not even know it’s a problem and in this case, you may be able to meet them and offer to do the job for them. They may gladly pay you to do it regularly.
  5. They don’t have a lawnmower. Maybe their lawnmower is broken or they just don’t have one. These people may appreciate some help from a concerned neighbor.
  6. They are just bad neighbors. This could be the same people mentioned in reason number one above. The difference is that they may be doing it to annoy others or just to be rebels. Hopefully, this isn’t often the case but if so, the HOA may be able to help.

How To Take Care of Your Neighbors Overgrown Yard

First and foremost, you want to try to solve the problem in a civilized manner. Remember that people are dealing with difficult life situations and you never know what someone is going through. A little kindness in the process will go a long way in getting the problem solved.

Talking with your neighbor is a good place to start if you are on speaking terms and feel comfortable with doing it. Rather than scolding them about the situation, ask if you might be able to help them out.

One approach that I have taken is to empathize with the neighbor and give them a friendly warning that the HOA may come knocking if the yard isn’t kept up. If they are new to the neighborhood, this might help to change their approach to caring for their lawn. Let them know that the HOA may impose fines on them and you just want to make sure they are aware and that it doesn’t happen to them.

If there is a specific reason your neighbor has an overgrown yard that you know about, they may appreciate the help. Perhaps they recently welcomed a new baby or have had an illness and haven’t been able to keep up with it. In this case, why not knock on their door and say, “Hey I’d like to help you out during this time. I’m mowing my yard today and would be glad to mow yours as well.” I’m sure nearly anyone would appreciate something like this as it would be one less chore they will have to worry about.


It can be rude and illegal to mow your neighbor’s yard without their permission. There are better ways to go about it rather than just driving onto their property with your lawn care equipment. You should always speak with them first and try to remedy the situation before just barging onto their property, mowing it the way you think it should be done.

It’s their property and their responsibility. If you don’t know your neighbors or have a relationship with them at all, it’s best to break the ice with them first by catching them outside and introducing yourself. You can offer to mow it as a kind gesture or refer a good lawn care company that you know of.

Neighbors can usually get along when each side is respectful. Mowing their yard without permission because you think they aren’t keeping up with it or doing a good job is a good way to damage a relationship right off the bat.

Otherwise, if your neighbor is aware and okay with it, mowing their yard might be much appreciated, although it may lead to them taking advantage of you in the future. If you just offer to mow your neighbor’s yard for free, they may be fine with it and expect it from then on. They may assume they can just let their yard get out of hand and you will come and mow it.

The healthiest way for you to approach it would be to talk with your neighbor and negotiate a solution. It can be a tricky situation to deal with but hopefully, you have neighbors that are understanding and will work with you before you have to resort to other ways of solving the problem.