How to Deal with a Bad Neighbor

  |     |   apartment living

No matter if you are renting or buying, nobody likes to deal with a bad neighbor.

Whether they are blasting loud music late at night or waking up your children, there are things that a neighbor shouldn’t do. However, at some point in life, you may find yourself stuck with a problematic neighbor, and if so, how do you even begin to approach them about your issues?


Ways to deal with bad neighbors.


Communicate. The first thing you should do is talk to them. If you share your concerns with them before going and spreading it to other people, they are more likely to work with you to solve the problem. Try going over and asking them, “Do you mind turning down the music after this certain time?” or “Hi there, I've noticed you leave your trash cans in my yard.” Whatever they do, start with asking them.

Now, if they are rude and refuse to compromise, there are a few things you can do. If you are renting, check your lease, because more often than not, there is a section that may address your problems. Many leases address noise and have a cut-off time for music. If the neighbor is blasting music after 10:00 PM and the noise cut off time is 10:00 PM, you can talk about it with your realtor or landlord.


A lot of neighborhoods have some laws as well. Even if there is no landlord to follow through with your issue, most places don’t allow sound after a specific time if it can be avoided.


You can try talking to the other neighbors that are not bothering you, to see if they have the same issues with that neighbor. Do not try to insult the neighbor or spread rumors.

This can make the neighbor upset, and they may do more things in an attempt to bother you, and this time on purpose.

Remember, you can’t control their animals or children. If their pets or kids are loud and disturbing you, there isn’t much you can do about it. You can ask them to keep a tighter leash, but a lot of parents do not like being told what to do, and more than likely, this will not change. It would be best if you did not blame their animals or children for anything because they don’t know any better.


Try taking it to the authorities.


If the above steps do not work, start gathering data and evidence on the things they are doing. When you have gathered enough evidence of their wrongdoings, you can take it up with authorities. Usually, this is a temporary fix, but it can work if the neighbors cooperate with authorities and not you. You should definitely try to talk, and take the path of least resistance before you get higher authorities involved.

The nicer that you are about all of it, the more likely it will be that your neighbors will cooperate with you.

If they have something on your property, kindly ask them if you can move it for them, this can help if they do not want to move it themselves, even if it gives you more work.


If all else fails.


If you are really irritated with what is happening, and you want to push their buttons the same way they do yours, you can consider fighting back in a non-harmful way.


For example, if their trash bins are on your property, you can consider making a mess by tipping them over onto their property; this can be blamed on the wind. This method is not recommended since it will probably just escalate things. However, if being nice didn't work, and going to the authorities didn’t work, you may have to take it into your own hands.

Be sure that you never do anything worse than what they are already doing. If you do things worse than them, that will make you the instigator.

If you plan to get revenge, do it in a way that one, you won’t get noticed, and two, it is not as bad as the offensive things that they do themselves.


If absolutely none of these methods work, you will have to let it go or move to a new location. If your neighbors refuse to do anything no matter your efforts, consider meditation to help calm you down, so you do not get angry. Or consider just finding a new place to live, hopefully, this time with better neighbors.

It may be a good idea to talk to the neighbors of your potential new place because they can give you a feel of it before you move in. Some might even tell you of their bad neighbors and why you shouldn’t move in. These are just a few of the methods for dealing with a crappy neighbor.


No matter what they are doing, try to keep a cool head about it, when you get angry and lash out, it will only put you at a disadvantage. Keep that in mind.

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