Some of us are lucky enough to have friendly, amicable neighbors like Mr. Rogers. However, others of us simply have bad neighbors that are noisy, fastidious and difficult to get along with in general.
When your neighbors range from nuisances to nightmares, you might find yourself desperate as to what to do about it. Below are a few tips on how to deal with bad neighbors and make your neighborhood and happier place to inhabit.
Many disputes between neighbors end up becoming big deals because of poor communication. Therefore, try to get to know your neighbors. This does not necessarily mean you have to go on family vacations together, but try to be on cordial terms with them where you can greet one another or borrow items from one another with a sense of trust and understanding.
Nip Problems in the Bud
Nip any potential problems in the bud before they become problems. For instance, if you decide to throw a party in the area, approach all your neighbors who might be affected by the party. Consider issuing them an invitation to the party as well and notify them that if the noise becomes too much that they can feel free to contact you rather than the police.
Document Any Problems
When issues do arise, begin making notes of the problems. Write down times, dates and take pictures if necessary. If issues escalate enough that, you have to appear before a court, you will be glad that you took these measures to back up your side of the story. Additionally, documenting a problem can help you visually see it where you can evaluate the seriousness of it. You might discover that it is not as big a deal, as you originally viewed it to be.
Work It Out
When something is bothering you, approach the neighbor who is the source of the problem and attempt to talk to him or her about your concerns. Do not attack your neighbor verbally or physically. Just express your concerns and why you feel the way that you do and politely ask them to stop whatever it is that they are doing. They might be willing to cooperate with you, especially if they did not realize their behavior was offensive. At the very least, you are showing that you are willing to compromise.
Speak to Other Neighbors
Speak to other neighbors to see if they are experiencing the same issues that you are. If they are, they might be willing to help you resolve it as well. Sometimes peer pressure from multiple neighbors is more effective than just one. Additionally, if you live in an apartment or condominium building, talk to the homeowner’s association. They might be able to resolve the issue for you.
Obtain a Lawyer
If all fails, and you cannot work it out obtain a lawyer. If you are tried everything else, a lawyer might be able to write a letter to the neighbor threatening legal action if they do not abstain from their behavior. However, this should be a last resort when communication and compromise does not work.
The bottom line is that, just as with any other relationship, communication is important to resolving issues. If you or the other person is not willing to communicate, then issues requiring action that is more serious may arise.