Addressing Pesky Neighbor Problems

Addressing Pesky Neighbor Problems

By Shannon Perkins, Marketing Coordinator, Coldwell Banker Central Region

The movie “Neighbors” is playing in theaters today. It’s about a couple with a newborn that faces serious difficulties when an entire fraternity moves in next door. What would you do?

Your home plays many roles; from kingdom and escape to hangout and comfort zone. So how exactly should you deal with a neighbor that brings you havoc while they indulge in their kingdom and comfort zone? For starters, it is important to figure out what you can live with and only present your neighbors with problems that are driving you crazy.

Make sure you’re behaving neighborly and not overreacting.

Unless you want to live by yourself in the woods, you’re going to encounter your neighbors’ quirks. Before going through any drastic measures, it may be helpful to ensure you aren’t doing anything that could be bothering your neighbor as well. Of course, you have the right to enjoy where you live and there are certain things you shouldn’t put up with, but see if there’s a possibility of you being a bit grouchy about the whole thing.

Put a Face to the Complaint

It’s a lot harder to care about someone you’ve never met which can cause resentment to build quickly. You don’t have to end up as best friends, but seeing each other as people is a good start to increased neighborliness.

Try asking them to come over when you’re having a summer cookout so you can genuinely get to know each other before you make any requests. If inviting them into your space is a bit much, you could take over a bottle of wine or some home-baked cookies and introduce yourself.

Try to talk it out.

Your discomfort might be completely obvious to you, but chances are your neighbors don’t even know they’re being a bother. Instead of waiting until you’re ready to blow, simply call up or visit your neighbors and request that they address the problem.

Ask nicely, but make your point. Ask for exactly what you want instead of being vague and keeping them guessing. Make sure that what you’re asking for is fair, and be willing to make a compromise that keeps both of you happy.

Document the problem you’re facing.

If you tried asking nicely and your neighbors weren’t responsive, it’s time to take more drastic measures. Begin by documenting the problem so that you can back yourself up if you have to involve the authorities. Keep in mind you generally shouldn’t try to involve law enforcement unless your neighbor threatens you or is doing something illegal.

Remember, it is important to pick your battles in situations like this. It’s generally best to try to ignore minor or infrequent problems, because chances are, your neighbor probably plans to stay in their home as long as you plan on staying in yours. Therefore, it’s best to find a way for you both to get along and live peacefully.


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