Tips on Handling Troublesome Neighbors


We can often choose where we live, but we can’t choose who we live next door too. Well, not unless we encourage our extended family members and friends to move alongside us, of course. 

In most cases, we are blessed with kindly neighbors. These are the people who will keep the peace, look after our pets when we’re away, and invite us around for dinner when we make hungry gestures from behind the fence. 

But then there are those people who aren’t so kind.

These are the people who don’t give us a second thought when building a house extension. These are the people who play their favorite tunes way too loud. And these are the people that, when we ask them to be a little more considerate, antagonize us more, giving us cause to have sleepless nights because we are forced to lie awake thinking about the prospect of moving to escape them.

Just what are we supposed to do about them?

Here are a few suggestions.

#1: Talk to them

Okay, so as we alluded to above, a conversation might not work, but there’s no harm in trying.

Going in all guns blazing probably won’t help, so try to maintain a calm but firm exterior. Let them know the trouble they are causing you, try to come to a compromise with them, and try to appeal to their better nature. if you can come to an agreement, then fine. If not, you might want to consider the following steps. 

#2: Check out local disturbance laws

Every neighborhood is governed by noise and disturbance laws, so try to find out more from your local housing or council office.

If you discover your neighbor is breaching these, you should either make a complaint to your local council or police station or write your neighbor a letter telling them that you intend to make a complaint if they don’t quit their offending behavior. 

#3: Seek the assistance of a third party

If your neighbor can’t be reasoned with, or if you are too intimidated to speak to them, get help.

It might be another neighbor suffering similar problems to you, as they might be able to stand with you against the person causing you aggro.

If you share a landlord with your troublesome neighbor, you might be able to call on them for help. And if you are renting, speak to your landlord anyway, especially if you have had to consider vandalism insurance because the neighbor has damaged your property. Alternatively, seek help from one of the following. 

#4: Call on the help of a mediator

There should be neighborhood mediation services available to you, so talk to the police, your local housing office, or the local courthouse to find out more details.

At these mediation services, you will be asked to sit with your neighbor while a trained professional tries to solve the dispute with you. Hopefully, this will resolve matters. If not, the next stop should work.

#5: Seek legal help

If you are getting nowhere with your neighbor, then call on the police or a specialist attorney for help.

The legal path is better than taking the law into your own hands, and while it might have to go to court, you should be able to claim back court costs if you have a valid case to put before the judge. Your neighbor should then be given a court order prohibiting them from the behavior they exhibited and they might be prohibited from coming near you too, so you should be safe from harm.

Of course, if it’s the police who take action initially, it might not have to go to court if the neighbor submits to the warnings they are given.

Living next door to a neighbor from hell can be a real nightmare, but if you have related to this article, try our suggestions if you are currently struggling. Hopefully, peace will prevail, sooner rather than later. 

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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