Best ways to deal with neighbor disputes


Moving to a new neighborhood, or even getting along in your usual one, can be tough if you have some unruly neighbors or surprise situations you never thought you would find yourself in. It’s the dream that everyone always has great neighbors who respect their space and are peaceful to live alongside, but this doesn’t always happen, and sometimes you’ll find yourself next to someone who gets on your nerves or perhaps picks holes in everything you do. Whatever the problem, here are some suggestions that will hopefully guide you through a dispute with your neighbor.

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Don’t immediately confront them

Obviously, it depends on the severity of the situation, if the behavior is that worrying or you think they’re breaking the law then you need to call the cops, however, if we’re talking your run-of-the-mill irritating neighbor syndrome, then it’s best not to confront it straight away. The reason behind this is because you need to decide whether it’s really an issue at all. Sometimes people do things that annoy us, but they’re not actually doing anything wrong. Also, sometimes people do something as a one-off of very irregularly, it’s probably not worth the hassle or awkwardness if it’s not a regular thing.

Check the rules

It depends on where you live, for example, a set of apartments will have some clear-set rules, and if your neighbors are in clear violation of a signed code of conduct, then you’ll be able to talk to them with this behind you or even file a complaint. It will also help you to decide whether the issue has any merit and, if it doesn’t, it might be better to find coping mechanisms rather than moan at someone who isn’t technically doing anything wrong. However, if the issue is unbearable, then you might want to do this.

Be polite and respectful

If you’re going to knock on your neighbor’s door to ask them to stop doing something, then the best way to start is by being as polite as possible. Otherwise, you run the risk of them becoming immediately defensive and asking you to leave, with no progress made and with the potential of the situation getting even worse. You don’t even need to do it in person; you can leave an anonymous letter, or send an email if you know where to send it. However, the main thing to keep in mind is to be polite and direct.

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Compromise if possible

Of course, it all depends on what they’re doing and what you’re asking, but if you can approach the situation with a compromise already in mind, or with the open mindedness to consider a compromise, then you’ll be on to a winner. For example, if it’s noise and parties, then you can compromise on time and frequencies, and even ask them what they think would be reasonable.

Seek assistance

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how open, kind and polite you are, some people won’t listen. This means you may need to seek the help of a third party whether that’s a mediator, a lawyer or even the police in the worst situations. You will need to decide how serious the situation is before you enlist the help of a third party and which one you require the help of.

Of course, before getting wound up by a minor inconvenience, try and cut them some slack because then it grants you the same freedom. Every person and situation is different, but if you keep yourself in check, then you know you have made all the appropriate steps in resolving the matter.