Dealing with Disruptive Neighbors

Your dream home in that beautiful and serene neighborhood can become a dreadful experience if you live next to disruptive neighbors. Dealing with nasty and unkind neighbors can drive even the kindest and most patient people to the edge. Neighbors can range from nuisance to nightmares. Many neighbor disagreements that end up in court are often due to poor communication. When a scuffle arises with your next-door neighbors, the best way to handle it is through communication. It can save you the haste of appearing in court and thousands of dollars. Here are a few tips on how to be a good neighbor and deal with the unkind ones:


  1. Talk about the scuffle before it becomes a big problem

If you know you are going to do something that will offend your neighbor, talk to them about it beforehand. If you have a scheduled construction or throwing a party that may cause a lot of noise, ensure you communicate with your neighbors in advance. You can even invite them to the party! This will help both of you develop mutual respect even if you don’t like each other.


  1. Try to know your neighbor

Being good neighbors does not mean always visiting each other and going out to fancy dinners. It means making an effort to know your neighbor well. Greeting each other or letting them borrow the grass mower can build understanding and trust. Problems that arise among strangers are more likely to escalate than those that occur among acquaintances.


  1. Document any problems as they arise

When problems start arising, ensure you keep a record- dates, times, photos, and even videos. Keeping notes will help you assess the seriousness of the issue later when you are calm and collected. If the problem is not very serious, ensure you talk it out with your neighbor to avoid escalation. Documenting the problem also allows you to have backed-up evidence if the case is escalated to the police.


  1. Have a conversation with your neighbor

Approach your neighbor calmly and explain what is bothering you- never assume they already know the issue at hand, they’re not angels. Don’t be passive-aggressive; be very open and direct. Ask for their point of view and, if possible, come up with a solution together that demonstrates your readiness to compromise. Stay positive, collected, and cool even though they are acting passive-aggressive.


  1. Check with other people living on the same block

Ask other neighbors around to see if anyone else is having the same issue as you. Find out if they may be willing to help you resolve the problem. If one of your neighbors knows the troublemaker, take them with you to talk and see if you can solve the issues.


  1. Contact a lawyer

Contacting a lawyer should be the last result. If you have tried all sorts of communication, including having a mediator and your neighbor is still not in line, consult with a law firm. Ask your attorney to send them a letter informing them that you are willing to take legal action unless they change their behavior.