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How to deal with bad neighbors


Good neighbors can be very helpful; they will help you in collecting your mail, signing for packages and looking after your house while you are away and you may even become very good friends. However, if you are stuck with bad neighbors, they can make your life hell. Even then, just because you have some nasty neighbors doesn’t mean you should pack up your bags and move elsewhere. Learn how to deal with bad neighbors and keep your sanity from these simple and straightforward methods mentioned below.

Communicate with your neighbor

Many people don’t try this most simple option of dealing with bad neighbors for the fear of confrontation. Instead of treating it as a confrontation, think of it as a way of getting to know your neighbor. Many a times, you will realize that your neighbors are unaware of the problems they are causing you and would be glad to help sort out things once you share your worries with them. In some cases, though the neighbors don’t turn out to be a friendly lot and in such a case, you will have to sit and discuss the issues troubling you calmly with your neighbor. Jot down all the points you wish to discuss in the meeting and always remember never to lose your patience or raise your voice. This will do nothing but only anger your neighbor even more. Even if your neighbor gets confrontational, keep your cool and also make him/her understand that fighting will not solve anything.

Talk to the landlord

If talking to your neighbor does not help, you can take the issue up with the landlord. If your neighbors are renters, you can talk to their landlord and complain about their disruptive behavior. Their landlord might be able to help you by putting in force some restrictions. In case, it is you who is living in a rented apartment, you can approach your own landlord for help. You have the legal right to live undisturbed in your apartment. Your landlord may enforce a lease provision that sets aside a number of hours as quiet time against noisy tenants. Your landlord can also issue a stern warning to your neighbors against public smoking in common areas of the apartment building and other disruptive behavior such as playing loud music at night, littering the hallway and so on. However, remember that your landlord will be more than willing to help you only if you have paid your rents on time and have been a good tenant.

Take self-help measures

If even talking to your neighbor’s landlord does not help improve the situation, there are some steps that you can take on your own to fix the problem. If your neighbor is in the habit of playing very loud music, or watches TV late into the night with full volume, wearing earplugs will help get rid of the problem and ensure that you get a good night’s sleep and can enjoy some peace. You can also purchase some music CDs with ambient sound effects that will help mask the noise coming from your neighbor’s house. You can also invest in a white noise machine. These machines create a gentle and continuous sound of rushing air which will immediately help you calm down and relax. If the cooking odors coming from your neighbor’s house are the cause of your worry, buy an air purifier to mask those unwanted odors and make the air inside your house cleaner and healthier.

Take help from authorities

If the aforementioned methods don’t work for you, or if your neighbor harms or threatens you in any way, call the police. You can approach the police even if you spot your neighbors engaging in some illegal activities. You can also take your neighbors to court if they repeatedly ignore your pleas. In fact, you can also sue your landlord for breach of quiet enjoyment. In such a case make sure that you have all the papers and documents ready with you. You can also keep a log of all ‘bad behavior’ incidents of your neighbor and be prepared to explain the countless attempts made by you to resolve matters personally.

Move out

If nothing works for you, the last resort is moving out and finding another place to live. If you have reached a point where no amount of pleading, coaxing or even threatening by authorities seem to be working for you, and the neighbors are causing too many problems, the best option is to move out.

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