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I Hate My New Neighbors…What Can I Do?

What do you do when you've found your dream home and you can't stand your neighbors? Follow these tips on how to handle neighbors you disagree with.

You’ve done it: found the dream home, secured the mortgage, and signed up theNeighbors moving van. Within a few short weeks, you’ll be fully unpacked and enjoying everything that life in your new house has to offer.

But what do you do if one of things your new life is offering is a neighbor you don’t like?

An estimated 2 out of every 5 homeowners claim that they have lived next to a “neighbor from hell” at some point or another. That number is equal to those who have had minor disagreements over things like pets, loud music after hours, invasions of privacy, and other noises that disrupt the peace. In other words, 40 percent of you have been unhappy with the people who share your neighborhood at some point or another.

Handling Disagreements with Neighbors

Everyone deals with this kind of stress in different ways. Although you can confront your neighbor face-to-face, this only works if you trust in your ability to calmly mediate and come to a mutually agreeable conclusion. Loud, angry behavior or even physically violent altercations can and do happen, so it’s important to ensure that you’re approaching your conflict of interest in a way that’s safe for everyone involved.

For the best results, consider the following steps:

  1. Calm Down: It’s rarely a good idea to confront someone in anger, so if your neighbor has upset you, take at least 24 hours to pause and reflect. By waiting until some of the emotion has fizzled away, you’ll be better able to find a solution that doesn’t make the situation worse.
  2. Give the Benefit of the Doubt: One late night of partying doesn’t necessarily mean your peace is gone for the rest of your life. Consider letting the first incidence go as a gesture of goodwill. If there’s a repeat occurrence, then you can consider a confrontation.
  3. Know Your Rights: There may be noise ordinances and good neighbor laws unique to your city, county, or even HOA. Know what the regulations for your area are so you can make your case in a way that’s difficult to dispute.
  4. Strength in Numbers: If you’re disturbed by a neighbor’s actions, chances are someone else in the neighborhood is, too. Check in with others to see if they’re willing to stand by you. (And if they’re not, it might be time to consider whether or not you’re overreacting to the situation.)
  5. Document their Behaviors: If your neighbor repeatedly acts out, make sure you keep track with well-documented evidence (you can keep a logbook or catch actions on video). This way, if you do end up going to the police, you’ll have something concrete to show them.
  6. Involve Authorities: Twenty-five percent of homeowners have called the police on their neighbors before, so you’re not alone in resorting to the authorities. Know, however, that unless there are drugs or violence involved, they won’t be able to do much. In most cases, they’ll diffuse a potentially dangerous situation and then recommend mediation.

Avoiding Conflict in the First Place

Of course, the best thing you can do is avoid conflict in the first place. Start by being a good neighbor yourself: get to know your neighbors, hold an open house, check in to see if they need any help, and keep your yard in good repair. By setting a good example and becoming someone people feel comfortable turning to for help, you may be able to keep many of the more common neighborhood complaints at bay.

For more information on what bad neighbor facts, check out this infographic from North American Moving Services.

 

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