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How to Make Nice with Bad Neighbors

If you live in a place where all the houses are in close quarters, you have most likely dealt with a neighbor or two that you’ve disliked. Neighbors come in all shapes and forms, like the ones who are loud and make it nearly impossible to sleep or the ones who cannot control their pets. Considering that you live so closely to these people, it’s kind of important that you can get along, for the most part.

Somewhat annoying neighbors

Examples: Parents of naughty children who are yelling and crying all of the time, drivers who do not follow the parking rules, the pet owner who has a hard time taking care of their furry friends, overly friendly neighbors who don’t know when to stop talking, and those who borrow things and forget to return them.

  • The first thing you need to do with these types of neighbors is introduce yourself and get to know them better. It is possible that introducing yourself and letting them know what is bothering you can make a big difference. Not only do people tend to be more embarrassed and considerate to people they personally know, but they may not even know that they are bothering you. Bringing it to them may finally solve the problem.

  • Be sure that you are careful and do not accuse them right away. You want to tell them what is annoying you, but still be friendly and respectful at the same time. Try to find the cause of their bad behavior and extend your help to fix the behavior.

  • Mirroring the behavior of your neighbor is a widely used psychological trick, as it may make them realize that what they’ve been doing is bothersome.

  • Telling your annoying neighbors that you will contact their landlord or local precinct if their behavior continues can possibly make them change their actions. Make sure that you sound confident and concrete so they know you are serious and will hopefully stop the annoying behaviors.

Bothersome neighbors

  • Examples: Drinking 24/7 party animals, those who gossip and spread rumors about you and/or your family, playing loud music in their garages at inappropriate times.

  • It’s likely that you are not the only one annoyed with these types of neighbors, so joining efforts with fellow neighbors will make it easier to achieve your goal. If you are planning on contacting the local precinct or filing a complaint in court, this point is very important. You have a much better change at winning your point if you have more people supporting you.

Call your neighbor’s landlord

  • While you may not like complaining or ‘telling on people,’ contacting your neighbor’s landlord may be your only option. Your neighbors most likely don’t want to be evicted, especially if they are long-term tenants, so if you talk to their landlord, the chances that their behavior changes are very high.

  • Contacting your HOA is the easiest way to stop your neighbor’s bothersome actions. The manager of the association will talk to the neighbor and fine them if a warning doesn’t seem to be sufficient.

Extremely annoying neighbors

  • Examples: Psychos, thieves, hoarders/garbage collectors, criminals conducting their bad business in front of your home.

  • Collecting evidence of your neighbor’s irritating behavior and contacting the authorities is a good way to try and get them to stop or force them to move when their behavior is not life-threatening. Writing a petition with your other neighbors is another option. Collect as many resident signatures as possible and state a very specific complaint and preferred outcome. Once this is completed, submit it to the landlord or HOA. If your complaint is legitimate, your problem should be fixed fairly soon.

  • If you have tried to get the problem solved in a number of ways and have gotten no results, the best option may be to just move to another neighborhood. If you are certain that the person next door is involved in illegal activities or whose behavior poses an actual threat to your health and safety, report the problem to the local authorities and move out from your current house as soon as you can.

Remember that conflicts are solved best through negotiations, not wars. Talk with your neighbors regarding your concerns and suggest a solution. You should only consult the authorities after taking a friendly approach with no results or if you have grounds to believe that this particular neighbor has a history with the law.


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