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Three Types of Nasty Neighbors & What to Do About Each One

If you’re twenty-something years old now (or have kids of this age), you’re likely to remember a video game ‘Neighbors from Hell’ that’s been popular in 2000’s. Built around a confrontation between two neighbors performing tricks upon each other, it was keeping folks in front of computers for hours. Banana peels on the floor, sawing chairs, and messing with home equipment was just a part of all that crazy nastiness of the game.

I’ve played this game myself, and I have to admit it was a lot of fun. Only later in my life I realized it was the kind of fun that’s only cool in a game, and is a nightmare when neighbors from hell become a part of your daily life. That’s why today our focus is on nasty neighbors and tricks you can use to convert them into tolerable or even good ones.

Bad Neighbors: Who Are They?

If you’ve been living on a street where homes sit shoulder to shoulder, you know that bad neighbors come in all shapes and forms. Some of them make it impossible to sleep at night, some can’t keep their pets under control, while others might practice drunk-walking around the neighborhood and scare your kids.

So a bad neighbor is anyone who lives next door (or next floor) and gets on your nerves regularly by doing something that’s not particularly illegal but exceptionally annoying. If it becomes uncomfortable for you to stay at home, chances are good it’s a bad neighbor to blame.

What to Do About Bad Neighbors?

Your course of actions should always depend on the level of annoyance your neighbor causes. In some cases, the best approach would be to accept the situation and learn how to stay indifferent. In others, it might be necessary to master the art of legal torment, while in especially rare situations, it would make sense to find the way to make your neighbor move (since bad neighbors are oftentimes bad tenants, there’s always a chance of.

Simply put, the key is to keep things reasonable. Entering into a war with a bad neighbor might take you down the wrong path and cost you a lot of healthy nerves. That’s why you should always start with a friendly approach and only refer to drastic measures when nothing else seems to be working.

 

What Types of Bad Neighbors Are There?

For the sake of simplicity, let’s group all nasty neighbors in three categories from least to most annoying ones and consider suggested courses of action for each.

Type 1: Slightly Annoying Neighbors

Examples: Parents of not well-behaved kids who’re screaming all day long, drivers who got it wrong about parking rules, irresponsible pet owners having hard times taking care of their four-legged friends, overly friendly ladies who want to tell your their biography each time you meet, chronic borrowers.

  1. Introduce Yourself & Get to Know Them Better

That’s what you need to do first thing if your neighbors start to annoy you on a regular basis. By simply introducing yourself and letting your neighbors know what bothers you might make wonders. Firstly, because people tend to be more ashamed and respectful in regards to those they know personally. Secondly, there is a tiny little chance that your neighbors have no idea they annoy you, and telling them so will solve the problem once and for all.

  1. Don’t Accuse, Tell Them How it Makes You Feel

One of the most common mistakes is to accuse neighbors right from the start. A way smarter approach would be telling them you’re bothered and annoyed, but keeping the conversation friendly and polite. Try to find the root cause of your neighbor’s bad behavior and offer to help if they’ve happened to deal with a problem that makes them behave in a particular way.

  1. Mirror the Behavior of Your Neighbor

A widely-used psychological trick, mirroring your neighbor’s behavior might help them realize their fault and never do things that annoy you again. At the same time, this approach will help you get even with bad neighbors (but only if you’re seeking revenge more than a solution of your neighbor-related problem).

  1. Consider Using Mediators

So wags the world that some people get along with each other with ease, while others find it hard to understand each other’s concerns and feelings. If the second option describes you and your neighbor’s relationships, it makes a lot of sense to find a mediator who’s willing to solve the problem for the benefit of both parties. If you’re renting, get in touch with your landlord and ask if he or she is ready to mediate. As you’re the one sending checks to your landlord every month (or paying rent online), your comfort should be their concern as well.

  1. Give a Warning (Concrete One)

Informing annoying neighbors on your willingness to contact their landlord or local precinct can sometimes make wonders. As long as you sound confident and concrete, a simple warning might be enough to make your neighbors stop doing things that annoy you.

Type 2: Annoying Neighbors

Common Examples: Party animals dancing and drinking 24/7, gossipers who spread rumors about you or your family, rock band singing the same chords in a garage self-made studio.

  1. Seek Support From Other Neighbors

It’s always easier to achieve desired goals through joint efforts. If it’s likely that you’re not the only one unhappy about your neighbor’s behavior, you should check if someone else is ready to side you. This point is especially important if you decide to contact local precinct or file a complaint in court. In this case, quantity matters. The more people share your opinion, the more chances to win you have.

Deal with annoying neighbors by calling their landlord

  1. Call Your Neighbor’s Landlord

Most of the people don’t like to complain or report on others, but sometimes it’s the only way out. If your neighbors are long-term tenants, chances are good they don’t want to be evicted. If this holds true, it’s likely that your problem will be solved before you even know it.

  1. Contact HOA (Homeowners Association)

This is probably one of the simplest ways to buy your neighbor out or put a stop to his or her annoying behavior. In some cases, a manager of the association could talk to a noise-making neighbor and fine them if a simple warning appears to be not enough. Chances are good this step would solve the problem at least to a certain extent.

  1. Refer to the Governing Laws

If you’re dealing with noise, which is the most common reason for disputes between neighbors, refer to the letter of the law. There are ordinances to prohibit unnecessary, unreasonable, and excessive levels of noise meant to protect you from being a victim of noise-makers. If you’re able to prove that the problem is real and your neighbor is a source of it, you can refer to small claims court (for financial compensation) or regular civil court (to cease and desist the noise-maker).

Type 3: Exceptionally Annoying Neighbors

Common Examples: Psychos, sneaky stealers, garbage collectors, criminals making their bad business right in front of your home.

  1. Collect Evidence & Try to Force Your Neighbor to Move

If your neighbor’s behavior is exceptionally irritating but isn’t life-threatening, you may want to collect evidence and contact authorities (local precinct, cops, lawyers). Another option you have is to write a petition together with other neighbors. Have your petition signed by as many residents as possible and state a very specific grievance and desired outcome. Once done, present it to the landlord or HOA. In case your complaint is legitimate, the problem will be fixed relatively soon.

  1. Consider Moving to Another ‘Hood

In some cases, the best decision is to move to another neighborhood. This is especially true if you’ve tried to solve the problem in different ways but nothing helped. Not even to mention the situations when living by a nasty neighbor is not only annoying, but also dangerous. If you’re sure the person next door is involved in illegal business or is a psycho whose behavior might pose a threat to your health, report the problem to police and move out from your current place of residence as fast as possible.

 

On a Final Note

In some cases, neighbors might be the real nightmare next door. If it happens, the most common (and most natural) reaction in people is to arrange a bad neighbors revenge, find out how to get even with bad neighbors or even how to get them move. But no matter what happens, remember that conflicts are best resolved through negotiations, not wars. Talk to your neighbors, tell them what bothers you, and propose a solution. Only refer to authorities in case a friendly approach doesn’t work or you have grounds to assume that your neighbors might have the history with the law.

7 Comments

  1. I live and work from my apt. Creepy neighbors who live off fraudulent insurance and workman’s comp settlements moved in below. They monitor toilet use and keep me up all night with 24/7 noise. They violate our city noise ordinance and resident quiet hours policy, but the landlord refuses to enforce. They have proven to be too ignorant to respond to polite requests, or comply with policies. The only remedy that works once in a great while, is to give them their own medicine so they might realize how it feels. With the chronically rude – you are forced to move.

  2. Thank you for posting. It makes me feel uncomfortable to have to go after a neighbor for a slight. I do have a bad neighbor who is trying to change the culture of our building (of long-time residents) vs. Someone who has been here less than six months trying to make new rules, playing the race card and out of control dogs. I, and others are now using the legal approach for her removal. Where do these people come from? If you are one, no one wants or likes you. Get help! Believe it or not, we have rights too. Word!

  3. Alas the selfishness of some neighbors is never ending. I am dealing with neighbors who seem to think it is God’s given right to let their dog bark at night. When politely confronted they first lied (“It wasn’t our dog” – “I saw you and it at 1 am” – “Oh well, um…”) followed by stating their right to enjoy their dog (at 1 am) vs our rights as home owners “Where do we draw the line?” they said. Fortunately the city animal control officer explained to them the ordinances and that “humans come first.” They have dramatically improved, but are acting like we in some way assaulted their freedom and ruined their life. Simply standing up for our rights has created so much animosity with grown adults who are either insane or 4 year old babies in disguise. Oh, get this. The first thing they said to us when we moved in before they got their dog – “I hope your dog is quiet, if not we would have to have a conversation.”

  4. My neighbor is a creepy one. The guy sticks his nose in everyones business. He looks into people’s cars if he doesn’t know whose it is. Heard he has stolen Sunday newspapers off of driveways And I couldn’t stop laughing when I heard that. He’s moved people’s items even though it’s not his to move. He acts like the boss of the neighborhood. I play it cool with him because if he doesn’t like you, your on his sh@t list for life. He’s a f@king loser who impedes on neighbors lives. Dude needs to find a hobby other than getting involved other neighbors business. his eldest son thinks he’s a thug (we live in a suburb). F@ck man, when I’m driving in to our block and he wants to stop me and talk and i wave and keep going. Most of the neighborhood despises the side and this guy just doesn’t get it. Luis paglia of San Ramon, CA, get a hobby man people hate you in our neighborhood and you just don’t get it bro!

  5. I completely understand what you’re talking about. Have the same problem with this neighbor who thinks he own the next door house while he is just a tenant living for free. Gossips all over the place and told him to f off and stay away from me and my family. He is such a low life.

  6. There are more types of bad neighbors. How about the neighbors that don’t take care of their property? And you don’t live in a neighborhood with an HOA? The neighbors that don’t cut their grass or weeds. Dead plants just stay there until they start to decompose as they stand there. Neighbors who let their dog poop on your property but if they see your cat out they call the cops? Or a guy that outs out a dead fall trap in his backyard, doesn’t work, but says he’ll take care of it in 6 days? The lazy, crazy, stupid, filthy neighbors what do you do about those? Buy a house in a nice neighborhood, new crap moves in 🙁

  7. I moved that’s the best solution. Sold my house to a cop.

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