If you live in an apartment, you’ve probably come across irritating neighbors that complain about almost everything you do. Whether it’s your taste in music, sleeping habits, or your pet’s behavior, such neighbors can make your life quite uncomfortable. One study shows that this behavior is a result of gentrification and densification.
To avoid the drama, ask a real estate agent about your potential neighbors in advance–or do your due diligence before moving in. Unfortunately, many people may not be willing to disclose information about a nasty neighbor. So, you may have to discover your new neighbors’ habits on your own.
So, how do you deal with irritating neighbors without appearing inconsiderate or harsh? Below are practical tricks that work.
Inquire About the Details of a Recent Complaint
Inquire from the landlord or other neighbors about the details of a recent complaint about your behavior. That may include the date and time of the incident and how it affected them. Listen, and request some time to think about the problem and measures you intend to take. Get back with your response after a few days.
You can tag a friend if you feel uncomfortable or leave a note. You may also ask your next-door neighbor if they’ve encountered a similar problem with the same neighbor launching a complaint against you and how they dealt with the situation.
Acknowledge and Listen To Their Grievances
Although some complaints may be genuine, many neighbors who constantly complain about petty things are attention seekers. Listening to what such cranky neighbors have to say is a subtle way to cool them down. Regardless of how the complaint may be, listen closely and acknowledge everything they have to say. You can then weigh in with your response or a suggestion. That way, they are also likely to listen to you once they are convinced you heard their voice.
Be Kind To Them
Difficult neighbors enjoy the drama more when you ignore them or when you decide to be combative. Be friendly and remain calm in the face of all the drama and watch them transform into pleasant people. You can do this by inviting them over for barbecues or a cup of tea. Gift them during celebrations such as Christmas. Give a genuine smile and ask them how their day was. The trick here is to try to be involved in their lives as much as possible.
Befriend Your Other Neighbors
One difficult neighbor should not rob your peace and make the entire neighborhood look hostile. Try to forge alliances with other neighbors without gossiping about your irritant neighbor. Let them know about your get-together and invite them for birthday celebrations.
Participate in all activities that impact and foster neighborhood and make friends. Such acts will make others view you differently and possibly come to your aid when your peculiar neighbor comes lashing.
Consider Getting a White Noise Machine
Perhaps you’re the introverted type that would rather seek your peace instead of seeking help from other avenues. Resorting to white noise machines is your ideal refuge. White noise machines are mechanical soundproofing devices that work by blocking background sounds and neutralizing loud noise. Using a white noise machine might require you to develop a thick skin and ignore the noisy neighbor when you meet in person since this option only portrays you as rude.
How To Deal With Neighbors Who Complain About Noise
Noise complaints are common among apartment dwellers. Whether they’re justifiable concerns or just complaints from noise-sensitive tenants, there’s always a way to contain the situation. First, you need to determine the source of the noise. Is it loud music, screaming children, construction work, slamming doors, noisy pets, or parties?
Here’s what you can do.
- Discuss the problem in a friendly and passionate manner and promise to improve
- Lower the volume if it’s coming from electronics and avoid organizing parties. Notify your neighbors in advance if you need to hold a party.
- Ask them to be considerate of children and pets.
- Find a professional mediator for stubborn neighbors to help you find a middle ground.
- Offer them your number and ask them to call you first for a resolution instead of engaging law enforcers.
- Notify the neighbors about scheduled construction works and when they don’t mind the noise.
- Fix your noisy door and windows, and ask your children to avoid slamming the doors behind them
If you find the noise unjustifiable or beyond your control, engage the Environmental Health Department to decide the case.
Can Neighbors Complain About Noise During The Day?
Neighbors will complain about noise any time of the day when they feel it’s too much. While night-time noise can be more disturbing since many people are asleep, daytime noise can be equally irritating. There are many activities during the day, which can make noise levels even worse. From screaming children, barking dogs, construction works to loud movies or music.
The situation can be too much for neighbors who spend most of their time at home. As a result, neighbors will have a justifiable reason to complain about excessive noise that causes disturbance and robs them of peace.
Dealing With Unreasonable Noise Complaints
Noise complaints, such as toilet flushing, squeaky floorboards, or noise from domestic appliances, may sound unreasonable since you have less control. Moreover, such noises barely last a few minutes and are less frequent. Complaints on such petty issues mostly come from next-door neighbors.
They might be genuine concerns if they occur during odd hours. In that line, it’s essential to understand what unreasonable noise is as per the Noise and the Noise Control Act. Once equipped with knowledge on noise regulation laws, here’s how you can handle unreasonable noise complaints from the neighbors.
- Keep it down for some time to appease the neighbor as they may be going through something, making them more irritable. You can lower the TV sound or avoid using noisy appliances at night when it’s quiet.
- Remind the neighbor about the local ordinance laws if they appear too unreasonable
- Soundproof your home. You may consider upgrading your carpets if you live in a penthouse.
- Notify your neighbors in advance if you’re going to be loud
- Swallow the pride and apologize to your neighbor
My Neighbour Keeps Complaining To The Council, What Do I Do?
Your neighbor might have valid reasons to lodge complaints to the council constantly, yet some of their complaints may remain legally unsubstantiated. In that case, your best approach is peaceful dialogue.
Ask them what mainly makes them irritable and make efforts to change. Remind them that you can always solve your issues amicably without engaging a third party. Let them call you anytime they find your noise levels too high and promise them to act with the desired speed to restore calmness.
Neighbor Making Malicious Complaints, What to Do?
There are times you’ll disagree with complaints lodged against you by your neighbor. It would be best if you gave them your reasons why you can not obey their demands. However, you may need to prepare to deal with the next situation since they are likely to consider a third party, including law enforcement or a mediator. Here’s how to prepare for any eventuality.
- Keep a detailed record of your conversation—your words and their response
- Have some proof for backup. You may take a video, a photo or record the device of the complaint.
- Read about what the noise regulation laws state.
How To Deal With Rude Neighbors
Some neighbors will encroach on your space and still act like it’s normal. While most people might be tempted to take such toxic neighbors head-on, there are always other solutions to deal with such situations. Below are things you can do to contain rude neighbors.
Ensure You’re Not On The Wrong
It’s easy to assume that your rude neighbor is always in the wrong without considering how your actions might be affecting them. Some disrespectful acts may be retaliatory on something you did to the neighbor without your notice or maybe knowingly. So, before confronting a neighbor, think about your conduct.
Stop Assuming Things
Stop assuming your toxic neighbor is acting the way they do to annoy you. Some neighbors you brand as rude may be good people oblivious of how their actions may be negatively affecting you. Avoid being confrontational when introducing issues. Instead, be courteous, and you might be surprised how some of them may turn out to be apologetic about their actions.
Be Kind and Friendly
To enable you to deal with future problems in a more amicable manner, it’s a good practice to befriend your neighbors and get to know each other well. Introduce yourself and keep open communication to foster the relationship. That way, it’s easy to raise an issue if you have a problem.
How to Ignore Bad Neighbors
Ignoring a bad neighbor is the last painful resort you want to opt for after all attempts to make peace with them fail. Here are multiple ways to do it.
- Create a literal boundary by locking all your doors and shutting all curtains
- Keep “no trespassing warning sign” in your yard
- Invest in noise-canceling earphones
- Invite friends over and make them you distraction if you feel bored
- Get a white noise machine (works by fading noise into the background)
- Seal all cracks and fill the room with furniture to reduce echo
If all that can’t work, file a noise complaint against them.
I Have Bad Neighbors, What To Do Legally?
Urban apartments are prone to annoying neighbors, hard to deal with and may require legal action to restore peace. Such neighbors can be noisy, messy, unfriendly, or just dangerous neighbors engaging in illegal acts. Here are steps you can take without getting caught up on the wrong side of the law.
- Strike a polite chat and explain what you find irritating about their behavior that they may not be aware of.
- Engage a mediator. You may inform him that you’re getting a mediator to help you find a middle ground without being biased. But first, you can involve the landlord.
- Raise a petition after referring to your local zoning and ordinance laws and present the case to small case courts to review the damages caused by the irritant neighbor.
- Contact the local authorities if you feel unsafe and all the above attempts to bring peace fail.
How to Get Rid of Bad Neighbors Legally
Talking things out is the best approach to solving bad-neighbor conflicts. However, if that, plus other steps don’t work, you may be forced to seek a legal process to get rid of such neighbors. That you can do through HOA—Homeowners Association that enforces property and resident rules for all properties purchased under HOA’s jurisdiction.
How To Deal With Inconsiderate Neighbors
Inconsiderate neighbors can also be unreasonable. Such neighbors may cause commotions on petty issues such as a barking dog or a crying baby. Such neighbors may require a polite dialogue, but if you can, try to get rid of what irritates them or makes them uncomfortable. For instance, you can get rid of dogs in an apartment living, oil your noisy door, and replace noisy home appliances with silent ones.
How To Protect Yourself From Bad Neighbors
Community living may require you to learn some survival tricks to keep you safe from bad neighbors. From being social and friendly, below are more life hacks to protect you from annoying neighbors.
- Be polite and try to make friends
- Inquire about their conduct from other neighbors before engaging them
- Try to talk issues out in a courteous manner before they turn into real problems
- Talk to and befriend other healthy neighbors. They can always come to your rescue when caught up in a quarrel with a bad neighbor
- Document the altercations for future mediation if matters reach a third party
Rude Neighbors Etiquette
Many people tend to form opinions about neighbors they consider rude based on a few of their actions they didn’t like. Unfortunately, some of the neighbors people view as toxic turn out to be very good neighbors once you get to know them. Below bad neighbor etiquette can turn your toxic neighbors into pleasant people.
- Avoid gossips or discussing the disgusting behavior of your neighbor
- Try to maintain your calm and avoid picking a quarrel with your rude neighbor
- Be friendly and considerate
- Be a good listener and avoid coming up with presumed assumptions
- Try to handle all conflicts judiciously
- Get involved in their lives (seek to know about how their day was and if they would join you in other neighborhood fostering activities)