4 Ways to Deal With Bad Neighbors

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4 Ways to Deal With Bad Neighbors

Staff Writer · Oct 19, 2009

Living with bad neighbors can be stressful and greatly impacts your quality of life. Moving out is not always an option, and it doesn’t guarantee that you won’t live among bad neighbors again. Not confronting the problem will only make you lose sleep at night. If you need help, here are 4 things you can do:

1. Show Them Hospitality

You don’t want to invite bad neighbors into your home, and if you ever feel unsafe around them, don’t visit them. However, if safety isn’t an issue, take them over a plate of cookies or coffee cake. Your kind hospitality may help to make them think twice before resuming bad behaviors. When you deliver items, talk to them. Engage in friendly conversation without mentioning the fact that they are the neighbors from hell. Your goal is to help them visualize your friendly face every time they bother you. While this tactic doesn’t work all the time, it is effective in some cases.

2. Tell Your Landlord

Part of your landlord’s duty (though implicit) is to manage tenant relations. If you’re not comfortable handling the situation on your own, notify the landlord. Lay out the issues and show him how your neighbors violate provisions of the lease agreements, such as your right to live peaceably. Ask your landlord to intervene and correct the situation. Your landlord may talk with them, give them a written notice or kick them out, depending on the severity of the situation, or how many other good neighbors are impacted.

3. Write Them a Letter

There are times when it’s appropriate to write your bad neighbors a letter. This will help you to calmly lay out the issues and offer solutions and opportunities to meet to discuss the issues face to face. You might also need the letter as part of your legal strategy if you find yourself in court. You should send it by Certified Mail, requesting a signature to verify that they did receive it. Keep the signed receipt (from the Post Office) and a copy of the letter for your records. You can also forward a copy to your landlord to inform them of the situation or as an update.

4. Ignore Them

This may not be the most popular way to deal with bad neighbors, but it may be the best option in a few cases. If your lease is up soon, it’s not worth addressing them and creating even bigger problems before you leave. Unless their behavior impacts your safety, or has some other negative impact on you and your family (other than they make you mad), ignore them. Remind yourself that you’ll be leaving soon and exercise patience. Also, if your rental options are limited due to location or money issues, then you may have to ignore them so that you’re not forced to leave an otherwise good apartment. Simply ignoring them is not fun, but it may be a reality.

No one likes to have to deal with bad neighbors. It’s the last thing you want around when you go to bed. Use the above tips to put a stop to their behavior. If that doesn’t work, try to rent somewhere else.

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