If your neighbors are a total nightmare (and moving isn’t an option), there are things you can do. Whether the issue is noise or property rights or anything in between, it is worth confronting the problem in order to improve the quality of your own life.
You’ve just moved into your dream-come-true house. Whether it is a suburban heaven complete
with a white picket fence or 800 square feet of a sunny rent-controlled apartment,
you cannot imagine anything more perfect than having this space as your very
What is less than perfect, however, are the neighbors who
accompany your new digs.
They might begin their daily tuba practice at 5:30 am or
blast rock music all night long. They
might want to build a fence or pave a driveway on what you believe to be your
property and not theirs. They might
leave their garbage to accumulate behind their house instead of bringing it to
the curb and you simply can’t take the pungent scent wafting through your
Whatever the annoying and awful habit your neighbors happen
to have, there are things you can do to curtail the behavior. The situation may be resolved through a
casual conversation or you might have to take legal action, but whatever it
takes is worth it to regain peace in your home.
It's Not You, It's Me
The first thing to ask yourself is if your complaint is
justified. Does the old lady in the
apartment next door play her soap operas annoyingly loud in the middle of the
afternoon? Or are you suffering from
acute sleep deprivation because the 20-something frat boys who moved in next
door are throwing all-night ragers?
These are two very different situations.
Yes, there are some things that are terribly annoying and
life would be better for all of us if everyone would stop doing them. But don’t make a mountain out of a
molehill. Even if you would prefer
not to live with a neighbor’s irritating habit, you might be better off living
with the irritation than dealing with the aftermath of making a big to-do about
Other behaviors do in fact cross the line. A dog barking late at night is one thing;
someone breeding rottweilers is another story.
If their behavior is not something you can live with, you
should do something about it.