Sunday, August 22, 2010

The secret to confronting obnoxious neighbors and getting them to change their behavior is knowing how and when to present your argument.

Most neighbors who play stereos too loudly... let their kids jump up and down rumbling your ceiling at 7am on Saturday morning... or throw parties all hours of the night during the week... aren't malicious. They are simply insensitive or oblivious to your peace of mind and/or your space -- it is nothing personal.

By understanding and remembering this, you will be better able to distance yourself from the problem and think clearly about the best solution.

There’s an old expression, No one hears his own dog bark. When you first confront a neighbor, assume he/she means well. A good opener is, "I’m sorry to bring this up, but...", That makes it easier for the neighbor to apologize by saying, "Oh, I didn't realize. I’m sorry it bothered you."

If you start with threats, your neighbor may become defensive... and possibly defiant and belligerent. Once relationships between neighbors turn nasty, they are extremely difficult to untangle and the problems frequently become worse.
Solution: Pleasantly, but firmly, make your point and explain how the situation is affecting you. When the annoying behavior stops, send a thank-you note.
•Document several additional occurrences of the problem. Note the date and hour of when the noise occurred and how long it lasted. Also, consider taping the noise. A record of the problem may help drive home your point with your neighbor. It can also serve as evidence, if you must report them to management or take legal action. Mail a copy of the detailed log to the offending neighbor with a letter politely explaining the problem.

•If the problem persists, draft another letter, repeating when the noise occurred. Have other affected neighbors sign it, and send it to the offending party. Hopefully, it will demonstrate its serious magnitude and prove that you're not being the obnoxious neighbor by the only one with complaints!

•If your pleas are still ignored, present your evidence to management. This will also exhibit that you have gone above and beyond the necessary means to politely handle the situation on your own. The management will have sufficient documentation to present to the neighbor in your favor.

•If the management report was ineffective, call the police the next time the noise occurs.

•If the neighbor ignores police warnings, you can likely sue in small-claims court for financial damages by placing a monetary value on the effects of your neighbor’s actions.

In the meantime, if you're looking for a great way to blockout the neighbor's noise, throw on some headphones and listen to a wave of relaxation and refreshment to dissolve your stress in minutes. It's called "Totally Tranquil" and you can get your free demo by clicking here.


(These are merely suggestions, not to be rendered as legal or professional advice.)

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  1. can't choose your family and you can't choose your neighbors.

  2. I have a nasty neighbor that is continuosly taking photos of me. She harasses my friends and my children. She runs outside every time I drive into my driveway or walk to my mailbox. She'll call the police on me for false reports. She needs to get a life! it has gotten totally out of hand........ what to do??? I ignore her and she is a nuisance!