If there’s one thing that most people don’t think about when they move, it’s the local neighbors. Good neighbors can make living in a below-average neighborhood pleasant. Bad neighbors can turn a good home into a living hell. If you’re wondering how to go about dealing with annoying neighbors, it can be hard to come up with a solution.
Sometimes, it’s just because they’re nuisances. Other times, it’s because they invite the wrong crowd around or because they leave trash in your yard. Are you wondering what you can do to cope or if there’s any way to stop it? Here’s the scoop for each scenario.
Ugh, there’s nothing worse than dealing with a neighbor who leaves trash everywhere, right? In most cases, a quick chat will make most people recognize that they’re being jerks. This can clear up a lot of issues immediately, especially if you offer positive reinforcement.
If that doesn’t work, you should talk to your local HOA or local code enforcement. If you’re dealing with noise complaints, call the police. Having people who have reinforcements on hand can take care of issues along these lines.
What if your neighbors are just plain rude? If they are the type to hurl insults at you while you work in the yard or try to harass you, ignoring them is the best option. If that isn’t going to work, giving them a written warning telling them to leave you alone is important—as is documenting the harassment.
Should they continue, file a police report and get a lawyer? Suing irritating neighbors for harassment is an option, as is pressing charges.
Let’s say that you moved into a neighborhood that’s friendly to just about everyone, except for you. They whisper about you, shun you, and maybe hurl a couple of rude comments too. They’re downright mean, and they want you to know that you are not welcome. What can you do?
Sadly, you can’t force people to like you. The best thing you can do is find friends outside of town. If they’re spreading rumors, consider finding out if you can get evidence of them saying this. It could be regarded as a form of libel or harassment.
Once in a while, you’ll have irritating neighbors who just don’t understand that you have boundaries or that you won’t allow them to use your pool. These might be the most annoying neighbors that you can have, even if they don’t necessarily mean harm.
The best way to enforce boundaries is to remind them of them. If they do not respect your boundaries, ask them to leave. If they don’t leave or don’t stop harassing you, then it’s okay to get the police involved.
Dealing with noisy neighbors is its own topic, but as with most problems relating to bad neighbors, your best bet is to start with a conversation. Make them aware of the problem, and hopefully, they’ll remedy the situation.
If they don’t, you may want to try and give them some of their own medicine. A lot of bad behavior can be fixed by mirroring it if talking to them doesn’t work. Once the shoe is on the other foot, most neighbors realize that they’ve been acting like pricks and will stop the bad behavior immediately. But make sure you don’t overstep your bounds. The last thing you want to do is to disturb other neighbors that may not be causing problems and to wake up to noise complaints against you.
Do you have neighbors who vandalize your property? Invest in cameras, record them in action, and show it to the police. Press charges, sue them and have your homeowner’s insurance policy go through with subrogation. After that, they won’t do it again!
Though it’s rare, there are occasional moments where your neighbors can become such an ungodly nuisance that you need to make them leave. In most situations like this, you’re not going to be the only one suffering from their issues. Here’s what to do:
- Reach out to other neighbors who want them gone. Ask them if they’ve dealt with police issues or lawsuits. Compile evidence from police reports, damage photos, insurance companies, and lawyers who may have had to handle them.
- Pass around a petition asking them to leave. Most people will sign it if they are a true nightmare. It doesn’t have to be many signatures either. Just the surrounding neighbors will be enough.
- Take the evidence to your neighbor’s landlord or HOA. In most areas, neighbors will have someone watching over them. Depending on the severity of the problems, the evidence you compiled may be enough to evict them.
- If this does not work, consider seeing if your area has “nuisance neighbor” laws. Though rare, some jurisdictions will allow fellow neighbors to oust a neighbor who has been convicted of certain nuisance violations. You may need to collectively hire a lawyer for this to happen.
Honestly, this doesn’t work. The vast majority of neighbors who get a letter asking them to leave will only be put on the defense. This only ends up making you look like the bad neighbor. At the very worst, this could cause your trouble neighbors to decide to retaliate against you.
Most annoying neighbors already know that they are not exactly the best people to move next door to. If they don’t, they usually pick up on subtle issues like people complaining, regular code violations, or, you know, lawsuits.
If you haven’t been able to settle anything with your neighbors after repeated police calls, then you may need to realize that they won’t leave. At this point, you have to make a tough decision. Do you continue to cope with annoying neighbors, or do you decide that it’s time to pack things up?
We cannot make that decision for you. However, if you feel like your life, your pets, or your property is in danger, we strongly advocate for leaving. After all, it’s better to cut your losses than to deal with serious problems later on down the line.