Here are the best ways to deal with bad neighbors while being a good one.
Most neighbor disputes end up in court because of poor communication.
1. Get to know each other
You don’t need to be best friends with your neighbors. However it is necessary that you communicate on a regular basis with them to develop a mutual trust and understanding. Saying hi or asking them how they are doing could even be enough as issues are more likely to escalate among strangers than even casual acquaintances.
2. Communicate before problem arise.
Once again communication is key. Your discomfort might be obvious to you, but if you haven’t told them, chances are your “bad neighbors” don’t even know they’re being a bother. A non-aggressive direct and honest phone call or conversation is the best way to avoid any problems.
3. Document the problem and write and report
If a problem does come up, document it. Write down times, dates, take pictures… It will come in handy if you need to explain the situation to your bad neighbor or the authorities. It also shows that you are organised and you will surely be taken very seriously.
5. See if anyone else will side with you
If you have other neighbors you might want to check with them if they are also experiencing issues with your “bad neighbors”. If they are, they are very likely to help you.If you’re part of a condo or homeowner’s association, be sure to discuss the problem with them and see if they can resolve it more easily than you can.
6. Look for advice online
Sites like Neighbors From Hell have message boards full of common issues and good advice,where people discuss their problems with bad neighbors. It is free to view and is full of common issues and good advice, but registering will cost $50 if you want to ask about a unique problem. If you just want to vent about your bad neighbors, try AnnoyingNeighbors.com.
7. Talk to a lawyer.
If you’ve tried everything, you can consult a lawyer to have them write a letter threatening legal action. But be careful! it usually cost a few hundred dollars, but it may also throw gas on the fire. Make it a last resort.
8. Call the cops.
If you’ve tried to communicate with no success, involving the police is unfortunately the next step. Explain the situation honestly and don’t forget to show your notes, pictures and reports. However you need to realize that they probably can’t do much unless the law is being broken.
9. Take it to small claims court.
This is much cheaper than a bigger lawsuit because you can represent yourself. But you must be prepared. You need to be able to lay out the problem and provide evidence.
To put in in a nutshell, dealing with a bad neighbor or being a good one is all about communication.