There Goes the Neighborhood: How to Deal with Problematic Neighbors
When you moved into the neighborhood, everything was wonderful. You were so thrilled to be in a new home in a neighborhood that you loved. You had decorated it to perfection, and revelled in its well-ranked school district. It was your idyllic haven. That is, until you realized you had inherited some bad neighbors.
How to Deal with Bad Neighbors
There are all sorts of neighbor issues. Maybe your neighbors are incredibly noisy at inappropriate times of the day. Perhaps they have a dog they fail to clean up after. If neighbor issues have left you wondering “how to deal with crazy neighbors,” we’ve got you covered with some tips and tricks to help defuse the situation.
Talk to Your Neighbor
It can be easy to avoid talking directly to your neighbor if you are experiencing neighbor issues. But before the problem escalates into a full-blown battle in the vain of Zac Efron and Seth Rogen in “Neighbors,” take a breath and discuss your issues with your neighbor.
If you’re worried about confronting your neighbor, take a step back and change your perspective. Instead of thinking about it as a potential fight, think of it as a friendly conversation and open dialogue. You’re not trying to cause an issue, you’re simply trying to explain your concern to your neighbor and see if you can both find a solution to the problem at hand.
If you are worried about your neighbor feeling attacked, try calling ahead to let them know you want to chat. Then at the specified time, meet in neutral territory, like on the sidewalk or on your shared property line.
Bringing the issue directly to your neighbor can help alleviate future issues and prevent the issue at hand from spiraling out of control. You may be surprised to find out that your neighbor isn’t as terrible as you previously imagined.
Plus, handling the issue at hand with the neighbor involved may help repair the relationship and open the door so additional issues don’t continue. You want to avoid taking action that could breed animosity.
Send a Letter
If you are unable to talk to your neighbor, for whatever reason, send a letter instead. Make sure the letter is kind and not accusatory in any way. You’re simply trying to open the lines of communication.
As you line out the issue at hand, make sure to offer a solution or two so that it’s clear you are interested in working with them to solve the problem—not angrily accusing them of being a bad neighbor.
Show Kindness to the Neighborhood Kids
If you live in a family-neighborhood, there are usually children playing outside. And sometimes, those kids can get loud. Instead of being the neighborhood grump, be nice to the kids and become friends with their parents. If you show kindness to the children and their families they are much more likely to be receptive to your request for them to quiet down.
Part of being a kid is running, playing, and yelling, so don’t expect total silence, but a reasonable request for some peace and quiet will go over better if you know the family.
If you like to bake, offer cookies or sweets to the family next door. Or if you’re open to it, offer to watch the kids once in a while so the parents can have a night to themselves. Being friendly with your neighbors can go a long way in improving any neighbor issues you may be experiencing.
Know Your Property Boundaries
Knowing where your property ends and your neighbor’s property starts can help alleviate issues. If you know your neighbor is planning on building a fence but it’s encroaching on your property, talk to them as soon as you catch wind of their plan—before any money has been spent on the project.
Ask if he or she needs help determining where the property line falls. If there is a disagreement, grab your surveys and walk it out together. You’ll (hopefully) be able to work out any issues together.
Contact the Homeowner’s Association
If your neighbor problems continue even after you take steps to work it out directly, it may be time to take additional steps. If the two of you can’t come to a resolution, contact your homeowner’s associate or city codes department to let them know there is an issue in the neighborhood.
Typically, those organizations will send a letter to the homeowner, without discussing who brought the issue to their attention. In the event that your neighbor does find out that you brought the complaint, be prepared to defend your decision and discuss it with your neighbor.
Consult the Authorities
If your neighbor problems escalate to the point where they pose a threat to your safety (or any of your other neighbors’ safety), you will probably want to contact the police. The same can be said for any illegal activity you see. Contact the appropriate authorities.
If you’ve been dealing with your neighbor issue for a while, be sure you have been recording (where and when it’s permissible by law to do so) and documenting all of your efforts and the neighbor’s responses. If they have been causing issues regularly, having your information clearly documented and detailed for the police could help your case if you need to call them for support.
The Last Resort
If your neighbor issues persist after you’ve tried all of the possible remedies you can think of, it may be time to consider relocating. While moving is a serious commitment and shouldn’t be decided on a whim, relocating could mean eliminating any issues and problems caused by your bad neighbors. It could mean a fresh start for you and your family.
Just remember, if you decide to move, there is no guarantee you will have good neighbors so as you shop for a new home, do your due diligence. Spend some time in the neighborhood and get a feel for the people that live there. It could be worth renting a place in the area and spending a few days there so you can get a true feel for what it’s like to live there.
Taking Out a New Mortgage
If you decide to purchase a new home due to issues with your neighbor, you’ll also need a new mortgage. SoFi can help you get the mortgage loan you need so you can put your neighbor problems behind you. You could qualify for a mortgage with as little as 10% down.
Plus, applications are usually processed within 30 days, which means you can qualify for the financing you need fast. You can start the application online and find out if you prequalify—no commitments required.
Neighbor issues bringing you down? If moving is the best solution for your situation, a SoFi Mortgage can help.
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