How To Deal With Neighborhood Disputes

As humans, we have to often live amongst other humans, and this is not always easy. Sometimes we just do not get along with people, people might make complaints such as ‘My neighbors’ lawn is obstructive’, or ‘how can I stop my neighbor parking in front of my house’. 

This is not too uncommon, sometimes we just do not mix well with each other, and that is okay. However, it can become a bigger problem when disputes get out of hand. 

We can get annoyed, irritated, flustered, and arguments can start, and when things get heated it can be harder to resolve these issues. So, how should you deal with a dispute with your neighbor?

Define The Problem

You should start by ensuring that whatever is annoying you is actually a problem. If something is only an occasional issue or if it actually interferes with your life. 

If it is only an issue occasionally, it may not be worth causing any upsets about it, it will take time to think about. Assess how much of an issue it is, and if it is worth potential problems to resolve. 

It can be obvious from the get-go if something is not just a temporary issue, but is something more, such as if your neighbor is smoking marijuana, and it is stinking up your property, or if they are parking on your property, and it restricts access to your home.

Think before you act.

Keep Note

It is always worthwhile taking note of the issues. Your neighbor could be blissfully unaware that they are actually disturbing you and causing issues. 

So, if you make note of the issues and occurrences, you can best convey it to your neighbor, and when confronted they may actually calmly realize their errors and rectify it. 

If it goes further than that, you can also illustrate the point to your landlord or housing board to resolve the issue. 

Research, Research, Research.

You should also research the rules. If you live in a housing community there will likely be guidelines that dictate behavior. Always check your contract to look over regulations and see if any rules are being broken. 

If your neighbor is violating the agreement, you may have a strong case to go by.

Talk To Others

You should also speak to other neighbors, find out if what they are doing is affecting others as well as you. If others are being disturbed by their behavior they will want to resolve it too. Make note of who else has experienced this, and when. 

Approaching as a group is less likely to cause issues than 1-1. 

Communicate

Before you go above and beyond, you should speak to the neighbor yourself. Remember, we are not always aware that what we are doing is disruptive, so you may make them aware of something they didn’t realize. 

Give them a chance to fix it before you turn it into a big thing. If you are anxious about doing this you can text, email, leave a letter or otherwise. Just remember to communicate about what is happening and how it affects you. And be polite when doing it.

Approach With A Cool Head

Before you confront things remember to keep a cool head. The more worked up you are you will cause more trouble than necessary. Always cool off before you talk about something that is bothering you. 

Even if yelling and scolding is a preference for you, this will not resolve the issue at hand. 

Compromise

Consider a compromise. Unless your neighbor is doing something illegal or egregious then compromise should be the aim. You cannot always change how a person lives. 

You should suggest an alternative, and work together to find an alternative and fix it. If you can reach a compromise that both of you are happy with, it is more likely to be a permanent fix to the problem.

Ask A Third Party To Help

If all the above fails, you tried, at least you tried. You should now seek out assistance. If you have had no luck in resolving the problem, or if they have gotten worse or reacted hostile to you, then involve a third party.

This could be a landlord, a meditation board, or something else. You should not go straight to the police or a lawyer, seek out someone who can manage the issue with a different point of view, who is not biased. 

Remember, do not suffer in silence, and if you follow these steps, you shouldn’t have to.