008: Neighbor Problems

No one wants to fight with their neighbors - you all live under the same roof and it's better if everyone gets along. However, it's inevitable that when a lot of people live together, there will be some tension. If you feel like a neighbor is driving you crazy, though, there are lots of things you can try that may help ease the tension.

  1. Approach your neighbor: If your neighbor is just being annoying, this is probably the first thing you should do, and it's definitely the one people do the least! Sometimes just letting a neighbor know that their behaviour - loud music, partying, dropping things on your balcony, etc.- is negatively impacting you is enough to make them realise they should be more courteous. To get the most of these conversations, make sure you don't have them when you're upset. Banging on the walls won't solve anything! Wait until the next day if you have to, so that you can approach them calmly. Maybe they didn't realise that over-watering their plants dripped water on your balcony, or that their dog barked all day when they weren't home, and they might be happy to do something about it. NOTE: If you feel that your neighbour is violent or abusive, do not approach them. Contact your Community Manager or, if you are in immediate danger, the police.
  2. Document the problems: If you have ongoing issues, make sure to keep a record of them. This will help if your Community Manager or property owner has to communicate with the resident, or take them to court.
  3. Read your lease and city by-laws: Your Lease Agreement or city by-laws may stipulate what your neighbor is or is not allowed to do, such as playing loud music after a certain time. If your neighbor is violating their lease or breaking the law, it will be easier for the Community Manager to enforce a solution to the problem.
  4. Talk to your Community Manager: Bring your documentation to your Community Manager, and calmly explain your concerns. Be specific about what you have tried to do to solve the problem, how often the problems occur, and what your ideal solution (or possible compromise) might be. Your Community Manager has probably been doing this a long time, and may have a solution that will work for everyone. Your Community Manager also has access to your landlord's legal resources, and can determine when it may be necessary.
  5. Call the police: If your neighbor is breaking laws, causing property damage, or endangering the safety of you and the other residents in the building, call the police. The police will document the incident and report to the Community Manager as well, which may be necessary if the offending resident has to go to court.
  6. Contact Customer Service: If you feel that your Community Manager is not taking your concerns seriously, go above them to their manager or your landlord's customer service department.

It's always better if everyone can get along with their neighbours, but when you have disagreements remember there are many options to try and find a solution. At Tut and Tut Properties, we recommend that all our residents attend their community's resident events and activities. Studies show that when neighbours get to know each other socially, there are fewer complaints because everyone is looking out for each other.

Credit: Skyline Living