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Dealing with a Rotten neighbour



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By : M Shane    99 or more times read
Imagine that it's a lazy Sunday afternoon, and you decide to take a well-deserved nap. You curl up on the couch, sink into the pillows, and lay awash in tranquil relaxation. Just as your eyelids become heavy with sleep, your ears are inundated with the obnoxious sounds of your neighbour's amateur punk band practicing in their garage. The clanging of the hi-hat and the shrieks of the singer shake your walls and destroy any chance you had of getting some Zs.

You think about the good old days when your former neighbours were friendly and considerate, and never played electric guitar. You wonder what karmic error you made to deserve such rotten neighbours this time around.

How do you define a rotten neighbour? A rotten neighbour is somebody who interferes with your enjoyment of your own home. They play music loudly, curse, or laugh obnoxiously at all hours of the day or night. They drive by in their car with the bass turned to supersonic levels and scare the pants off your pets. They essentially make it impossible for you to enjoy quiet time in your house or yard.

Bad neighbours also have a penchant for leaving trash or discarded vehicles on their property. This not only creates an eyesore in the neighbourhood, but can also reduce your property value simply by association.

They may even have a dog—one that barks or howls at everything, and treats your backyard as their personal commode.

So what can you do to maintain sanity and reclaim your indoor and outdoor spaces as your own?

If you haven't talked with your neighbor about what's bothering you, now's the time to do it. It may be nerve wracking to approach people with negative feedback, but it's entirely possible that they don't know how their behaviour is affecting others.

When you go over, approach them in the spirit of mutual respect. Air your grievances one at a time, and try your best to be diplomatic. Accusations and blame will only alienate your neighbour further. Ask them to make the changes you'd like to see happen, and offer to make changes of your own. Your neighbour will likely try to defend themselves by listing off your flaws, so be open to hearing their criticism as well.

If you demonstrate that you're willing to compromise, then you stand a good chance of being able to work together and come to a mutually agreeable situation.

If your neighbours react poorly to your requests, it's important that you record the details of the meeting. Write down when you saw them, what grievances you brought up, and how they reacted. From this moment on, if there are any further disturbances, write them down.

Having a record of the dates and times of each incident can help your case if you end up having to go to court. Even if court's the last thing on your mind right now, it's a good idea to document things. It only takes a moment, and can really help if your relationship turns sour.

If your neighbours continue being loud or disruptive, it may be necessary to call the police. This will be seen by your neighbour as a very drastic step, but it's a matter of protecting yourself and your property. After all, there's not much point in owning a home if you can't enjoy it.

Having the police called in will hopefully get your neighbours to realize how serious you are in getting your issues resolved. They may decide to correct their behavior to avoid further hassles, or they may turn the heat up even higher. If that's the case, writing everything down and reporting all incidents to the police is what you need to do.

If you think your neighbour is just as frustrated as you are with the situation, you can suggest seeing a mediator. A mediator is an objective third party who can help you come up with a plan so that both of you can live happily in your homes.

If mediation leads nowhere, then court may be inevitable. This is the costliest option—both in terms of money and time. Try to avoid this step if at all possible by keeping a level head.


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