Do you have a neighbor that annoys you? The chances are, you do! According to this REALTOR Magazine article, a recent survey done by Lending Tree revealed that 75% of Americans don’t like their neighbor.
What bugs people about their neighbors the most? Take your pick:
- They give off a “weird vibe” (28%)
- They’re too loud (27%)
- They’re rude (27%)
- Disruptive pets (17%)
- They’re nosy (16%)
- They don’t maintain their home (16%)
- Unruly kids (13%)
- Guests park in front of their home or in their spot (13%)
- They’re smokers and the smell is bothersome (11%)
- Disagree with political views (4%)
- They rent their house out short-term (3%)
So if you have a neighbor that annoys you for any of those reasons, just know that you’re not alone. But simply knowing that doesn’t make it any better, so here are a few tips on how to avoid or deal with neighbors you don’t get along with.
- Try before you buyBefore you buy or rent a place, take a walk around the neighborhood during the time people will likely be outside. Get a feel for how they greet you…or don’t greet you. Chat with the neighbors you’ll potentially live directly next to if possible, and see what they’re like. Walk around and just watch and listen to what goes on in the area. If possible, do this on different days and times to get a more thorough feel.
- Be pleasant and friendly Most people aren’t going to intentionally annoy someone who’s pleasant and friendly with them. Whether you like them or not, just being nice can go a long way in getting them to treat you nicely. And if they do something that bothers you, it’ll be easier to have a conversation and resolve the issue.
- Avoid themPeople complain about how everybody is so busy nowadays, and even when they’re home, they spend all their time inside. So, you can probably live on the same street or in the same neighborhood as someone and not interact all that much. So if you don’t see eye to eye with someone, just do your best to avoid having to even lay eyes on them as much as possible.
- Have a chatIf you have a problem with a neighbor and can’t avoid them or the issue, don’t come at them aggressively. Bring up what bothers you in a diplomatic way. See how they react before you presume they’ll be defensive or argumentative. They may have no clue that they do something that bugs you, and they might be willing to do whatever it takes to keep the peace.
- Put it in writingIf you have a chat and it doesn’t go over well, or the problem persists, see if what they’re doing violates any local laws or ordinances. If it does, let them know that you’d prefer to avoid reporting the behavior to authorities, but will if it continues. Putting it in writing puts them on notice that you’re serious. But, it is a serious step, so only do this if it’s intolerable, because it’ll be hard to be on friendly terms at all afterwards. The best outcome you can hope for going this route is that they cease the behavior, but you still won’t be on good terms.
- Call the authoritiesIf it persists or escalates, you may just have to call the police or local authorities to step in.
- Maybe moveThe last resort is to just move. If you don’t feel safe or comfortable, definitely consider moving. But if it’s just not ideal, and you wish you had better neighbors, think twice about moving. As you can see by the results of the survey, the chances are, even if you move somewhere else there’s a good chance you’ll have a neighbor you won’t like.
As statistics show, there’s a good chance you won’t like a neighbor wherever you move, which also means there’s a good chance one of your neighbors won’t like you. Even if you live on a one-way street, being a good neighbor is a two-way street. As much as a neighbor might annoy you, you could be doing something to annoy them. So think about how you’d want to be treated if that were the case, and treat your neighbors similarly. Try to handle your grievances with diplomacy, respect, and understanding.