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How to Deal with Rude Neighbors

by Tamara Runzel, studioD

Loud music, barking dogs, too many cars – some things take away from the peace and tranquility of the neighborhood. If your neighborhood is lacking the quiet you’re looking for because of rude neighbors, there are some ways you can take care of the situation. The best approach is to deal with the rude neighbor directly, but even if that doesn’t work, there are some options.

Establish a good relationship with your neighbors. When you move to the neighborhood or new neighbors move in, bring over dinner or some other treat and introduce yourself. A good relationship makes it more difficult to react rudely when a situation arises, notes an article on MSN.

Set up a time to talk about the situation with your neighbor. Don’t try to talk to your neighbor when you’re angry. Wait until you’re calm and take some time to figure out how to approach the issue.

Avoid using “you” statements when you confront your neighbor, such as “Your dog barks all the time and I can’t get any sleep.” Blaming your neighbor will only make matters worse. Try to take a lighthearted approach to solving the problem, such as “I have a hard time sleeping at night because Fido seems to keep late hours. Do you think he can go inside or in the garage after 9 p.m.?”

Write a note to your neighbor to inform the neighbor of the issue if you’re uncomfortable with a face-to-face meeting, suggests Patt Morrison in the article “Learning to Be Neighborly with Difficult Neighbors.”

Keep a log of issues you experience. The Milwaukee Police Department recommends including as many details as possible, including the date, time, location, description of the issue and who you contacted.

Seek help from a mediator if you can’t resolve the issue on your own. Many cities have a mediation center, notes MSN. If your city doesn’t have a mediation center, you can find one through the National Association for Community Mediation, or ask at city hall. A mediator tries to help you and your neighbor resolve your dispute without turning it into a legal matter.

Contact a higher authority if mediation doesn’t help. This might be a landlord, a homeowner’s association or the local police. Many homeowner’s associations and cities have nuisance laws. If the issue with your neighbors qualifies as a nuisance, authorities can help. The website housingrights.org defines a nuisance as anything that is “injurious to health, indecent to the senses, unlawfully impeding free use of the streets or obstructing free use of property so as to interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property.”

About the Author

Tamara Runzel has been writing military, parenting, family and relationship articles since 2008. Runzel started in television news, followed by education before deciding to be a stay at home mom. Her articles have appeared in military publications as well as numerous online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from University of the Pacific.

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