How to Deal With Annoying Neighbors

Written by ehow culture & society editor
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Annoying people can be very challenging to deal with, but if they happen to be your neighbors, well, that's a whole different kind of annoying. Deciding how to deal with the neighbors depends on the level of annoyance. Using a few guidelines and lots of patience will hopefully help your situation and maybe even turn your annoying neighbors into friends.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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    Start with the neighbor's dog. Perhaps their dog is barking late at night right outside your bedroom window or leaving poop piles in your yard on a regular basis. A little neighborly talk may be in order. It is possible that they don't realize what their dog is doing. Pick a good time to talk. Don't wake them up, don't rant and rave, just simply make it more of a casual kind of talk. If they are decent neighbors, they will take the hint. If that doesn't work, try another talk, a bit more serious this time. Watch for the dog to get ready to do his business in your yard and have the water sprinkler ready to turn on.

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    Use patience when you are tempted to complain about the neighbors' children. It can be upsetting when you have the perfect lawn and the neighbors' children are riding their bikes right through the middle of your petunias and playing football all over your grass. Try to get on a first name basis with the children and just talk to them. Maybe they'll get the idea of where the boundaries are. If not, talk with the parents. Just use some patience and speak respectfully as you have to live next door to these people and you were a kid once, too.

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    Make it a point to be calm when your neighbors do not mow their lawn or deal with their trash. It is very upsetting to take the time to keep your lawn properly mowed and edged while the neighbors' lawn is overgrown and unkempt. Likewise, it is irritating having their trash and junk piled up in visible sight when it is a week away from trash pick-up day. Try to find out what the situation at the neighbors' home is. Maybe there is a family illness or they had to leave town for an emergency. If so, be a good neighbor and try to help them. Move their trash cans up to their garage and mow their yard right after you do yours. You shouldn't have to do this, but it might be the best way to let them know that "you've noticed their yard." If this is a constant situation, have the "neighborly talk" and hope the situation will correct itself. If that doesn't help, contact the city in which you live to see if they are in violation of any city ordinances or ask for assistance from your homeowner's association.

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    Try to keep your cool when there is a full-blown party going on next door. If this is a once a year situation, try to just deal with it and not say anything as long as your property was not damaged in some way. However, if this is an every night or four times a week situation and you have to get up and go to work tired and irritable, you need to talk with the neighbors. Then, if need be, start documenting the times of the parties or loud music, so you will have a record of the disturbance times. If you have a homeowner's association, call or write them for assistance in enforcement of the guidelines. You may have to call the police if the problem persists. This should be a last resort as you will probably not be on good terms with your neighbors after that.

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    Talk with your neighbor before you cut down the tree that you feel is on your property, but they feel is on theirs. The same goes for fence boundaries and repairs. Someone or everyone may have to dig out a copy of the survey of their property to determine whose tree it really is or who is responsible for repairing the fence that blew down. A good neighborly talk with everyone keeping their cool is better any day that ending up in a legal battle over something like a tree or a fence.

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure that your complaints are justified before you ever consider speaking to your neighbors. Keep your talks with the neighbors on the short side. Clearly state your problems without being rude or disrespectful to them.
  • If you suspect a situation at your neighbors that involves illegal or violent activity, do not try to handle this situation yourself. Call your local police department for assistance.

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