How to file a complaint against a neighbour

Written by laura latzko
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How to file a complaint against a neighbour
Getting to know your neighbours can help prevent conflicts. (Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Neighbours have conflicts with each other for different reasons, including pets, trees, property boundaries, fences, parking and noise. These issues put a strain on people's relationships with neighbours. Although some neighbours are able to solve problems by talking through them, sometimes people aren't able to solve the problem without intervention from a third party, such as a judge, police office or apartment manager. Try to communicate with your neighbours about conflicts before calling someone or filling out paperwork to file a complaint against them.

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    Talk to your apartment manager or the head of your homeowners or neighbourhood association about problems you are having with your neighbour. Give them information on how the neighbour has caused you problems. Look at your lease or agreement with your homeowners association to cite the code or regulation your neighbour is breaking.

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    Fill out a complaint form or write a letter if the apartment manager or head of the homeowners or neighbourhood association asks you to do so. Be prepared to provide details on problems you have had with the neighbour over time, if it is not a one-time occurrence.

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    Keep copies of complaints you file with an apartment manager or the head of your neighbourhood group in case you need to refer back to them in the future. Give your apartment manager time to take action but keep filling out complaints if nothing is done in an adequate amount of time. If he doesn't respond to your complaints, go to his supervisor to solve the problem.

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    Call your local police department to file a complaint against your neighbour if you feel that he has broken a law, such as not adhering to laws on noise levels. Provide information about the incident to the police, going into details to help police officers determine whether they should pursue the issue.

  2. 2

    Go down to the police station to file a written complaint if a problem with your neighbour is not pressing and you want to talk to a police officer in person. Provide contact information and facts related to the complaint, including how often and when your neighbour has caused you and others problems.

  3. 3

    Get other people to call or go down to the police department to file complaints. Having others file complaints can help to give police officers more of the story, as you may not be aware of other instances when a neighbour has caused conflict.

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    Go to your local courthouse or the court's website to file a complaint against a neighbour if he has caused a problem that has resulted in money loss for you. After filing a complaint, a court clerk issues a summons to the person that you are suing, which informs him about the lawsuit you are filing against him.

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    Put pertinent information on your complaint, such as who wronged you, what he did, how much money he cost you and what legal remedy you wish to have. Also state why your complaint should be tried in a small claims court, according to

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    Hire a lawyer to help you with the complaint and the impending lawsuit if you don't have experience with suing someone. Consider the costs of a lawyer versus the amount of money you are asking for before seeking legal assistance. Ask clerks at your local courthouse for help in filing a lawsuit against your neighbour.

Tips and warnings

  • Call the police as soon as possible if you feel that your neighbour is harming another individual, such as his significant other.
  • If you file a lawsuit against your neighbour, provide evidence of how he has caused you some form of harm or damages.
  • Make sure that you are in good standing with your apartment manager or neighbourhood or homeowners association before filing a complaint against a neighbour. Pay your rent on time and make sure you are following regulations before filing the complaint.
  • Filing a complaint against your neighbour could make it difficult for you to live next to him in the future. Be prepared to deal with anger or hurt from your neighbour after you file a complaint against him.

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