Many of our neighbors turn into life-long friends and trusted confidants we can’t imagine living without! Or even if you’re not that close, they’re usually up for the occasional chat over the fence or good for a tablespoon or two of sugar in a pinch.
Unfortunately, sometimes we move somewhere and end up with neighbors who are less-than-pleasant or just a downright nightmare. These situations are never easy, but they can be manageable. With a direct approach and a few backup options in your pocket, you’ll never have to fear any potential nasty neighbors when you make your next move!
Try to start off on the right foot.
The best way to handle a neighbor that seems like they could give you trouble down the line is to try to establish a good relationship from the get-go! Introduce yourself to new neighbors as soon as you can, whether you’re the one moving in or they’re the ones joining the community.
Show genuine interest and kindness when you interact to build a positive foundation and mutual trust. Invite them over for a cup of coffee or ask them to show you the best spots in the neighborhood! Get to know them, at least on a base level.
You don’t have to set up weekly brunches but opening the door for comfortable conversation can help prevent many issues before they even arise.
Communication is key.
Just as you would in any circumstances involving conflict, your first attempt to address it should be straightforward communication. Open up a direct dialogue about potential or existing problems with your neighbor so you can nip problems in the bud before they escalate.
Don’t go into a conversation about your issues throwing around accusations, calmly let the other person know how you’re feeling. Most importantly, be receptive and ready to listen to what your neighbor has to say.
The goal of this open communication is to come up with a solution that works for both parties. Establish boundaries and best practices that make you both feel heard and satisfied. Be willing to compromise too. Having to trim your bushes once a week to keep them from encroaching on your neighbor’s property is far easier than dealing with a call from city about a complaint filed against you.
Keep a record.
If the disputes with your neighbor are becoming consistent and more difficult, start documenting problems as they continue. Take detailed notes about the what, where, and when of each situation. Include relevant photos in your files too. Seeing it all in writing is also a good way to rationally evaluate whether further action needs to be taken.
Try writing a letter if your neighbor hasn’t been responsive to your attempts at in-person discussion. Sometimes it’s easier to keep your thoughts straight this way and present them in a composed manner.
Be sure to offer a couple of solutions for them to consider, to emphasize that you’re trying to be proactive, not just complain. It doesn’t hurt to have a copy on hand if you end up needing tangible proof to back your word later on either.
If it comes down to it, take action.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to diffuse a troublesome situation with your neighbor privately, with mature and direct communication. Sometimes though, issues can escalate to a point where it’s necessary to take more drastic action.
If your neighbor is refusing to cooperate with you to resolve problems and continuing to give you a hard time, file a complaint with the appropriate authorities. This might be the city codes department or a neighborhood/homeowner’s association. Show your neighbor that you’re serious and you won’t be backing down. Call the police if you’re in a situation where your neighbor is getting aggressive, especially if you feel threatened or think they may resort to violence.
Contact a lawyer when things really start to deteriorate to ensure you know your rights and warn your neighbor that you’re prepared to take legal action. If worse comes to worse, take it to small claims court to get fair compensation for damages.
Dowell’s Moving and Storage is dedicated to providing great service to alleviate the stress of moving, so you’re in the right mindset to start a positive relationship with your neighbors right away! Free up your time and your energy on moving day and make the transition into a new community easier. Contact us today to learn more about what our expert moving team can do for you!