Tips for Dealing With Difficult Neighbors

Published: 03/16/2021

Communication is the best way to prevent and resolve conflict between neighbors before it reaches the legal system. Follow these tips to be a good neighbor:

     Say hello at the mailbox or when you’re walking your dog. Introduce yourself when you see a moving van. Know your neighbors’ names and regularly offer a friendly greeting.

     Give them a heads up if you’re planning a construction project, altering your landscape, or hosting a big party.

     Be considerate about noise from vehicles, speakers, and pets.

     Make an effort to understand your differences. Differences in age, ethnic background, and years in the neighborhood can lead to different expectations or misunderstandings.

     Keep areas of your property that others can see presentable.

     Appreciate your neighbors. If your neighbors do something you like, let them know. They’ll be pleased you noticed, and it’ll be easier to talk later if they do something you don’t like.

     Stay positive. If a neighbor does something that irritates you, don’t assume it was deliberate.

     Talk honestly. Tolerance is important, but don’t let a real irritation go because it seems unimportant or hard to discuss. Let your neighbor know if something they do annoys you.

     Be respectful. Talk to your neighbors directly if there’s a problem. Gossiping with others can damage relationships with your neighbors and cause more trouble.

     Remain calm. Thank neighbors for their input when they have a problem with you.

     Listen carefully. When discussing a problem with a neighbor, try to understand their position and why they feel that way.

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