In an ideal world, everyone would love their neighbors. You’d be able to talk to them, hang out with them, and borrow a cup of sugar when in need. But people are different, and everyone has unique needs, habits, and schedules. It’s not uncommon to run into a problem with neighbors every now and then. Addressing these issues requires a certain amount of tact. After all, you probably see these people every day and don’t want to spend the rest of your tenancy awkwardly trying to avoid them.
To help keep the peace, Contemporary Management Concepts, LLLP has identified three common neighbor nuisances and how to proactively deal with them.
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Most of us have had to deal with noisy neighbors at one time or another, and living in communal living situations can make it even more noticeable. It’s important to remember that everyone makes noise, and you yourself might be louder than you realize. However, there’s a difference between normal living sounds and intrusive noises. Yelling, loud music or TV, parties, or incessantly barking dogs can all reasonably be addressed with your neighbor to reach a compromise on acceptable noise volume.
While it’s always helpful to have a good rapport with someone before addressing issues, introducing yourself and politely asking them to quiet down is reasonable. You can exchange a phone number or email address to reach them if they become too loud again and tell them to let you know if you’re ever too loud. You should also check your lease to see if there are any outlined quiet times. Doing so will help you determine if your grievances are fair.
Smells are another part of living, but strong odors can be overwhelming and illicit strong responses in people who are scent sensitive. Smells that come from cooking and baking can’t really be helped. Still, funky odors or smoke from cigarettes or marijuana, especially if there are rules against smoking in the apartments, should be addressed with your landlord or leasing office.
The staff in your community most likely has had experience dealing with these issues before, perhaps even with the same neighbor, and will know how to handle it most appropriately. Give them a few days and then check back in to see how it went.
Sometimes people just aren’t aware of how their actions or their guests’ actions are impacting you. Things like parking in your spot, not picking up after their pets, littering, or filling your room with smoke by grilling right outside your window are all common grievances that can be handled with a little bit of communication.
Because they may not even be aware that what they’re doing is bothersome, it’s best to approach them calmly and openly. Communicate how you’re being affected and offer solutions, such as identifying guest parking spots or talking to the leasing office about installing extra dog waste disposal stations. And if you see that they’re trying to make amends, thank them for their efforts. Doing so can help keep your relationship mutually copacetic.
Communicating with your neighbor and allowing them to address the issue before going to your leasing office is typically the best course of action. However, if you’ve spoken to them several times, it’s a sensitive issue, or they’re clearly in breach of the leasing agreement, it’s time to seek additional help.
However, sometimes your leasing office may be closed, or you might require more immediate help. In cases where you fear for your safety or property or your neighbor’s safety, you should reach out to the authorities. If you believe there is a fire, medical emergency, or violence, dial 911. For non-emergency situations that still require police authorities, call the sheriff’s office directly. Be sure to inform your leasing office if you’ve made contact with authorities regarding a neighbor.