How to deal with bad neighbours

How to deal with bad neighbours

It’s 9 p.m. in Brooklyn, and my upstairs neighbor’s Lab retriever is running wall-to-wall sprints worthy of the NFL combine. Across the hall, a young couple is laughing hysterically and smoking something funky. And the Italian seniors next door are having sex and playing the Righteous Brothers so loud, I’ve definitely lost that loving feeling.

The good news is, the dog dash is always brief, the sky-high lovebirds let me borrow their drill, and the oldies fans tire easily—so, all in all, they’re good neighbors, which can be a rarity in New York City.

But I’ve definitely encountered some nightmare neighbors in the city—like the perpetually shoeless man who taught his three foul parrots to curse loudly for days at a time. I also spent two decades in suburbia, which was no commune, either. In third grade, a schizophrenic neighbor said God told her I was evil, and spread glass shards in our yard—a jarring experience at age 8, but in retrospect, a memorable lesson in the art of neighboring.

How to get over the fact you’re living among strangers

Your home should be your sanctum, a safe space in an increasingly chaotic world. Yet when moving into a new home you’re likely to find yourself surrounded by strangers. In concept, it’s a pretty threatening juxtaposition. In practice, however, it’s actually something to be embraced.

We all feel this way about home, and when approached correctly, you and your neighbor can unite your protective instincts, form a sense of community, and even help each other out when needed. You don’t need to have much in common, and save for the occasional “How’s it going?” or “What’s up!” you don’t have to interact that much. You do, however, have to respect each other’s space and peace. Do this and neighboring becomes like raising a garden: Seed thoroughly at season’s start, remember to water it, and if needed, carefully address pests before they choke out your tomatoes.

How to become friendly with your neighbor

The art of neighboring begins with a brief introduction to establish trust and initiate a civil relationship. This intro doesn’t have to be immediate, so don’t force it. If your neighbor has an armful of groceries outside your apartment building, it might not be the best time for getting-to-know-you (though it is the perfect time to hold the door open). Remember, a great first impression goes a long way toward preventing future drama, so when the right time does present itself, put on your happy pants. Kathy Neily, a New York–based therapist who specializes in conflict resolution, recommends a classic customer service smile and solid eye contact. “If this is an Oscar-winning performance, so be it,” she says. “You don’t have to feel this generous of spirit, you just have to act like it.”

From there on out, measured tolerance becomes the key to smooth neighboring. Easier said than done, though ultimately it does get easier, as learning to dissolve anger weakens negative reflexes to annoyances. This isn’t to say let yourself get walked on—if an annoyance threatens to affect your life, it’s time for a talk. And whether it’s your neighbor’s dog defiling your driveway or the apartment next door blasting Beyoncé at day-break, resist the urge to simply bang on your neighbor’s front door. “Stop and ask yourself: ‘How important is this?’” says Neily. “You have a right to your feelings, so voice the unedited version to yourself, then to someone who can listen without interrupting to give advice.” Once the anger subsides, should a discussion still feel necessary, plan your interaction logically.

The best way to handle a problem with your neighbor

Though nailing a note to the offender’s door may feel satisfying, the best way to handle an issue is in person. Neily says to remember, “I’m OK. You’re OK” is the message. It’s safe to assume that your neighbor isn’t necessarily an evil, malicious person who’s out to get you, even though it may feel that way. “Most people have no idea that what they are doing might be driving you crazy,” says Neily. Approach the neighbor on neutral ground so as to not activate territorial instinct—stay near your property line, or in your building’s hallway. Aim for the weekend when you’re both relaxed and simply explain the dilemma using the first person. “Keep it on the ‘I’, as in ‘I’m having a hard time sleeping with the volume of your music,’ ” Neily says. “Starting sentences with ‘you’ feels like lecturing and puts people on the defensive.” She says it may sound backward, but to get your point across, don’t talk too much. “After you give your ‘I’ statement, stop, listen to what they have to say. The more you respectfully listen, the better chance you have of communicating your version of the scenario.” And even if you have to bite your lip, try to end the discussion cordially.

How to coexist happily ever after with neighbors

Given mankind’s track record, peaceful coexistence on a mass scale may be a pipe dream, but basic neighborly living certainly isn’t. Just plant your garden, nourish the roots, and reap the rewards. And should complications arise, remember the art of neighboring: Settle your mind and evaluate the problem. If necessary, engage the neighbor at an appropriate place and time, using a first-person, non-accusatory tone. Treat the issue as a misunderstanding, not an act of war. Listen to their response, don’t interrupt, and conclude on a positive note. That is, unless you live next to an unstable shut-in convinced she’s doing the Lord’s work by scattering broken glass in your children’s sandbox. At that point you might want to tell the kids Finding Nemo is on, lock the doors, and give the cops a call.

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By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) – Updated: 27 Mar 2022 | *Discuss

How to deal with bad neighbours

We all hope that our neighbours are going to be friendly and reasonable, but unfortunately some people just aren’t easy to get along with. While being tolerant is the key, there can be a point where tolerance is no longer an option and you really have to start dealing with any problems you’re having.

First Steps in Neighbour Disputes

1. A Gentle Request

2. A Letter or Note

3. Mediation/Involving Other People

You should be able to find your local service through your local council website or helpline.

4. Keep a Record of Everything

Make a note of every incident that bothers you – noise, mess, anti-social behaviour, and anything you think that should be included. Photographs, video, anything that proves your case will be useful – but be careful taking pictures of people as this could inflame the situation if you’re caught! If you write any letters, keep copies.

5. Environmental Health

You need to ask them if they will get involved on your behalf, and what you need to do to start action – all councils have slightly different ways of approaching the issue but they will all have some guidelines.

6. Legal Help with Problem Neighbours

It might also be worthwhile trying to get a fixed fee legal appointment with a local solicitor, to see if they can help you by writing a letter to your neighbour. This is a last resort though – legal letters do have a way of inflaming already tense situations. Don’t start legal action unless you really have exhausted all other options.

How to deal with bad neighbours

Whether it's bearing their constant nosiness or their noise, dealing with annoying neighbours isn't easy at all.

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  • Last Updated: January 27, 2014, 15:01 IST
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There are bad people, weird ones, irritating kinds and then there are annoying neighbours. While you can manage your way around the bad and weird ones, annoying neighbours are people you are forced to put up with on your precious weekends, your sick leaves and every day after coming back home. Whether it’s bearing their constant nosiness or their noise, dealing with neighbours isn’t all that easy. You have to be careful not to piss them off as they might become more annoying. and, this time, on purpose. Here are 20 ways in which you can survive your annoying neighbours.

#### The noisy kind: A sarcastic anonymous note might do the trick. For instance, if your neighbour is the kind who plays loud music all night, stick a note on his door complimenting his speakers or home theatre system. Make sure it’s in block letters for everyone else to see too.

The nosy kind: If your neighbours are too interested in what you shopped for or who visits you frequently, give them a taste of their own medicine. Start taking interest in their living situation too. If they are the quarreling kinds, your questions might be able to embarrass them a little. Meanwhile, when they ask you questions, try changing the topic politely.

The dirty kind: If you have neighbours who leave their garbage bags in the common stairwell, doing the whole Gandhigiri thing might help. Clear their garbage for them a couple of times, make sure they see you do it. Hopefully, they’d have a conscience and stop making the mess. If they don’t, you can always complain.

The knows-no-boundaries kinds: If your neighbours treat your side of the lawn as theirs, try hinting that you don’t like it. If they don’t get your hints, be direct. After all, it is your lawn, isn’t it?

The creepy kind: Do you have neighbours who tend to linger on in the stairwell and stare at whoever passes by? Well, there’s only one way to treat them, stare right back at them. They’ll get the message.

The can-I-have-some-sugar kind: This breed of neighbours is the hardest to deal with. While they don’t have the basic grocery items in their homes, they’ll know for sure you’re lying if you tell them you don’t have them either. Make a joke about how you guys should split the monthly grocery bill. Even though you won’t do it, your neighbour will get the message.

The forgetful kind: Do you open the door for pizzas that are not even yours. We’re obviously not talking about the got-it-wrong-the-one-time kind. Probably your neighbour has forgotten to correct his registered address and is too lazy to do it. Next time, just take the pizza and eat it. Spending that Rs500 will be totally worth it.

The baby weepy kind: Do your neighbours have babies who stay up all night hollering away? Well, wait eight-nine months, there’s nothing you can do about this one except yawn at work.

The kind that steals your morning paper: There’s only one way to deal with these kinds, send them the bill at the end of the month!

Those who chat up your friends and try to pump them for info about you: If this neighbour doesn’t mean much to you and you don’t mind spoiling relations, tell your friends what they need to say to them about you. If it’s an orthodox aunty digging up information about you, tell your friends to tell her that you don’t believe in God – it usually works. However, if it’s an obsessive guy who wants to know more about you, let him know about that ’Khali-like boyfriend’ you have.

The judgemental kind that passes sanctimonious comments about your lifestyle: You can only ignore this one. Call someone on your phone the moment you see this neighbour, or run in the other direction.

The one that secretly complains to the housing association president about you: If you need the apartment, you need to get into this neighbour’s good books as soon as possible.

The arranger of cultural activities – you HAVE to take part on a Sunday when you’d rather chill, he’ll not take no for an answer: Attend the function drunk. You’ll never be invited again.

The whiner who goes on for hours about his ailments: This kind of neighbour will ultimately drain you mentally, so act fast. Cutting them abruptly in conversation might help.

The door slammer: If your neighbours are the kind to slam doors every time they leave and tend to talk loudly in the stairwell, give them a taste of their own medicine.

The PDA – young couple who think everyone must know how happy they are in their marriage: Tell them about how your married friends, who couldn’t keep their hands off each other, were thrown out of an apartment complex. Do it subtly, though; you shouldn’t come across as the bad guy.

The mother – has to know everything that’s happening in your life, full of advice, whether you want it or not and gets offended if you don’t update her on gossip: Start irritating her with trivial problems since she thinks she likes to help you out. She’ll start ignoring you soon enough.

The weirdo – the oddball who opens the door a crack when you ring the bell, looks over his shoulder, cheerily waves at you the next day as if nothing happened: Ignore and don’t ring their door bell again. Ever.

The wifi thief: First and foremost, why don’t you have your wifi password protected? Anyway, moving on…disconnect your internet connection for a while; your neighbours will be forced to get one for themselves. Meanwhile, you can spend some quality time in front of the TV.

The parking disaster: If you’re forced to test your parking skills every day thanks to your neighbours’ lack of any, stick a sarcastic note on his car. If that doesn’t help, gang up on him along with others in the apartment building.

When someone says they have a bad neighbor, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are a psychopath or have a meth lab in their apartment—even though it’s not excluded. A bad neighbor can be someone who annoys you because they are noisy or have a dog that doesn’t stop barking .

In this article, you can learn how to recognize different types of bad neighbors and what to do legally to make their annoying behavior stop.

If the problem is persistent, you should sign up for DoNotPay to create a demand letter against your neighbors.

Types of Annoying Neighbors

Whether you find a behavior annoying depends solely on you, but there are certain types of neighbor behaviors that grind everyone’s gears. Check out several types of annoying neighbors in the table below:

Description

If it’s the former, you can—and you should—call the police if you suspect domestic abuse

  • Is usually an older lady
  • Watches through the window all the time
  • Knows everyone’s comings and goings
  • Spreads rumors as quick as a flash

How To Deal With Difficult Neighbors

Whether they are annoying the standard amount or it evolves into harassment, we recommend trying some of the following methods for dealing with inconsiderate neighbors:

  1. Communicate about the problem —Communication can be a solution to many problems, including this one. Your neighbor might not be that great at parenting, and you can’t do anything about that, but you can ask them to turn down the volume when yelling. Ask Bob the Builder to leave drilling for the more appropriate time of the day and that DJ enthusiast to turn it down a notch
  2. Ask your landlord for help —If you have a landlord, ask them to help you handle the situation. They may be the owner of the troublemaker’s apartment, and they can talk to them. If not, they can install a security alarm system or change your locks if you’re afraid for your safety and privacy —Whether you plan on filing a report or lawsuit, keeping notes of problematic neighbor behavior is smart. Take notes, pictures, audio, and video records—they will serve as strong evidence when filing a complaint letter or pursuing legal action if it comes to that
  3. Contact local authorities —Sometimes, a situation can get out of hand. When that happens, you should file a police report or call 911 to get them to resolve your problem on location
  4. Check the zoning and ordinance laws —If your neighbor crosses a line—both literal and figurative—you should examine your state’s rules and zoning and ordinance laws for dealing with these situations. In case your neighbor violates the law, you can take them to a small court and seek damages or an injunction

How To Handle Bad Neighbors —Draft a Demand Letter Using DoNotPay!

Discussing the problem didn’t help? Don’t worry—there is another option! You can use DoNotPay to create a demand letter and send it to your mean or annoying neighbor. This letter serves as another chance for them to correct the problematic behavior before you take more severe action.

To inform your bad neighbor about the legal actions you might take, open DoNotPay and follow these steps:

  1. Locate the Neighbor Complaints tool
  2. Describe the type of problems your neighbor is causing you
  3. Provide more details about the incidents

You won’t have to endure your problem much longer—we will draft a demand letter instantly!

Useful Tips on How To Annoy Neighbors Legally

Are you looking for legal ways to annoy neighbors? Want to know how to get rid of bad neighbors or how to get back at them legally? If you’re the vengeful kind, you can try being a bad neighbor yourself:

  • Turn the volume up
  • Mow your lawn as soon as the sun comes up
  • Park your car in their favorite parking spot
  • Learn how to play bongos in your bedroom
  • Invite your friends over for a loud dish sesh
  • Install a basketball hoop in your living room

If you choose to go down this road, make sure to double-check the local rules and regulations so you don’t end up with a demand letter yourself.

DoNotPay—A Pocket-Sized Assistant

If you need protection from stalkers and harassers , we know what to do. Whether you want to deal with a rude or noisy neighbor or fight workplace discrimination , DoNotPay has got your back. Even spammers don’t stand a chance against our AI-powered app—both the texters and the robocallers .

If your situation takes a turn for the worse, you may need to take the issue to court. In this case, the world’s first robot lawyer swoops in to help! You can count on DoNotPay to assist you every step of the way, regardless of whether you need to take a person or a company to small claims court .

Our App Helps You Through Numerous Red-Tape Issues

Dealing with paperwork doesn’t have to be tedious. With DoNotPay’s help, cutting through red tape is fast and easy. With a few clicks in our app, you’ll be able to:

By Lara Owolabi , 11 April 2017 | 2 min read How to deal with bad neighbours

Imagine this. You’ve found your perfect home, you can’t wait to move in and then you find out there’s gonna be a problem. Your neighbours!

Nobody wants to move into a new neighbourhood and not get along with everybody or have ‘neighbours from hell’. So, here are some tips we've come up with on how to deal if you’re stuck with a nasty neighbour.

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Noisy neighbours

How to deal with bad neighboursSometimes nothing can be worse than having neighbours who just won’t keep quiet. They play loud music all through the night, shout at each other and constantly throw reckless house parties. You’ve told them politely to turn it down but they’re not listening or worse they listen for a day and then think they can go back to doing it again.

Here’s how to deal with them: If you’re a persistent person and ready for a fight, then you can keep telling your neighbours how you feel about their rowdiness, but if you’re like most of us and want to nip it in the bud then it may be time to pick up the phone and call the police. Make a noise complaint.

Yes, we know. Nobody likes a ‘snitch’ but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

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The careless pet owners

How to deal with bad neighboursThese neighbours are completely fine, except for one very annoying thing. They ALWAYS leave their dog's ‘you know what’ on the pavement. They don’t clean up after their furry canine and sometimes it’s even right in front of your house!

It is very inconsiderate, not to mention gross. You probably don’t know how to bring up this awkward conversation without causing a neighbour dispute.

Here’s how to deal with them: Talk to them! We understand you don’t want to or you feel like you shouldn’t have to, but some people need a good talking to. Tell them what they’re doing is wrong and if they refuse to listen, speak to some of your other neighbours and then go back and speak to them all together.

Most times someone is willing to listen when a group of people are telling them off. It may embarrass them, but we guarantee you won’t see another ‘doggie package’ again.

Doggy doo on the footpath may not lower your property value, but these 5 eyesores might.

The party hard neighbours

How to deal with bad neighboursSometimes you get stuck living next to those neighbours who drink a bit too much, play rave music all night and have a constant stream of strangers arriving at their property. As always, the best way to deal with them is to have a friendly chat. If that doesn't work and the noise continues, you can report them to your local authority.

Neighbourhood Watch

How to deal with bad neighboursSometimes coming together as a group is better than fighting alone. So, if you’re neighbourhood doesn’t already have one, why don’t you come up with a neighbourhood watch group.

You guys will have meetings, discuss problems and report things to the police if necessary. Having several pairs of eyes on a neighbourhood is always going to be better than a pair on its own.

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How to deal with bad neighboursiStock.com/Damir Khabirov

You’ve done months of research, found your dream apartment, and signed the lease. When you finally move in, however, you discover your next-door neighbor is a chronic late-night party person. Or maybe you’ve lived in your dream place only to have someone move into the next unit and deposit heaps of garbage daily outside the building.

Learning how to deal with annoying neighbors is an essential part of renting. Sometimes, you’ll figure out how to avoid neighbors and keep the peace. Other times, the problem gets too intense. You don’t want to get yourself into legal trouble by acting out of frustration. Before you reach your breaking point, learn about the legal steps you can take to deal with bad neighbors legally.

What makes a bad neighbor?

What makes a neighbor a bad neighbor? What gets on one renter’s nerves may not bother someone else at all, and what we perceive as bad situations can range from purely annoying to illegal. You’ll find a few main types of bad neighbors, such as the following:

  • Noisy neighbors: From couples in the next unit getting into screaming matches at all hours and late-night party people to the kid who won’t stop blasting music, noisy neighbors can disrupt the sanctuary of your home.
  • Messy neighbors: Who enjoys coming home to trash bags in front of the apartment? This type of neighbor. You might find some renters with pets who don’t bother to clean up after their furry friend, too.
  • Unfriendly neighbors: Maybe the person next door never says a word to you, or maybe you have a neighbor who’s actively mean to you.
  • Dangerous neighbors: Neighbors who engage in illegal activities, such as dealing drugs or creating a physical threat to you, go beyond daily annoyances. Some neighbors are downright dangerous.

Sound familiar? You’re not alone if you have some awful neighbors on your hands. Dealing with neighbors comes with the territory of living in apartments. It’s essential to learn how to handle situations with neighbors legally.

What a bad neighbor does will ultimately determine the type of legal remedies you can use. For example, you may have to accept hearing a dog that occasionally barks during the day or soundproof your apartment. Noise that violates city ordinances, however, might allow you to pursue a legal case.

Bad Neighbors — What To Do Legally

You can take a few steps when you’re dealing with bad neighbors without getting into legal trouble yourself.

1. Try a Polite Chat

First, try to have a simple conversation with your neighbor. A conversation could clear up misunderstandings by solving your problem without escalating matters further. Your neighbor might not realize you can hear the music blasting at 3 a.m., for example. A quick and polite chat can ensure that all parties are on the same page.

Remember, you may have to keep living next door to a bad neighbor. Diving headfirst into a legal dispute that you ultimately didn’t need can create additional stress and problems.

Of course, if your neighbor engages in criminal or dangerous behaviors, you’ll need to take this activity more seriously from the beginning. However, you can tackle issues such as a dog that barks while your neighbor is at work, for example. Addressing garbage left in front of your door may take only kindness and a candid talk. You might get the outcome you want and stay on good terms with your neighbor.

2. Work With a Mediator

If a polite talk doesn’t do the trick, you might consider hiring a mediator. An unbiased third party can help you and your neighbor work through the problems you’re having so that you can come up with an acceptable solution for everyone.

3. Involve Your Homeowners Association

Suppose you rent a property that comes with a homeowners association, such as a condo unit. In this case, you can involve the HOA if your annoying neighbor won’t solve a problem once you’ve had a polite chat. HOAs typically have guidelines and policies about solving neighbor disputes. Meet with your HOA to explain the situation and determine the appropriate next steps.

Additionally, HOAs have various areas they can regulate, including the following:

  • Home-owned businesses
  • Noise
  • Pets

In other words, if your annoying neighbor isn’t following bylaws and guidelines, the HOA has the authority to step in. Your HOA can remedy the problem on your behalf in these cases.

4. Refer to Local Zoning and Ordinance Laws

You’re not out of luck if your community doesn’t have a homeowners association. Take a look instead at your local zoning and ordinance laws. If you can prove that a neighbor violated local law, you can bring a petition to seek an injunction or damages in a small claims court.

However, before you bring the petition, you might consider reaching out to your annoying neighbor again. Try writing a personal letter with information about the local noise and disturbance ordinances that apply to your situation and offer a constructive solution. Your neighbor might take the cue and resolve the issue with better behavior.

5. Contact Local Authorities

Sometimes, bad neighbors are bad enough to require involving the police. If you feel unsafe, you may need to go this route. Let the authorities know how you’ve tried to solve a problem — it’s always a good idea to keep documentation of ongoing harassment. The police will investigate, and you’ll likely need to appear as a witness if your case goes to court.

Dealing with neighbors comes with its challenges, especially if you live next to someone annoying you. Learning how to handle bad neighbors without getting into legal trouble yourself is an integral part of apartment living. By behaving politely and keeping the law on your side, you can prevent awful neighbors from ruining the experience of living your best life in your dream home.

Ready to move out instead? Search thousands of apartments and homes for rent on Zumper and get yourself some new neighbors.

How to deal with bad neighbours

There are a number of annoyances you can guard against when buying a home, but a bad neighbour is, unfortunately, not among them.

You can hire a professional to check whether the stumps on the home have rotted or if an army of termites has moved in, but checking the calibre of those next door is far from easy.

And a bad neighbour can take a huge toll on your life. From rowdy mid-week parties to dogs that bark incessantly, the excesses of inconsiderate neighbours are among the most annoying aspects of suburban living.

It is little wonder some homeowners find it is easier to move than deal with a neighbour that is making their life hell.

The problems begin

Retiree John Robertson knows first-hand the soul-destroying effects of a dispute with a neighbour.

How to deal with bad neighbours

Living next door to wannabe rockstars is the pits.

His problems began when a couple bought a block of land next door to his semi-rural property in northern New South Wales, and the new neighbours objected to being forced to pay for their share of a fence separating the two properties.

“After that they set about doing everything in their power to disrupt our lives,” Mr Robertson says.

They let their dogs wander onto their yard, played loud drums at 2am in the morning and, at one point, Mr Robertson was punched in the face. He estimates he spent close to $6000 on court proceedings and apprehended violence orders.

“It was remarkably stressful and went on for close to 10 years,” he says.

Play it friendly

Buyers’ agent Patrick Bright says buyers who are concerned about inheriting vengeful, Old Testament-style neighbours, such as Mr Robertson’s, can complete a simple check.

“The best way is to go and introduce yourself and say, ‘Hi, I am thinking of buying the house next door and I just wanted to know what the street and area is like as I am not very familiar with it’,” Mr Bright says.

“I have done this several times for clients and I also encourage them to do this themselves if they are concerned in any way.”

But as Mr Bright points out, there is only so much you can control in terms of who your neighbours are, especially as many investors rent out properties.

“The fact is (the people you talk with) could move out anyway in a few months and someone nutty could move in and there is nothing you can do about it,” he says.

Lessons learned

If you do find yourself next door to a “nutty”, dysfunctional personality, there are ways to diffuse the situation, according to Mr Robertson.

“Try not to feed the situation as much as possible,” he reflects.

“I would handle things slightly differently now, and probably pay the money for the fence so as not to provoke them.

“I think you need to give a little with certain people, too. They like to feel they have won and it helps to have the attitude that you can’t expect it all to go your way.”

How to deal with bad neighbours

Keeping a record of the problems can help if you ever find yourself in court. Photo: Shutterstock.

Mr Robertson also kept a detailed diary of notes that helped enormously throughout the legal process.

“If things do get to that court stage, then the lawyers will be happy that you have kept notes,” he adds.

If all else fails

Sometimes, as in Mr Robertson’s case, no amount of being nice will fix the issue and it is necessary to bring in a third party.

Queensland and Victoria have dispute resolution programs run by the Department of Justice to deal with fighting neighbours, while in New South Wales, help can be sought through a Community Justice Centre.

Mr Robertson’s experience also prompted him to set up his Neighbours from Hell website to help others dealing with terrible neighbours. The site offers legal links, case studies, and information on noise laws.

“In the end, the guy moved out and it has quietened down now,” he says.

“We have lived in suburban Sydney and Brisbane and never had these problems. I think we just got unlucky.”

How many times have you walked into the garbage room only to find garbage bags strewn across the floor or even left out in the corridor? With people from all over the globe living together in Dubai (and some of them not exactly having taken etiquette lessons), many improvements can be made when it comes to establishing good neighbourly relations. This Monday, Bayut.com tells you how to deal with bad or loud neighbours in Dubai in a civilised or, need be, shrewd way.

neighbours not understanding the concept of the garbage chute

We truly, truly do not understand this one. The garbage chutes in Dubai are as obvious as anywhere, yet some of our neighbours act as if they’re too small, broken or altogether invisible!

Since the issue is highly unhygienic and not to mention aesthetically appalling, you can take it up with Dubai Municipality on +971 4 2215555. Your neighbour’s misplaced garbage is tarnishing the building’s image so the Municipality would want to hear about it.

CLOTHES DRYING RACKS and other objects taking up HALLWAY SPACE

In Downtown Dubai and other upscale areas, resident’s clothes mustn’t be seen hanging on the balcony. If you do that, it’s very likely that your security guard will ask you to remove them for the sake of aesthetics. However, in the more affordable areas of Dubai, it can be a little ‘every man for himself’. In some buildings, you can find drying racks, children’s toys and other objects literally everywhere.

Again, the self-centeredness of our neighbours can ruin the experience for everyone. If opening a dialogue with the inconsiderate neighbour fails, don’t go Adam Levine on the problem (pictured) – take the issue up with Dubai Municipality instead.

loud partiers from across the HALLWAY

Hearing a Studio 54-level party happening just down the hall is not really common in Dubai, but it does happen. There are many young professionals working in the emirate and you can’t expect them not to have an occasional dinner party or birthday get-together. However, it can be nerve-wracking when this celebration takes place during our relaxation time.

Since the issue is a more of a private matter, we suggest you do the following: 1. Try ear plugs; 2. Try talking to your neighbours courteously; 3. Ask your building security to help; 4. Raise the issue to your landlord. If all of those fail, the number of Dubai Police for non-emergencies is 901. Do not confuse it with 999, which is the number for urgent police intervention and ambulance.

loud neighbour(S) in the FLAT NEXT DOOR

Sometimes, it’s not a party disrupting our sleep as much as it is a neighbour’s drill, dog or loud instrument. This problem should be approached in a similar way – ear plugs first and if that doesn’t work, approach the neighbour in a constructive, non-confrontational way.

If the noise persists, take a deep breath and then knock on your neighbour’s door. The old ‘catch more flies with honey’ is the best advice we could give you. Ask your neighbour what the reason behind the noise is, explain how it affects you and ask how you two can work around it together. If you already know the neighbour, a few chocolate chip cookies on a plate go a long way.

NEIGHBOUR’S TREE ROOTS RUINING YOUR DRIVEWAY, etc.

Residents of villa communities in Dubai also get their fair share of nuisances. Whether it’s a flood in your neighbour’s yard while they’re on holiday, or their tree practically living in your garden, things between do-to-door villas can get messy, which leads to territorial behaviour.

Whatever the issue is, shouting, threatening or getting back at your neighbour is wrong. Again, Bayut advises approaching things from a problem-solving, civilised angle. Bake a cake or invite your next-door neighbours over for a barbecue. Then, bring your issue up in a diplomatic way.

We live in modern day Dubai and not in the prehistoric, caveman times. Treat your neighbours the way you’d like to be treated if you did something unneighbourly. If your neighbours are too self-absorbed or plain uncivilised, then take the matter up with your building/community security or, lastly, the authorities.

Here’s a recipe for an easy-to-bake cheesecake by bestrecipies.com.au:

  • 250 g biscuits
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 100 g melted butter
  • 500 g cream cheese
  • 2/3 cup caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tbs lemon juice

Grease a 20-cm wide pan, then crush the biscuits in the food processor and add mixed spice and butter. Line the base of the pan with tin foil then brush the sides with oil. Press the crumbs over the base and the sides of the tin and place it in the fridge for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180 C. Beat the cream cheese until it’s nice and smooth, then add sugar, vanilla and lemon juice and mix some more. Finally, add the eggs one by one. Pour the mix into the tin and bake for forty-five minutes or until ready.

How to deal with bad neighbours

In a perfect world, your cruise ship cabin neighbors would never smoke on their balconies, stumble down the corridor in a drunken stupor at 3 a.m. or engage in hanky-panky so audibly obnoxious that "Who's your daddy?" is burned in your memory for the next several days. Thankfully, your neighboring passengers are rarely an issue. Most of them are respectful, friendly and quiet just like you.

Some unlucky cruisers, however, encounter bad neighbors breaking the rules or just being downright rude. If this happens to you, don't confront them yourself. Instead, avoid awkward situations and unnecessary arguments by taking the appropriate action. Here's how to deal with bad neighbors on a cruise.

Problem: Your neighbors are too loud.

Sound travels easily through cruise ship cabin walls, especially when there's an interconnecting door. It's nearly impossible to relax or sleep when your neighbors routinely slam doors, allow their unruly kids to run up and down the corridor or have sex loud enough for the entire hallway to hear.

Solution: Start with a simple complaint to your cabin steward, but if that doesn't cut it, ask to move to another cabin. If the ship's full, with no extra cabins, consider using earplugs and downloading a white noise app on your phone to drown out the sound.

Problem: Your neighbors are smoking on their balcony.

Most cruise lines prohibit smoking in cabins, including balconies. It's a fire hazard as well as a nuisance in the eyes of many cruisers. Unfortunately, some smokers continue to go against the policy, filling nearby cabins with fumes and putting themselves and their neighbors at risk. One warning by the ship typically does the trick, since novice cruisers might not even realize there's a ban in place.

For entitled smokers who knowingly break the rules, it can be a little harder to prove wrongdoing. Try to find evidence, such as cigarette butts that have blown over onto your balcony. Some Cruise Critic readers have gone so far as to take photos of culprits caught in the act, which ultimately helped ship staff resolve the issue.

Solution: Call security as smoking is against ship rules. Until the issue is resolved, you'll unfortunately need to plan your balcony time around your neighbor's schedule.

Problem: Your neighbors are fighting.

There's a fine line between complaining and looking out for someone's well-being. If you hear your neighbors fighting, you should take action as soon as possible. You can never predict how quickly a heated argument will escalate, or if violence is involved.

Solution: Call security.

Problem: Your neighbors left food in the hall.

While some hotels tell you to leave your room service tray outside the door, the act is frowned upon on cruise ships. No one wants to see or smell old food near their cabin — plus, it looks tacky. We'll give your neighbors the benefit of the doubt this time, if they didn't realize it'd be an issue.

Solution: Call housekeeping or room service to clear the dishes, then ask your steward if he or she can kindly let your neighbors know not to place their tray in the hallway.

How to deal with bad neighbours

If the neighbouring property is owner-occupied, then it can be tricky. It depends how approachable the neighbour is. If you could discuss the matter together, that would be the best option, as they may not realise their behaviour is annoying other neighbours. If they are not approachable, then certainly don’t put yourself in harm’s way. Call the police to deal with the situation. But ultimately, if your bad neighbour is an owner occupier, there isn’t a lot you can do except move yourself or get a restraining order against the neighbour, however you would need to seek your own advice on this process.

If you are renting, then you can contact your property manager, and your property manager will contact the neighbour on your behalf. If the bad neighbour is a tenant as well, then contact their property manager. They will contact the tenant on the first instance and try to resolve the matter. If the problem continues, the property manager will issue the bad neighbour with a Form-2 for breaching the tenants right to quiet enjoyment of the premises during the term of the tenancy. If the bad behaviour continues at the expiration of the Form-2, then the agent will request a SACAT hearing to evict the tenant.

Having said all this, the Tribunal Member will only listen to evidence from the person who actually saw or heard the actions of the bad neighbour. They will not listen to hearsay. We require all the interested parties to the application to either attend the hearing or provided a signed statement. Interested parties (everyone effected by the behaviour of the bad neighbour) should keep a journal of all events outlining the time, the date, what was said and what both parties did. The more detail the better. Recordings can also be used as a back-up to your evidence. Evicting someone from their rented property is a major event, so the Tribunal Member needs to be certain that it is not just a vindictive attack by the applicant. This is why the applicant must help themselves by keeping good records.

If the Tribunal Member is satisfied that the applicant has a case, then they may order the bad neighbour to vacate the property.

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