a neighbourhood

What to Do When You Have Problem Neighbors

How to improve things on the block.


Good neighbors are worth their weight in gold. If you have less-than-great neighbors, you’ll know that figuring out how to deal with bad neighbors can be a major struggle. However, with the right approach, you can turn it into an opportunity to build a good relationship. Here’s how to get started.


Make sure you’re not the bad neighbor.

It’s easy to pass the blame onto our neighbors but it’s a little harder to understand how your behavior might be affecting everyone else around you. Make sure you’re not the one stepping over the mark. Ask yourself a few hard questions:

  • What’s your noise level like? Do you have the TV on loud? Do you start mowing the lawn first thing on a Sunday morning?
  • Are your pets quiet and friendly?
  • Do you keep things tidy? Is the lawn overgrown with kids’ toys scattered about?
  • Do you respect the property lines?


Once you feel sure that you’re not engaging in any bad neighbor behavior, you can approach your neighbor calmly.


Develop a friendly relationship

Introduce yourself at the first opportunity so that you have a strong rapport to build upon if a problem arises. It will be a lot harder for your neighbor to keep causing you grief if they see you as a friendly face.


Be sympathetic if your neighbor complains

It’s important to bring up problems in a constructive way and be cooperative when you’re the one accused of bad behavior. Even if the complaint from your neighbor is unjustified, make sure you listen and respond in a friendly, calm manner. If you’re willing to try to make their lives better, they’ll more likely do the same for you.


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