Apartment Living and dealing with Neighbors

One of the unfortunate side effects that sometimes coincide with living in an apartment building is having to deal with an unpleasant or rude neighbour. Whether they play loud music well into the night, do not clean up after their pet or even steal your newspaper, dealing with the situation requires tact and confidence.

Tame ‘em With Kindness

The old adage works to your favour in these delicate situations. Let’s take a noisy neighbour as an example. If they are having a party and the music and loud voices have continued past the noise bylaws put in place by your city, knock on their door and kindly let them know. It could be they just did not realize what the time was or maybe they were not aware that you could hear them. If you knock on their door and accost them with rudeness, human nature dictates that they are likely to respond in kind. If loud parties are a regular occurrence, it is best to let your landlord know about the problem so they can speak to the tenant directly.

Pick Your Battles

Think about the problem that you are having – is it one that even requires a complaint be raised? Perhaps your neighbour practices the piano for an hour a day. Yes, this may be bothersome, but it is their right to do so. Understand that there are just some things you will need to live with and that you cannot complain just for the sake of complaining. If you are unsure, speak to your roommate or a friend to get a different take on it.

Violating the Law

If your neighbour is violating the law and is endangering yourself or others in your building, you need to speak with your landlord and/or the police directly. When drugs are involved, for example, you do not want to get into a messy fight with the neighbour by trying to deal with it yourself.

What if YOU’RE the Unpleasant Neighbour?

If your neighbour comes to speak to you about a problem, be receptive and don’t brush them off. Talk to them about the issue and rectify it if possible. The more open and honest you are, the better your relationship will be with your neighbours. No one wants to feel uncomfortable in their own home by having to strategically avoid certain people in the hallways and laundry room!

Still not sure what to do?

Here are some tips on how to deal with the Neighbour From Hell from WikiHow:

  • Talking to them can be one of the most effective solutions. Sometimes people don’t realize what they are doing wrong and will stop when informed.
  • If this doesn’t work, you could call an authority. If it’s loud music, call the non-emergency police number, or for unkempt yards, call the Landlord Tenants Association (where applicable) or the city nuisance abatement officer. Most cities have nuisance abatement, or code enforcement officers, who are responsible for maintaining code compliance.
  • Talk to the landlord about the disruptive behaviour.
  • Get renters in the building to talk to the person. This reiterates that it isn’t just you that they annoy.
  • If they damaged your property, consider suing, but only in extreme circumstances. Contact law enforcement if there is damage, and ask for a police log entry to assist with insurance claims.

Remember, kindness pays off! However, if you are ever afraid that your neighbour may resort to extreme measures if you complain to them directly, involve your landlord. If the problem persists, the landlord has ways to deal with the situation in a safe and effective manner.

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The RentSeeker.ca Team