How to cope with a bad neighbor

We’ve all been there. Everything is perfect in your home. You’ve arranged the place just right, it’s all cozy and tidy. You might even be so lucky as to be able to work from home. Or maybe you have a family. Either way, it would all be perfect. If it weren’t for that neighbor you have. Maybe they are loud, not-so-aptly practicing their music instrument, or listening to things at high volume in the middle of the night. Perhaps they are grumpy and keep bothering you about everything. Or maybe their romantic conquests keep you awake and you have work in the morning. Whatever it is, you’ve come to the right place to learn how to cope with a bad neighbor. Let’s go!

A man playing a guitar. Loud neighbors are the most coomon cause of people looking up how to cope with a bad neighbor.
Your neighbor may not be the virtuoso they think they are.

Starting off on the right foot

Your relations with your neighbors start before you even introduce yourself. Our experienced friends at movers Michigan City told us that in their line of work they’ve found that good and reliable movers will take extra care of the neighbors when moving people in. Why you might ask? Its simple, conducting a move in a way that doesn’t impact the neighbors will make them positively disposed towards you from the get-go. Same goes vice versa. Hire careless movers that will trample on your neighbors flower-bed and you might find that the lovely lady next door has a nasty hag side.

Apart from seamlessly moving in, you can start off on the right foot by making positive first contact. People tend to form opinions on others based on the first impression and once formed, these opinions are hard to change. So, do something nice for your neighbors when meeting them for the first time. Any small gesture of friendliness will do. Bake some cookies, for example, and bring them along of r the meet. You might find that your neighbors will appreciate you more just for that small gesture.

Ways to cope with a bad neighbor

Try as you might, some people just won’t become better neighbors solely from you being friendly the first time you meet. As the annoyances from their behavior start mounting, you might want to look into some options:

The easy option

The easiest way of solving anything in life is talking about it. Approach your neighbor about the issue but remain friendly. It’s also a very good idea to restrain yourself from an accusatory tone. Instead of using “you” as in “you are too loud” try to keep it all about the “I’s” as in “I am having trouble sleeping because of the noise”.  This is a psychological trick to make the person you are talking to feel less threatened and accused.

A house with a lawn in front
Having careful movers that will not trample all over your neighbor’s lawn and flowerbed will make them positively disposed towards you


They will have a more positive response to this approach, and you just might resolve the issue with that one talk. Another added bonus of just talking to your neighbor about the problem is that it’s personal. They might share with you the reason why they are behaving in a certain way (say their dog is very young and still learning not to bark at night). Showing that you’re willing to compromise will make them more ready to work the issue out.

The wholesome option

Another positive approach is to build community awareness. Gathering your neighbors for a shared activity will make them know you better and in turn, take more care of your needs as well. Maybe one of your neighbors was unfairly complaining about your last backyard barbeque. Think about inviting them next time. Having them feel included in the activity will make them more understanding of it.  You can also make a get-together just for your neighbors. Talking about the neighborhood and the things you could improve together will build a sense of community. This, in turn, will make them more careful of your needs. Finally, you can offer to help them out. Say they’re doing work at a certain time of day and the noise is bothering you. if you offer to help out, they might consider rescheduling the activity to a time that fits both of your needs.

The intervention

Maybe you’ve tried all the peaceful, friendly options, and it just isn’t working. Next step you can take to cope with a bad neighbor is to talk to your other neighbors. Chances are that the thing they’re doing is bothering them as well. Then you can knock on their door together and explain the issue. People will be likely to take criticism more seriously if it’s coming from several others as well. Just remember to remain friendly here as well, as with the multitude of you complaining they might feel threatened. Another option is to write them a letter together and have all of the neighbors that share your problem sign it. That way you will avoid direct confrontation but will let the bad neighbor know that several people share your grievance.

The hardline option

Two hands pointing fingers
When trying to cope with a bad neighbor, try to avoid making them feel blamed.

Maybe you tried all these in an attempt to cope with a bad neighbor, but they still won’t budge. You can always contact your neighbor’s association or the city codes department and tell them about the issue. They will contact your neighbor without disclosing who complained about the issue. Bear in mind though that the neighbor in question might figure out it was you. Especially if you were the only one complaining about the issue before.

When you just can’t cope with a bad neighbor

If you have tried all these options and still there is no result, you are not left with many other ways to cope with a bad neighbor. You could take legal action, but this is costly and time-consuming. On the other hand, if the problem is big enough, you might consider moving to a new neighborhood altogether. While this seems extreme, if you chose this option, you should do your research. Anything from finding a place to store your items for the move, like storage units Michigan City, to finding reliable movers should be researched beforehand. Chances are you will be stressed out from dealing with your neighbor, so minimize the additional stress that comes from moving

Ending on a high note

While our last tip might sound a bit depressing, don’t worry. Following this guide will most likely mean you will be able to cope with a bad neighbor well before you need to take such extreme measures. Just keep your calm and we’re sure you will come to some kind of an agreement.