Apartment living has many perks such as swimming pools, fitness centers and other conveniences not found in traditional living environments; however, with the benefits of an apartment there is one aspect that can prove to be truly detrimental to what would otherwise be a wonderful experience. Un-neighborly neighbors can single-handedly ruin apartment living, and while their actions may vary, bad neighbors are almost as annoying as fingernails running down a chalkboard. Dealing with this type of neighbor must be carefully approached to ensure the problem is addressed and handled and not exasperated by making the neighbor angry.
Make a List of Instances
Whether a neighbor is playing music or watching TV at an astronomically high volume, the best initial step is to make a date-by-date list of each occurrence. Make sure to capture not only the date, but the time and a brief description of the incidence.
For example: Neighbor is watching TV at an unreasonably loud volume at 12:15 a.m. and continued until 2:30 a.m. DATE – 01/04/12.
Confronting the Neighbor
Before confronting an annoying neighbor about their behavior, make sure that the instance is not a one-time thing. Perhaps he did not know that his TV was at such a high volume, or he was having a get-together with friends for his birthday. Bringing attention to singular instances may not be appropriate; however, if the circumstance occurs more than three times, then it is appropriate to talk to the neighbor.
Approach the situation with respect and in a calm manner. Many times, a neighbor doesn’t know his actions are disruptive and by simply informing him of the situation it will immediately rectify the problem. However, some neighbors will not take such information so lightly. If the conversation turns confrontational, inform the neighbor you do not wish to argue. If he continues, do not engage in such behavior and immediately leave.
When to Talk to the Landlord
All tenants have the right to enjoy their apartment in peace and quiet – this right is protected by law and in lease agreements. If a neighbor is disturbing this right, and all attempts to personally handle the situation have not solved the issue it is the tenant’s responsibility to approach the landlord. Provide the landlord with documentation of the neighbor such as the incident report spreadsheet, and inform the landlord of all previous attempts to diffuse the situation.
While dealing with an un-neighborly neighbor can become highly annoying and frustrating, there are several steps an upset neighbor should never do.
Don’t accuse the neighbor; let him know what is happening and kindly suggest a solution. Don’t discuss the matter in an apartment – hold a conversation in neutral territory such as a sidewalk or in the parking lot. Don’t leave a note on the neighbors’ door. This comes across as impersonal and potentially rude, which may exasperate the problem. Don’t contact police unless the situation involves illegal activity, or if the neighbor threatens or harms your or your property.