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You can’t choose your neighbors and in most instances, you won’t know who is occupying the space next door until you have already signed the lease agreement and have moved your stuff in. Not getting along with your neighbor is a common complaint; however, there is a big difference between tolerating an annoying neighbor and slowly going insane because of it. If you are finding it difficult to live in your home and are contemplating moving simply to get away from the poor behavior of your neighbor, then it might be time to speak to your landlord about it.

Handling Neighborly Disputes

There are several behaviors that should not be tolerated by a landlord or a neighbor. This includes rude or offensive behavior, slander, aggression, loud parties and excessive noise, even if it is roommate gaming night. Some noise cannot be helped – for example, a child crying or a dog barking; however, other noises, such as loud music or constant screaming, can and should be avoided.

Before you head to the big guns and call up your landlord, ask yourself this – have you done everything you can to stop this issue? Have you spoken to the neighbor about your concerns on multiple occasions? Have you explained your situation in a polite manner? Have you asked them politely to stop? If not, then it’s time to back track and start from there.

Landlords have a lot of things on their plates, especially if they are managing more than one property. People are constantly moving in and out which means landlords are often interviews applicants and finalizing lease agreements. Some landlords have other jobs outside of this line of work as well. Speaking to a landlord about a noisy, rude or problematic neighbor is most likely not something they are going to be happy about.

With that being said, it is still their responsibility to keep the apartment complex as civil as possible. While you should not expect your landlord to set up a group meditation with the building to discuss your issues, he should offer some advice and help you overcome this problem.

Serious Neighbor Offenses

If the issue with your neighbor is something that is against the law, such as drugs, discrimination, sexual harassment or domestic violence, then you need to discuss your concerns with the landlord. If he refuses to do something about it, then it might be wise to discuss the problem with the police or with a lawyer.

If the issue has to do with noise and the neighbor will not listen to you, then you landlord will speak to them on your behalf and warn them that excessive noise is not tolerated. He may also speak to the other neighbors to see if any of them have the same complaints. If so, then you have a better case and he may have to threaten the neighbor with eviction.

Speaking to a landlord about a neighbor is not something you want to do. You may feel like you are being a sissy or a bother. You may be worried that he might consider you a rat. You may think it is simply easier to count your losses and move. However, you should not feel ashamed to voice your concerns or stand up for your rights. If you are losing sleep because of the noise, are worried about the health and safety of yourself and your children or if your civil rights are being abused in any way, then it is the responsibility of the landlord to act on your behalf to stop this behavior.

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