Bad Neighbors-What to Do to Repair Bad Relations with Them 

Good fences make good neighbors or so the old saying goes.

Was there an altercation that resulted in a bad relationship with your neighbors? Is there a hateful glare from neighbors every time you step outside of your home? This is a stressful situation in any neighborhood and one that can be addressed the right way.  There is no success formula to guarantee a great neighbor-ship.

Miscommunications can occur with the best of neighbors. Try these tips to resolve the conflict.

Try the congenial approach initially.

  • Gather your information before making an unwise or hasty move.  Do you have a homeowner’s association and rules? Examine the issue with the neighbor.  Did they break the rules or is your issue one of a personal nature.
  • Next step is to give them the benefit of the doubt. There could be unknown problem going on in your neighbor’s life that you are unaware of. Personal problems cause stress and behaviors that could result in maintenance issues or grouchiness. Marital, health, and other issues of a personal nature will change a person’s demeanor.
  • Look at the big picture. Will this matter in ten years?
  • Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Have you apologized if you have responsibility in the dispute?
  • Is your attitude right?  Have you done everything possible to keep peace?

After analyzing your attitude and intentions, take time off the dispute. Write down and journal the problems for at least a week.  Keep a complaint list with new information for documentation purposes.

Communicate and try to resolve

The next step is communication. Take time to talk it out. This step is crucial for success. Decide how best to approach the problem through the phone or in person.

  • Your neighbor may apologize and correct the problem.
  • Your neighbor may not be aware of the problem.
  • Your neighbor may walk away.
  • Your neighbor may be angry and threatening.

Last resort

If communication has broken down, write a formal letter with facts. Do not use threats or talk about laws unless you have had an attorney consultation.

If the problem is not resolved or corrected, then it may be time for a formal complaint to the landlord or the homeowner’s association.  You may want to check homeowner and tenant laws for your area. If you do not have a homeowner’s association there may be other area policies and governed organizations that regulate disputes.

If the problem has a serious nature, consult an attorney. If the problem is life threatening, consult the police.

Relationships can be complicated.  Follow these tips to resolve conflict and use the last resort section only as needed.   Through effective communication,