So you just moved into a new area and the last thing you want to do is fall out with the new neighbours. What are the best things you can do to avoid problems down the line, and keep the locals sweet?
Introduce yourself to New Neighbours
When you’re the newbie, the neighbours are all likely to be curious about you, and the best way to reassure them that you’re going to be a good neighbour to them is to introduce yourself.
Make a point of smiling and saying ‘hello’ when you see people around, so they will be able to tell that you’re friendly and approachable. It also means that if they need to speak to you about something they are more likely to feel able to broach it face to face and not go behind your back to landlords, local councils or similar. Making an effort to get to know people will help you integrate and also make the neighbours more likely to look out for you, too.
Join the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme
If there’s a Homewatch Scheme or Neighbourhood Watch Scheme in the area, take advantage of this opportunity to get to know people and reassure them that you’re a good neighbour. Showing an interest in what’s happening locally marks you out as someone who cares about the neighbourhood and is less likely to cause problems. You can also gain the trust of your new neighbours by belonging to a scheme like this, designed to help neighbours look out for each other.
Keep the Children Under Control
If you have children, you know they can be a nuisance, so you don’t want them to annoy your neighbours and cause friction. Keep an eye on them so that you know where they are, who they are with and what they are up to – and if you realise that they are disturbing your neighbours, being noisy or messy, nip it in the bud. Make it clear to the neighbours that you do care about what your children get up to, that they can come to you with any concerns, and that you’re prepared to take action if necessary.
Clean up After the Dog
Don’t let your pets become a pain. Clear up any dog mess and try to keep cats under control, although it can be hard to stop them ‘marking their territory.’ So you're not know as a someone with Problem Pets, keep your animals under control and if they become noisy don’t just let them bark or howl, attend to them.
If you have neighbours who are scared of animals, try to respect this and keep noisy, excitable dogs away from them.
Keeping up Appearances
You don’t want to be the person who everyone complains about, and it’s your responsibility to keep the gardens and outside of your property looking reasonably tidy, even if you don’t have the time to keep it spotless. Try to keep grass and weeds under control and outside maintenance under control, as this type of thing often causes arguments and bad between neighbours.
Don't leave smelly bin bags or rubbish lying around in communal areas, gardens or on the street, they’ll attract rats and cause obstruction as well as being quite unhygienic.
Don't block the access to your neighbour’s property with cars and vehicles, or even the kids’ bikes and toys. Don’t use other peoples’ communal parking spaces unless you have absolutely no choice, as this can create bad feeling and lead to Parking Disputes. Be aware of blocking access to driveways and garages whenever you or your visitors park outside the house. If you’re not sure, ask!
Keep the Noise Down
If you are planning a party, or having people over late, it’s a good idea to let your neighbours know in advance, especially if celebrations are likely to carry on into the early hours. You might even ask them to join you, and then they really can’t complain! If they ask you to turn the noise down, be reasonable. Of course, they have to be reasonable too, and if they are making a fuss at 10:30pm, you might have every right to say that you’ll turn it down but that party’s NOT over yet.
It’s all about being reasonable and considerate. Think about what would annoy you, and if you’re about to do it yourself – don’t!
Where do I start? Lazy parents. I am losing it fast. Real fast. They built the house maybe 8 years ago. They have 3 kids, the oldest is about 9 now.We had some issues over the years. They had a puppy they shoved outside all day and it never stopped barking, hours and hours of yapping. I work from home full time. Eventually we approached them and they abused us saying it was normal neighbour noise. Then they must have found out they could get in legal trouble. And then dog has been quiet since. They hate gardens. They poisoned their own grass and put in green carpet in the back, stones in the front. No plants at all. They hate our trees (which have been there for probably 20+ years) and want us to cut them down.We legally can't do that (council rules) and don't want to either. The wife is the epitome of lazy parenting. She shoves the kids outside from daybreak to night and ignores them. Ironically she is a teacher. The kids have everything they need or could want outside so she isn't bugged by them. They run feral. Do what they want. They even have illegal dirt bikes they ride around sometimes on the naturestrips. Their yard is full of kiddy equipment and now they have a large kiddy pool put right next to our fence. The squeals are driving me nuts. Yesterday it went from 11am to 7.30pm. High pitched squeals, they could go for the Guinness records for squealing. They get friends (kiddy ones) over and to try to work with this happening - yes I have Bose noise cancelling headphones and can still hear them. We have not enjoyed our yard for years. The only time I like living here is before they get up in the mornings. The rest of the time is hell. I spend a lot of non-work time in the bedroom with my headphones on just so I don't have to hear the constant screaming. No she can't be approached. They abused us so bad after we asked them to "please keep the dog a little quieter" - I think she is trying to get rid of us (move). I am angry that I am feel I am being forced out of my house by inconsideration. And no music (loud) wouldn't work for us to them as they would do the same back and more (they do sometimes play loud music knowing it bugs me) and even bought the kids a drum set that they have set up - yes on our side of the fence. In winter it is better, at least they just play loud basketball (and dribble A LOT) so we get bang bang bang bang for hours - again set up right next to our so WE get the noise no one else. It feels good to get this off my chest. My nerves are shot and I have no idea how to face another hot day today trying to work with hours of high pitched squeals. If only she would take them away on holidays. Or even for the day would be nice. An hour even....I feel defeated.
Yann - 5-Jan-17 @ 7:34 PM
@Kaza. You could try and claim adverse possession if the fence has been there for this long. You will need professional legal help though.
ProblemNeighbours - 17-Apr-15 @ 1:57 PM
Had a boundary fence in situ for more than 20 years, and recently found out that it is on our neighbours property, after we had a land survey done,as neighbour built part of a garage on our property at the front, can the rear fence stay put please.
kaza - 17-Apr-15 @ 9:18 AM
I have a situation with a co-tenant. I moved into a very nice 'handicapped accessible apt. after (and still) major surgery & medical problems. I have a neighbor that believes I am a deviant because I am still unable to return to work & am basically home bound.
I have a very difficult problem (After a divorce, loss of employment during the 'recession', and MASSIVE medical issues.
The problem is after this giant snowball of events, I simply have trouble TERRIBLE trouble socializing, have become introverted, and live with anxiety & depression. (My main issue, which may cause some question, is that I do have to have blood testing done late at night & have to pick up medication changes then - an odd time to be out admittedly P.S. - I do not drink, do illicit drugs, or ANYTHING that would be considered immoral or illegal.)Truthfully, I am trying as hard as possible to change my life to one of simplicity, and to find real happiness & return to work (I currently volunteer within the community with the impovershed) and reclaim friends I have lost during the past 6 years.
When I speak to the friends I have left, I try to simply speak of the past times which were good.I have a neighbor living upstairs that I recently discovered listens in on me DAILY & NIGHTLY, has suspicions of me as an evil person, and spreads this to the Landlord & the other tenant (As well as others that visit - I have heard this) - I am none of that.
This tenant has been here far longer than I, and has close ties with the owner. I know I am being wrongfully accused of doing anything or everything wrong. In fact..I am doing NOTHING wrong, and I do try to be responsible as a tenant & tell the landlord when the fuel is low, any incidents with the plumbing - etc.
I know this individual is possibly ignorant, but just last night overheard him simply screaming about me to another tenant upstairs. Since I have recently found out the tension I have been feeling is due to his 'backstabbing', I have grown quieter, and less conspicuous.I know this is irritating him, and causing him frustration, due to keeping to myself and not stepping from my position as a quiet, respectful tenant.
I hear the comments more frequently, and he has even taken to 'stopping by' (The past couple of days - this is a new tactic, since I have become completely aware of his 'habits' towards me), asking absurd questions about the property that he knows full well.
PLEASE HELP ME TO AT LEAST DIFFUSE THIS PERSON.I SIMPLY DO NOT WANT OR NEED CONFLICT, AS I AM TRYING VERY HARD TO RETURNING TO A 'NORMAL' LIFE.
Taylor - 21-Mar-14 @ 2:56 PM
I could not get the right format ormethod for the neighbourhood problems. I have a problem with my neighbour. They installed a spllit ac machine under the water drainage pipe of my neighbourhood. whenever i have to clean they start repelling.
Sonu - 5-Apr-13 @ 11:56 AM
We moved into our property 6 months ago. Long story short: introduced ourselves to our immediate neighbours and (so We thought ) established a healthy, not over the top, but we are approachable people, relationship with them all. One neighbour has highlighted the fact that "she knows everyone round here, knows ppl on the council and basically what she says goes" it all sounds very petty I know. We recently put up a fence.not even a meter high, to keep our dog in and improve the overall look of the garden. She has since complained to our other neighbours about it and to the council (we are well within the legal regulations) saying it is blocking their view.( it is only of our house?), we have also been informed that she comes onto our property when we are at work to basically have a look about and see what we have been doing. We have also been threatened by her and her husband that if we don't take down our bird table she will report us to the council like she did with the previous owner. I know how silly this must sound but I really don't want to fall out with any of our neighbours but we do feel very harassed and would like to put a stop to the situation. Is there anything we can do?