The Best Ways to Deal With a Bad Neighbour
You can choose your friends, but you can’t always choose your neighbours. Most people make it through life with neighbours that are friendly and kind, but there’s always a few bad apples in the bunch. For this reason, we’ve identified a few different types of bad neighbours you might encounter and how to deal with them.
The Nosey Neighbour
The nosey neighbour was probably the first person to introduce herself when you moved in, but after a few hour-long conversations where she asks a few too many personal questions, you start to feel like she needs to get a new hobby. You don’t want to shut her out entirely because she’ll bad-mouth you to everyone else, but you don’t have to talk if you don’t have the time. Offer a few minutes of polite conversation, then excuse yourself to work on another task. Act uninterested when she tries to spread gossip, and she’ll be less likely to share it with you.
Having a spy next to you isn’t all bad. He will keep an eye on your property while you’re on vacation, and you can be sure your teenage kids won’t be able to throw a big party when you’re away. On the other hand, he’s also likely to report you for minor infractions like flying a flag that’s too big or not getting a building permit when you installed the kids’ playhouse. You have to take the good with the bad. Make sure you’re following the rules when you put things up outside your home and try to maintain a friendly relationship. When you do this, he might be more likely to come to you first before reaching out to bylaw or police officers.
The curmudgeon is your stereotypical bad neighbour, and he can be a real pain to deal with. He complains about your kids playing outside, the way your landscaping looks, and how your home blocks his view of the sunset. The best way to deal with this type of neighbour is to kill him with kindness. Make sure your kids treat him with respect. Let him know when you’re going to have a party so he won’t be surprised by the noise. You may even want to invite him. Maybe he’s grumpy because he’s lonely.
You may have left your partying days behind in your early 20s, but some people are just more social than others. If you’ve got a partier for a neighbour, you might be dealing with loud noises and guests’ cars constantly parked in front of your home. If this is bothering you, have an open and honest conversation with your neighbour. If they’re partying long into the night, ask them to observe noise ordinances. If you’re frustrated because their afternoon barbeques are waking your baby up from a nap, ask if they can postpone parties by an hour. In most cases, the person doesn’t realize what they’re doing is bothering you, and after learning this, they’ll start to adjust behaviour to fix the problem.
The encroacher seems to be making a game out of claiming your property as theirs. When you didn’t say something about her landscaping rocks jutting out a few centimetres over the property line, she starts making plans to put up a fence that’s a little bit further into your yard. You have to stand your ground when it comes to this type of neighbour. Hire a lawyer and have a professional clearly mark the property lines. You may even want to put up your own fence so there’s no doubt.
The Junk Collector
Some people have a sense of style that could only politely be called unique. In a brand-new Edmonton neighbourhood, you’re unlikely to have the type of neighbour that keeps a broken-down car rusting in the driveway or an old toilet acting as a flower planter, but you may not like the fact some of their junk is spilling onto your own property. If there aren’t rules against it, though, there’s nothing much you can do. On the bright side, junk collectors tend to be friendly folks and they’re likely to have any tool you need to borrow stashed away in the garage or basement.
When you choose a brand-new home, you’ll be living next to your neighbours for many years to come, so it’s important to build good relationships with them. Most of the time, you can accomplish this by acting friendly, communicating well, and letting go of the things you simply cannot change.