The moment that you leave home, no matter if that’s in a professional or academic sense, you will no doubt understand what it’s like to live with flatmates and neighbours. Sometimes, the experience can be quite great. Other times, it’s neutral. Sometimes, it’s difficult. You cannot decide who lives near you, and unfortunately, this can lead to conflicts between households or flatmates when they have two different perspectives on what behavior is acceptable and what isn’t.
Perhaps the most common disputes involve noise complaints, security issues, or actual physical conflicts, such as being bitten by a neighbour’s dog. When you suffer a dog bite in this instance, it’s best to involve legal counsel and not escalate the situation. But what should you do if you’re not sure how to move forward, or if the situation seems like it has a chance of resolving itself, or if you’re not even sure if you should approach the house in the first place?
With our small guide, we hope you can get through this process appropriately.
The Sooner, The Better
The sooner you approach them with the problem, the better. If you withstand four months of loud television and late-night partying, and then speak to them about it, it might be that they’ll wonder just why NOW it is a problem. And they might have some merit behind their complaint. The moment you notice an issue repeats itself more than three times, make sure to head to their front door, knock courteously, and ask them to talk. Furthermore, record the times where this nuisance was taking place, so you know how to refer to it.
Speak To Them Clearly, Firmly & Properly
Speak to your neighbour as clearly and firmly as you can. You can exchange pleasantries, but make sure to get to the point. Make no apology. Tell them what the problem is, why it’s bothering you, and a possible solution that would work for both of you. Then wait. Let them respond. Don’t argue, fight, or escalate. Just reaffirm your intent. If they are hostile, calmly suggest you will escalate the situation through legal means. Then, contacting the right departments, you’ll find your next step.
Understand Your Legal Rights
Understand your legal rights. This will better help you understand just what measures you have for seeking legal help if necessary. Of course, consulting with counsel can be a great first step in the first place, if only to know where your defensive opportunities lie. But also check up on the housing authorities guidelines for what neighborly behavior is acceptable and what isn’t. It might be that before 9pm, unless many neighbors argue about the noise volume, your neighbor is within their right to listen to music. Understanding these facts can help you better communicate when a law or establishing ruling is being broken, and that grants you more freedom to pursue this resolution.
With this advice, we hope you can better solve neighborly disputes, even if they’re challenging to deal with.