How to Handle Conflicts with Your New Neighbors
You’ve worked hard to find your new home, taking the time to consider every detail. From the type of house to the surrounding neighborhood, you made what you thought was the best choice for you and your family.
Unfortunately, there’s one aspect you can’t predict.
It involves how you may get along with your new neighbors. You never really know if you’ll have any issues until you start settling into your house.
What Should You Do If Problems Occur?
It can be devastating to realize you’ve moved your entire life into what you may feel is a hostile environment, especially after the care you’ve put into finding the perfect home.
But problems and misunderstandings happen all the time for all sorts of different reasons.
The good news is that there are productive ways to address any issues, which could even help you develop a deeper relationship in the end.
Give Yourself Time to Collect Your Thoughts
Before taking any action, make sure you are calm and rational.
This could mean putting a little distance between yourself and the specific conflict.
Whether it’s loud music that booms into your home or a dog that’s sneaking onto your property, give yourself time to think about the best way to address the problem.
Confronting your neighbor in an angry fashion may only make things worse.
Set Up a Meeting with Your Neighbor
Once you’ve had time to think about the issues without emotion getting in the way, go to your neighbor and request a meeting.
Talking face-to-face is the most effective way to handle any conflicts.
When you start this conversation, be respectful and give your neighbor the chance to state his side without any interruptions.
Also, it helps to repeat his statements back to him so that he knows you’ve heard what he has to say.
During your turn, don’t be accusatory. Make sure to talk about your personal feelings by using the word “I” as much as possible.
In contrast, the continual use of the word “you” will instantly make your neighbor defensive. That’s the last thing you want when you’re trying to encourage him to change his behavior.
If you can establish friendly, non-threatening terms, you’ll be in a better position to work together and figure out how to resolve the conflicts.
What to Do If a Meeting Breaks Down
Even if you are calm, make sure to listen and act respectful throughout the meeting, there is always the chance that your neighbor won’t respond positively to this discussion.
If this happens, there are other avenues you can take. One alternative you may want to explore is mediation.
Mediators are neutral third parties who can meet with both you and your neighbor to figure out a mutually satisfying solution.
Keep in mind that the mediator’s job isn’t to determine who’s right and who’s wrong. The goal is to help both parties figure out how to communicate more effectively.
But if mediation doesn’t help and you live in a community that has a homeowners association, you could turn to this group for some assistance with the issues at hand.
If mediation and your homeowners association aren’t making any improvements, taking your neighbor to court may be necessary. However, this should be your last resort.
It’s important to remember that the court system can’t really stop a neighbor’s annoying behavior. In general, a judge may award money, but isn’t able to force the person to pay. Going to court can also be expensive.
Need More Tips on Neighbor Issues?
Problems with neighbors may really impact your enjoyment of a new home. I completely understand. That’s why I’m here to help with practical tips you can use to improve the situation.
When it comes to buying a new home or selling your current one, I’m also available to assist you every step of the way. Feel free to contact me at your convenience. You can fill out my Information Request Form, send me an email at [email protected] or call my office lines. Please know I’m always happy to help you with any of your real estate needs.