Last Updated on May 11, 2022 by Fair Punishment Team
Do you know the saying about how you don’t get to choose your family? Yeah, well you also don’t get to choose your neighbors.
Sure, you could do extensive research about the neighborhood and people living there before you commit to a house.
But ultimately, you have no control over who is going to live right next to you. And let us tell you something, neighbors can be pleasant nearby people, or they can turn into an absolute nightmare that is adherent to your home, making them inescapable.
But here’s the thing, you don’t always have to put up with things that neighbors do, especially if it is things that are directly affecting your quality of life.
You have the right to complain about them, and there are ways to go about it that might offer you a solution.
Of course, ideally, you would be able to resolve the problems by talking, so that there is no bad blood.
But if you have to, you can file an official complaint to the authorities, and leave it in their hands to implement the right actions.
But…how do you file a complaint against a neighbor? What steps do you have to take? How do you go about it?
The situation itself will be quite stressful, so don’t worry. We’ll tell you exactly what to do, so that the process is as simple as possible.
Let’s get right into it!
Acceptable Reasons For Reporting Your Neighbor
First of all, it is important to be able to differentiate between things your neighbors do that annoy you and don’t like, and things that your neighbors do that you shouldn’t have to put up with and that are reasonable causes of complaint.
Not liking your neighbors, sadly, is not a good enough cause to file a complaint. You have to have a valid reason for complaining.
So…what are acceptable reasons for reporting your neighbor? Well, you have to look at it case by case, as the circumstances and scenarios are always unique to what the neighbors are doing, how they are doing it, and the situation as a whole.
But as a general rule, you can divide the types of complaints into four different categories. And we’ll give you some of the most common examples of each one:
Complaints About Noise
These encapsulate any sort of complaints about your neighbors being too noisy. For example, playing loud music loud at night, talking or screaming loudly non-stop, or even dragging furniture around at inappropriate times, keeping you awake.
Complaints About Pets
Pets are wonderful, and in the ideal scenario, you can get along with your neighbor’s pets. However, if your neighbors’ pets are making constant noise, are dangerous or threatening, invading your property, or similar, you are in your right to complain.
You can also file a complaint against the neighbors if you see them mistreating or abusing their pets!
Complaints About Harassment
If your neighbor is harassing you in any way or engaging with you with inappropriate or dangerous behavior, you are 100% in your right to file a complaint.
For example, if your neighbor is stalking you, threatening you or acting weird in an unsettling way, or even invading your privacy and your property, you should complain.
There are many other reasons why you could complain against your neighbors, too many to categorize.
For example, if they put up illegal signs, if they park in the wrong place, if they engage in dangerous activities, or organize large gatherings constantly…
Again, just assess the situation, and if need be, contact an advice service on the matter.
How To Complain About Neighbors And To Who
Now that you know some of the common acceptable reasons for filing a complaint against your neighbors, it’s time to get into how to go about it. Who are you supposed to complain to? And how do you do it?
There are three main people/entities that you should complain to when it comes to problematic neighbors:
- Other neighbors (especially because they might have the same complaints, and there is strength in numbers!)
- The landlord, apartment manager, or leader of the neighborhood (they might have some power over the situation, and might have specific measures that they are able to implement to resolve the issue)
- The police (this should ideally be the last resort, but it is the official way to file a complaint)
As to how you should go about it, we will get a little more in-depth further down with some basic steps to take.
But it majorly depends on the exact situation at hand. If it is something quite serious, you should go straight to the police, so that proper legal action can be taken.
If not, then you should try nicer methods first, to try and resolve everything through communication and cooperation, and then you slowly escalate to more serious measures.
Steps To Take When Filing A Complaint Against A Neighbor
The steps you should take when filing a complaint against a neighbor should always depend on the specific situation that you are in, and the severity of the nature of the complaints. But here is a basic guide that might help you out:
1. Talk to the problematic neighbors.
Yes, it will be awkward, and not a nice conversation to have. But the first approach should always be to talk to your neighbors about the issue. It could be that they’re not even aware, and instantly change their behavior for the better!
2. Talk to other neighbors.
Talking to other neighbors will allow you to find out if it’s a problem that others are having too, and it might then allow you to team up. Sometimes complaints from multiple people can do more than from just one, as there is strength in numbers!
3. Try and find a middle ground solution.
It will seem unfair, but try and find a middle ground solution in which you compromise, in order to have your neighbors change at least a little bit, so that the problem becomes tolerable. This requires cooperation, so it might not work if your neighbors are refusing to.
4. Alert the neighborhood leaders, apartment managers, or landlords.
Make the complaint a little more official by talking to the landlord, or with the apartment manager, or with the neighborhood community leader, or similar. Sometimes, it takes a figure of authority to kick people into gear, and it might be more effective than you simply talking to the neighbor.
5. Give your neighbors a last warning and chance.
Before you go fully official, talk to your neighbors once more. Give them a warning, about how you can no longer tolerate the issue if they don’t change.
6. Contact the police.
Finally, if all else fails, go to the local police and file an official complaint. The police will know what measures to take and will lay out a plan of action in order to implement a suitable solution.
For this, you might want to collect some evidence to back up your complaint!
If you need to file a complaint about your neighbor, first of all, determine whether you are in your right and that it is a reasonable complaint.
Next, try talking to them, in order to reach an understanding and cooperative solution. If this fails, you will have to notify a figure of authority, and talk to other neighbors.
And if it gets to the worst-case scenario, you will have to file an official complaint through the local police.