How to Deal With Bad Neighbors

By Brittany Loeffler on April 27, 2017

When living off-campus, college students most likely live in apartment buildings. That means living in tight quarters with people above and below you, which can get a little frustrating if you are stuck with bad neighbors.

Bad neighbors can be noisy, messy, and inconsiderate. If your neighbors are noisy, it can affect your sleeping habits. If your neighbors are messy, it can cause rodents or insects to infect the entire apartment building, meaning cockroaches and mice can come into your apartment as well. If they are inconsiderate, well that can mean many things.

Here is a guide on how to deal with bad neighbors effectively.

via Pixabay

Talk to other neighbors

Talk to your other neighbors in the building near your apartment or the offending neighbors’ apartment. Ask them if they also share the same concerns. You may find that you are the only one who cares that your neighbors play their music a little too loud at night or that they leave their trash bags in the hallway.

It’s important to have people back you up about an issue so you have support for when you approach your neighbor about the problem.

via Pixabay


Confront the neighbors who are causing the issues. This does not have to be an intense, unfriendly conversation; in fact, it shouldn’t be at all. This conversation should be calm and show effective communication. Schedule a time to meet with your neighbors if you have their contact information or ask them if they have a few minutes one day when you hear that they are home.

Bring up what has been bothering you and ask them if they could work on it. Bring up suggestions on how they may be able to fix the problem. These solutions must be realistic and compromise with what they are doing, though. If they play their music too loud late at night, ask them to turn it down a little. Don’t ask them to stop playing it completely.

Don’t be passive aggressive

Passive aggressive acts have almost never helped to solve a problem. Most of the time the person leaving notes or doing small tasks is the only one who notices. When people see passive aggressive notes or acts and recognize them for what they are, they most likely will become angry and will not have the desire to fix the issue.

Leaving notes like “Please remember to take the lint out of the dryer :) ” can be seen as passive aggressive. If you catch someone leaving the lint filter full after doing a load of laundry, confront them about it.

via Pixabay

Talk to your landlord

Speak to your landlord about the problems you are having with your neighbors. There may be something in the lease about noise control or trash policies that your landlord can refer you to. Talking to your landlord is a last resort, though. Before going to the owner of the building about your problems, try to fix it yourself by confronting your neighbors and having a friendly conversation with them.

If your neighbors have refused to compromise with your requests or recognize that they are causing issues for other tenants, then it is okay to go to the landlord. Since the landlord has the most power in the building, your neighbors may be more likely to listen to them instead of you.

via Pixabay

Don’t accuse your neighbors

When confronting your neighbors, do not accuse them of doing certain things or being a certain way. When you accuse someone directly of something, they are more likely to feel offended and go on the defensive. They may refuse to recognize that what you are saying is true and will most likely become angry and refuse to work with you.

Instead of saying, “You are too loud in the morning” say something similar to, “I’ve noticed that sometimes there are loud noises coming from your apartment early in the morning.”

When you accuse someone of something, it can feel as if you are attacking them, which is the opposite of what you want to do.

Re-evaluate your lifestyle

Take a step back and look at how you live your life. Is there anything that you may be doing consistently that could bother some of your neighbors? Has anyone come to you about a problem? When talking to your neighbor, you cannot be hypocritical. Your neighbor may end up being passive-aggressive (which doesn’t work!) towards you because you are too loud.

If you have exhausted all options of finding a solution with your neighbors and they still have not improved, it may be time to find a way for you to work around these annoyances. If they are too loud, buy a white noise machine to drown them out or a sound cancelling set of headphones. If you find vermin and insects in your apartment, take the necessary measures to exterminate them and make sure to keep your apartment spotless.

Not everyone can be perfect, but we can all be proactive in having a healthy and happy lifestyle.

By Brittany Loeffler

Uloop Writer
Brittany is a senior English major with a concentration in creative writing at Temple University. After growing up in a very rural part of Pennsylvania, she found her calling in the streets of the big city of Philadelphia. Aside from writing, she enjoys reading, movies, baking, and photography.

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