Renters' Survival Guide: Dealing with Neighbor Issues
Living in an apartment community can be an amazing experience. You’ll undoubtedly find neighbors to connect with for company, to borrow a tool from, or to trade baby sitting with. But renting an apartment also means living in close quarters with your neighbors, which can occasionally lead to issues.
Living close to other people can be challenging, but we all know the old saying: “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” So, how can you deal with neighbor issues in a way that is effective, and that you can both feel good about? Here are some pointers.
1. Choose Your Battles
The very first time you hear your neighbor’s loud music just after you settled your child down for a nap might make you want to scream in their face, but it is wise to resist the urge to have a knee-jerk reaction. Give your neighbor some time, and see if this is a regular occurrence or a one-time oversight. If the issue continues, approach them after it happens, and talk about preventing the disturbance in the future.
2. Talk to Your Neighbor Directly
Confronting others about an issue can be stressful and uncomfortable, and it’s tempting to leave a written note to avoid having a face-to-face conversation. But written words can be read in a tone you don’t intend, and you might come off as pushy or passive-aggressive, instead of honest and diplomatic. Be sure to speak directly to the person with whom you have the issue, rather than passing it off to someone else, whether it’s a spouse, roommate, or property manager.
If you have attempted to address the issue with your neighbor once or twice and the issue continues, it is OK to contact your property manager to report the situation, but it is always a good idea to try to resolve the situation on your own first. Give them a chance to make it right before you report them for what could be an honest mistake.
3. Consider Your Own Behavior
Much like your neighbors, you may not be aware of how your behavior is affecting others. It’s very useful to try to consider things from your neighbors’ perspectives and determine whether or not you might be unintentionally irritating them. Be aware of your actions, and if you’re unsure whether or not something you’re doing is grating on them, check in with them. This will go a long way if you ever need to confront your neighbors when they leave the trash in the hallway or forget to move their laundry out of the dryer.
4. Build Community and Friendships
Probably the best way to ensure a peaceful and enjoyable living environment for everyone in the building is to get to know each other. Talk to your neighbors, especially when there is no problem to confront. Plan social gatherings for those in your building and build up your community. We all have more in common than we think, and all it takes to find our similarities is to get to know each other. Having relationships with our neighbors makes us consider our impact on them even more, and it also makes it easier to talk to each other when there is a problem.
5. Remember the Golden Rule
Hard as it may be, it is important to remember that everyone is dealing with their own challenges and struggles in life. More times than not, people are doing their best to get through their days, and it makes sense to give them the benefit of the doubt. Think about how you would like to be approached when talking to a neighbor about an issue you have with them. Empathy and treating others as you wish them to treat you goes a long way in maintaining healthy relationships and boundaries.
Whether or not you experience challenging behaviors from your neighbors, keeping these tips in mind can lead to fulfilling and rewarding connections with the people who live around you. Give it a try – you may be surprised. And if you're looking for a new place to call home with a community of great people, have a look at our apartments for rent.