Conflicts between neighbors are never a good thing. Usually, both parties are committed to continuing to live where they do, so when conflicts occur, some kind of conflict resolution is required before everyone can put the event behind them. The tension can also make things unpleasant for others living in the building, who do not necessarily want to get involved in the conflict.
These are some key steps you can take to minimize the chances of being involved in a conflict with your neighbors:
- Get to know your neighbors.
It’s always harder to be upset with someone whose situation you know – the couple with the overactive toddler upstairs, the musician who occasionally plays his music a little too loud, etc. Knowing your neighbors is step one of avoiding conflict.
- Lead by example.
Being prudent and abiding by all the regulations yourself will help to prevent any conflict initiated by your own actions. It’s always best to follow the golden rule – don’t act in any way that you yourself wouldn’t want your neighbors to act.
- Remain Civil.
The vast majority of issues can be resolved with a polite request. If that doesn’t work, don’t get aggressive – take it up with the association, which can address the issue through official channels without involving you at all.
When you’re about to get into a conflict with a neighbor, the most important thing you can do is to acknowledge their point of view. Nine times out of ten, your neighbor will either be unaware that his/her behavior is bothering you, or will be acting due to extraordinary circumstances. That’s why the vast majority of neighbor conflicts can be resolved with a simple conversation. If that doesn’t work, remember that your HOA is there to help.