Living in close proximity to others offers the potential for unexpected friendships, but can also come with unique challenges. Difficult situations might include neighbors who are messy, noisy, or even hostile.
If you have a problem with a neighbor, the ideal first step is to approach them in a friendly manner and tactfully mention your concern. At this point, you’ll usually be able to judge how receptive the neighbor is to working with you. The vast majority of problems end here and require no further action.
If the neighbor is uncooperative and the problem persists, your next option is to appeal to the homeowners association. To do this, start with the association rulebook: you’ll have much more success in your appeal if you can show that the neighbor is breaking a community rule. The association will have more leverage in dealing with the problem, because it is able to impose fines for non-cooperation on your neighbor.
However, if you find your association unresponsive, you might want to check your city’s local laws. If the issue is noise or trash related, there are usually ordinances in the local code meant to keep conditions between neighbors tolerable.
Those reading this most likely already have a problem, but we should mention that one of the best ways of avoiding trouble with neighbors is being extra vigilant on your initial reconnaissance of a new property, and looking for the first signs of trouble. If you see or hear anything questionable, speak to the landlord or owner about any potential concerns before moving in.