How To Handle Bad Neighbours

Remember when Zac Efron play a frat boy who moves in to a suburban home next to a couple of new parents (played by Seth Rogan and Rose Byrne) in the movie “Bad Neighbours”? It was pretty funny wasn’t it? The way they made each other’s life a living hell made for the perfect plot line….on the big screen! 

We’ve all heard of the neighbours from hell. It’s downright comical to hear these stories when it’s not happening to us, but what do you do when the dream home you have been lusting after comes attached with horrific neighbour behaviours that you just don’t know how to stomach? 

Or maybe YOU are the bad neighbour that everyone in the building gossips vents about! How can you avoid being the bad seed that terrorizes your whole building complex?

When you live in close proximities with anyone, it’s easy for conflicts to arise. People lead different lifestyles, but we still need to be aware and sensitive to the people around us as not to step on any toes and offend. Here are the most cited examples of bad neighbour behaviour(what NOT to do) and the solutions on how to fix them.

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The number one complaint that people have about their neighbours always comes down to noise. Does your neighbour blast his questionable music collection in the most ungodly hours? Is that kid from the unit above you driving you mad with his indoor basketball drills? Are your neighbour’s dog tireless yappers? Does that guy on your floor throw out-of-control parties that don’t ever seem to end? 


Find a time when you are in a calm state of mind to speak to your neighbour one-on-one. Don’t be hostile,  and don’t fight fire with fire. When has this method ever worked! Be calm and explain to your neighbour your concerns and how it is affecting you. If your work is being affected because you can’t sleep through the night with your neighbour’s pumping music,then structure your discourse in a way that will gain empathy and understanding(so long as he or she is not a narcissistic sociopath, it should be enough to get them on your side). When you speak of your concerns in a positive way that doesn’t point fingers, the person on the receiving end is much more likely to loosen up and digest what you are saying. Instead of complaining and showing aggression,try working things out peacefully instead. Here’s an example: 

Options 1: "TURN THAT NOISE DOWN! IT’S NOT EVEN MUSIC!Do you know that you are disrupting my sleep! I will call the cops!" 

Option 2: "Hey, how are you? I live next to you and I believe our bedrooms are just separated by a thin wall. I actually think you have great taste in music but I’ma really light sleeper and I’ve been having trouble doing my job at work lately. Would you mind turning the your music after midnight during the weekdays? I would really appreciate it!" 

Which mode of conversation do you think would entice a better response from your noisy neighbour? If you are the noisy neighbour, which way of expression would you like to receive? Your delivery can put your neighbour on your side or against you. All it takes is a simple tweak in the way you express your concerns and emotions. It’s all in the package!

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There’s nothing worse than a dog that barks all day, all night and never seems to need any vocal breaks. Then there are the owners who let their dogs pounce on neighbours and leave poop all over the community areas and sidewalks. If you are a pet owner, you are responsible for disciplining, training and picking up after your animals. It’s not your neighbour’s job to do it, it’s yours! Be wary of the rules in your community. If your building requires anon-leash policy, then put a leash on your dog until you get outside. If there’s a sign that clearly states “No dog’s allowed”, don’t strut through it with you pooch like you own the place. Be considerate of your neighbours and the people with whom you share this living space with. 


Just as in the previous example, the number 1 thing people forget is their form of expression.You can be angry and upset, but don’t ever lash out.Have a calm mind and problems can eventually be solved. I have seen dog owners go at each other in the building because one person insulted the other’s pet and called him a bad parent. However annoyed you feel, do not insult people or criticize the way they act. Simply share your concerns, explain how it affects you and the neighbourhood’s community. When people feel wronged, they are more likely to act out even more. Whereas if they feel bad or guilty for how they behaved, it’s more likely that they will put the effort in to changing so as not to trouble the people around them and cause further inconvenience. 


Does your neighbour leave his trash outside in the hallway? Are there issues with harassment, violence, drugs, and theft? These problems are the more serious ones that nobody wants to have to deal with, and can impose very real danger into your own life. I once had a neighbour who was in a domestic dispute almost every day, which eventually led to heightening cases of domestic violence.Their noise levels and violent nature became a issue that needed to be addressed by everyone in the community because it their problems were not only unhealthy but slowly seeped in to our daily lives. This is probably not something that can be dealt with on a personal level, and in such cases, more drastic measures have to be taken. You want to feel safe in your home, not constantly be watching out for the unknown. 


If there are issues like this, you must alert your community’s management to help take care of the problem. For issues such as domestic violence and criminal activities, it’s necessary to notify the authorities and leave yourself out of it. 

It doesn’t take much to be a good neighbour. If everyone stopped thinking “me, me, me”,our whole society would be a better and happier place. Having good people around you, especially in your place of residence, can lift you up and drag you down. Be an example of good neighbourly conduct and others will surely follow suite.  

What kind of neighbour problems have you dealt with? How did you handle it? We would love to hear your stories and experiences!?

Engel & Völkers

Hong Kong, Real Estate Agency
Shop A, Ground Floor, 95 Caine Road, Mid Levels
- Hong Kong
Company License: C-035745
+852 2561 3616

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