Dealing With Difficult Neighbors

Jared and I moved into our newlywed apartment back in April and we LOVE so much about this place. We like that its quieter, has years of character, and has a fenced in back yard for Mozza. After having a rough six months of living with Jared’s family, we finally found an apartment we could call home for the next few years until we could save for a house.

Until we met our neighbors…

It’s three older women living right behind our very thin walls, and they have made it very clear that they do not like us. It’s a grandmother, her daughter, and her daughter’s daughter all living under one roof in a house that they have probably owned for years. If I were in my 50’s and 80’s I wouldn’t be so happy about a young couple moving next door either. With the partying, laziness, and assumed drunken nights we would be living, they had false assumptions about us from the get-go. But if you know Jared and I, then you know that this is rarely the case. I mean, we did move into an apartment because it seemed quiet and safe for our dog baby….

Without going into too much detail about all the nasty ways they have expressed their disliking for us, let’s just say that after only six months of living in our apartment our neighbors sent in a complaint to our leasing office and had us fined for $30. Claimed it was for the “excessive barking of our dog” (even though we hear their dogs barking constantly)… We’re fine, everything is FINE! *sheds tear*

So if you are like us and are renting (or own your home) and have issues with your neighbors, I figured this post could help you!

Calm Your Enthusiasm and Think About the Basics

Jared and I were so eager to move in that we forgot to think about the basics of apartment shopping. Think about the area and the people surrounding it. Does your life style compliment theirs? Do you have a dog who barks every time the mailman pays a visit or loves to bark at squirrels? Then you might want to consider finding a place with thicker walls between you and your neighbors. For us, our issues emerged because on the weekends we like to enjoy our backyard with friends, but our neighbors go to bed much earlier than us. Even if you know you’re being quiet and respectful of those around you, your neighbors might be way more sensitive to the subject.

Consider Asking the Old Tenants of the History

Shortly after moving in, I had my first incident with the youngest woman next door. One morning, after having a few friends over the night before, she stuck her head over the fence and yelled at me with very foul language accusing me of something I never said. The next week the old tenant dropped by to pick up his mail that hadn’t gotten changed yet and I was so tempted to ask him about his experience with the neighbors. I felt embarrassed to ask and never did, and it’s one of my biggest regrets while living here. I feel like a lot of other incidences could have been avoided if I looked into this while searching for apartments to rent.

Make Nice Quick

Since the moment I moved in, I had been nice with my neighbors. I introduced myself, said hi and waved every time I saw them, and even had conversations with one of the ladies. But if I had put a little more effort into getting to know them, they might have thought twice before sending in the complaint. Ever since the youngest daughter yelled at me, I had avoided their presence like the plague. I averted eye contact, stopped waving, and gave up on saying hi completely. This inevitably resulted in more hatred towards us. What I suggest doing once moving into a new place is to inform your neighbors of who you are and what they have to expect of you. If we would have just told them that we had a small dog who likes to bark at _______, ______, & ______ then they might have looked past it. Also, if we would have explained where we are in life, such as newly engaged, getting married, and finding our place in our careers, then they might have had different assumptions about us than that were just a young couple looking to party every weekend.

If You Have Issues, Report It First

My last piece of advice is certainly the most important one. After months of disputes and feeling unwelcome in my own home, I never reported their inappropriate behavior to the landlord. And there was definitely some issues! They yelled at my sister, friends, and myself. Banged on our walls causing Mozza to be even more upset. They complained about our friends being over, and I even found them peeping through my door and disturbing the peace of my dog and me while I was home alone. I never reported these incidences because I wanted to make peace and move past them since we are stuck living next to each other for the next eight months. But because I didn’t record this, they were able to complain on us for silly reasons and our landlord had no reason to believe that we aren’t the true disturbances.

Neither Jared and I have ever had such serious issues with neighbors before. And Jared has had four different apartments in Richmond since he was 19! These are the best advice tips I could come up with relating to the issues. If anyone has more tips or stories to share, I would love to read about them in the comments! Obviously this isn’t fun circumstance to be going through, but I hope after reading this I can help other tenants, like myself, avoid unnecessary drama from their neighbors/roommates!

Always,

learnandbewithme

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