You’ve probably watched enough movies to conclude that you don’t want to be that person who calls your neighbor out for his/her unreasonable habits. But what you need to remember is that you have just as much right to enjoy the comfort of your home as they do! With a little finesse, handling these situations doesn’t have to be cringe-worthy – we speak to a Malaysian-based property manager for some tips on how you can make peace with your neighbor minus the awkward consequences!
Whether it is you’re struggling with a ‘social butterfly’ neighbor and his house-party music, incessant barking thanks to a neighbor’s pet that keeps you up at the oddest hours of the night, or neighbors who enjoy walking around their unit – in heels or boots – it is important to:
• Stay calm, take a little time out to assess your situation
• Think about how often this happens: how long have you been struggling with the same problem, and is this a recurring pattern?
Keep a Record
Exercise a level of tolerance to begin with, and keep track of your concerns – jot down useful details such as the time, date and nature of the disturbances.
If the situation doesn’t improve, depending on the type of relationship you have with your neighbor, it’s time for a little chat.
• Keep conversation light during a face-to-face, because really, no one appreciates being attacked for doing things a certain way in their own personal space
• Politely bring up details and your concerns, but firmly express how it has caused you and your family inconvenience
• Approach your neighbor with a clear intention to come up with a mutual solution – together – rather than dumping the blame on your neighbor.
It’s okay if you’re not chummy enough with your neighbor to ring on his doorbell for a chat!
• The most delicate way to bring this up to a neighbor you’ve hardly say five words to since you moved in is to slip a courteous note under their door or in their postbox to address your concerns
• End the note with a polite request for a call for action – either a response to you or by immediately addressing the situation
• Keep a dated copy of the letter(s) you send your neighbor, this may be useful if the situation doesn’t improve, or worse, gets more severe over time.
Monitor for Improvements
If your neighbor gets you loud and clear, congratulations on your happily ever after! If you’re (unfortunately) stuck with a stubborn one, continue keeping a record of the incidents. If this goes on for another week or so, you should resort to the next step:
• If you’re renting, speak to your Landlord immediately so he/she is aware of the problem before it gets brought up to the Management
• Contact your Super/Building or Property Manager for assistance immediately
• Exercise your right to get them to resolve this on your behalf by sharing written records and/or evidence of your correspondence with your neighbor to show you have tried, in more than one occasion, to resolve the matter
• Request for a response once they have addressed this formally with your neighbor so you can monitor for immediate improvements
• Keep your Landlord and Super/Building or Property Manager updated on the situation and request further assistance when required.