So you’ve recently moved into your dream home, but have discovered that the neighbours are less than ideal. No, worse than that. They are flat out ruining your home owning experience.

Trying to live beside unruly neighbours is an awful occurrence for more reasons than one. Not only will they test you mentally and emotionally, they could even affect the value of your home.

Fortunately, there are measures one can take to positively impact the situation. And if circumstances are dire, there are more serious actions available also. Let’s look at some of the steps homeowners should consider when forced to deal with bad neighbours.



Above all else, it is critical that you keep your cool. Now this might sound like something from grade school, but it’s true – you can’t let yourself be brought down to their level. If at any point the situation is brought before other members of the community or local law enforcement, it will be crucial for your case to be well-adjusted and calm.

Introduce yourself

So many misunderstandings can be cleared up as soon as you say hello. Getting to know those you live around can be the difference between an amicable relationship and a bitter conflict. Take the time to introduce yourself and learn a little bit about everyone around you. It’s much tougher for someone to be a bad neighbour when they know who they are affecting.


We’re all human beings, and with that in mind, it’s important to remember that bad neighbours may just be going through a bit of a rough patch. The peeling paint on the house next door may be the result of messy people, but it could also be the byproduct of a sick or injured person. See if you can stop in and surmise what the situation may be. If it an unfortunate set of circumstances, see if you can help lend a hand.

Learn about local bylaws

It’s always a good idea to learn about local bylaws, especially when they may help your case with nasty neighbours. If noise, unkempt lawns, or trash are an issue, see if there’s any way the law can sort this stuff out. Once you’ve found a particular offence, bring it up with your neighbour first. If they won’t budge, contact the local authorities and issue a complaint.

Gather Evidence

If things aren’t letting up, it’ll help your case in the long run if you have evidence to back it up. Keep track of when things are happening, and if you can, install a surveillance camera. Anecdotal evidence isn’t good enough when you take your case to the authorities.

Contact the authorities

Unless you are actually in danger, contacting the authorities should be your last resort. By bringing in the police, you are more likely to create increased tension than diffuse it, and will be hurting your chances in the long run of finding common ground.


If your neighbour is willing to participate in in mediation, this is the most effective solution. By bringing in a third party, you’ll most likely find a way to smooth things over and create a win-win situation.

Having to put up with terrible neighbours can be tough, but it isn’t entirely hopeless. Follow these simple steps to work towards a solution. If all else fails, you can always relocate. Contact us today at Pemberton Holmes if you’re looking to buy or sell.