To Confront or Not Confront The Neighbor?

Confrontation is not something most people feel comfortable with, especially if it’s with a stranger or a neighbor you dislike. But sometimes some form of confrontation is needed to resolve a problem. 

While being at “war” with my downstairs neighbors for years, I was advised at one point to get a petition signed by other neighbors who also had trouble with the noise makers. I was the first to sign on it and completely ready to give it to my landlord. 

But I also had heard rumors that the same noisy neighbors also had 4 other complaints against them. This was great news. There were only 3 possible neighbors living around the trouble makers, besides myself who could possibly be annoyed by them and I went to each and everyone’s apartment asking them if they had problems.

All 3 confirmed that they were troubled by the noise coming from my downstairs neighbor but when I asked them to sign the petition, they began to make excuses, turn away and completely change their tone. In the end, I could not get single person to sign the petition! 

One lady complained that she couldn’t take the noise and gave me a bunch of stories about how she was being annoyed, then when I asked if she could sign, her excuse was no because she was going to move away anyway in less than a year. And since she said that, it’s been 3 years and she’s still living in the same apartment.

The other neighbor also confirmed that they are annoyed by the same people as well, but when I asked them to sign, they began to worry, panic and hesitate. Their problem was they “didn’t want trouble”.

The last neighbors was an elderly couple of which I spoke to the wife that did also confirm that she was annoyed by them. One of the rooms in her apartment was right next to the kitchen and bedroom of the noisy neighbors. She told me she’d speak with her husband but I never heard from them again on the issue and that one instance was my fault because I never followed up with them. 

I was very frustrated that at least 2 of the 3 neighbors I visited confirmed everything I had complained about and wanted the bad neighbors gone, but completely backed away when any action was required. Were they cowards? 

I can understand them from one point of view, but seriously, if you complain to me and other people about a problem and you’re not willing to do anything about it, then stop complaining, you’re just wasting time.

The petition unfortunately never went anywhere because the only person who signed it was me and multiple signatures would be needed to go anywhere. I could have technically sued them, but I’d need to get collect more things like police reports before I could do that.

When I first approached my neighbors about their noise, I never really confronted them about it. I was very polite and understood that may they really didn’t understand what they were doing after hours was bothering other people and it was illegal. But after I tried that and they continued, I knew speaking to them nicely would not cut it.

That led to confrontations with them several times where yelling was involved, but most of the time, I’d just call the cops. This is something I also recommend you do if talking is not an option.

Some people are afraid to confront their neighbors because they don’t know who they are. Maybe they are drug dealers, maybe they “know someone” who is dangerous, maybe this and that and that’s what makes them not do anything. 

But if your problem with the neighbors keeps happening, if you do nothing about it, why should you ever expect anything to change? If you’re not willing to step up and do anything, then the best thing you can do is just move to another apartment that is hopefully quiet. 

Remember that you have rights when it comes to noise. You are entitled to peace in just about every area you live in and noise, especially loud noise, after hours is not just disruptive, it is also dangerous to your health.

That’s why we have laws against these things. It also deals with property rights. 

Stand up for your right to peace, peacefully, and if it doesn’t work, know that the law is on your side as long as you use it right. 


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