How To Keep The Peace In A Neighborhood Conflict

August 5, 2021

How To Keep The Peace In A Neighborhood Conflict

When you share space with someone, disputes are likely to occur every now and then. From endlessly barking dogs to loud music being played at late hours of the night, there are so many reasons why you may be experiencing problems with your neighbors. The world is filled with different types of people and sometimes you might have to share your neighborhood with people you don’t get along with.

Any issue with a neighbor can make you feel upset. There are so many things at stake and sometimes conflict with a neighbor can even make you feel unsafe and uncomfortable in your own home.

When both parties feel like they are on the right side of a dispute, things can escalate quickly. Tensions can run incredibly high if no one is willing to sit to talk and figure out a solution. This can lead to long-term feuds and even violence in worst-case scenarios.

Some Common Reasons For Neighbourhood Disputes

  • Property fences
  • Overhanging trees, shrubs, or plants
  • Loud noise or music
  • Lifestyle or environmental issues
  • Children or teenager’s behavior
  • Dogs and other pets
  • Invasion of privacy
  • Overuse of driveways or common areas

Whether you’re renting or you own a property, there comes a time when you have to handle conflicts with neighbors. Knowing how to approach your neighbor in a peaceful way and what to do is important. However, this skill does not come so easily to everyone.

Continue reading to learn some strategies on how you can manage a neighborhood dispute in a way that will solve the problem without creating a new one.

Make Sure It’s Actually A Problem

First, you need to make sure whether the issue is simply just your neighbor or you causing an occasional annoyance or if it is something that is seriously interfering with your quality of life. If it’s the former situation, then it’s best not to rock the boat. Take some time to wrap your head around it so you can determine how much of an issue you have.

Sometimes it is obvious right away that this is not a one-time thing, for instance, if your neighbor smokes cigarettes on their balcony and the smell is wafting into your apartment. However, something like loud noises from a party that disturb your peaceful night can be ignored as a one-off issue. Be sure your reasons are merited before taking it up with your neighbor.

Don’t Forget To Document The Issue

Sometimes the opposite party might be unaware that their behavior is causing an issue for other people. For instance, your neighbor may not know that their TV is often set on a loud volume and you can hear it or that their kids are stomping and it reverberates loudly into the apartment below. Documenting the issue can help you illustrate your point effectively.

Track their offending behavior for a week or two, noting patterns like time and duration. You don’t have to bring up the log the first time you address the issue. Nevertheless, it can come in handy if they try to dispute the facts. Also, add any conversation you and your neighbor have on the issue to your log, such as when and what was discussed.

Seek Help From A Third Party

Not all conflicts with neighbors can be solved without assistance from external parties. Sometimes you have to bring in a third party – such as another neighbor or your landlord – to settle the dispute. This usually happens when you have discussed the issue with your neighbor and they are not amenable to a settlement or finding a solution. This is especially true if your neighbor retaliates by doubling down on their problematic behavior.

You can also seek help from your homeowners’ association mediation board or an outside mediator. Don’t go straight to the police or a lawyer unless absolutely necessary as in the case of a safety concern. If you don’t want to involve your homeowners’ association or lawyer in the situation, we recommend researching a local mediation service.

Mediation services can help you manage the conflict from an objective standpoint. They facilitate communication between the two parties and act as a neutral liaison. You can schedule a date and location for a consultation. They will send a third-party mediator to sit down with you and your neighbor with the goal of reaching a compromise.

About Mediation Services

Do you want to reach out to a safer and more reliable option to settle your conflicts? Call Mediation Services to have your family, neighborhood, or workplace conflicts resolved by our professionals. Our online workshops and on-site training can resolve your issues without the emotional stress.

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