How To Be A Diplomatic Neighbor
“It’s 4:00 am and your neighbors upstairs have decided it’s appropriate to party.”
I’ve been there, you’ve been there, so many of us have. It’s 4:00 am and your neighbors upstairs have decided it’s appropriate to party. You can hear them talking loudly, playing music, walking around…each bit of noise is driving you nuts because well, it’s 4:00 am and you’re trying to sleep! While living in a condo comes with its benefits (no lawn mowing), the downside can be dealing with close-quartered neighbors. It can be difficult to tolerate others’ habits when they are disruptive and it can be really easy to let it get to you.
“It is important to be a diplomatic neighbor…”
Working in the property management industry, I’ve heard a variety of neighbor-to-neighbor issues. I’ve witnessed how fast conflicts can escalate and the detriment to one’s quality of life they can bring. Living so close to one another, you definitely don’t want to make enemies with the guy across the hall. It is important to be a diplomatic neighbor. It’s also important to remember that the issues you may have with your neighbors, or they with you, probably are not personal. If you approach your neighbor feeling that it is personal, it may become that way. Before you call your management company, knock on their door (make sure you are calm before you do so!). Be friendly; they probably have no idea that their actions are affecting you. If you’ve never met, make a point to introduce yourself and let them know where you live. Calmly tell them about what has been on your mind, and ask them to consider this the next time they are playing loud music, slamming doors, whatever it may be. The best thing you could hope for is a nice person who takes what you tell them into consideration and the problem stops right there. From experience, I’d be willing to say most people would much rather be approached by you than to receive notice from management.
“If the police aren’t able to help resolve an escalated neighbor-to-neighbor issue, then it’s time to call your management company.”
On the other hand, you’ve got the neighbor who just doesn’t get it. You’ve tried being nice, but nothing has been done to remedy the situation. If the police aren’t able to help resolve an escalated neighbor-to-neighbor issue, then it’s time to call your management company. If you are disputing something that can be proven (hearsay doesn’t count), document it before you make a case. Just like in the court of law, the more evidence you can provide, the better a case you will make. Usually the threat of a fine and the embarrassment of the issue presented to the Board is enough to stop a conflict, but if it persists, call us again and we will do what we can to resolve the issue in the most respectful manner.
As your management company, we are here to help (and can even provide formal mediating services), but from experience I have found that through relationship building, courtesy, and kindness, most issues that arise can be solved with ease (maybe you’ll even make a friend in the process!). Remember, you catch more bees with honey than vinegar, and smiling doesn’t hurt either!
-Samira Yasmin, Office Administrator