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The worst thing in the world is to come home after a long day only to find that your upstairs neighbor is having a party or decided to go away for the weekend and left their barking dog to give you company.

Is there anything I can do?

Depending on if you are living in a home, apartment community, or a homeowners association (HOA), you will have different options available to you. One simply solution is to call the police. Typically, they will come by, document your complaint and then speak to the neighbor. If it’s a barking dog, they may contact animal control if they feel the dog could be at risk. Keep in mind that this is usually considered a non-emergency call and therefore it may take them awhile before they get there and by that time, its possible that the noise has stopped.

If you’re a tenant in an apartment community or living in an HOA you may be able to contact the apartment or HOA manager to report the complaint. Depending on the rules of the community, they may be able to take steps to fine the person or even remove them.

Back in the good old days, you could go to your neighbor’s house and simple talk to them. This is still an option, but be careful because you may not be welcomed with open arms. Resolving the problem on your own, if possible, would be the preferred approach. No one ever likes to have the cops called on them or get a fine. These types of things can cause tension between neighbors. Even though you don’t live in the same place, you still have to live near them and this tension could cause other problems down the line.

A tenant can always contact their landlord, but they won’t be able to anything that you couldn’t do. If the neighbor happens to be a tenant, you could attempt to contact their landlord or property manager to see if they can get involved.

What shouldn’t I do?

Taking the law into your own hands is rarely a good thing. Knocking on your neighbor’s door at 3 am to scream and yell at them probably won’t accomplish very much other than fueling the fire.  You also don’t want to throw your own party to get back at them. While initially this may seem like a good idea, it deflates your argument because you now become a hypocrite.

You will also want to avoid hazing them or damaging their property. While a nice egging may release some stress, you don’t want to find a flaming bag of dog feces at your front door. Prank wars can become very destructive and they will only perpetuate the problem.

The best thing to do is to either try to resolve the problem on your own, or to ask the appropriate party to help. Dealing with a problematic neighbor is not worth your time and energy. In some cases, you are better off moving out and moving on which is one of the advantages of being a tenant. You are not locked into the home like a property owner is. 


What to do About That Noisy Neighbor? - by