October 22, 2020

Do you have dreadful neighbours?

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Do you have dreadful neighbours? There is every chance you do or will. The fact that neighbours sometimes can’t get along is a common people problem. You have worked hard all day and have come home to the latest pimp movie soundtrack pulsating through your ceiling! How do you stop yourself from charging toward that upstairs apartment, kicking the door down and bashing that surround sound system in with a cricket bat? Here’s how.

1. Before renting out an apartment always check out the rental agency or landlord you’ll be renting from. Get online and do some research. Online there are a few apartment rating websites and if you must, (and trust me, you must) talk to people who already live there. A majority of the time, it’s simple. There’s always a vacancy because no one wants to live there. In my opinion, one of the best things you can do when apartment hunting, is get a referral from someone else, preferably a friend. If that isn’t an option, check out the place as thoroughly as possible before you make a decision that can aggravate you for the entire length of your lease.

2. If you fell to your knees in praise when you saw the apartment, moved in and didn’t research your landlord, you might be in for a shock. Your neighbours might be wonderful. Super! However, if you moved in and your neighbours have become your worst nightmare, the seemingly easy way to handle things would be to go to them and kindly ask them to turn the music down. However, this rarely works. You might have a good neighbour who didn’t know they were disturbing you. In that case, you knock on the door and ask them to turn their TV down. If they apologise and turn it down, your problem is solved and life goes on. However, there are hundreds who know they are disturbing the peace and they don’t care. Your best bet then would be not to knock on their door because it will enrage them. More than likely, the music is going to play louder and longer and you’re going to be livid.

My suggestion is to document the time and the dates of every disturbance. Then e-mail your landlord every time there is commotion. The reason I say e-mail your landlord rather than call is because your email is proof you asked the landlord to resolve this issue. In the long run, it will really help to print and save all of you and your landlord’s cyber communication.

3. If your landlord responds, “I already contacted your neighbour and you all should be able to work it out amongst yourselves” you may need all of that documentation to help get you out of your lease. Your landlord is about cashing rent checks and he/she may not put out a rent paying tenant who is causing a ruckus regardless of what your lease says about ‘quiet enjoyment’.

Your landlord may now be sick of you and is labelling you as the “troublemaker”. So don’t think for one minute if you break your lease and move, they won’t still sue you for the money owed on the remainder of the lease and you don’t want that. Here’s why:

4. You may want to concentrate on getting your credit in order. There is nothing worse, and I speak from experience, than wanting to make a major purchase like a car or a home and not being able to because of a blemish on your credit. Recognise early in the game that apartment living is not for you if you have a problem with the sound of a herd of cattle stampeding over you. Put yourself in the position financially and credit wise, so when you’re fed-up and ready to leave apartments behind completely, you can make that move quickly.

5. Learn to let go of your place if you’re unhappy. Stop going tit for tat with your neighbours and stop calling your landlord. If you’re miserable, move. No apartment is worth the energy it takes to complain all the time. To make matters worse, if you start to complain too much, everything that you’re fighting against you will start to mirror. If you’re not careful, ultimately, you will become the dreadful neighbour.

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