5 Things You're Doing That Your Neighbors Hate, Realtors Say
You might not notice you're doing this, but the people on your block sure do.
Neighbors can be a blessing and a curse, whether you share an apartment wall or have a whole yard between your homes. Some of us form close relationships with the people who live near us, chatting at block parties or at the school bus stop, but odds are that you've also been annoyed by a neighbor at one time or another. Maybe a lawnmower early Sunday morning grinds your gears, or perhaps you can't stand it when someone pulls into your preferred parking spot. These pet peeves go both ways, and there are some things you could be doing that rub your neighbors the wrong way—even if you don't realize you're doing them. Read on to find out the five things you do that your neighbors really hate.
Making too much noise
A recent survey conducted by Lombardo Homes asked over 1,200 Americans about their "top neighbor frustrations." It might not be surprising, but noise ranked as the number one neighbor annoyance for those in single-family homes, apartments, townhomes, and other residences. Loud music, talking and shouting, and loud pets came in as the top three noise-related complaints.
We all have different levels we can tolerate when it comes to noise, and some people can be downright unreasonable. But experts recommend that you do what you can to mitigate the sound coming from your home or apartment—and maybe consider laying down a couple of carpets for the sake of soundproofing.
Baron Christopher Hanson, a Florida-based realtor for Coldwell Banker, recommends considering your noise levels and where others can hear them from. You can have friends and family come over to help you determine what to listen for, Hanson says, and ask, "What loud noises could you begin to avoid or be more mindful of? How can your actions or inactions be improved to benefit your neighbors?"
A dog is man's (and woman's) best friend. We make sure friendly Fido gets his daily walks, but he can become a nuisance to neighbors if you don't take the time to clean up any waste. According to Lombardo Homes' data, leaving a mess on the street or in someone else's yard is the second-most annoying neighbor habit on the list.
"From a psychological standpoint, any 'noisy-ugly-smelly' annoyances can fester into verbal grievances and unpleasant interactions," Hanson says. "In fact, most souring neighbor relationships are due to inaction or laziness, such as not cleaning up after pets or allowing messes to accumulate."
Leaving your pooch's "business" on a neighbor's yard or in the street is not only unpleasant—it's also illegal. Avoid a fine and a fight by making sure you've got a bag to curb your dog on your next trip outside.
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Being too nosy
If you're an extrovert, you're likely open to a conversation or a chat with any passerby. This doesn't apply to everyone, though, and you might want to reconsider the questions you ask your neighbor, as intrusiveness and nosiness rounded out the top three neighbor annoyances, Lombardo Homes' data suggests.
According to Lachlan Brown, founder and editor of the relationship and life advice site Hack Spirit, being nosy about your neighbors' personal lives might irritate them, even if you're just trying to be friendly. "We often do things that annoy our neighbors without realizing it," Brown says, adding that "criticizing [neighbors] behind their back" is another tendency that might get you in trouble.
You might not mind if your lawn goes a few extra weeks without being cut, but your neighbors could feel the opposite. Not "cleaning up" applies to both your pet and your yard, as your neighbors can be bothered if your landscaping is overgrown or you "allow dilapidation" or "especially ugly trashy vistas to accumulate," Hanson explains. An unkempt yard also placed on Lombardo's list, a bit further down at number nine.
"The most annoying habit is having a neighbor who does not care about their own slovenly surroundings, sights, and sounds—so much so that it begins to spill over and affect the enjoyment of your neighbors," Hanson tells Best Life. He recommends gently talking it out with your neighbor, noting likes, dislikes, or disturbances to (hopefully) rectify the issue.
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Our kids are our pride and joy, and we want them to enjoy themselves and have fun when playing in the neighborhood. But kids can also be bothersome to those who live nearby, and unsupervised children actually came in as number five on the top 20 neighbor annoyances, per Lombardo Homes' survey.
"For some residents, unruly behaving kids are a much graver problem than mishandled or untrained pets," David Clark, personal injury trial lawyer and partner at The Law Clark Office in Michigan, tells Best Life. Nuisance lawsuits have even been filed against children—with their parents or guardians as the liable party—for a wide variety of offenses, including stealing and defacing the neighborhood, he notes.
"While some parents may label such actions as 'kids just being kids,' destruction and/or violation of personal and public property, physical injury, and extreme noise negatively affect people's quality of life," Clark says.