Picture being neighbors with a loner who only vacuums at night.
Have you ever had to deal with a nudist next door?
Neighbors that steal pets are worse than those that pet dangerous animals.
No matter what your neighbor is doing, there are ways to get them to stop.
So, What Should You Do If You Have a Creepy Neighbor?
Consider it before you take any drastic step. What makes you think the neighbor’s conduct is weird? Could it be bad blood between you arising from a previous encounter? In some cases, the neighbor may be within their rights to be creepy. For example, some jurisdictions permit homeowners to sunbathe naked in their backyards. Sometimes people appear creepy for harmless behaviors. A person on a non-conventional job or night shift will leave and arrive home during odd hours.
Six Ways To Deal With A Creepy Neighbor
People that had limited social interaction in childhood may appear anti-social in adulthood.
For those reasons, ignore everything if the neighbor has yet to harm you with whatever they are doing.
Still, something has to be done for the extreme cases:
1. Give Dialogue Chance
Dialogue is the default conflict resolution option for less serious cases involving passive intrusions and anything else you’d consider harmless but concerning.
Daily stares, weird noises at odd hours, and petty theft are creepy annoyances that deserve a dialogue.
Meet your neighbor on the property line or sidewalk and talk him out of the behavior.
Start by explaining how their actions are affecting your peace. Write them a letter if you are afraid to meet them but be sure to cite local privacy laws.
2. A Good Fence Promotes Good Neighborliness
The function is in the name – a privacy fence boosts your privacy by limiting your contact with your neighbor.
Weird noises are probably the only annoyances the privacy fence can’t stop.
The best thing about privacy fences is that less than 30% of the surface area permits light/air movements while severely concealing the activities behind it.
Start documenting the creepy behavior, just in case.
Keep a record of every bang and scream, complete with the time and date it occurred.
It can be something like:
11:35 pm, Tuesday, December 12th, 2021, or Tuesday, February 7th. Banging on the bedroom wall started at 10:26 pm and continued until 12:15 am. Focus on the facts of the incident and the creepy behavior you want to be changed, e.g., no more banging on the wall, no more screaming, etc.
Note the audibility of the noise as well. Put it down on paper if the noise is loud enough to wake a person or force you to turn up the volume on your sound system or TV.
Banging on the wall and similar harassments are common in low-income neighborhoods because of overcrowding. Another reason is weak or nonexistent rules.
3. Hire an Expert Mediator
Mediators are found in local bar associations, courthouses, or police precincts.
If you can’t agree with your creepy neighbor but still don’t want to involve the authorities, it only makes sense you hire a mediator.
The professional mediator helps you work together towards crafting a resolution that both of you value.
The mediators will encourage you to share details about your views and positions before exploring innovative means of conflict resolution.
4. Get A Restraining Order
A restraining order is effective against an obnoxious creep that won’t back down even with warnings.
If your dialogue efforts have failed and your creepy neighbor escalates the situation with threats, you should file a complaint with local police or take the matter to court.
Depending on the jurisdiction, a restraining order can be permanent or temporary, depending on the complexity of the matter and whether a judge issued it.
Still, with compelling evidence, you can have it issued to order the aggressive creep to back off or face criminal prosecution.
A restraining order may go either of two ways:
- It may keep the creepy neighbor physically away from your premises or your person
- It may prohibit specific actions. For example, if the neighbor has formed a habit of staring over the fence whenever you mow your lawn, you can have that particular action prohibited by the order. You can call the police if the creep repeats the prohibited action.
Either way, a restraining order is the least punitive and cheapest way to involve the authorities in the matter.
5. Landlord or HOA Involvement
The job of the HOA (Homeowners Association) or the landlord is to enforce the agreement you signed, not to promote cohesion between neighbors.
However, your landlord or HOA may seek a solution when things get so bad.
They typically do so by revisiting the terms of the homeowner’s agreement. They may issue a notice or fine if they encounter a violation.
However, a specific number of penalties and notices from the HOA or landlord may compel the problematic neighbor to stop.
You can go down the same route, petitioning the landlord or HOA to take action. HOA may get them to behave if they are violating the agreed bylaws.
6. Move Out
Moving out can be hard, but why not if it is the only viable option left?
Relocation is the best option where every other conflict resolution method has failed. You may never coexist with your neighbor again if you involve the authorities.
Some HOAs and landlords can be drastic with their responses.
If the offending neighbor has had several notices before, your complaint may earn them fines or placement of liens on their home.
Moving out of the neighborhood would be prudent if you don’t see yourself ever living in harmony with the neighbor.
You don’t have to put up with a weird neighborhood that takes away your peace of mind.
The first thing to do should be to hold a dialogue toward resolving the matter. A privacy fence does precisely what the name says – it denies the creep the view of your yard.
If you aren’t planning to involve authorities, consider hiring an expert mediator.
Relentless creeps that refuse to listen should be reported to the police, HOA/landlord, or sued.