One of the great aspects about apartment living is the sense of community that comes with it. There will be many people sharing the same building as you, and while you hope everyone is going to be cool (they probably will be), there is always the chance to have a bad neighbor. If you end up having problems with a neighbor, use this advice to keep the situation composed and try to sort it out the right way.
Speak With Your Neighbor First
This can be awkward and scary, but it might end up being the most effective option when dealing with a bad neighbor. If you have an issue with one of your neighbors, talk to them directly about what is going on in a calm manner. Explain to them why it is a problem and work towards a compromise. You are taking control of the situation by confronting your neighbor and setting the tone by being cool and collected. Remember, you are not here to start a fight with your neighbor. Try to find some common ground and come to a solution.
Speak With Your Landlord Second
If you were not able to work out the situation after speaking with your neighbor or feel that it is too dangerous to talk with your neighbor, then you need to speak to is your landlord. If you are having trouble with another tenant in the building and the landlord can remedy it, you should definitely talk to your landlord. For example, should your neighbor be playing obnoxiously loud music during quiet hours, you should speak to your landlord to enforce the lease rules. If your neighbor is playing music at an appropriate volume during regular hours yet it is bothering you due to the walls being too thin, you should still speak to the landlord, and hopefully your landlord can offer some sort of soundproofing for you. Even if the solution is just you buy soundproofing yourself and your landlord subtracts it off your monthly rent payment, it is better than not trying to work out the issue at all.
In the worst-case scenario, you have to call the cops. You should only get the police involved if it rises into something serious or hazardous, and you have already tried to talk with your neighbor and the landlord.
After you have spoken with your neighbor, you asked your landlord to mediate the problem with no success, and the issue is still apparent, then you must help yourself. If your neighbor is loud, a white noise machine or a fan can easily cover up some of the noise for cheap. If nothing is working, earplugs are a great solution. While uncomfortable at first, once you get used to them, ear plugs are essential to a great night’s sleep. If your neighbor is creating bad smells, you should absolutely invest in an air purifier.
No One Wants to Go to Court
This is always going to be the last choice, but you may have to take your neighbor to court. If your neighbor is loud and obnoxious, you might be able to sue your landlord for breach of quiet enjoyment. On the flipside, your landlord has the ability to sue you for breaking the lease should you choose to leave halfway through. In the event you have to take your issue to court, keep excellent documentation of all contact you have with the landlord and bad neighbor, this would be all phone calls, emails, text messages, and yes, even face-to-face conversations. Additionally, it is important that you keep a good record of all the ways you tried to resolve the problems.