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How do you deal with annoying neighbors?

How do you deal with annoying neighbors?

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  1. I’m from Switzerland. The culture here is to avoid any kind of confrontation as long as possible and try to ignore whatever annoys you. Once that’s not possible anymore, people usually write a passive aggressive note and stick it to their neighbor’s door when he/she isn’t home. Alternatively, if you wanna be extra Swiss about it, you write a passive aggressive letter and hang it up in the entry lobby of your apartment building (some place where everyone can see it). In the letter, you don’t call out your annoying neighbor by name but instead you write things like: “there are certain people in this building who enjoy listening to very loud music…”, trusting that everyone will know who is meant, including the offender, and that the public shaming makes him/her stop.

    Personal confrontation only takes place once everything else fails because most Swiss people really hate open conflict and it’s considered a big deal to tell your honest grievances right to someone’s face.

    These measures work for 99% of situations but if they don’t, let last measure would be to call the landlord, housing management or police, depending on where you live and what kind of problem it is.

  2. Gather evidence and cover your ass; then first leave a note, then talk directly, then get housing agency/ city /police involved. Oh and depending on what the neighbor does; motion-based camera system that connects to your phone.

    All of this is from experience;
    My neighbor (a gay man in his mid fifties; likes to behave {pre-covid} like a 20 year old, and going out to bars and nightclubs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. He would come home anywhere between 3 and 6 AM, with a lot of noise; waking up us, our dog, and the entire block of appartement we live in.

    Writing a note did not help; talking to him wouldn’t help since he wouldn’t remember when sober, so I eventually invested in a camera system, filming my front door and the staircase, the route leading up to my door (and his). Completely legal since (1) protecting my possessions and (2) control of behavior in public space; are the two reasons private citizens are allowed to install camera’s. Well, that camera was installed; he didn’t say a word to me directly, but he knew he was the reason why I paid 200 euros for that thing.

    Within 24 hours; I had two representatives from our housing agency here talking to me, demanding I take it down; I refused since I knew I was in the green. Then 3/4 days later; local police showed up; and the same thing; he demanded I took it down since I invaded privacy of neighbors. Well, I again, politely declined. Then showed mister police guy the following;
    – the law that states your own personal possessions can be secured by camera’s, this includes the walkway to your front door.
    – I showed him that I could also do that for orderly control of public space and explained my reasoning, with the early morning wake-ups caused by neighbors.
    – I showed him the policy of how data is handled from our national privacy policy organization; my data retention period was set to only 10 days; less than the national limit.
    – I showed him the (6!) stickers I put up in out shared entryway; informing neighbors and their visitors that their is camera surveillance.
    – I showed him the letter I wrote to all my neighbors; explaining all of this m. (I wrote that letter after the housing agency came).

    Anyway; police guy was not amused by an educated citizen and learned his lesson not to assume; and first check laws and regulations.

    Oh, and the noisy drunk neighbor? Well, I agreed with my fiancé that we would apply a 3 strikes and you are out system; first 3 violations of drunk noise we would tolerate, after that; we would start proceedings with housing agency, police and city to get him evicted. Camera went up in the fall of 2019; in the winter he doesn’t go out that often; and then Covid hit, closing all nightclubs since March. Right now he woke us up twice; so one more time and he is done.

    None the less; going from 2-3 times a week being awoken by neighbor, to only 2 times in the past year, has been a blessing on our mental health; sleep schedule and our sense of safety.

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