Oh joy, the neighbor kid got a drum set for Christmas! Or, yes – the family across the street has a barking dog. As a rental property manager in Blue Springs, MO, I’ve heard and seen it all. And if you’re out there trying to figure out how to talk to your neighbors about a noise complaint without ruining a relationship, I can help.
I’ve rented properties in the Kansas City area for a long time. And I totally understand where you’re coming from. It is difficult when your neighbors are loud and noisy. Especially when you are always mindful and courteous of your noise levels and try to respect their space. But one thing I try to encourage each tenant of mine to do is be patient, understanding, and kind. In doing so, your neighbors will more than likely respond positively to your complaints.
Be Patient With your Noisy Neighbors
When I first hear of a complaint from my tenants, I try to encourage them to be patient with the situation. Next door neighbors have friends over last night and get too loud? Well, when was the last time you had a group of people over? And was there a chance you were too loud? It’s likely that at some point, each neighbor will cause another neighbor annoyance. Sure, there are rare exceptions – but in many of my rental properties, the neighborhood is full of active families who have a lot going on. So, before you jump up and call the landlord, be mindful of how you’d want them to respond if the tables were turned. And if you do approach them, be kind and gracious – not mean and cranky.
Build Relationships with your Neighbors
Another important thing to remember when you rent is that you have the opportunity to get to know new friends and build new relationships. If you view your neighbors as those who you can develop relationships with, you’ll find you have more patience and understanding with them. The next door kid got a drum set for Christmas because his Dad is a musician and they spend time jamming together. The woman across the street has a dog because she’s recently widowed and needs company. If you take the time to get to know who you live next to, you’ll find that you have more understanding of their circumstance. No, it won’t make the dog stop barking at 3am, but at least you won’t get so mad about it when you realize why the dog is there in the first place.
When to Call the Landlord
I’m not saying there’s never a time to get the landlord involved. If you’re next to a tenant who hosts loud, crazy parties frequently – it’s time to call. If there’s a constant dog barking all night – for most nights – there’s a city-wide noise violation that is being broken. And certainly, if you hear noises that raise your concerns about the safety in a neighbor’s house, tell someone and raise concerns. As a landlord, I’m here to help my tenants, keep them safe, and keep my property safe. If you feel something is violating that – please tell me. But if it’s something that’s not as pressing or urgent, try to have patience, find understanding and consider investing in some ear plugs.