It is a given we’ll happen across at least one set of neighbours here in the UK because we have our houses so close together, but more often than not there is at least one neighbour that annoys you and if not, maybe you’re the annoying one. The good news is that it is pretty easy to be a good neighbour, especially if you’re conscious of what you could be doing to irk others. To help you, here are 8 reasons your neighbours hate you and what to do about it:
You’re Spilling Out
Have bushes that grow out onto the pavement? Garden debris that piles up and is visible from other gardens? House contents that are unwanted and are slowly building up outside? If you are that neighbour and you’re spilling out where your neighbours may be impacted by your stuff either visually, physically or otherwise, you’re definitely annoying someone. For your own mental health, hygiene and space as well as your neighbours and their happiness, it’s time to declutter. For a quick clear out, use budget self storage and move everything in there until you can sort it out.
You’re The Loud One
Are you regularly arguing, making loud bedroom sounds, playing loud music or do you have pets or children who are loud outside? Noise pollution is a huge cause of arguments between neighbours, so if you are the loud one you’re upsetting at least one neighbour. The solution is to think what you would feel if you had a neighbour being repeatedly loud, especially during the early morning or late evenings, and change your behaviour accordingly – i.e. keep it down.
You’re Not Joining In
In some communities the meaning of being a neighbour is still like it used to be. Everyone speaks to each other, says hi and otherwise engages with the community. If you have kept yourself to yourself, there is nothing wrong with that but some neighbours may take it as a sleight that you’ve been so closed off. To rectify this, try attending some community events, even if just to show your face, or try saying hi to a neighbour once in a while – you never know when you might need their help so it’s always good to make a positive impression and show you’re willing to try.
You’re Going Against Unwritten Parking Rules
In the UK we get pretty funny about our parking, but the same happens across the world too, usually in small communities where a parking space is precious. The worst thing you can do is park across a person’s drive regularly, causing them to be unable to get out of their property. Other potential parking unwritten rules are:
- Parking in front of a person’s house who doesn’t have a drive
- Having multiple cars on a road where there are no drives
- Parking a large vehicle that takes up two parking spaces
- Parking a high vehicle across the window of a house where it would block the light
- Parking and blocking people in
- Parking on the pavement
These are just some unwritten parking rules, but in reality, there are many more. The best thing to do is be courteous and keep trying to work with your neighbours to get an agreement going about parking. Most people don’t want to fight and will want to work this out with you.
You’re Feeding Animals
Some people have a really big chip on their shoulder about others feeding animals. This could be feeding birds, or leaving out food for foxes. Either way, it is controversial and you’ll have to be aware that some of your neighbours might not like it. What you could do is engage with them and discuss supporting local wildlife. That way, they may get stuck in and start to do it themselves. It is also important to keep your feeders clean and monitor the activity around your feeding to ensure it has no negative impact on neighbouring properties.
You Have A Wild Lawn
In very neat neighbourhoods there will be a problem with any neighbour who has a wild lawn. Some people find it to be very unkempt, even though it attracts lots of wildlife and does wonders for the ecosystem. If you want to keep a wild lawn, try to make it look more intentional. Keep surrounding areas neat and tidy, consider a ‘wild lawn’ sign, and perhaps mow some boundaries, or a walkthrough path to show it is intentionally allowed to grow that way. If you can, you may also want to educate your neighbours on the benefits of a no-mow lawn and the different wildlife it benefits.
Your Cat Poops In Their Garden
There is nothing like a neighbour’s cat pooping in another neighbour’s garden to cause friction. If this is your cat doing the pooping there is little you can do, apart from apologise. Alternatively, consider switching your cat to an indoor kitty who is harness trained, that way they won’t be able to poop elsewhere or cause issues to wildlife, and they will be safe from the roads too. It might not suit your kitty, but if it does it’s worth thinking about.
You’re Having Building Work Done
If you are having building work done you’ll be annoying neighbours because of the noise and the disruption to the neighbourhood. The best thing to do is let neighbours know before the work is done so they have warning. It is also imperative you ensure builders are only doing work during legal times which is usually between 8AM and 6PM weekdays, and then shorter hours on the weekend (check with your local council). Do also check in with your neighbours so they know you are approachable about any issues with your building work that they have. An open line of communication is really helpful with such a tricky topic.
Nothing Striking A Chord?
If nothing above makes you think you’re disliked by your neighbours, it is possible you’re a really liked neighbour on the road. Some communities are close, and support each other, especially post-covid after we all had to pull together to work through the challenges it created. Otherwise, if you do recognise yourself above, try to do your best to work around it and make peace with your neighbours, after all, life is too short to be in a dispute with those who live around you, especially when you may need to rely on their help one day.