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Tenants' Rights

Problems with Neighbors

Many tenants live in close proximity to their neighbors, especially those tenants who are renting apartments or townhouses. Where two residents share a common wall or where one resident lives directly above another, one resident’s actions can have a large impact on the other’s property. Noise complaints are the most common problem, but issues between neighbors can crop up in all facets of home life. Generally, the best way to address a neighbor issue is to approach the neighbor calmly and work together to find a solution that works for both neighbors. When neighbors are able to communicate openly and respectfully, the solutions that come out of those discussions tend to be the most stable and least burdensome for the parties. However, a tenant must be careful to approach the neighbor in a calm and friendly manner – pounding on someone’s door and yelling are not good ways to open a productive dialogue.

If the neighbors are unable to work out the problem between themselves, then the tenant may need to bring the problem to the landlord. The tenant should work with the landlord to find a workable solution to the issue. In every lease, the tenant promises not to cause or allow any behavior that will disturb the neighbors’ peaceful enjoyment of their property. In every lease, the landlord promises to provide the tenant with peaceful enjoyment of the rental property. These two promises mean that the tenant can ask the landlord to take action when the neighbor is disturbing the tenant’s quiet enjoyment of the property, but also that the landlord can take action against the tenant if the tenant is disturbing the neighbor’s quiet enjoyment of the neighbor’s property. The landlord may need the cooperation of the tenant who is complaining in order to take the necessary action.

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