How to Get Bad Neighbors to Move (The Right Way to Do It)

Bed neighbors have a way of making people feel anxious, annoyed, or even enraged. If you’ve recently found yourself putting up with your neighbors’ incessant stomping, loud music, or barking pets, you may be close to your breaking point. It’s a good thing you tried to find out how to get bad neighbors to move before your mind started churning out more extreme solutions on its own!

In the following article, I’m going to suggest some ways to inspire your neighbor to move elsewhere. Whether your neighbors from hell live next door, across the street, or in the same building, you’ll surely find some way to annoy them away from the area. As long as your actions don’t cross into the illegal category, you’ll be in the clear.

Getting bad neighbors to move.

What Makes Someone a Bad Neighbor?

Before we get too far into our revenge plans, we ought to establish some working definitions. After all, there are different kinds of bad neighbors. So what type of person should you be trying to chase away from your neighborhood?

Well, according to a 2018 survey of 1,000 Americans, most bad neighbors have at least one of three traits. They’re usually untrustworthy, loud, and/or disrespectful of others’ property.

We usually assign those descriptors to people whose actions have a way of disrupting the regular activities of the community. If someone is lazy enough to leave their pet’s messes all over the neighborhood, people are bound to resent them. And the same goes for those who throw a lot of loud parties or just participate in shouting matches. Those kinds of behaviors could have made you start looking for new places to live too!

But why should you have to move to avoid interacting with disagreeable people? After all, you’re not the problem. Still, in most cases, even inconsiderate people can be made to see the error of their ways. So what kinds of neighbors should you turn your wrath on?

If your neighbors are simply annoying, you may not have to try too hard to sort the situation out. If they’re listening to loud music, you can ask them to tone it down. Even if the sidewalks are lined with their pets’ messes, a single conversation should make them start taking baggies on their walks.

However, if your neighbor is truly unbearable or even dangerous, you may have to intervene. We’re talking about people who are violent drunks, drug dealers, and other kinds of unsavory characters. If one of them is living in your neighborhood, you should do your best to make them leave!

How Should You Deal With Bad Neighbors?

When it comes to dealing with bad neighbors of all kinds, you have several potential solutions available. On the one hand, you could just try to ignore the problem in hopes that it’ll resolve itself. That method is ideal for dealing with short-term tenants. Even so, being evasive may not always yield satisfactory results.

So instead, you could try to reason with the problematic neighbors directly by:

  • Writing a letter
  • Dropping by their house
  • Scheduling a meeting with them

If you don’t feel comfortable confronting the neighbors in question, you could also lodge an anonymous complaint. An unsigned note should do the trick. Just remember that these things always land better when you avoid accusatory language.

On the other hand, if your neighbor is truly unreasonable, you could go completely off-script and mirror their behavior to them. Ideally, you should wait until you’re not feeling quite so fired up about the bad neighbors’ offenses to enact your plan. Then, you can just do to them whatever they did to make you so angry with them.

Alternatively, you can go the legal route. If you don’t have a landlord, hire an external mediator at the local courthouse or talk to the police. You could even file an official complaint in court. To be safe, you should confirm that your neighbors are, in fact, breaking the law by studying local noise and disturbance ordinances.

If your research shows that your objections have legal backing, you should go through with the plan. At least, you can let your neighbors know that that will be your next step if their behavior doesn’t change.

Ideas for Getting Rid of Bad Neighbors

Finally, we’ve reached the gist of this guide. So how can you nudge your bad neighbors into packing it up? Let’s look through your options!

Be Nosy

Ultimately, as someone’s neighbor, you don’t really have control over most of the factors that tend to make people move away. However, making the environment feel unwelcoming can certainly get them thinking about why they live there. With that in mind, one thing you can do is — make their business your business.

When they come home from work, rush out to meet them. Similarly, if you see them gardening, join them outside! Use every opportunity to interrogate them and tell them about the minutiae of your life too. If nothing else, that’ll make them start leading a quieter life in hopes of avoiding interactions with you.

If you’ve ever had a neighbor who is overly enthusiastic and interested in your every move, you’ll know exactly how disconcerting it can be. So don’t be shy. If you’re low on any cooking ingredients, ask your neighbor! While you’re at it, you can make a point of looking inside their home.

In fact, this prying neighbor act could be a way to collect evidence of your neighbors’ wrongdoings. That will come in handy if you decide to lodge an official complaint against them. And if you really want to freak them out, you can also install security cameras on your property.

Make sure to point some of them at your neighbors’ house, too. As long as they’re on your side of the fence, you should be fine. Even if the cameras are fake, seeing that little gadget is sure to make your neighbors start looking for homes in a new area.

Organize Some Noisy Activities

If your main gripe is that your neighbors are being unreasonably loud, you could always fight fire with fire. Of course, the same noise that annoys you probably won’t do much to them. With that in mind, you’ll need to pinpoint a type of sound your neighbor will find annoying and find a way to produce it frequently — within reason.

The goal is to avoid legal trouble, so you probably shouldn’t make any loud noises in the middle of the night. But if the nightly quiet hours end at 7 or 8 am — and you happen to be an early bird — who’s to say you shouldn’t mow the lawn at that time?

Alternatively, if your lawnmower simply isn’t loud enough to get a rise out of your troublesome neighbors, you may have to switch it up. Perhaps they’re just used to hearing noise early in the morning. So you could try making some noise later in the day.

A garden party — or a plain old house party, if you don’t have a yard — may be just the thing you need. In fact, why not turn into a social butterfly? Having to put up with frequent get-togethers may inspire your neighbors to look for new lodgings.

Make sure to invite a minimum of 30–50 people and set up a bar and some games for maximum messiness. You can even do some furniture rearranging to make the situation extra annoying. If you have any kids, make sure their swing set or play corner is set up as close to your neighbors’ house as possible. Alternatively, if you’re throwing a party in your apartment, have all the action take place near the wall you share with your neighbors.

More Indoor Options

If you prefer spending time indoors, there are other ways to make yourself a general nuisance. For example, you could listen to music or watch TV with the volume turned all the way up. At the very least, you could keep it in the 60 or 70 range. If your neighbors ask you to keep it down, just say you can’t hear the TV over their yelling — if that’s your main complaint.

On the other hand, there are other ways to annoy your neighbors from the comfort of your home without having to put up with the noise. For one, you could also outfit your home with noisy decorative items like wind chimes. Just make sure they’re not illegal in your area or give them a shot anyway. After all, breaking such arbitrary laws usually isn’t punishable (for first-time offenders, anyway).

If windchimes aren’t your style, you could use other noisy decorative pieces. Nothing can drive a wedge between neighbors quite like holiday decorations. In addition to being an eyesore, many of them can also produce quite the racket.

Unfortunately, this plan does have a major drawback. Namely, keeping the tackiest Halloween and Christmas decor in your yard for months at a time is sure to irk your other neighbors as well. So make sure to get them on board before you bring out the cackling witch animatronic or the chortling light-up Santa.

Inconvenience Them

If you’re not a fan of noisy revenge plans, there are other ways to get your voice heard. While researching ways to get your neighbors to move, you may come across some articles saying you should “borrow” your neighbors’ newspapers or packages. But since those tips may result in a run-in with the law, you might want to avoid them. Luckily, there is a solution to this conundrum.

Rather than taking something away from your neighbors, you can give them something. To be specific, you could sign them up for random junk mail at every grocery store, pet store, and pharmacy you visit. You can also direct door-to-door salesmen to your neighbors’ place.

You can even order pizza to their home address if you’re sure the restaurant won’t be able to trace your information. But since most places nowadays can see your number, that particular tactic may be a relic of a simpler past.

Speaking of old-timey gags, have you considered prank calls? If you want to be more hands-on with your torment, you could call your neighbors pretending to be a telemarketer. Again, that would depend on them not having your phone number.

If none of those tricks appeal to you, there are plenty more where they came from. You could wage chemical warfare by cooking up some fragrant dishes or even leave food in your neighbors’ yard or around their door in hopes of attracting insects. The legality of such moves is dubious at best, though. Alternatively, you could make a habit of applying Vaseline on your neighbors’ doorknob, making it gross to touch and difficult to enter their home.

Be Openly Hostile

At some point, your neighbors are bound to notice that you’re being particularly annoying. They may even confront you about being a bad neighbor! If that comes to pass, feel free to up the ante. All bets are off!

If you’re not afraid of your neighbors knowing the architect of their unpleasant experiences, go all out. Teach your dogs to bark every time they see your nasty neighbors. Drain some of their pool water every night. Put cryptic messages and creepy pictures in the windows of your home that are facing their property.

But you’d still be playing it safe if you went with those suggestions. So instead, you should be more openly hostile. Throw tennis balls against the shared wall or use a ceiling thumper if your neighbor lives above you. As long as you don’t do anything your neighbors didn’t do first, you should be safe.

Draft a Petition

Even after going to the trouble of prying into your neighbors’ lives and making yourself insufferable, nothing guarantees that your mission will be successful. Ultimately, the only way to get a specific neighbor to move out would be to organize with your other neighbors.

You’ll have to come up with a list of specific grievances you have with the neighbors in question. Essentially, you need to have a good reason for wanting to kick someone out of the community. Those reasons will have to be included in your petition, as will the desired outcome you had in mind. In this case, that outcome would be the exile of your bad neighbors.

But remember, you need to have a really good reason. The neighbor will either have to be a dangerous criminal like a sex offender or just positively intolerable. Perhaps you have a very noisy frat house or just a group of rowdy roommates living next door. In these cases, it’s safe to assume that the rest of your neighborhood will support your motion to evict the bad neighbors.

Once you gather the signatures, you’ll just have to figure out where to take them. If you live in a building, you can bring the petition to the next tenants’ meeting or mail it straight to the landlord. Alternatively, if you live in a suburban neighborhood, you may belong to an HOA.

If the homeowner’s association can’t help you get rid of the undesirable neighbor, you could also get the law involved. At this point, you should have enough evidence to give to the police or file an official complaint. But with that being said, now would be a great time to talk about how far you should take your strategic attacks.

How Can You Legally Get Your Neighbors to Move?

As you might have noticed, most of the ideas on the list above aren’t examples of neighborly behavior. Even though I tried to only mention the things you’d be within your rights to do, you may still get the cops called on you. The reason for that is the same reason you would consider calling the cops on your bad neighbors.

Simply put, your behavior could disturb your neighbors to the point of feeling irritated or even unsafe. So how far can you take this war without becoming someone else’s neighbor from hell?

Hopefully, the explanations above have already shed some light on the legality of the various tactics we have discussed. For example, we’ve mentioned that stealing newspapers or packages, as tempting as it might be, would be a criminal offense. Such theft is punishable by fines or imprisonment.

As another example, you have people who consider throwing food (mainly, eggs), rocks, or even paint at their neighbor’s house. While that may indeed make someone reconsider their commitment to living in a certain neighborhood, you have to consider the reason behind the hesitancy. If you throw items at your neighbor’s house, they may interpret that as a threat to their safety. Is there a better reason to get the police involved?

All this to say that endangering your neighbors will only earn you a ride in a police cruiser. Even just being loud can make others in your neighborhood file noise complaints against you. So you should always let your community know when you’re trying to get a neighbor to move away.

Who knows? Your neighbors might have had the same idea — especially if you’re trying to get rid of a dangerous individual.

The Best Way to Deal With Bad Neighbors

As we have established earlier, the best way to deal with bad neighbors would be to reason with them. Unfortunately, that’s not always going to be an option. At the same time, you might not want to directly express your opinion to your neighbor, especially if you consider them dangerous. So what can you do to make them want to move away on their own?

Certainly, making their life unpleasant is one way to deal with bad neighbors. But depending on the kind of people they are, you may not want to get on their bad side either. With that in mind, there’s only one way to get what you want in this case — go through the proper channels.

First, contact your landlord or homeowner’s association. If that doesn’t work, collect material to hand over to the cops or your legal representative. You should build a solid case against your neighbor if you want them to be ordered out of their home. Namely, you’ll need to prove that they’re a danger to others if they continue staying there.

Ultimately, if you’ve ever heard of a case where someone was successfully driven from their home, it was probably the result of the community coming together against an especially unsavory character. So try not to waste your efforts on a vaguely annoying neighbor.

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