It’s no fun to live near a creepy neighbor, and it can feel like a hopeless situation to deal with. There can be multiple reasons a neighbor comes off as creepy, whether it’s suspicious activity during odd hours or the way they interact with you. Sometimes the neighbor might even be dangerous, or have threatened you before. No matter what the situation is, there are definitely options for dealing with it.
How Do I Deal With A Creepy Neighbor?
If you’re dealing with a creepy neighbor then there are a few options you can consider, including talking to them directly or contacting the necessary authorities.
In some instances it may not be safe to approach them. If you’re in a neighborhood with a HOA you can contact them, and if renting you can contact your landlord. Whichever option you choose, practice caution to ensure you’re safe.
1. What To Consider First
Before taking any concrete steps to deal with a creepy neighbor, first consider why you think they are creepy. In some cases it is a completely valid belief based on past interactions, or behavior you have witnessed.
Sometimes people might get the reputation of being creepy for something that is actually harmless, such as coming and going at strange hours. For example, someone working night shift or a non traditional work schedule will be active at different times than your other neighbors.
If whatever your neighbor is doing hasn’t directly harmed you then it might not be appropriate to take any additional steps. In other cases, it is absolutely warranted to contact the authorities or confront your neighbor, especially if you’re being negatively impacted.
2. Assess The Situation
Before doing anything, fully assess the situation with your neighbor. Are they being directly creepy to you or have they threatened you at all? If they have, the first step you take should be to get in touch with the authorities.
Behavior can quickly turn from creepy to dangerous, so don’t put off contacting someone if you feel like it is needed. Assessing the situation will help you figure out where to go next.
If your neighbor seems to be approachable, just odd, then direct communication with them will likely be the next best step. No matter what you choose to do, make sure not to put yourself in harm’s way. Don’t approach your neighbor for the sake of politeness if you don’t feel safe to do so.
When you have assessed your situation with your neighbor you will be able to come up with an appropriate strategy. One thing to keep in mind is how long you think the problem might last.
If you’re moving soon or you know that your neighbor is, then your best option may be to just wait it out. Of course if that is not a viable option, you should move forward with next steps.
4. Management or Homeowners Association
Whether you rent or own your home, there should be someone for you to contact to handle issues such as creepy neighbors. If you own your house and are part of a homeowners association then they might be able to do something about your neighbor.
When your neighbor’s creepy behavior crosses neighborhood policies, such as noise regulations, then an HOA can intervene. If you are renting, you can complain to your landlord or property management company.
Apartments and rental units will have similar sound ordinances that neighborhood associations might, and property managers can enforce them.
5. Local Police
If you aren’t part of a homeowners association or a renter, then your best bet might be to contact the local police department. This should be the first step you take if you feel like you are in any kind of danger because of your neighbor.
They can send an officer to your neighbor’s home, and sometimes that enough will fix the problem. If you do choose to contact the police then you will most likely have to fill out a report.
An officer may stop by your house as well, so it would be hard to hide the fact that you are the one who called. When contacting the police, try and provide as much evidence as you can about your neighbor’s problem behavior.
6. Consider A Restraining Order
When a creepy neighbor turns into a major problem or threat, a restraining order may be the best route to take. Some people may consider suing their neighbor, but this can be a challenging feat if they haven’t done any real harm. A restraining order may be easier to obtain, and will be sure to keep your creepy neighbor away.
Creepy neighbors are common problems that both homeowners and renters have to deal with. However, you do have options for addressing this kind of issue. You will have to strategize a plan based on the threat your neighbor possesses and your living situation.