9 Things That Annoy Your Neighbors

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There is a saying that goes, “Good fences make good neighbors.” That may be true, but unfortunately a good fence won’t solve all your problems. Whether you live in a neighborhood with closely spaced houses, an apartment or condominium, there are some things that universally bother those living nearby. Keeping peace in your neighborhood makes for a more pleasant life for everybody, so avoid the following bad habits sure to annoy your neighbors.

Barking Dogs

Any dog might have an off day, but a dog that incessantly barks day after day, or even worse, night after night, will quickly drive your neighbors to anger and phone calls to animal control. Dogs are social creatures, sure to be unhappy if left alone and bored all day long while you are at work. Leaving a dog chained up alone in the backyard is even worse. If you must leave your dog at home for extended periods, make sure he has toys to occupy him, access to food and water, and shelter from the elements. Consider getting a second dog as a companion, or pay a neighbor child or dog walker to visit your dog each afternoon. While you may be accustomed to your dog’s barking, your neighbors aren’t, and they shouldn’t have to be.

Loud Music

While you may enjoy turning your stereo up loud enough to feel the bass, your neighbors might not share your love for rap, dub step or country music. Keep your music at a reasonable level, close the windows if you want to turn it up, and make sure to keep the sound down if you are rocking out to the latest Lady Gaga album late at night. If you really enjoy your music loud, listen through headphones so your neighbors don’t have to share your musical preferences. Continuous offenses are likely to bring you a visit from the police after a neighbor phones in a complaint. If you just can’t turn the volume down, invest in sound proofing materials for the room where you keep your stereo. The cost is well worth the peace with your neighbors and the ability to crank up your music.

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Rowdy Parties

If it is a once-in-a-while occasion, your neighbors might cut you some slack, particularly if you warn them ahead of time that you are throwing a party and expect it to run late. Be smart and invite them to join you, a nearly sure way to prevent complaints. If you insist on a loud, rowdy party every weekend, don’t be surprised when fed up neighbors finally call the police. Don’t let your guests linger out front making noise, tossing trash into neighbors’ yards, or even worse, being sick on their front lawns. If you love to entertain, turn the music down afterhours, keep guests indoors or consider a daytime event.

Cars that Don’t Run

Anyone can have a car that is waiting for the budget to allow repairs, but if weeks turn to months and even years while your non-running automobile collects dust, cobwebs and slowly flattening tires, expect your neighbors to be unhappy. No one wants his neighborhood to look like a scrap yard, so sell your out-of-commission vehicle to a junkyard or donate it to charity and take advantage of the tax break.


If your front porch, lawn, driveway or side yard is starting to resemble an episode of Hoarders, not only are your neighbors going to be disgusted, you are also creating a health hazard. Keep your property clean, and your yard free of potentially hazardous materials. Old furniture, rusting bicycles, broken toys and boxes of belongings should be disposed of or donated to charity if still in usable condition. Again, you may be able to deduct the charitable donations, and you’ll increase the curb appeal of your home.


Do you routinely rev up the lawnmower earlier than 8:00 a.m. on the weekend, engage in shouting matches with your spouse or teenager in the front yard or drive a car that lacks a muffler? If you are guilty of any of these, or any other frequent, loud offenses, your neighbors are sure to be annoyed. Be considerate, and keep the sound down. Wait until after 9:00 a.m. to use power tools, keep your personal affairs indoors, and be thoughtful of your neighbors.

Unsightly Landscape

If your front yard landscaping consists of a dead, brown lawn, tall weeds and an overgrown shrub hanging over the sidewalk, not only are your neighbors going to be bothered, you are bringing down property values. While not everyone has a green thumb, or the money or desire to have an elaborately landscaped yard, keeping the grass watered and mowed, the weeds pulled and the shrubs trimmed is within anyone’s range.

Dog Poop

Letting your dog poop on your neighbor’s lawn, then leaving it there for them to discover the hard way is a fail proof way to turn neighbors into enemies. Not only is it discourteous to let your dog use the neighbor’s lawn as a bathroom, in many areas it is a misdemeanor to not clean up after your pet. The solution is simple. Pick up after your pooch. Any pet store or market carries bags made for this specific purpose, or repurpose your grocery bags. It only takes a second to clean up after Rover, then dispose of the waste in the appropriate trash can.

Parking in Front of Their House

While it is likely true that you live on a public street, with no one neighbor claiming ownership to the road, it is also true that most people want to be able to park in front of their own home, have guests able to park there, or be able to put the trash cans out on pickup day. If you routinely park in front of your neighbor’s house, block access to their mailbox or prevent them from being able to put their trashcans near the curb, you are going to make them mad. If you have more cars than parking area in front of your own property, try to park in different spots each day, or talk to your neighbor to make sure you are not inconveniencing them.

It is not difficult to be a good neighbor, and keeping a neighborhood peaceful and friendly is to everyone’s advantage. Pay attention to your daily habits, and if you are guilty of any of the above, take necessary steps to change your ways.

Last Updated: April 17, 2012
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About Michelle Ullman Michelle Ullman has lived and gardened in Southern California since childhood. A freelance writer, she covers topics ranging from gardening to home improvement to health issues. She also has experience as a catalog copywriter and poet. Michelle has trained and worked as a respiratory therapist and surgical technologist, but prefers to spend her time gardening, and walking with her dog. Michelle holds a Bachelor's Degree from Redlands University in Business Management. 

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