It seems like most major sitcoms have one thing in common: they’re always friends with their neighbor. Seinfeld, Friends, Home Improvement, Boy Meets World—they all talk to their neighbors. But in real life, it’s become less and less common to become close with those living around you.
That might be because some neighbors are truly terrible. What you may not realize, though, is that the terrible neighbor could be you. Not sure? Check out this list of eight ways people can be bad neighbors.
You have a garage (and driveway) full of car parts.
We have all seen this: You’re driving through a neighborhood and there are four cars in the driveway, three of which don’t work, and the fourth is sitting on cinder blocks for the second week in a row.
While it’s great to be able to moonlight as a mechanic, it doesn’t help the vibe of the neighborhood when your home looks like you’re running a black market for oil changes. Not to mention the drills, engine revs, and flood lights, and the fact that, oh yeah, it’s often illegal.
If you’re body work in your residential neighborhood, the fumes and chemicals could be toxic. Nobody wants to hear it and nobody wants to see it either.
You consistently have terrible parking jobs.
This quality doesn’t just fall under the categories of bad neighbors, but under the general terms of bad people. There is nothing that invokes such an immediate rage as finding spots overrun with bad park jobs, so much so there is an entire subreddit dedicated to them.
If you come home to find your neighbor’s cars parked throughout the driveway, street, and anywhere else, then it can be a bit annoying to say the least. It may be tough to avoid but accidents aren’t good for anyone, so try to reason with your neighbor.
If you are the neighbor, then try to not be that neighbor anymore. For everyone’s sake.
You’re basically hosting a petting zoo.
Everyone loves pets. But, not everyone wants a hoard of animals living next door to them. Homeward Bound was a great film but did you see the stress it caused the family?
Imagine a house down the street who’s practically running a doggy daycare. You’d think a bunch of dogs running around would be great, but a bunch of dogs barking, pooping, and peeing everywhere day in and day out gets really annoying.
Pets are great, but you don’t need to adopt every animal you see.
You let your lawn look like a jungle.
We understand that lawn care can either be a lot of work or cost a good amount of money, but there has to be a middle ground. It’s a sore sight for anyone living by you and any passersby who have to witness the real life Jumanji coming through the front and back yard.
You can make an afternoon out of fixing it up; it will not only be good for your home but for your health too.
The Harvard Health Letter notes, “[Outdoor] physical activity has been shown to help people relax and cheer up, so if being outside replaces inactive pursuits with active ones, it might also mean more smiles.” Pick up some sheers and go to town; who knows, maybe you could be the next Edward Scissorhands.
You put off shoveling snow.
This is only in the winter but it needs to be done or it puts you automatically on the bad neighbor blacklist.
In fact, Kentin Waits from Wisebread clearly states, “If it snows in your part of the country, shoveling sidewalks is fact of life and an essential part of being a good neighbor. If you’re not shoveling, you’re creating an icy slip-and-slide that’s particularly treacherous for young kids and the elderly.”
You can always hire someone as well, but think about it as exercise; it’s a good workout and you’ll feel better about making your part of the sidewalk safer. Plus you’ll score bragging rights as the best neighbor on the block at the very least.
You overstep physical boundaries.
This idea is not just for people who live in homes, but apartments too.
For instance, I live on the second floor with a single stairwell up and a very small landing with apartments on both sides. If my neighbor across the hall and I both were standing in our doorways we’d only be about three feet away from each other. Yet, the family of four who lives there thinks it’s totally cool to leave all their shoes on this three-square-foot landing. That is eight shoes. And they smell. Terribly. Enough to when I have friends come over, they ask why it smells like cheese outside.
So, please, do not be like them. Keep your belongings inside your own apartment and your house too. Property lines are there for a reason—respect them.
You’ve got the party house.
There is nothing wrong with a good party every now and then. Hopefully though, it’s responsible. That may have been the most adult thing we’ve ever said, but it’s true. If you’re no longer in college and yet you’re throwing ragers on a Tuesday, well that isn’t cool.
Happy hour and even post-happy hour is alright every once in a while, but try to keep quiet hours after 10 p.m.
On the other hand, if you’re the one getting annoyed by your neighbor’s wild parties, rather than calling the police, at least for the first time, try to say something yourself and let them know it was an issue.
We want everyone to get along and be good neighbors so hopefully you can all come to an agreement.
Your kids are out of control.
Kids can be a direct route to being a bad neighbor. It’s not their fault—they’re just kids! The parents, on the other hand, should understand that not everyone has children, especially if you live in an apartment.
Living in an apartment building already means your neighbors on pretty much on top of you, plus you share walls.
We totally get kids wanting to jump off couches, run around playing, and scream at the top of their lungs. We were kids once; we get it. Power to them, be creative… But, do it outside!
And when it gets late, bring them inside. Kids are great, but not at the expense of your neighbors’ sanity.