Don’t assume your neighbour knows there’s a problem
Your neighbour may be doing something that’s bothering you. But they may not be aware they're disturbing you or how frustrated you are about the issue — whether it’s second-hand smoke, a noise issue, a fence in need of repair, or some other problem. Talking with your neighbour is a good first step and might just resolve the matter quickly.
Think about your relationship with your neighbour
You live near your neighbour. You see them on a regular basis. As far as you know, neither of you has plans to move any time soon. You don’t want to rock the boat too much because it’s less stressful (and more peaceful) to live among neighbours who like and respect each other. Having an ongoing relationship with your neighbours is an important consideration when trying to figure out how to deal with a problem that’s come up between you.
You don’t have to talk with your neighbour before taking more formal steps
Sometimes informal steps don’t fit the situation. You may find your neighbour intimidating, unapproachable, or unavailable. You might prefer writing a letter or contacting your municipality, rather than talking with your neighbour. That’s up to you. We explain other options for dealing with a problem with your neighbour. You can start with whatever step best fits your situation.