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Tips and Options for Dealing with a Problem with Your Neighbour

August 5, 2020

“My upstairs neighbour regularly sang karaoke late into the evening. I tried earplugs but still couldn't sleep. I invited my neighbour over for a coffee. I explained how the noise was affecting me, and how I had to get up early for work. I played a recording of their karaoke. My neighbour said they had no idea how loud it was. They were very apologetic. They now only do karaoke earlier in the evening — and more quietly. I’m glad we talked. I’m finally able to get some sleep, and we’re still on good terms."

– Edwin, Victoria, BC

Issues with neighbours come up from time to time — whether about a fence, tree, noise, parking, or something else that surfaces when living near each other. These conflicts can be delicate. Talking with your neighbour might feel scary. Bringing legal action seems likely to jeopardize neighbourly relations.  

We have new pages we hope can help. In one, we offer tips for talking with your neighbour, which is almost always a great first step. Learn how to prepare for the conversation, how to talk through the problem, and what to do afterwards. You’ll also find a template to help you get organized and some “do’s and don’ts” for having the conversation.  

If talking with your neighbour doesn’t solve the problem, we outline other options for dealing with a problem with your neighbour. These range from writing a letter to your neighbour to contacting local authorities to bringing a legal action. We guide you through the options and also give you some templates to help you communicate with your neighbour.

Our new pages add to our information on trees, fences, and noise, some of our most popular pages. Stay tuned for a new page about parking, odours, and other neighbour nuisance issues. In the meantime, please feel free to bookmark or share our neighbours content with friends and family.