Resources for dealing with a neighbour problem

August 1, 2020

“My upstairs neighbour regularly played loud music late into the evening. I tried earplugs but still couldn't sleep. I invited my neighbour over for a coffee. I explained how I had to get up early for work. I played a recording. My neighbour said they had no idea how loud it was. They apologized. Now they play their music more quietly, and not after 10 pm. 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 neighbour dispute. 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 treesfences, and noise, some of our most popular pages. Stay tuned for new pages on parking, odours, and other neighbour nuisance issues. In the meantime, please feel free to bookmark or share our neighbours content with friends and family.

We are grateful to work on the unceded traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, whose Peoples continue to live on and care for these lands.