Noisy neighbors are so widespread that we frequently accept them as an inherent feature of apartment living. What happens when “neighbors from hell” transcends the realm of video games? There are several legal ways to deal with nasty neighbors, but you should always attempt the diplomatic route first and learn how to document neighbor harassment.
This article explains what defines neighbor harassment, how to respond politely, and how to record neighbor harassment.
How to Spot Neighbor Harassment
The word “harassment” refers to a variety of offensive behaviors. The word can trigger aggressive threats (sending vulgar emails or messages), sexual harassment, bodily harm or attack, and other similar behaviors.
Making rude or derogatory remarks is considered verbal abuse. Neighbor harassment occurs when neighbors or other residents engage in these behaviors.
For instance, playing loud music late at night because you are celebrating differs from blasting loud music every night to annoy a neighbor you argued with.
How To Document Neighbor Harassment: What is Neighbor Harassment?
The term “neighbor harassment” refers to behavior that disturbs or jeopardizes a person’s right to privacy. It can come in a variety of ways, from physical assault to property destruction. It may result in bodily damage, a hostile living environment, mental suffering, or all three.
How To Document Neighbor Harassment: What Amounts to Neighbor Harassment?
Not every bothersome neighbor’s conduct qualifies as harassment. You must first grasp what is considered legal neighbor harassment to handle it properly. For more details, see the following table:
- They continue to enter your yard, approach your residence, or trespass despite your requests for them not to.
- They take action to annoy or target your pet(s).
- They seek to build or landscape beyond your property boundary or threaten to do so.
- They disregard the local quiet hours by continuing to play loud music or have other loud gatherings, especially if you have requested them not to do so. This wouldn’t be considered loud music if they only occasionally or never did.
- They stalk you or attempt to follow your movements from the neighboring property.
- They make inappropriate sexual comments to you or participate in other sexual harassment behaviors.
- They use disparaging language when speaking to you, such as referring to your color, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, or religion.
- They make violent or physical threats against you or your loved ones, or they try to force you to leave your house.
Should You Relocate If You Dislike Your Neighbors?
It could seem that the only choice is to leave the neighborhood. However, it doesn’t make sense to move every time you disagree with a neighbor, as most disputes can be resolved through communication. When you get to know your neighbors, and they get to know you, it frequently turns out that neighbors who initially appear awful aren’t all that awful.
Keep A Document Of Neighbor Harassment
When your neighbor behaves badly, try not to become upset, regardless of how challenging it can be. You should avoid fighting and maintain your composure.
You don’t want them to have a history of yelling or being abusive in response. Instead, try to observe and document what your neighbors do.
Take note of the day, the time, and any comments or acts taken. so that if you need to make a police complaint, you have a trustworthy record of what happened.
If the police, attorneys, or judges ask questions about your age, sexual preference, employment, or any potential racial or ethnic discrimination, don’t take it personally. These could end up being an essential factor in the harassment claim.
What should I do about a hostile neighbor?
If your neighbor is acting obnoxious toward you physically, verbally, or both, you should report them to the police.
Abuse can occasionally constitute a pattern of persistently antisocial conduct. In other words, if someone exhibits abusive conduct repeatedly, there can be a pattern of behavior at play.
Are Anonymous Complaints to the Community Association Enough?
You can anonymously express grievances or issues in your neighborhood. When submitting a complaint, you are not required to include your name.
That’s okay since there are situations when a witness would prefer to stay unidentified rather than face the rule-breaker. Conducting an inquiry and punishing a business owner based only on anonymous testimony would be against the law.
Technically, anonymous complaints are inadequate justification for levying a fine. The board would initially require information that fits the anonymous claims and has been independently verified.
Boards must provide evidence of HOA violations upon request from a member or a court. You may consider outlawing the filing of anonymous complaints.
What Should You Do If a Neighbor Threatens You?
Whether you are the target of stalking or threats, this is no longer a civil affair. By law, you have a right to security in your home.
These are charges of crime. To file charges and secure a restraining order, you will need a criminal defense attorney.
Suing for physical harm or emotional suffering is an additional choice.
What to Expect From a Lawsuit Alleging Neighbor Harassment
In general, you may anticipate:
- Compile evidence
- With the police, your attorney, and perhaps the court, go over the evidence.
- Speak with the judge in public or in private.
- Negotiate a monetary settlement or find another alternative that will, ideally, convince your neighbor to quit.
- Possibility of obtaining a restraining order against your neighbor, which mandates that they remain away from you and off your land but won’t require them to leave.
You should be prepared to call the police or document fresh steps once your case has been handled. A restraining order violation can result in arrest, a fine, or even jail time for your neighbor.
Do not allow an unfriendly neighbor to force you to leave your house and community. Discuss the case’s options for criminal and civil redress with a lawyer while you pursue it.
It needs evidence to demonstrate harassment is occurring and to put a stop to it. Having films from a security camera or phone, witness evidence notes like a diary and description of occurrences, or police complaints might be crucial to achieving a remedy, depending on what your neighbor is doing.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you write a harassment statement?
Be precise: Include particular information about the harassment, such as the occasion, place, and names of any witnesses. Focus on the facts: Avoid expressing yourself emotionally or making accusations. Don’t stray from the truth, and let HR look into the issue. Be succinct: Keep your letter succinct and direct.
What are the three 3 types of harassment?
What does harassment look like in a sentence?
All types of harassment are forbidden at the university. She was also found to have engaged in racial harassment. He was also taken into custody on charges of racial or religious harassment. Additionally, he has appeared in court twice this year, and most recently, police spoke with him regarding a harassment accusation.