Neighbor dispute – tips for reconciliation with the neighbor

Trouble with the neighbor

If the neighbor annoys you – rights and ways out of the neighbor dispute

Last Tuesday I received an inquiry from an editor of the Bauer Media Group. I was asked if I would be available for an interview for the magazine "Laura – Alles fur die Frau" on the subject of settling disputes between neighbors.

Reason enough to pass on the practical tips here as well. What can you do if you are annoyed by the behavior of a neighbor?? Is it possible to do something about the neighbor’s nuisance without a lawyer??

Yes, you can… In the following, I would like to give some tips for the settlement of typical neighbor disputes that have been tried and tested in conflict management practice.

Let me begin with the following. The law also knows ways and means to deal with disturbances from neighbors. For the general understanding of the neighbor community regulations the following is to be sent ahead. Rights over the neighbor relationship orient themselves at the – with view of the general principle after good faith (§ 242 BGB) developed – requirement of mutual consideration. Although it should go here only marginally around the legal regulations, but the general requirement of the consideration I will take up again and again.

So far so good. But now to the tips for self-help.

What should I do if the neighbor receives noisy guests late in the evening??

From 10 p.m. onwards, the requirement of general consideration applies in order to preserve the night’s peace. Usually the noise disturbance of the night’s rest can be settled in a conversation the same evening. Two rules of communication are important here. Rule no. 1: The conversation is to be sought exclusively with the neighbor (and not with his guests). D.h. it is necessary to choose a conversation environment outside the range of perception of the guests. This is one way to avoid a "group dynamic". On the other hand, the host neighbor does not feel exposed in front of his visit. Rule no. 2: The conversation should be kept as short as possible. Attention is inhibited in the evening. In addition, the neighbor wants to stay as a good host with his guests. If you follow these rules, you will create optimal conditions for making your concerns about an undisturbed night’s rest heard.

What can you do if your neighbor is always arguing loudly??

A particularly sensitive problem is a latently loudly quarreling neighbor. Alcohol consumption, interpersonal sources of conflict, self-perception deficits and other factors can play a role here. Special sensitivity is required here. Neither the confrontation of the neighbor with specially created noise protocols, the threatening index finger of a summoned police officer, and certainly not a court order can convey such a sensitivity.

If you are really interested in a lasting pacification of the conflict-laden neighborly relationship, you should look for "gentle" alternatives. Probably the most promising approach is to awaken the commitment of other neighbors concerned in order to counter the difficulties in the community of solidarity. The goal is, on the one hand, to convey one’s solidarity to the neighbor in conflict, but at the same time to signal that the personal controversy of an individual (namely the neighbor with his party in conflict) affects the community members.

How should I act if my neighbor complains about my children??

Children like to play uninhibitedly. The accompanying background noise is occasionally perceived as disturbing by a few childless or elderly people. Nevertheless, the background noise of playing children is not "noise" in the formal legal sense of neighborhood law. Parents could meet the complaints with right-teaching lectures and/or the "cold shoulder". Sufferers are however often the children, who are approached by the noise-sensitive neighbors. Therefore, it is advisable for parents to seek personal contact with the complaining neighbors at an early stage. In the context of the conversation, two things are very important, namely "show understanding and demand understanding". Only in this order can an understanding and thus "healthy" dialog be established.

Help, my neighbor smokes in the hallway – what now??

In all common areas – and in apartment buildings this also includes the shared hallway – the general principle of consideration applies. Every tenant is free to appeal to the landlord for compliance with the community rules; sometimes even a rent reduction can be requested. However, if you want to effectively counter the penetrating smell of smoke in the hallway, you need to talk to your smoking neighbor. It should be borne in mind that smoking is an addiction and criticism of it is often perceived by the person concerned as a complaint about character traits. Therefore: "Seek behavioral appeal and avoid personal criticism". Anyone who begins a sentence with the word "you" is unlikely to find open ears with a self-confessed smoker.

What to do if my neighbor repeatedly plugs me??

Parking in other people’s parking or access areas can be qualified as an encroachment on property under civil law and as a misdemeanor under criminal law. The road traffic regulations also prohibit parking on driveways. But towing services and cease-and-desist orders often lead directly into an ongoing neighborhood dispute. In most cases, it seems to make more sense to point out to the neighbor in charge of the vehicle in a direct conversation what difficulties the parked vehicle has caused for the person concerned. In this way, one’s own emotional world is revealed to the neighbor "without reproach.

What can I do if my neighbor lets his plants overgrow??

Overgrowth is probably one of the oldest sources of conflict in neighborhood law. This area of conflict can be aptly described as a "divergence of viewpoints". The decisive factor is perspective. The neighbor should be summoned to the property of the person concerned. From here it is possible to speak illustratively about the cultivation of the plantation. Here, too, the conversation should be free of accusations.

What should I do if neighbors leave the garbage bag in the stairwell??

Litter in the stairwell not only creates unpleasant emissions, but also poses a fall risk. The owner is responsible for the duty of traffic safety in the common area. Therefore, the problem of litter should be discussed with the landlord or the owner. should be discussed with the condominium community. In the house rules or a corresponding WEG resolution, free-keeping and cleanliness rules are to be set up in the common area, which the owner should ensure are observed.

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