20 Things You’re Doing That Make You a Bad Neighbor

People have different personalities; that’s a fact. When you move somewhere with a tight-knit community, you will get to know many people who will either clash with your personality or make you feel like you’ve found a new friend. However, no matter what it is, remember to establish boundaries. If you don’t, you might soon see a lot of bad blood between you and other people in the community!

Making Excessive Noise, Especially Late at Night

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If you have a neighbor across your yard or, worse, a neighbor next door to your apartment, excessive noise and activity can be one of the biggest things that can make you a bad neighbor. You might like noise or aren’t bothered by it, but it can cause real distress for most people. Mike Talbot, the chief executive and founder of UK Mediation, was quoted by The Guardian, saying, “It’s just so close to home when you lie in bed at night, and you can hear somebody’s noise—it never stops. If you’re coming home to an environment which is extremely stressful or threatening sometimes, that is very, very difficult.”

Having Unkempt and Messy Yards

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You may not know it, but how you landscape and maintain your yard can significantly affect someone else’s property value—especially your neighbor’s. The American Society of Landscape Architects notes that good landscaping can increase a home’s value by up to 15%. Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group also explains, “For whatever reason the neighbor is unable to clean up their property, whether they simply don’t have the time or finances, the risk is that it could decrease your home’s value.”

Complaining About Your Neighbors on Social Media

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It’s easy to complain about your neighbors to others. However, the first step in any conflict is to talk it out with the person involved. Don’t hastily turn to social media to rant about others. Instead, discuss things on neutral ground first to avoid aggravating the situation.

Being Unfriendly or Aloof

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When someone is unfriendly, they can appear rude to others. This triggers rude responses, which creates bigger and more significant problems. Unfortunately, this will then cause discord between people within the community.

Pirating Your Neighbors’ Wi-Fi

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Pirating your neighbor’s Wi-Fi is stealing and lying in and of itself. However, beyond that, you’re also putting your neighbor’s details at risk. Nolo, a website helping people find answers to their everyday legal questions, warns against stealing your neighbor’s Wi-Fi. According to Brian Farkas, an attorney at Nolo, “The data you transmit over the network might not be secure; through a technique sometimes called ‘sniffing,’ unencrypted data passing over the airwaves can be snatched by third parties.”

Having Loud Public Arguments

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If you often fight with your partner or other housemates and you do so publicly, you’re willingly sharing the nitty-gritty details of your lives with others. However, most of the time, your neighbor just doesn’t want to be involved! Moreover, they could also be uncomfortable because they feel like they’ve eavesdropped on something personal.

Visiting Without Invitation or a Heads-up

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Simply put, unplanned visits from family, friends, and even neighbors can be such an inconvenience. If you suddenly knock on your neighbor’s door without a heads-up, you might disturb their sleep, work, or chores. In worst-case scenarios, you can also set your neighbor’s anxiety off.

Posting Pictures of Your Neighbor’s Children

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Whether you’re a friend or a neighbor, posting pictures of other people’s children online without permission is simply a no-go. In fact, even parents are warned against posting photos of their kids! CBS News explains that this is because posting kids online puts them more at risk of hacking, pedophilia, online threats, or even facial recognition tracking.

“Accidentally” Opening Your Neighbor’s Mail

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Some people feel overly close to their neighbors, and some are the type to “accidentally” open other people’s mail and packages. Sure, there are times when someone really does open a package by mistake, but sadly, some people deliberately do this. However, Law Offices of Adam M. Cain reminds people that if there’s malicious intent, they may find themselves on the bad side of the law. The Law Dictionary also states, “A federal statute known as 18 USC Section 1702 makes it illegal to open correspondence addressed to someone else.”

Dismissing Your Dog’s Uncontrolled Barking Late Into the Night

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You may think that a dog barking is normal. Yes, it is, but it can still cause a disturbance in your neighborhood, especially if your dogs are barking late into the night. As a pet owner, it’s your responsibility to prevent your pets from negatively impacting other people, animals, and the environment. This includes noise control and proper waste disposal.

Reporting Your Neighbor to the HOA

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In general, you can be perceived as a bad neighbor if you constantly report your neighbors to the HOA, even for small stuff. This is because reports to the HOA should be done as a last resort. You can first try discussing things with each other to get to the bottom of things and reach an agreement. Remember, HOA violations often come with fines; this may also lead to bad blood between you and your neighbors in the future!

Asking to Borrow Your Neighbor’s Things—Repeatedly

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Borrowing or asking for things you need once or twice isn’t a problem. However, if you abuse your neighbor’s kindness and constantly borrow, let’s say, their lawnmower, you could be considered a pretty lousy neighbor. Things get worse if you don’t return your neighbor’s stuff on time or if you damage the borrowed items.

Giving Your Neighbor Unsolicited Advice

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Some neighbors can be incredibly nosy, and you shouldn’t let yourself be that kind of person! According to Verywell Mind, giving people unsolicited advice can make them feel irritated, judged, or even shamed. You may mean well, but the message and intent won’t be received as intended.

Ignoring Your Neighbor When Passing on the Sidewalk

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When you live in a place where you have neighbors, it’s socially expected for you to build a community. It’s understandable if you don’t want to be close friends with others, but it’s another thing to completely ignore them, especially if they’re deliberately acknowledging you. So, if you’re the type to keep your eyes down and walk straight past a neighbor saying hi to you, then people would consider you a bad neighbor.

Doing Noisy Chores Every Weekend

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People work so hard five days a week and only consider Saturday and Sunday their days of rest. However, Health Works Collective reminds people that most people who suffer from mental health problems share that they don’t have enough rest during weekends. It’s fine if you try to fix your yard or things in your garage every so often, but mowing, hammering, nailing, and more every single weekend would mean you’re hindering others’ time for rest.

Making Fun of Your Neighbor’s Culture

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Every person is different, and you could have a neighbor with totally different beliefs, practices, or even food compared to what you’re used to. For example, you might have a neighbor who’s Korean, and as Koreans, they love their kimchi—a form of fermented cabbage. For others who aren’t used to it, it’s easy to say it’s disgusting or stinky. However, it’s important to remember that you should always remain kind and respectful and never make fun of other people’s race, culture, or traditions.

Blowing Leaves Onto Your Neighbor’s Lawn

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Leaves can get annoying, especially during autumn. Some selfish people deliberately blow their leaves on their neighbor’s lawns because, simply put, if the leaves are not on their lawn, then they’re no longer their problem. According to FindLaw, leaves are considered a natural product, so even if they cause damage like clogged gutters or pipes, the person who blew their leaves on your property will not be held liable.

Letting Your Dog Poop on Your Neighbor’s Lawn and Not Picking It Up

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This pretty much speaks for itself; what sane person would deliberately make their dog poop on someone else’s property and not clean up after it? Sadly, some selfish neighbors do this, even if the property owners have already talked to them about the issue. Outward Hound notes that pet owners are responsible for cleaning up their dog’s feces, and when left in a public area, the owner shall face fines. FindLaw also states, “If a dog enters your property without permission and damages the condition of your yard or lawn, the dog’s owners could be liable for the cost of repair.”

Aggressively Recruiting Your Neighbors for Your “Business”

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It’s great to support people from your community. However, there should also be a cap or limit on how much you push someone to help you. If you’re the kind of neighbor who aggressively recruits their other neighbors to be part of their own business or sales team in selling their products, then be ready to get shunned by many community members!

Doing Things That Would Earn You Negative Comments From Sellers

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One of the things that usually comes up while discussing a house sale is a seller’s comments on their neighbors. Aside from the house’s value dropping because of your neighbor’s unkempt lawn, buyers could seriously think twice about a purchase if the previous owners have nasty comments and stories about their neighbors. Orchard, a website that helps people buy or sell their homes, explains, “Most states legally require sellers to disclose neighborhood issues in detail to the buyers.” So, you better think twice about raising the volumes of your speakers or making your dog poop on your neighbor’s lawn if you don’t want to be the subject of these kinds of comments!

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20 Things You’re Doing That Make You a Bad Neighbor

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People have different personalities; that’s a fact. When you move somewhere with a tight-knit community, you will get to know many people who will either clash with your personality or make you feel like you’ve found a new friend. However, no matter what it is, remember to establish boundaries. If you don’t, you might soon see a lot of bad blood between you and other people in the community!

20 Things You’re Doing That Make You a Bad Neighbor

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All regions differ in some way. Catholics collect saint cards and plan their vacations around religious sights, and Buddhists believe in karma and reincarnation. Like them, Christians also practice some things that are simply unheard of or puzzling for others. They practice tithing, cast out demons, and more!

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Author: Karen Danao


Karen is a writer and also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, she is someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics she loves writing about! However, her true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.