Handling Conflict Between Neighbors How to Manage Amicably

For as long as people have been living in close proximity, the issue of maintaining relations has been an important one. A good neighbor is a lot of things: sensible, reliable, understanding. But humans can be touchy beings, and when we’re living on top of each other - sometimes literally, in the case of multifamily high-rises – annoyances can turn into more than that. Neighbors in condos and HOAs can encounter a host of problems, ranging from noise to odors to fair usage of common spaces. And sometimes, situations can turn emotional. 

Shut UP! ...What’s That Smell? 

According to the association management pros we spoke to, the most common points of contention between neighbors are noise-related. 

Josh Koppel, president of HSC Management Corp. in Yonkers, New York says he hears complaints about noise regularly. “I have people complain that their neighbors dance and move furniture all night long! I’ve also had people who complain ‘I can hear their cat running across the floor!’”

Next down the list of gripes are smoke and other odors – another big problem area. Koppel says in associations there is usually a nuisance clause in the house rules that addresses this issue – though of course that doesn’t mean that odor issues are magically eliminated. 

“Smoke complaints are huge,” he says. “If it’s not a non-smoking building already, they’ll have to seal up every crack and crevice...to stop the smoke from emanating. It’s a lot of work, but if you want to smoke, you can’t bother your neighbor.”

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