It’s par for the course: spending so much time in close proximity to another person or another family will give rise to many opportunities for disagreement, and sometimes, they come to a head.
The good news is, if you’ve experienced a neighbourly blow-out, you’re not alone. Over a third of us have had a heated exchange with our neighbour at some point in our lives.
North American real estate and housing source homes.com commissioned a study to get an inside track on the inter-neighbourly behaviours that unite us. After surveying 2,000 homeowners in North America, they identified the most common reasons that neighbours argue.
The most common of all, noise ranks as the leading cause of neighbourly arguments. A whopping 18% of respondents reported having this fight with their neighbour at least once. Just like anything, timing and consistency are the key factors at play here. If either of these is off, the chances of your neighbour being upset skyrocket.
Especially in the winter when snow makes our parking spaces that much thinner, sharing a driveway or a street with your neighbour will lead to a dispute 11% of the time. Blocking parking spots, filling rightfully reserved ones, or consistently parking your car in front of your neighbour’s house can lead to tension. Especially after a long day of winter driving, coming home to find your parking spot inaccessible can be, at the very least, frustrating.
Kids can generate a lot of noise, at all hours of the day. And, they’ve never been big fans of property lines, too. While most neighbours aren’t completely off-put by having neighbourhood kids run around their property or play a loud game of street hockey, two problems arise: when the noise is consistently too loud too early or too late in the day, and when children are consistently unsupervised on their property, leaving them liable without even knowing it.
Almost 10% (9.5%) of survey respondents have reported having a heated exchange about children with their neighbour: for concerns with noise, supervision, or damage.
4. Pet Defecation
If your animal is able to enter your neighbour’s yard, the odds of your animal marking its territory there are pretty high. Over 9% of neighbours will fight over pet droppings, especially after a spring snowmelt reveals that you’ve let your pet run free in their yard one too many times.
5. Damage To Property
Hockey pucks, dogs who love all things wooden and wiry, and the most treacherous of all: stones shot out of a lawnmower. Damaging your neighbour’s property can happen without you even realizing it.
Which is exactly why it’s a common fighting ground: Finding property damage done by a neighbour who has yet to acknowledge it can be aggravating, to say the least, and a recipe for tension, according to over 7% of survey respondents.