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Tenant advice: how to deal with unruly neighbours

15 Oct 13

Renting a property should be straightforward and peaceful for everyone concerned. If your experience is being hampered by unruly or disrespectful neighbours, take heed of the following real estate tips on how to deal with them.

If a problem arises with a neighbour, consider talking to him or her about it before you take any further action. In many instances, people may not be aware that their behaviour is affecting you and a remedy could be brought about simply by discussing the issue.

Before you talk to your neighbour, make sure you have specific examples of any disruptive incidents and behaviour. Be prepared to compromise and be reasonable in your expectations.

If your neighbours are unresponsive or don't live up to their end of the bargain after you've talked to them, continue to keep a detailed diary of any disruptive events. This should include where and when an event occurred, details of what happened, how it affected you and what action you took.

You can report incidents to agencies such as your local council, the Environment Protection Agency or Housing SA depending on what the issue is. Make sure to keep a copy of any letters you send to and receive from these agencies, and also file away any correspondence with neighbours.

If your neighbour rents his or her property and is interfering with your comfort, peace or privacy, he or she may be breaking the lease agreement conditions. Tenants are responsible for not only their own behaviour, but the behaviour of everyone visiting the property, along with pets.

You could also ask the landlord or property owner to intervene. This person will have undergone property management courses and should be well prepared to handle the situation. If the problem continues, the Consumer and Business Services tenancies branch can provide further advice.

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