8 good strategies on how to deal with a nosy neighbour
They say that an Englishman’s home is his castle but you don’t have to be a native Brit to value the privacy of your home. However, unless you do in fact live in a castle, chances are that you will come into contact with your neighbours. Normally, this is not an issue. Many people live side by side in perfect harmony, as friends even, for many years. But what if you have a nosy neighbour?
Having your private space invaded by someone who clearly doesn’t understand or care about the fact that you don’t want to be disturbed can be hard to deal with. And it doesn’t really matter whether Mr Nextdoor is clumsily trying too hard to be friendly, or whether he is the local busybody, if you feel like a prisoner in your own home, something must be done.
With that in mind, I’ve put together 8 great tips on how to deal with your nosy neighbour and get your peace and quiet back.
- Confront your neighbour
If you can muster the courage, confronting a nosy neighbour might be less of an issue than you imagine. Of course it could all go horribly wrong, but it does depend on how you approach it. Letting your neighbour know that you appreciate that they are only looking out for you, but that you find their attention a bit overbearing and, frankly, disconcerting, may be enough to ward them off a little. It pays to be courteous, so think about how you would like to be treated. You never know, being honest might have a more positive outcome than you think.
- Block the view
Replacing garden fences so they are taller, and planting bushes and trees to screen your property form view will increase the privacy you have around your home. It’s an especially great tactic for making sure that you can relax in the privacy of your garden. If your neighbour is partial to curtain twitching, and you are worried about him or her peeking at you from their upstairs window, an awning or gazebo can really help to block their view.
- Install window blinds or shutters
When it comes to window dressings, there are many attractive solutions for your home that have the added bonus of providing added privacy. If you like the idea of fitting interior blinds, there’s a wealth of different styles to choose from including traditional roller blinds, Venetian blinds or sophisticated Roman blinds. Colonial-style shutters are a classy addition to any home. The great thing is that they all allow you to adjust the amount of light coming in while maintaining privacy.
- Ignore your neighbour
So what if your neighbour is looking out of his/her window at you – just ignore them. If the problem with your nosy neighbour is amounting to more than just prying eyes, this may seem like a difficult solution. Constant interrogations as you step out of the car are difficult to step away from. If it feels too uncomfortable to completely ignore them, politely saying you don’t have time for a chat and walking away may feel more reasonable.
- Keep out of view
Spend most of your time out of your neighbour’s view. Don’t stand in front of your windows chatting on the phone. Make sure you have an area of privacy in the garden so you can enjoy some outside space without being seen. Your neighbour will hopefully soon get bored of monitoring nothing, and get on with his own life.
- Report your neighbour
If the attention (either positive or negative) that your neighbour lavishes on you is bordering on harassment, you have the option of reporting them. If your neighbour’s behaviour is in anyway intimidating or anti-social, you are within your rights to report them to your local authority or the police. It’s a good idea to keep a diary of incidents detailing times, dates and what exactly occurred.
- Befriend your neighbour
It may be the last tactic you want to think about, but have you considered that your neighbour may simply be lonely and is desperately trying to make friends? Forming an acceptable relationship with boundaries about when you spend time with them may be the way forward. Learning a bit more about the person and their background and history may help you to understand why they behave like they do. You never know you could end up being friends!
- Move house
It’s a drastic last ditch result, but not unheard of. If you’ve tried everything else and you are still feeling like a miserable prisoner in your own home, moving house might be your best option. You should be aware that you have to fill out a property information form when selling your home, which includes a section about disputes. If you don’t disclose a dispute with a neighbour for example (assuming there was an actual dispute), then your buyer could be within his/her rights to sue you.