3 ways to handle an evil neighbor

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In Case You Missed It: Every so often, BrickUnderground digs through the archives to find the best advice our experts have shared through the years.

Often, it's possible to handle neighborly nuisances (like your hallway-mate's penchant for death metal and boiled cabbage) mano a manoor at least consult your co-op and condo bylaws to see whether your building management should get involved. But what if things have escalated to the level of harassment? Read on: 

Get it in writing: A paper trail is helpful. Draft a letter to shareholders or the management company that airs your grievances explicitly.

Mediate: The city offers mediation for neighbors who can’t work things out, which is especially helpful if you plan to stay in your place long-term. Plus, it costs a lot less than litigation. The New York City Bar Association's Co-op and Condo Mediation Project supplies mediators for $100 per party. The New York Peace Institute provides mediators for free in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Consider legal action: Worst case scenario, you may have to get the police involved. A visit from the cops frequently stops the harassment, according to experts.  Depending on how long the case takes to wind through the system, an order of protection can take up to a few months after an arrest, and usually last about a year. Generally speaking, though, they are a last resort for people, many of whom choose to move instead.

For more, read "Is your neighbor driving you nuts--or worse? Here's what to do."


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