Brick Underground’s best advice on how to deal with bad neighbors

By Donna M. Airoldi  | June 20, 2018 - 9:00AM

The smell of smoke wafts into your apartment from next door, loud music plays long into the night, the hallway becomes a makeshift garbage room. These are just some of the issues New Yorkers encounter thanks to that irritating yet unavoidable creature—the nasty neighbor.

Here at Brick Underground we’ve covered all of these nuisances and more on our list of the most frequent causes of neighbor fights. Before losing your cool or even calling a lawyer, read on for our best advice on how to deal with annoying neighbors. Because you would never be categorized as such, right?

When noise-cancelling headphones won’t do

Not surprisingly, loud sounds coming from someone else’s apartment are the #1 source of friction between neighbors. Whether it’s the result of adults throwing a party, children running around or crying, or pets being pets, it’s one of the most disruptive elements of city living. Find out if you can force your upstairs neighbor to get more carpeting, and learn about the ways noise travels during apartment renovations—and what you can do about it.

Obliterate those odors

One man’s garlic-aroma bliss is another’s olfactory nightmare. Cooking odors at least can be enjoyable. Sometimes. Check out our advice on how to stop your neighbor's cooking smells from wafting into your apartment.

Smelly trash? Not so much. It’s one thing when your own garbage gets a bit too stinky. It’s quite another when it’s from next door. Find out how to deal with the stench coming from your neighbor’s apartment (and which is often accompanied by unwanted pests). This is especially important now that we are in summer, the smelliest time of the year.

And then there is the smoker. You’ve tried to be understanding. You’ve explained the problem and asked for it to stop. It hasn’t. Find out what you can do when your neighbor’s smoking is stinking up your apartment. (Also, see whether readers prefer to have a barking dog or a chain smoker next door.)

Reporting a Collyer wannabe

No one lives in New York for long without hearing about the Collyer brothers: eccentric hoarder siblings who died in their Harlem house surrounded by more than 140 tons of mostly useless stuff. There are telltale signs to spot a hoarder if you suspect you are living next door to one.

Having a famous (or infamous) person as a neighbor

People who live near Trump Tower can tell you that life in the neighborhood has definitely changed—and not for the better—after Donald Trump became president. There are road blocks, police, media, and protesters. The same can happen if a celebrity lives nearby. Find out what you can do when your neighbor attracts controversy—and crowds.

Keep the peace or try to get the b*****d evicted

Our experts offer myriad ways to handle nasty neighbors, including documenting the problems and deciding if going the legal route is best with 8 ways to make peace with your neighbors and 4 steps to handle neighbor harassment. If you live in a co-op or condo, there are additional ways to handle the situation.


Brick Underground articles occasionally include the expertise of, or information about, advertising partners when relevant to the story. We will never promote an advertiser's product without making the relationship clear to our readers.