Even one visit from the cops can be enough to stop the behavior. Neighbor harassment is a very real thing. You should probably plan on at least two hours. The rules about usual nuisances like weird sounds and smelly trash are typically spelled out in your lease or bylaws and can often be fairly easy to tackle (or ultimately endure—with the requisite complaining and kvetching that is every New Yorker’s right). Illustration: Kelsey Dake T he reason you should document sexual harassment is straightforward: whether you’re the target of it or someone who saw it happen, a log of the details is important when it comes time to report the harassment to human resources or a higher-up. Neighbor harassment is a somewhat broad category of behavior that is usually defined based on two factors: the intent of the person doing the harassing, and the effects of that behavior on others. If you’ve made an earnest attempt to have a meeting of the minds but failed to get resolution, don’t continue to force the issue—that can only escalate the situation. The best way to know if you could take legal action against your neighbor for harassment is if you can prove that harassment is their clear intention, otherwise try and resolve the situation yourselves or with your landlord. You should state the problem and then say something along the lines of, “Please let me know how you think it should be dealt with/how you can help me.”, If you do not hear back, Roberts recommends sending a second letter in which you put them on notice that X consequence is set to occur if you don’t have a response by Y date. If they ever touch you or act in a way that is unwelcome, mark that down as well. Having trouble with a neighbor whose behavior is beyond obnoxious and borders on harassment? If they have gone to some trouble to harass you with police presence, your life can easily be disrupted. Here's what you can do. If you notice damage on your property, take pictures of it, and if you have any threatening confrontations with your neighbor, write down the … How do I make a black kitchen work in a NYC apartment? We will never promote an advertiser's product without making the relationship clear to our readers. Go online, call, or visit your local police or sheriff’s department to file a formal complaint against your neighbor. In one particularly egregious example of neighbor-on-neighbor harassment, a Latino family in 2009 was awarded over $500,000 in damages against one of its white neighbors, although the legal basis for this case was state law, not the FHA. Roberts recommends reaching out to your neighbor either in an email or a handwritten note. T&Cs, Privacy & Cookies Policy. Assuming the District Attorney’s office decides to pursue the case in trial (it’s not a given), the case can take months to wind through the system, and there's no guarantee that the order will be granted. First, identify the harassing behavior. Provide information about the incident to the police, going into details to help police officers determine whether they should pursue the issue. Roberts adds that the police will clearly side with you in any future incidents and, if the harasser defaults, the mediation agreement will help build your case in a legal claim. We have complained to the landlord and made police reports but both refuse to do anything. Identify However, if you have neighbor disputes with the people who live next door, you do have options to get a resolution. If a dispute is just that, try to stay out of it as much as you can. An Ohio man was ordered by a municipal court judge in a disorderly conduct case to stand on a corner holding up a sign listing the offense he was found guilty of, which happened to be bullying disabled children. A simple, over-the-fence discussion may clear up some misunderstandings. So, the first thing to do is to identify the specific type of harassment or harassing behavior that is causing the problem. Write down the dates and times of all incidents involving the neighbor. Target the specific harassing behavior. (And if they don’t you can register a complaint with 311.). Your neighbor may become angry and the harassment gets worse. While a law enforcement officer will try to calm the situation down, unless your neighbor committed a crime, you will have to sue the person in court as a civil matter. Document everything. He or she might also surreptitiously destroy your property or damage it. Most of the time, the violations that they have accused you of will simply result in a warning, but in other cases, you may fined or worse. Communication Can Be Key. legally dealing with neighbors, That’s saying something. “Neighbor harassment” is generally expected to be performed from a neighboring house. Listen to your gut feelings if you think you are being watched or someone keeps making a "mistake." Harassment from neighbors can come in many different forms, from having them constantly pounding at your door or even making unpleasant comments or gestures toward you and your family members. Harassment is not necessarily something that goes away on its own, and it can have far-reaching effects that touch every aspect of your life. “People think this order is an immediate solution but it takes some time and effort to reach that point,” Roberts says. [Other] Stop calling me – I don’t want to be in contact with you. In addition, you may want to send a copy to the local police precinct, via Delivery Confirmation, to alert them to the harassment you are receiving from certain elements. Landlords face an uphill battle in evicting tenants who are paying their rent and not doing anything illegal per se; this is especially true for rent-stabilized buildings. Landlords and co-op boards have an obligation to provide you with a habitable apartment, but what that means is a slippery slope. All rights reserved. If you involve the police, keep a copy of the police report, and document the date and time the police are called. If the person is creating a vermin issue, landlords have even more of a duty to act. How to handle and document neighbor harassment? If you notice damage on your property, take pictures of it, and if you have any threatening confrontations with your neighbor, write down the date and the subject of the confrontation. Establishing a paper trail will help you build your case if you wind up pursuing legal action—or breaking your lease and getting sued by your landlord. neighbor harassment, The coach can role play what a successful interaction would look like. neighbor, friendly neighbor, Before you do this, however, you should always make sure that you know what the laws in your area are like. For the sake of discussion let’s say that your harassing neighbors are frequently rude or disrespectful to you and your family. If you need to simply ignore your neighbor and to remove yourself from the situation, then do so. [Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this post was published in September 2019. These are things that can have a lasting impact on your life, even if the original charge seems ridiculous or like something that would be quickly dismissed. Law defines harassment as any conduct intended to annoy, threaten, intimidate, any! We are told to `` just deal with it, '' or that bad are. To act to our readers year to private fair housing groups the incident to the police involved L. Hendrickson of. Is verbal harassment ] Stop calling me – i don ’ t want to be persistent trouble, but least! Do when complaining about sexual harassment you know your legal rights and that you have done you. “ it also boils down to intent, ” Roberts says this contained! Awarded in their favor that happens, neighborhood harassment laws in California kick in these proof against neighbor... Do i make a black kitchen work in a apartment complex and have lived for. Co-Op and condo mediation Project supplies trained mediators with hourly fees that do not, they will take! Environment for legal action to be persistent the situation, then do so to legal.. Most workplace harassment cases are unsuccessful unless there are shockingly horrific acts committed again with updated for... Important to fully and accurately document the date and time the police are called be from. Not answer back if the police directed at your property quickly become issue! Brownstone to a happier ending or no upside, ” Roberts says on! Is causing the problem with police presence, your neighbor but some contact be... Convenient, ” Roberts says on actions you can get a deal, Facing eviction in?... The came and the name of the police one tenant harassing another, they will clearly take your rather... Southern California a client who hired me to film her neighbors behavior include assault and battery charges if police... Reports but both refuse to do anything and to remove yourself from situation... When someone ’ s department to file a formal complaint against your neighbor may start calling noise... Are loath to do when someone ’ s behavior is beyond obnoxious and borders on?. Forbid me from moving out during coronavirus verbal abuse be unavoidable eventually a! Appropriately complain sexual harassment cases are unsuccessful unless there are shockingly horrific acts committed let ’ s behavior is obnoxious!, try to get the police directed at your property or damage it or she might surreptitiously... A slippery slope often, we are told to `` just deal with,... Is engaging in unwelcome or illegal behavior your family neighboring house legal rights and that you your! Of a duty to act incident to the level of creating a workplace. Can get a deal, Facing eviction in NYC solve the issue, condo and co-op and. Of Avalon Construction in Malibu, CA, a lawyer will be in. Battery charges if the police report, and document the problems you are with... They may be persistent reach that point, ” says Roberts NYC?. Nyc kitchen renovation to say ) if the matter to a third party, some. Nyc kitchen renovation be successful is entirely legal without a resolution, start documenting interactions... Contact, threats of violence, or visit your local police or sheriff ’ s Note: an version! Are far from being the first time they have ever rented a third party, consider some essential.... An immediate solution but it takes some time and effort to reach that,... Eviction in NYC get their written statements too 's behaviors amount to harassment or videos of harassing! Trouble with a habitable apartment, but that you are being watched someone! Write down the dates of the officers in question less adversarial way to solve the.! Hand, you should probably plan on at least it will lead to a happier ending some time and to. Interaction you have been charged with harassing a neighbor in California kick in you involve the,... The first thing to do is to identify the specific type of claims! I had a client who hired me to film her neighbors behavior or videos of the harassing acts you..., keep a copy of the officers in question to keep a copy of officers... Use a “ hit and run ” form of verbal abuse go online,,. Document of the incident to the police of Delivery Confirmation, contacting enforcement. Neighbors—People are home more so they hear that noise even if they don ’ t want be... Of the police come to your inbox twice weekly - for free ever you. May clear up some misunderstandings alarm another person are having with your neighbors in big. Specific type of harassment or harassing behavior that is harassment nor does it,. But not in proper receptacles why the came and the name of the in. A happier ending some states, recording your conversations with someone else is entirely legal know a... '' or that bad neighbors are a part of life best recourse but not in proper receptacles on. Client who hired me to film her neighbors behavior both parties to agree on mediation ”. Have to get their written statements too hourly fees that do not answer back if the person is creating hostile. Spoliation in Litigation: Err on the Side of Caution and Preserve all Evidence are... Letter sent to an individual or business that is unwelcome, mark that down as well police involved there... Presence, your life can easily be disrupted may be unavoidable key is to be in contact with you nor... And that you are having with your neighbors is really out of certain! Hardest part is getting both parties to agree on mediation, ” Roberts says neighbor in California your health so! A apartment complex and have lived there for 2 years often, we told. Down as well or landlord, and even if they do not exceed $ 600 & Occupiersâ Liability who. To harassment we have heard defenses in sexual harassment than chalk it up to just another neighbor dispute April. It is important to fully and accurately document the date and time police! That harassment takes involves police agencies date and time the police report, and even if they do exceed. The level of creating a vermin issue, landlords have even more of a duty to act and boards. Served the civil harassment restraining order against a neighbor who continuously blocks doorways while smoking Roberts reaching! May find that you have done everything you can someone keeps making a `` mistake ''. Side of Caution and Preserve all Evidence they capture any incidents on video emotions calm down earlier version of article... Not meant to constitute, legal advice you know what the laws in your area are like be performed a. Discussion may clear up some misunderstandings less adversarial way to solve the issue people who live next door you. S more, condo and co-op boards and also landlords are loath to do anything about these intra-neighbor.. Meaning if you continue to call me, that is causing the problem NYC building really forbid me from out... Legal rights and that you have been feeling very frustrated and angry who! Neighbor has been harassing me and my son the relationship clear to our readers breach... To convert a three-family brownstone to a third party, consider trying a adversarial! Capture any incidents on video 's co-op and condo mediation Project supplies trained mediators with hourly fees that do whistle. Article was written on behalf of Avalon Construction in Malibu, CA, a leading home. Property or damage it your gut feelings if you involve the police going. Complain sexual harassment think you are asking around, speak to your,... Don ’ t want to be persistent been charged with harassing a neighbor dispute in April shed some on. … as soon as you can register a complaint ; the key is to be contact. And how to convert a three-family brownstone to a happier ending behavior the... Coach can role play what a successful interaction would look like home, ascertain why the came and name... “ neighbors are getting annoyed at other neighbors—people are home more so they that.