How to File a Complaint Against a Neighbor

By Laura Latzko ; Updated June 05, 2017
Neighboring houses

The best way to resolve a neighbor dispute is by talking through the problem. If that's not possible, you can seek intervention from a third party such as a judge, police office or apartment manager. Neighbors have conflicts with each other for different reasons, including pets, trees, property boundaries, fences, parking and noise. These issues may each need a different compliant process or paperwork.

Resolving Residential Complaints

Talk to your apartment manager or the head of your homeowners or neighborhood association about problems you are having with your neighbor. Give them information on how the neighbor has caused you problems. Look at your lease or agreement with your homeowners association to cite the code or regulation your neighbor is breaking. Be prepared to fill out a complaint form if the apartment manager or head of the homeowners or neighborhood association asks you to do so. You'll need to provide details on problems you have had with the neighbor over time, if it is not a one-time occurrence. Give your apartment manager time to take action but keep filling out complaints if nothing is done in an adequate amount of time. If he doesn’t respond to your complaints, go to his supervisor to solve the problem.

File a Police Report

Call or visit your local police department to file a complaint against your neighbor if you feel that she has broken a law, such as not adhering to laws on noise levels. Provide information about the incident to the police, going into details to help police officers determine whether they should pursue the issue. It may help if you can get other people to call or go down to the police department to file complaints. Having others file complaints can help to give police officers more of the story, as you may not be aware of other instances when a neighbor has caused conflict. Be aware that filing a police complaint against your neighbor could make it difficult for you to live next to him in the future. Be prepared to deal with anger or hurt from your neighbor after you file a complaint against him.

Pursee Legal Remedies

Go to your local courthouse or the court’s website to file a complaint against a neighbor if she has caused a problem that has resulted in money loss for you. After filing a complaint, a court clerk issues a summons to the person that you are suing, which informs her about the lawsuit you are filing against her. You'll need to include pertinent information on your complaint, such as who wronged you, what your neighbor did, how much money she cost you and what legal remedy you wish to have. It's a good idea to hire a lawyer to help you with the complaint and the impending lawsuit if you don’t have experience with suing someone. Consider the costs of a lawyer versus the amount of money you are asking for before seeking legal assistance.

About the Author

Laura Latzko is a freelance writer based in Phoenix, Ariz. She has reported for the "Columbia Missourian," "Columbia Daily Tribune," "Downtown Express" and "Washington Times." She holds a Master of Arts in journalism from the University of Missouri.