How to File a Complaint Against a Neighbor

How to File a Complaint Against a Neighbor (Legally)

As a result of personality differences in people, differing backgrounds, opposing beliefs, and uneven and unbalanced knowledge possessed, it is completely normal that there be disagreements among them.

In fact, in a neighborhood where everyone agrees about everything, then something must be wrong with that neighborhood. It is safe to say that such a neighborhood is a cult. 

If you have a neighbor who parties at all times and make all kinds of noise, you can file noise complaints against such a neighbor. Therefore, how do you file a complaint against a neighbor?

To file a complaint against a neighbor, you need to reach the local sheriff either by visiting his office, through the internet, or via phone call, using the toll-free number to lodge your complaints indicating in detail your complaints and evidence to prove your claims.

Can I File a Complaint Against a Neighbor?

Yes, you can file a complaint against a neighbor. If you are a homeowner in a community or a legal resident in a particular environment, you can file a complaint against him/her if his activities cause you discomfort.

When you and your neighbor have some form of disagreement, though, the first best thing to do is to try to have a conversation with such a person.

The neighbor might be unconscious that his behavior has caused you or any other neighbor some kind of discomfort or inconvenience. He or she might not even know that he might be constituting a nuisance to that environment.

This might be due to the possibility that he had just moved from an area where such behavior is permitted, or it might be his or her first time owning a home, so, doesn’t know the proper way to behave.

Either way, the first thing you should do is try to resolve the clash amicably via a civil discussion with the neighbor involved.

If after the discussion, he or she still refuses to discontinue the behavior that you complained about, you can decide to invite other neighbors to talk to the neighbor in question with one voice, especially if they are also affected by the behavior or incident.

If after all this, this neighbor still doesn’t change, if you cannot compromise and live with such discomfort, then you are well within your rights as the discomforted, to file a complaint against that neighbor.

You must prove that this behavior is directly causing you discomfort, inconvenience, or harm in any way as a neighbor before you go ahead to file the complaint.

How to File a Complaint Against a Neighbour

You can file a complaint against a neighbor through the local police or sheriff. Depending on the system of things and the type of neighborhood you are living in, you can either use the internet, make a call, or visit the Sheriff’s office.

If you opt to use the internet, you have to state your name as the complainant, your house address to note the neighborhood involved, the name of the neighbor you are reporting and then you explain the nature of your report.

This means that you write, in detail the behavior that is going against the law and therefore putting you and other neighbors at risk. You should attach pictures or audio or videos as pieces of evidence of the behavior you are reporting if need be.

Note the dates and times that these conflicts have occurred. Succinctly write out the steps that you have taken already before filing the report and the neighbor’s response to these steps.

Also, if other neighbors are involved in the complaint, you should state their names and addresses for better reference purposes and legitimacy.

You can also file a complaint through a phone call. Usually, several states have a certain toll-free number to call to complain if a neighbor is engaged in something that’s causing conflict at a particular time. Or better still, you can visit the office of the Sheriff yourself.

When you call or visit the Sheriff, you will need to provide all the information you would have provided if you were filing the report online.

If there are other neighbors involved in it, having a few of them go with you to the Sheriff’s office will strengthen your cause and help the Sheriff understand how serious and urgent the complaint is.

Nevertheless, it is important to note that before you filling a complaint against a neighbor, you first need to be sure that what the neighbor is doing is completely against the ordinances or laws of the community you all are living in.

You cannot simply go on to file a complaint because you don’t like pets, or you don’t like that his dog barks from time to time when it is allowed in the neighborhood’s ordinances that keep dogs as pets or for security purposes is allowed. Such a complaint won’t hold water.

If you are sure that the behavior is against the rules of the HOA/neighborhood, then you can go ahead to file a complaint. 

What Happens When You File a Complaint Against a Neighbour?

After filing your complaint, the next thing that happens is that the Sheriff visits your neighbor at the address that you have delivered, or he could even dispatch someone from his office to do that.

Whoever visits the neighbor does so for investigative causes, and to relay a more official warning from the proper authorities that such a neighbor will need to adhere to.

Punishment or procedures after a complaint depends on the kind of behavior reported to the Sheriff. If such a neighbor is a repeat, a serial offender who has been complained about over and again, the Sheriff, or police might even give a stricter punishment than just a warning.

If it is a crime being committed, such as drug dealing, illegal possession of a weapon, etc., criminal procedures will be taken.

Filing a report against your neighbor will certainly put you and your neighbor in an even greater, perhaps unredeemable conflict if he or she knows what you have done.

If you want to avoid this, you can simply tell the Sheriff to conceal your name as the complainant. This is exactly what happens when you file a complaint against a neighbor.

What Can My Neighbour Do to Make Me File a Complaint Against Him or Her?

There are several reasons why you might want to file a complaint against a neighbor. Here are a few of them:

1. Noise Pollution

Some neighbors are fond of throwing heavy parties into the night which makes it impossible for the other homeowners in the neighborhood to get a good night’s rest, and when people are deprived of sleep, ill health follows.

These are the same people that know the legality of playing loud music past 11 pm, yet, without your consent to play loud music at night, decide to make your life a miserable one.

You might want to file a complaint against a neighbor for constantly polluting the environment with noise. The noise can be a result of organizing too many parties, always playing music too loud, or constantly doing other activities that cause loud noise.

2. Untamed Pets

Your neighbor might have a pet that usually trespasses, infiltrates your kitchen, and damages your foodstuffs when you are not suspect.

It could be a dog that barks incessantly, unprovoked, and uncontrollably. It could also be that your neighbor has a pet that is a threat to the lives of other people in society.

Some people even keep dangerous, wild animals as pets. This is one reason why you can file a complaint against your neighbor. You can also call animal control on such a neighbor.

3. Cases of Harassment

Another reason why you might want to file a report is if you are being harassed in any way or form by your neighbor or your HOA. Harassment can be in various ways such as:

  • The neighbor threatening to cause you harm
  • Constantly watching or spying on you
  • Making you look over your shoulder
  • Taking your properties without informing you and returning them in bad conditions
  • Breaking into your house, annexing your property without your consent
  • Invading your private space
  • Frustrating you or your guests
  • Filing complaints against you for no just cause, and the list goes on.

4. Destruction of Properties

You can also file a report and even charge your neighbor in court if he or she is responsible for your damaged properties.

Dragging the neighbor to court guarantees compensation for your damaged properties, especially if you have a good case to prove.


You can call the cops at the right time and file a harassment complaint as well. This is given a lot more priority. It is important that you feel safe and comfortable in your own home.

If a neighbor, due to his negligence or intentional bad behavior, is causing you discomfort, making you feel unsafe, or making you lose things you otherwise wouldn’t have lost, it is best you put him or her in check by filing a complaint against such neighbor.