30% report often being annoyed by neighbors

July 25, 2011, 4:34 PM UTC

According to a recent YouGov survey on neighborly relations, half of Americans reported speaking to their neighbors at least once a week, while a little less than a third reported that they were regularly annoyed by activities conducted by those living in the houses or apartments near them.

Asked about how often they spoke with their neighbors, 17% of respondents said every day, while 32% said that they do so on a weekly basis. 26% of those surveyed, however, reported speaking to their neighbors rarely and 10% said never. Three in ten respondents said they were often annoyed by their neighbors. Contrary to the common stereotype, younger people reported being annoyed more often than their older counterparts.

 Among those who reported problems with their neighbors, loud music was the most common reason for complaint (cited by 45% of respondents). Other potential annoyances included:

  • Keeping property untidy (cited by 30% of respondents)
  • Loud pets (29%)
  • Loud parties (29%)
  • Loud conversations or arguments (26%)
  • Construction or remodeling (10%)
  • Noisy sexual activity (4%)

Respondents who were regularly annoyed by their neighbors chose to deal with their troubles in a variety of ways. 26% politely asked the offending neighbor to be more mindful or cease the activity. 22% complained to the police or another authority, while 8% brought up the grievance anonymously to a homeowner’s association or similar body. A further 8% decided to take a more forceful approach and admitted to confronting the neighbor in a heated or angry manner.

While things could sometimes come to blows, a majority of Americans (55%) said that keeping good relations with neighbors was important. Stronger connections between neighbors, however, were not so appealing. Only 18% of respondents they wanted to live in a neighborhood with a tight-knit community and just 20% said they made an effort to get to know their neighbors when they moved in. While cordiality was important, privacy seemed for many to be paramount. 38% said they didn’t like to get involved in their neighbors’ business and didn’t want their neighbors involved in theirs.