Problematic Residents Coping With Disruptive Neighbors

The vast majority of co-op and condo residents are decent folks who wouldn’t dream of disrupting life in their buildings by being verbally abusive to neighbors, by blowing up board members’ phones and email inboxes with endless complaints and threats, or by filing lawsuits at the drop of a hat for every slight (real or perceived) that they suffer.

Unfortunately, there are shareholders and unit owners who seem to thrive on these very things—and they can make life miserable for neighbors, board members and managers alike. But, never fear, there are ways to deal with them effectively, and civilly.

Bad Apples

According to Alex Kuffel, president of Manhattan-based Pride Property Management Corp., which provides building management services for co-op and condo buildings throughout the metropolitan area, there are two classic disruptive 'types' he and his colleagues tend to see in the building communities they manage. 

“There are those who innocently break the rules due to their lifestyle without knowing they're disturbing their neighbors,” he says. “They might not be really aware, and simply need to be informed and asked to cooperate And there are those blatant, arrogant types who have no regard for their neighbors, who might even retain legal support in their fight to the death to continue to do as they so please.”

Disruptive behavior can range from a blaring entertainment system—television, radio, video gaming—to noise from visitors, to the incessant barking of an excitable dog.

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