One of the joys of life is the pleasure of company. When we live in nice communities, we make friends with neighbors, local shop vendors and others who fill in the fabric of our little microcosm of society. Some of us are more extroverts and social than others, but we all interact with our communities in one way or another.
Hawaii, as well all know, is very much a community-based society. Think about close-in areas like Kaimuki and Palolo on either side of Waialae Avenue, or some of the residential areas in Pearl City just off Moanalua or Komo Mai. Even condo buildings are their own communities, whether one of the downtown Honolulu high-rises or smaller buildings such as in Mililani, Waipio or Ewa Gentry and Kihei.
For many of us, communities add a nice layer to the fabric of the Hawaii lifestyle. However, it also goes without saying that complications can also arise….
What if your neighbors are noisy, messy or just plain belligerent? Think it doesn’t happen? I guarantee it does. Even now, as I type this post, there are evictions in progress on all Hawaiian Islands. There are eyesore properties bringing down adjacent property values (ex. hoarder houses). There are residents, whether owner occupiers or tenants, who unfortunately don’t feel like “playing nice” with their neighbors.
So what can you do if you have unruly neighbors who don’t want to get in the spirit of things?
One, you could always try and get a better understanding of what the problem is. Sometimes people may unjustifiably feel excluded from what they feel is the “neighborhood establishment”. A simple knock on the door and greeting could go a long way toward making someone feel like they belong. You’d be amazed at how powerful a simple gesture like this can be (of course, use your best judgment!).
Two, you could just ignore the problem try not to let it bother you. It’s not ideal, but sometimes there’s little you can do. The best thing may be to take the higher road and keep looking at all the good that are communities offer, despite the occasional curmudgeon or hoarder.
Three, if the problem is with tenants, then you can look up the owners here and let them know about the problem and hope they take positive action, either by remedying the situation or by removing the offending tenants.
Four, there’s always the option of calling the authorities, especially if there are severe infractions or signals of dangers.
Lastly, don’t discount the choice to relocate! You could sell your house and find a new home with better neighbors (of course, we can help with this)!
Most of us have polite, quiet neighbors that bring an extra element of happiness to our lives. Communities should be enjoyed and fostered, not sources of anguish or frustration. If you have neighbors who aren’t quite pulling their weight, just know that you have some options. Your Hawaii property value, your safety and your happiness depend on it.
PS — If you do happen to have neighbors of the rather ‘unruly’ type, let us know. We’d love to see about buying the house, fixing it up and getting the perfect neighbors in there!