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How To Survive Problematic Neighbors In State College

Let’s face it. There are bad neighbors on every block.

Whether they complain that your music is too loud, call the cops on you while you’re simply trying to ball in the streets, or yell at you from their porch, these neighbors often make it hard to enjoy the freedom you longed for while living at home or in the dorms.

But just as you were able to get one up on your freshman year RA in East Halls, there’s also a solution to dealing with those grouchy, problematic neighbors who just don’t know how to have any fun.

We’ve compiled some ways to avoid unnecessary neighborhood complaints below.

Know The Ordinances

Even before the coronavirus hit State College, standards were in place to keep the borough running smoothly. The borough defines violating a noise ordinance as any noise that can be heard off the property. Yes, this includes outside of your individual apartment. These noise complaints can often lead to hefty fines broke college students probably can’t afford to brush off.

In August, the State College Borough Council passed an ordinance that limits residential gatherings to 10 people. If you find yourself in a situation where there are more folks at your apartment or home, keep in mind the new guidelines that are being strictly enforced. Local officials are enforcing those policies and have already started issuing citations and fines.

It’s important to familiarize yourself with these ordinances so you can know what your neighbors are accusing you of. Be responsible and safe, but also be smart and know where the line can be drawn between a reasonable complaint and an excessive one.

Establish Good Relationships

It’s never too late to try and make a good first, or if your neighbors already called the cops, second impression. If you have heard about problematic neighbors near your home prior to moving in, keep in mind that a simple introduction can go a long way.

If, and when with problematic neighbors like these, the cops are called, you can always ask them what they recommend for dealing with your specific neighbors. They likely know the area, town, and neighbors the best and can provide tips for de-escalating situations quickly.

Document The Problem

More often than not, the cops will be called on situations that seem to irritate your neighbors. Keep a running list of all the times the cops are unnecessarily called on you or your neighbors, like for playing basketball at 3 p.m. on a Monday.

With that, take pictures and videos of any scenarios where you feel your neighbors might be extra and can lead to calling the cops. This can protect you if your neighbors are compulsive liars.

If you’re new to the area, you might not be the only ones suffering from the evil across the street. Band together with surrounding neighbors to also keep tabs on what the cops show up to their residences for. This also justifies that you’re not crazy, the snitches are.

If All Else Fails…

If these tips don’t work, there are plenty of other options to try and solve your neighborhood troubles.

If the neighbors don’t like you playing a little cornhole on your own front lawn, play on their roof instead. If they can’t see you, is it really happening?

Did they tell you your music is too loud? Play “WAP” by Cardi B on loop just loud enough for them to hear it without breaking any rules. They should know the lyrics by heart after a few hours. Bonus points if you hold practice with your roommates to learn the dance.

If you’re looking for an opportunity to build a bridge with you and your troublesome neighbors, invite them over for a small football viewing party. Turn on the 2018 White Out vs. Ohio State, specifically the fourth quarter. The pain and suffering they will endure during those final few minutes will be enough to make them hide out in their home forever, never to be seen or annoyingly heard from again.

Last, return the favor by calling the cops on your neighbor for a minor infraction. You don’t like how you can smell the cigarette smoke that carries off their porch around dinner time? Sounds like something the police can take care of.

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About the Author

Hope Damato

Hope is a 2022 graduate who majored in broadcast journalism and was one of Onward State's social media editors. She resides in her parents house as she is still on the job hunt. Someone please hire her. Feel free to follow her on twitter @hopemarinaa to send her funny tweets or email her at [email protected] to yell.

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