Most Common Complaints About Neighbors

Windows on neighboring homes

krosseel - Morguefile

Neighbors can watch out for one another and alert others to danger, but they can also be watching how you behave.

When you notice speeding in the neighborhood, failing to clean up after the pet, or violating noise ordinances, would you rat out your neighbor?, a resource and research firm on safety and security, surveyed more than 1,000 Americans about their relationships with their neighbors and to find out.

Nearly one in five respondents admitted to illegal activity of some kind within their residence or surrounding area. Twenty-two percent of respondents reported being caught by their neighbors. Some neighbors say they were reported to police, while others say their neighbors looked the other way at their offense.

Here are the most common offenses.

A chart showing the percentage of survey respondents admitting to illegal activity in or near their homes

Would others report these “naughty neighbors” for their offenses? The survey showed various tolerance levels.

Fifteen percent of respondents called the police on a neighbor when witnessing some type of offense, the survey shows. Thirty-eight percent of neighbors who chose to overlook the offense say it’s because it didn’t bother them. Only 18% of respondents said they were willing to overlook the problem even if it did bother them because they were friendly with their neighbors.

Neighbors were most likely to report to police property theft and damage, according to the survey. Drinking in public—which also was the activity people were most likely admit to—was the activity that neighbors were least likely to report to police, according to the survey.

“Evidence shows that most neighbors are relatively forgiving when it comes to committing crimes, but they do have a line that can be crossed,” notes in its survey. “While most will forgive things like drinking and smoking in the vicinity, property theft and damage will likely have you dealing with concerned neighbors or even the police.”

A chart showing the kinds of illegal activity neighbors witness, and the likelihood they would report to the police.