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I live in a shared house and the landlord's dog barks frequently. This disturbs me day and night. I was very direct with the landlord and told them the barking is interfering with my ability to do work and I expect something to be done about it. The landlord was very direct with me and said they won't be doing anything about it. In my opinion the barking is excessive enough that it's illegal.

I would like to find out if the neighbors can hear the barking and if they are affected by it. I do not know the neighbors (I only said hi to them in passing a couple times). How can I go about this without coming across as I'm trying to cause trouble, and how can I get their honest opinion?

Ideally it would help if they can submit complaints to the city too, or even testify regarding the noise. But if the dogs barking isn't loud enough to be heard out of the house I would like to know that too.

I have a very difficult time with people who I disagree with on a fundamental level. I cannot understand how my landlord could think it's fair to not control her dog, and she is like this in other situations as well.

  • What are you looking at gaining from this information? Do you want to verify that you are indeed in the right? Do you want to see if there's a possibility that you are wrong? Are you trying to line up other parties to a legal complaint? – baldPrussian Sep 4 '18 at 2:11
  • Legality is not a matter of opinion. Is the excessive barking illegal where you live or not? (I just realized I could have read that wrong. Maybe it is illegal but you are not sure if your case is excessive enough to count. please clarify) – Kaspar Scherrer Sep 4 '18 at 9:02
  • Relevant NOLO. – Andrew Sep 4 '18 at 19:31
  • @Cashbee if what you say were true there would be no need for lawyers or judges – refbobby Sep 5 '18 at 0:10
  • @baldPrussian yes, all of these – refbobby Sep 5 '18 at 0:11
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To approach your neighbors, I would wait until the next time you see them. I would ask them how they are, and if they have heard barking when they're home. Waiting until the next time you see them instead of going to their door gives the impression that you are not actively seeking out what they think, you just happen to see them and come up with a conversation topic.

For example:

Hey there neighbor! How you doing? (response from neighbor) (respond to neighbor) So, here's what I'm curious about, you know the landlord... Their dogs are awfully loud. I wonder what's going on in there, why they're barking so much. Does it bother you or not? I'm just curious.

Make sure to be friendly while you communicate, and show friendly body language.

Note: There is not much in the question that tells me why you should be afraid to talk to the neighbors, I understand needing a bit of a confidence boost. A script such as this may help.

  • I'm confused why the neighbors haven't made a complaint already. I suspect the landlord has been acting extra friendly to them so that they wouldn't. – refbobby Sep 4 '18 at 1:41
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    Until your suspicions are confirmed, try to not view them as part of the conspiracy with the landlord. How would you know if they have made a complaint? – ElizB Sep 4 '18 at 1:46
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My sense is that direct questioning of the neighbors will raise their shields. After all, they will have to live next to this landlord long after you are gone.

So, instead, see how the neighbor responds to a sympathetic statement like: "So sorry about all that dog noise that comes from our house. It's not my dog!"

If the neighbor commiserates with you, you have your answer.

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