Learning to Live With Thy Neighbour

No man is an island. Unless you live in the woods isolated by miles and miles from any living soul, it is perfectly normal from time to time to experience a certain discomfort or inconvenience towards your neighbours. The civil code of Quebec already laid down an article in accordance:

Article 976. Neighbours shall suffer the normal neighbourhood annoyances that are not beyond the limit of tolerance they owe each other, according to the nature or location of their land or local custom.

However, since not everything is set in stone, how do tenants judge what is tolerable and what is not in terms of neighbourhood inconvenience?

Loud noise

No law in Québec determines the exact hour at which all noise or clatter has to stop. Despite the fact that several cities adopted regulations in which a curfew is mentioned, the truth is that no one should ever disturb their neighbours no matter what time of day or night it is. So just because it is 8 o’clock in the evening does not mean that it is right to be rocking it on your drum set in your one bedroom apartment. On the other hand it is also essential to learn to tone it down when you hear your upstairs neighbour’s children running around the house at 8 o’clock on a Sunday morning…


Your neighbour’s apartment reeks of cigarette smoke or cannabis and the smell is bothersome? Are there any solutions to this problem? The first thing to check is whether your lease has a non-smoking clause. If it is the case, talk to your landlord about the situation; it is possible that he will resort to asking your neighbour to stop smoking inside the apartment if the tenant has the same clause on his lease…

Clean common areas

The building where you reside has shared hallways and passages and you systematically leave your shoes at the front door of your apartment so it does not obstruct inside. Your neighbour finds your action unsanitary and complains to the landlord in order to ask you to remove them. Is it right for him to do that?

Well? We will not dive head first into this! The idea here is to show that every person has their own threshold when it comes to what is acceptable and what is not. Even if it’s not always pleasant, sometimes a simple talk is all that it takes to keep tensions at bay…

So even if we cannot choose our neighbours, we can still learn to improve our tolerance and bring out the zen-master in us…