10 Ways To Deal With Smells from Your Neighbour

Find out how to deal with unwanted smells from your neighbour’s property without causing a rift in your relationship with them.


Anything can cause a disturbance between homes – visually ugly things we have to see, music, shouting or pets we have to hear – these are common issues between neighbours that cause problems. One common issue that isn’t spoken about as much, is smell. Stinky neighbours certainly exist, but how do you deal with that problem? It’s especially hard when you don’t want to upset anyone and you want to keep the peace, right?

Don’t worry, in this article we have 10 ‘keep the peace’ options to consider when you’re dealing with a stinky neighbour:

First Things First – What Is A Stinky Neighbour?

A stinky neighbour is somebody who in some way causes you to have to smell things that you really do not want to smell. It can be a messy neighbour with a cluttered garden, a neighbour who doesn’t clear up dog mess, a neighbour who smokes, or even a neighbour who does a lot of garden work and who pollutes the air in your garden or home. Essentially, they are making it hard for you not to smell them and it’s causing a disturbance to your home life.

10 Ways To Deal With A Stinky Neighbour

Here are ten ways to deal with a stinky neighbour that aim to keep the peace between you:

1.  Help Them Out

Are your neighbours hoarders? Is your neighbour old and they can’t declutter their garden? Why not extend a helping hand to help them get things cleared up, so there’s nothing there to smell bad anymore. You may want to suggest affordable self storage to help them keep extra items in until they feel ready to sort through them, as it can be an emotional task for some people.

2.  Shut Your Back Windows

We all have a right to open our windows, but if the stinky smell is only occurring very occasionally, such as when next door has a barbecue, and you can avoid it by closing your back windows, maybe just give them a close when you need to, opening the front windows for ventilation instead. If you do have a good relationship with them, you could ask for a quick heads up if they are having a barbecue or doing something that causes the smell to waft through. They shouldn’t take offence to this and it stops any bad feelings moving forward.

3.  Add ‘Buffers’

A buffer in the garden could be something like umbrellas, decking roofing or even large shrubs and trees – items which will allow the smell to waft over your garden rather than linger in. It can be quite effective with stinky smells like smoke.

4.  Scent Your Garden Naturally

If the issue is a general bad smell lingering over, you could scent your garden with highly scented roses and other flowers that detract from the bad smell. Try to centre these plants around your seating area, and choose plants that can help provide a nice smell all year round.

5.  Have Less Stuff

If the smell from next door tends to cling to your garden or home items and you’re feeling a bit cluttered anyway, why not have a clear out? You could place some things you need to keep in affordable self storage, and everything else could be sold to make a few bits of extra cash.

6.  Mist Some Essential Oils

Essential oils can do a great job of making the garden smell lovely. Just be sure to check the safety of the mixture in regards to the plants, animals and people that use the garden before misting it everywhere.

7.  Absorb Bad Smells With Baking Soda

If the bad smell comes from a kitty using your garden as a toilet you could use baking soda to absorb nasty urine smells. You could also use tips like the ones in this video to encourage the kitty not to access your garden.

8.  Burn Some Candles

Candles are excellent at burning up nasty smells and putting nice scents into the air. You can also often have lots of them burning for a while without having to worry about the cost of electricity. They also provide a lovely ambient light and they don’t cost much to buy either.

Why not use citronella candles so you’re not only dealing with the bad smells from next door, but you’re telling the pesky insects to clear off too!

9.  Encourage Ventilation

Did you know that gardens can struggle with ventilation? They are outdoors, but the way they are designed can actually strangle air-flow and cause bad smells that linger in, to stay in. The best way to add ventilation is to have your shrubs and trees trimmed so there is lots of airflow going through them, something that is important to stave off pests and disease too. You may also want to speak to a landscaper to ask about the best ways to encourage more air flow through the space. Sometimes it is a case of moving things around, or having more movement in general in the space.

10. Move Your Outdoor Sitting Spot

If you have a seated area outdoors that seems to always be next to next door cooking fish on the barbecue or having a cigarette, maybe simply moving your outdoor sitting spot makes sense. If it is easy to move your seating elsewhere without causing you discomfort or too much strain, it could be an easy win that keeps you away from the bad smells.

And If All Else Fails…

If all else fails and you’re struggling with bad smells, do have a chat with your neighbour in a sensitive way. Remember, they are unlikely to be aware that any of their smells are impacting your daily life. If you speak to them about it and reach a compromise or solution, it saves you both a lot of embarrassment, stress and worry moving forward. The next steps would be getting the council involved and going down a legal route which isn’t something you want to be doing. Having a good relationship with your neighbours is so important, and if you can keep things peaceful, it’s better all round.