Are you new to apartment rentals? Are you a seasoned renter who knows all your neighbors and is always lending a hand? Or, somewhere in between? No matter where you fall on the spectrum of GOOD NEIGHBOR, there are definitely right and wrong ways to be a neighbor in a close community like an apartment building. Nobody wants to be THAT NEIGHBOR that everyone else can’t stand.
Tips for being a Good Neighbor
Check out these Dos and Don’ts for being a good neighbor.
Get to know people
Do. From the very first day you move in be sure to say “hi” to people you see in and around your building. You don’t have to have a long conversation, you have boxes to move, but a friendly attitude reveals that you are approachable and sets up a good interaction for later. Introduce yourself and offer a little bit of information about yourself.
Don’t. Don’t ignore people, brush them off, or be short with them. First impressions matter. Don’t stop by your neighbor’s every day wanting a chat over coffee. Slowly get to know people and be respectful of their space.
Say Thank You
Do. Get to know the maintenance and management staff. Thank them when they help you. The same goes for neighbors. You might need someone to check you mail, water your plants or feed your goldfish someday. It helps to be friendly.
Don’t. Just One: Don’t forget to say Thank you!
Do. Getting to you know your neighbors is more than just being nice. It is also a safety measure. Pay attention to who is coming and going in your building and if they look like they should be there. Notice if you haven’t seen a neighbor in awhile–inquire if he/she is ok. Neighbors who look out for each other create a community of caring and sharing. Everybody likes to feel safe where they live.
Don’t. Don’t set up a telescope to spy in all your neighbors windows. Don’t appear creepy by memorizing your neighbors’ schedules minute by minute.
Do. Only park where you are suppose to park. The same goes for your guests.
Don’t. Don’t park in someone’s spot. Don’t take up two spots. Don’t park on the lawn or other obnoxious spots. In general: Stick to your parking spot only.
Do. Be reasonable with your noise levels. If you are concerned or want to be nice, check in with the neighbors around you once in awhile and ask them if your noise level is ok. Hopefully they’ll be honest, but if they aren’t–at least you asked. Remind your guests to be respectful of noise. However, noise does happen. If you were loud, apologize–it can go along way to reducing your neighbors’ irritation at your inconsiderateness.
Don’t. Don’t be loud after 9pm. Don’t play music loud enough so you can hear it in the hall outside your door. Don’t let guests get out of control. Don’t throw a party without inviting your neighbors, or at least letting them know about it and inviting them to let you know if it gets too loud. You’d rather they tell you in a neighborly way than the cops.
Train your Pets
Do. Make sure your dog doesn’t bark all day while you are gone. If he does, invest in some serious training, because your neighbors will NOT tolerate that for long. Pick up your dog’s poo outside: EVERY TIME. Introduce your dog to you neighbors. Keep your cat indoors, you never know what they might get up to outside.
Don’t. Forget to pick up your dog’s poo. Don’t let your dog pee on other people’s plants, walkways, etc. Don’t let your dog bark ceaselessly. Don’t let you dog pester people in outside areas like a playground, BBQ pit, or other common areas.
Do. Change your loads in a timely manner. Clean up after yourself. Wipe down the machines when you are done using them. Clean out lint tray every time you use the dryer. If you remove a neighbor’s load from a machine be respectful with their items and leave a note.
Don’t. Don’t leave your loads unattended or in the machines for too long. If someone removes your load from a machine, don’t get angry. Don’t make a mess. Don’t overload the machines.
Using Your Balcony
Do. Use your balcony, after all, you are paying for it. As an extension of your apartment all the same rules apply for common courtesy. Keep it neat and tidy and don’t be too loud.
Don’t. Don’t leave trash on your balcony, including cigarette butts (these may make their way to other people’s balconies). Don’t throw things off your balcony. In most apartment complexes this is a lease violation and could result in eviction. Someone could get hurt!
Last but not Least
Whether you have a short-term rental, a year lease, month to month, or you own the apartment building, being a good neighbor is universal. Everyone deserves a peaceful, happy place to live. It takes everyone doing their part to create a sense of community.