No man is an island. Even if you live alone, you still need a buddy or two in your community who can help you when you need it the most. Good thing you have neighbors, right?
Being part of a great (or, for some cases, tight-knit) community gives such a warm feeling. It makes you feel more comfortable and secure in your neighborhood because you know your next-door neighbors have your back. They may even send over freshly baked goods from time to time if you’re lucky. But you as a neighbor also has the responsibility to be a great one to them.
Here’s what you can do to become a good neighbor.
When moving into a new neighborhood or condo building, it’s nice to introduce yourself to your next-door neighbors for familiarity. It’s also a way to gain new friends within your community. It can get quite awkward if you constantly pass by them outside your home or get on the elevator at the same time for years yet you don’t even know each other’s names. Who knows. You might need each other in the future.
This is also applicable when you have a new neighbor. Welcome them to your neighborhood and orient them with the ins and outs of the area like the common areas, garbage collection, and such so they can settle in easily. Gossiping about your neighbors is not part of the orientation, though.
Be Civil on Social Media
Think before you click and use your social media platform responsibly. Social media is for sharing things about your life to your friends and acquaintances, but it’s not for ranting about your neighbors who had their karaoke speakers on full blast until the wee hours of the morning.
Sure, that can be rant-worthy. Being a good neighbor should go both ways. However, it’s recommended to settle your issues in a proper way. Talk things out with tact and courtesy or let a property manager mediate the case. Letting emotions take over and shame-posting on social media would just add fuel to the fire.
Mind Your Own Business
You can look out for your neighbors. But it doesn’t mean that you also have to look into their personal lives. As long as what they’re doing (or not doing) doesn’t affect the community or them being respectful neighbors, then you don’t have to meddle in their business. You wouldn’t want to be known as the neighborhood gossip, right?
Communicate and Handle Conflicts Rationally
If your neighbor has done something that should be called out, try to do it in a civil manner. There’s always another side of the story, so try to ask them about it and don’t judge right away.
Conflicts should be handled rationally. And as neighbors, each of the parties should be open to compromise since they also have to share the community with other people. If you can’t handle the problem by yourselves, seek out a fair mediator to take over.
Look Out For Your Neighbors
Homeowners should be mindful of their property so as to avoid fires, theft, or other accidents from happening. But you can also extend your vigilance to your neighbors’ houses.
When they’re out on vacation, keep an eye on things like if there’s smoke coming from their home or if there’s a package that was left outside. They may even return the favor when you’re the one on vacation.
Maintain Your Exterior
You may think that since it’s your private property, no one should dictate you on when you should trim your grass or repair your fence or gate. But keeping up with your curb appeal is your social duty to the neighborhood.
Having an unkempt house in the neighborhood may also reduce the value of the community. So, if you don’t want to be known as “the ugly house”, make an effort to clean your dirty windows, touch up peeling paint, and sweep your side of the street.
Be A Responsible Pet Owner
Having your yard destroyed by a neighbor’s pet can be a nightmare. It’s also the same for the pet owner. To avoid getting awkward or getting into a conflict with a neighbor, be a responsible pet parent and stop your fur babies from wreaking havoc on a neighbor’s property; may it be their home or their car. If the damage has been done, offer to pay for the damage or have it repaired.
Control Your Noise
It’s common etiquette to respect your neighbors by not being too loud. You can have your house parties and karaoke sessions, but tone down the volume and cut it off when it’s already well into the night. We’re pretty sure your neighbor can’t handle another ear-blasting rendition of My Way at 2 in the morning.
Maintain Parking Protocol
Most homes have their designated parking space. For those living in subdivisions and villages, having guests over can mean that their cars need to be parked on common spaces like along the side of the street.
If you have to do this, make sure that it’s still within your area or it won’t be a hindrance to passing traffic. If you have to use the space in front of your neighbor’s house, you should ask their permission first as a sign of courtesy. If they decline, they have the right to do so.
Organize a Community-Wide Project
Being a good neighbor doesn’t just apply to next-door homeowners. You should also give a hand to the community you’re part of. If there’s a community-wide project or event organized by the homeowners’ association, don’t snub it and offer what you can. You can also organize one yourself. It doesn’t just promote camaraderie among the people of the community, it also makes you a friendly and approachable neighbor.
Follow the Community Rules
A community will thrive if its members work hand in hand to maintain order and progress. Do your part and do the simple task of following community rules. They’re there for a reason. If you feel like a practice should be amended, try to open it up to the homeowners’ association for consideration among all the community stakeholders.