While specific traits of "good neighbors" may vary from neighborhood to neighborhood, the unspoken rules of being a good neighbor remain pretty universal.
As a neighbor, it's important to consider how you want others to treat you and how you can respect them in return, especially when living in a neighborhood governed by a community association, as there may be additional expectations placed on all residents.
The following are great tips for being a good neighbor when you live in a community close to other people:
Communication is Key
Getting to know your neighbors is important to helping everyone feel more at ease in the community.
Saying a friendly "Hello" and introduce yourself to new neighbors is an excellent practice. Knowing that you are there for each other if you need someone is helpful in a community where you live in close quarters with your neighbors you see and interact with daily.
Maintain a Stance of Neutrality on Social Media
In this day and age where almost every community has a Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, or some other form of social media, staying polite and professional on social media is always advised.
You are free to state your opinions and express yourself, but be sure to do so without attacking others or putting someone else down.
If you have serious concerns or issues with someone in the community or with the association, then talking to them politely and in person is likely your best way to go.
Maintain Your Property
Keeping your property's exterior clean and the curb appeal high is vital to ensuring that you are following your HOA's rules and regulations for homeowners. Know your responsibilities, and be sure to follow through on them.
Respect Property Lines
When your family is out and about, be sure to note which property is considered shared space and which is the personal property of a neighbor.
Don't loiter or hang out on your neighbor's property without a proper invitation. If you or your children or someone in your household break or ruin something that might be a neighbor's or is on their property, the right thing to do is to replace it.
Just offering to do so will usually solve the problem when paired with a sincere apology.
Return Property/Packages Delivered to Your Home
If you live in a townhome or condo association where homes are close together, you may find a package that is not yours at your door.
You can take it to the rightful owner if you know where it belongs or who should have received it. They will appreciate it, and you will feel good knowing you returned the property to its rightful owner!
Hopefully, others will do the same for you when you need them to.
Respect Noise Curfews
Blasting music at ear-splitting volumes or partying at 2 a.m. on a weeknight is likely not to be appreciated (or tolerated) by your association or your neighbors.
Do louder activities at appropriate times of the day, which is usually between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Know the noise curfews in your neighborhood and abide by them.
As the night progresses, keep the noise levels reasonable and respect your neighbors. Ideally, they will do the same for you, and there won't be noise issues for anyone in your neighborhood.
Leash Your Pets - Pick Up That Poop
If you have pets and live in a community association, there are likely laws requiring your pet to be on a leash at all times. There are also likely rules in place that require you to pick up after your pet's waste. Be sure that you are considerate of your neighbors at all times.
Many communities even have plastic bags strategically placed throughout the neighborhood around the community parks. Be sure to follow the rules about pets being leashed in your neighborhood and pick up the pet poop when needed.
Be Considerate of Where You Park
When you are parking your vehicle(s), be sure to be considerate of where you do it. If your community has reserved parking be sure and park in your reserved spot, and not someone else's.
Many people might consider this common sense, but we all live in the same community.
We want to keep the community a beautiful place for us to live with high home values that all residents can enjoy. Littering is one easy way to make a beautiful community look trashy very quickly.
Take your garbage or recycling to the appropriate receptacles and do not throw it on the ground. If something falls out of your hands or you drop something on accident, make a conscious effort to pick it up when possible.
In the end, being a good neighbor in a community association is just simply a common courtesy to the other people living around you.
Treating others how you want to be treated typically goes a long way. Living in harmony with your neighbors is made easier with these great tips.
For more information on treating others properly and making rules for your HOA, please feel free to contact us for further information.