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How to Be a Good Neighbor and Deal With Bad Ones

Apartment living can be a great experience, especially if your neighbors are nice. There are a lot of common spaces, community events, and people to make friends with. But sometimes it also can be difficult to get along with that many people in a close space. Everyone has different needs and pet peeves (including yourself), so you should try to be as accommodating as possible. Here are a few tips on how to be a good neighbor and how to deal with bad ones.

Be Friendly

When you first move into a new apartment community, it’s important to be friendly and make a good impression on your neighbors. Introduce yourself, say hello in the hallways and common areas, and be sure to smile as you pass by. It may feel awkward to knock on a strange door and introduce yourself at first, but it shows that you’re making the effort to be a good neighbor.

But don’t think you just have to be friendly when you first move in. It’s important to maintain a good relationship with your neighbors the entire time you live at the complex. Make small talk and ask about their day. You don’t have to go overboard and be nosy, but just be polite and nice.

Noise

Noise is a common complaint in apartment communities. With shared walls and a lot of neighbors, it’s easy for noise to be a problem. If you’re planning on having friends over or are having a party, be considerate of your neighbors. Keep the noise down and talk to your neighbors ahead of time. Sometimes a simple heads up is all that is needed.

If you live on an upper floor, be aware of how loud you are in your everyday activities. Try to not wear loud shoes, like heels, and don’t bang chairs and furniture across the floor. Furthermore, make sure your kids and pets are not too loud or disruptive.

If you have noisy neighbors, talk to them calmly and politely about the issue. See if you can reach a compromise, such as keeping the noise down after 10:00 p.m. on weekdays. Understand that your neighbors are going to have parties, guests, and music playing from time to time and try to be as flexible as possible. If the problem persists, talk with your other neighbors and see if they are having the same experience. If so, speak with your property management to see what actions you can take. You also may want to look at investing in insulation to dampen the sound and noise-canceling headphones.

Cleanliness

Everyone has a different threshold for how clean, neat, and tidy they want their homes to be. While this may not seem like it would be a problem when you’re living in separate apartments, cleanliness can be a common complaint among neighbors.

You should always make sure to throw your trash and recycling into the proper dumpsters rather than leaving it outside your door. Clean up after yourself (and your children and pets) in the common areas, such as the pool, gym, parking lots, and green spaces. If you’re cooking something pungent, be sure to air out your apartment and throw the trash away so the smell doesn’t carry.

Just like with noise complaints, politely approach your neighbors if you’re having any issues with their cleanliness. Ask them nicely to throw out their trash or pick up after their dog. If it is a large problem or if it continues, approach your property manager to have them address it.

The best way to be a good neighbor is to be courteous and considerate. Think about how your neighbors will feel if you have a noisy party or if you don’t say hello as you pass by. Chances are, if you’re a good neighbor to them, they will return the favor.

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