The Ultimate Renter's Guide to Getting Along With Neighbors
Getting along with neighbors is one of the biggest concerns of living in an apartment complex. Whether you're outgoing or introverted, these basic guidelines will help you address most situations.
Be a Friendly Neighbor
A neighbor is slightly more than an acquaintance and slightly less than a friend. You aren't required to interact, but a friendly greeting makes things less awkward for everyone.
Don't be afraid to introduce yourself when you get the chance. Smile, say hello, and tell them your name.
Some neighbors will be happy to talk, lend items, and even come over for dinner. If the relationship starts to blossom, you might find yourself part of a social circle. You could organize potlucks, set up playdates for your kids, or offer to watch someone's dogs when they're on vacation.
Although a friendly neighbor relationship can be very rewarding, understand that some people value their privacy. They might not want to talk or spend time together.
Be respectful of your neighbors' wishes. There's also nothing wrong with valuing your own privacy; just be polite and kind whenever you interact with the other people in your building.
Be a Responsible Neighbor
Your neighborly responsibilities are outlined in your lease. Getting along with neighbors usually means sticking to these terms. Pick up after your pets, clean your porch and entryway, and keep the noise down after curfew.
If you're planning a noisy event, let your neighbors know. Noise is a big deal for some people; they might have a medical condition, small children, or very sensitive ears. Warn them before you throw a large party; this courtesy gives them a chance to prepare.
The unofficial responsibilities of a neighbor are all matters of attentiveness. You aren't required to monitor other people's property, but speak up if you see something unusual. An open door at a strange time of night, keys dropped on the sidewalk, or mail left unchecked for weeks on end can all be signs that something is wrong.
Neighbors are often the first people to notice when someone is sick or injured. Keep an eye out, and help to the best of your ability. A phone call to the leasing office or to the police is usually enough to make sure that someone is okay.
On the lighter side of things, good neighbors return packages, collect trash cans that are rolling away, and try to reunite lost items with their owner. Be the kind of neighbor you would like to live around; care without being invasive.
Address Issues Politely
If you have a problem with another tenant, it's usually polite to address the issue in person. If this makes you extremely uncomfortable, it is always fine to contact your landlord instead.
Speak up about noise issues and other small problems. In many cases, your neighbor may not even realize that they are bothering you. Many people will be happy to turn the television down a few notches or move their trash cans.
Don't approach the situation as if the other person is doing something wrong. If the noise is happening before curfew, then they are within their legal rights. It's still fine to ask for accommodation, but be reasonable and considerate. Try to find a solution that works for both of you.
Stay calm if a neighbor complains about your level of noise. Thank them for bringing the issue to your attention, and see if you can help with their concern.
If any dispute feels difficult to resolve, talk to the landlord. You and your neighbor both deserve to feel peaceful in your own home.
Know When to Contact Your Landlord
Your landlord will help you resolve any neighborly disputes. Call them if:
- Noises are too loud after established curfew hours.
- You have repeatedly brought up an issue without resolution.
- You notice obvious lease violations.
- You are worried that someone is sick or hurt.
If you aren't sure how to handle something, bring it up with the leasing office and ask for their advice. Getting along with neighbors is all about respect, compassion, and consideration. Living near other people can be difficult, but if you act in good faith, other people will follow suit.