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Being a good neighborhood does not necessarily mean that you need to send everyone on your street Christmas cookies or offer to babysit their kids on the weekend. Being a good neighbor is all about simple respect and friendliness. When it comes to renting a house or an apartment, neighbor etiquette is an important thing to consider. After all, while you may not be best mates with your neighbor, you will most likely bump into them on a regular basis. Avoid awkwardness, anger or any other harsh attitudes towards your neighbors by following the unwritten neighbor protocol.

Good Neighbor Rules

Rule number one when it comes to neighbor etiquette is simple – avoid making loud noises. While some loud noises are unavoidable (mowing the lawn, for example), you can choose a time that is acceptable. Anytime before 8am is generally not a good idea especially on the weekends when people prefer to sleep in. This goes for other loud chores and activities as well such as vacuuming and dancing (if you are in a small unit).

Inappropriate noise also extends to yelling, music and loud talking. If you are hosting a party, make sure you lower the volume at an appropriate hour and let your neighbors know ahead of time that you are planning on having some people over. If you live in a small unit and are having a children’s birthday party, letting your neighbors know can give them time to get out while the screaming, yelling and singing is happening. It is also the courteous thing to do and demonstrates that you respect them.

Rule number two when it comes to neighbor etiquette is to always be friendly. Take the time to introduce yourself if you are new to the neighborhood or complex. If you meet someone new at the mail box, say a simple ‘hello I’m so-and-so.’ You can ask them to join in your neighborhood garage sale or block parties – and sometimes just saying hello is enough. Let out a friendly wave if you pass each other on the street while walking your dog or stop to have a chat if you have the time. Simple conversations let your neighbors know that you are a decent and friendly human being.

Following Neighbor Protocol

The third rule of neighbor etiquette is to always be there if they need you. As mentioned above, you don’t have to offer your babysitting services on a weekly basis, but, if there is an emergency and your neighbor needs a sitter for a few hours while she attends to the problem, then be there. If your neighbor comes over looking for a cup of milk and you have it, give it to them. If your neighbor is going out of town for the week, offer to pick up the mail. These simple things may be a minor inconvenience but it is the polite thing to do and part of being a good neighbor and a decent human being. Furthermore, if you ever need your neighbor for something, you know you can count on them to return the favor.

The final rule when it comes to neighbor etiquette is to always voice your concerns and communicate with your neighbor. If your neighbor is making too much noise upstairs, then let them know that this is bugging you. If your neighbor’s dog is constantly barking at your children, then bring it up next time you see them. You don’t have to be rude or threaten them. Just let them know in a polite and respectful manner. This is what being a good neighbor is all about.

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