Be a Great Neighbor

"Love the Lord your God....Love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other commandment greater than these." - Mark 12:31

Sometimes conflicts arise between neighbors. Problems often come up when two households have not established good enough communication to help them cooperatively resolve their dispute.

The most common types of neighborhood conflicts are:

  • Noise and nuisance complaints
  • Parking problems
  • Over-occupancy concerns
  • Property maintenance/upkeep (or lack thereof)

Tips for Being a Good Neighbor

Get to Know Your Neighbors – Introduce yourself!

Meet your neighbors. If your neighbor knows your name, major, where you are from, etc., they will start to see you as the unique individual you are, and not “just another student.”

It's much easier to resolve disputes with neighbors if you have a friendly, cordial relationship with those around you. Plus, you may realize that you have things in common and make a life-long friend.

Keep Your Eyes Open

Once you know your neighbors, then you'll also know if something seems out of place in the neighborhood. Are unfamiliar people carrying expensive electronics out of one neighbor's house? Have several days passed since your elderly neighbor last collected his newspaper? The benefit of keeping an eye out for unusual behavior in the neighborhood is that others will do the same for you.

Maintain Your Home

Do regular maintenance—inside and out—to keep your home safe but also to keep it looking attractive. Install working smoke detectors. Take care of your yard – mow your grass and trim your hedges. Keep trash and clutter out of sight.

Be Considerate

No one likes a noisy neighbor. Do you play your music at a higher volume than normal? Periodically go outside and monitor how loud it is. Check with your landlord or local community to determine if “Quiet Hours” apply where you live.

Keep your neighbors informed. Talk with neighbors before you throw a party. Give them your phone numbers so they can contact you first if they think the party is getting out of control. Remember – YOU may want people over, but the folks next door may want a quiet evening at home. Clean up your mess after your get-together.

Remember that not everyone keeps the same schedule as you do.

Be aware of differences. Age, faith, ethnicity, background, and family status can affect how one goes about their daily life.

Handle problems politely. If your neighbors do something that bothers you, let them know as soon as possible. If you think your neighbors make unreasonable complaints or don’t like you, keep in mind that your neighbors may have suffered from problems with a previous renter. Be patient and polite and introduce yourself. (You are not the prior renter.)

Park your car(s) in designated areas on the street or in your driveway/garage. On the evening the trash goes out, if you park in front of a neighbor's house, please leave them room to put out their trashcans.

Lend a Hand

It never hurts to follow the Golden Rule: Do to others what you would like them to do for you. Treat your neighbors with respect or, better yet, try to go the extra mile. Be helpful! Offer to drive an elderly neighbor to the grocery store. Volunteer to collect mail while a neighbor's on vacation. The more often you lend a helping hand, the more likely that your neighbors will do the same for you when you need a little assistance.

Volunteer in Your Community

Don't just limit your neighborly actions to your block or street. Remember that everyone who lives in a community has the ability to help make it a better place. Think about your passion and find a way to do it on a volunteer basis in your town. Whatever your passion there's sure to be a niche for you in the local community.

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