As an apartment dweller, let me tell you.. .there’s nothing more frustrating than having to deal with a bad neighbour. You know what I’m talking about. He or she is loud, disrespectful, breaks the rules of the complex and is downright ignorant to others.
I’ve seen my fair share of crummy neighbours, and it’s an unfortunate situation for anyone to have to bear with. Nobody should have to live unhappily in an apartment just because of a few bad apples ruining the experience. Not only does being a bad neighbour make everyone else’s lives miserable, but they also are leaving a bad impression on others, making others less likely to help you or even just be friendly to you in the future.
So, if you consider yourself to be a good neighbour, I APPLAUD you and give you a big pat on the back! That’s outstanding. But for many others who might be unsure of ways they can improve to be a better neighbour, this post is for you! Today I’ll be sharing my top 7 ways to be a GOOD apartment neighbour and leave a good impression on others.
Now I’m by no means a perfect apartment neighbour myself, but I wouldn’t say I’m a horrible one either. I try my best to keep my noise level down and follow the rules set out by our property manager. To me, a good neighbour is one who is friendly, helps others in need, follows the rules of the complex, has common sense on general noise level/cleanliness standards and ADHERES to these standards, and is respectful to others.
Let’s start this list, shall we?
1. Be nice and friendly to your neighbours.
That means introducing yourself, and greeting people with a nod, a wave, or even a simple “Hi! How are you doing today?” when you see them. This means going out of your way to hold open the front door when you see they’re coming up right behind you. This rule is a lot more important when you’re living in a small apartment complex like me, and you see familiar faces everyday. If you want to leave a good impression on others, follow the golden rule: “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” Makes sense, right?
2. Be aware of your noise levels.
This is SO important so I’m going to break this down as clearly as I can. Noise complaints are the top complaint that property managers have to deal with. I guess that makes a lot of sense because in apartments, you’re living in tight quarters with people to the left and right side of you, above and below you. (Unless you’re on the top floor, then consider yourself LUCKY.) In most apartment buildings, no matter where you are, there’s bound to be some noise disturbances.Be mindful of your speaking volume:
If the walls of your apartment are pretty soundproof, you can probably ignore this point. But for people like me who live in apartment buildings with paper-thin walls, you have to be conscious of how loud you’re speaking or laughing.
Entering/Leaving the building:
Jody Kriss, a noted real estate expert says: Gently close the front door whenever you’re entering or leaving the building. There’s no need for you to let the front door slam shut and then stomp up the stairs to your apartment, jangling your keys along the way. Announcing your comings and goings to your neighbours in this manner is a disturbance.On the weekdays:
Don’t turn on your television or music too loudly. I’m totally guilty of blasting my Taylor Swift tunes in the bathroom when I’m taking a shower, but I’m careful not to play it too loudly. I swear, I can hear my next-door neighbours blast techno music every night during dinnertime when I’m trying to enjoy my spaghetti and mashed potatoes in peace. It’s just not fun, AND the music seems to terrify my dog.
Try to avoid throwing loud parties or arranging large get-togethers on the weeknights. Save those for the weekends. Many people work regular hours and when they come home, they just want to relax in peace. Move your parties to Friday or Saturday night, and you’ll save yourself a lot of noise complaints from your neighbours.On the weekends:
Don’t do your vacuuming or laundry in the wee hours of the morning. I understand if you’re a morning person… I’m pretty used to waking up at 7 am even on the weekends just because my darn biological clock is so used to getting up for work on the weekdays. But that doesn’t mean you need to whip out your Tyson vacuum and start your home-cleaning project. Real estate expert Jody Kriss suggests that think about your neighbours who just want a chance to sleep in after a long work week.
Same goes for the laundry machine. There’s no need to wash your laundry at 8 am on a Saturday morning. Do it on Friday night or wait until later. Patience is key JBe mindful of your pet’s volume:
I live in a pet-friendly apartment building, and it’s great! I love meeting everyone’s pups and having my dog make some new friends along the way. The only downside is that I think some people don’t choose the right breeds for apartment-living. These dogs tend to bark a lot constantly when their owners leave the apartment, causing a HUGE disturbance to everyone around them.
Back in the summer, one of my neighbours left her labradoodle at home for a couple of a hours. The puppy barked and howled non-stop for the entire afternoon. It caused such a big noise disturbance that even the people living across our street heard it and filed a complaint to our property manager. Needless to say, that labradoodle puppy and its owner don’t live in this building anymore.
I guess it has to do with properly training your dog and teaching it not to bark indoors. But more importantly, it comes down to choosing the right breed. There are apartment-friendly dog breeds that are low-maintenance to take care of, so it’s going to save you a lot of hassle and frustration in the future if you do your research NOW. I tried to have a German Shepherd in this apartment before, and boy was that a bad idea L But, I digress.
The key point that I’m trying to emphasize here is for you to think about how your actions can affect other people. When you’re doing something, think about whether or not your actions would be causing a disturbance to others. I’m sure we can all use our common sense judgement on this!
3. Be clean inside and outside of the apartment building.A clean apartment building is one that is well-maintained inside and outside. Inside:
It’s nice to come home to a clean apartment building. Do your best to keep the building in as nice of a condition as possible. Before you come in through the front door, take a few seconds to wipe your shoes on the mat so you don’t keep in dirt and debris from outside.
Try and keep the hallways clean and never litter!Outside:
Keep the area around your apartment building looking clean. That means you should always be picking up your dog’s poop, and keeping the dumpster area and parking area clean as well.
4. Be mindful of the rules when you’re using the shared laundry room. Follow my general guideline if you’re unsure of the rules.
I don’t know if every apartment building has rules posted in its laundry room, but my apartment building does. I think every building’s laundry room rules may be slightly different, so I’ll just touch on a few things that I think are pretty common sense. Just take this as a general guideline to follow
Don’t do your laundry during bedtime hours or early in the morning. Don’t do laundry from 10pm to 8am. You don’t want to cause a noise disturbance to your neighbours, and laundry machines can be very loud.
You should be keeping track of what time you put your clothes into the washer + dryer so that you can take them out on time. This rule is especially important when your apartment floor only has one washer and dryer for all its dwellers, like my building. Everybody on our floor has access to use that one machine, so don’t leave someone waiting hours for you to take your clothes out. You wouldn’t want to be waiting for someone else either.
If you find yourself waiting a long time for someone else to take out their clothes, just remove them yourself and put them on top of the machine or in their basket. The rules of my complex state that you can remove someone’s clothes after 10 minutes, but I’d give it a bit more time than that. I would only do this if I was left waiting for at least 30-45 minutes, or if I was in a hurry to go somewhere.
Clean out the machine after you’re done removing your clothes. If you see any of your hair or bits of tissue, coins, leaves, in the machine, take the courtesy to clean it out! Imagine how gross it would be for someone to find bits of your old tissue or hair on their clothes.
5. Keep the dumpster area clean.
Dumpsters are already a stinky and smelly kind of place. I just hate going near the dumpsters… I had a nightmare that a scary man jumped out at me from a dumpster and from then, dumpsters and I have had a bad relationship.
The rules for dumpster areas are: Don’t leave a mess on the ground when you’re throwing things in. Smash up your cardboard boxes and milk cartons so it leaves room for other tenants to throw away their garbage as well. Tie up your garbage bags tightly so litter doesn’t fall out everywhere and attract raccoons and rodents to your building,
6. Follow the parking rules of your building.
Your property manager is probably the one who enforces rules about assigned parking in your complex. If it states in your lease the number of your assigned parking, then you are entitled to park in that spot, and no one else is. The same goes for other people as well, so do not park in other people’s spots.
If you usually park on the street like I do, don’t leave too much of a gap between you and the cars in front or behind you. Street parking is quite limited on our street, and usually around 5-6 pm is when you can see all these cars fighting for a spot in front of the building.
7. Help out your neighbours if they need.
In university, I took an interesting course on animal behaviour, and I learnt that certain animals help other animals of their own species in order to increase the likelihood that they will get the same help back if they ever need. This increases their own chances of survival and procreation if they’re ever in danger. I’m not comparing our lives to some scary animal documentary you see on National Geographic. I’m just saying, if you see your neighbours in need of help, step in and HELP! Because not only does that leave a good impression in peoples’ minds, they’ll also be more willing to help YOU in the future. My boyfriend helped my one of my elderly neighbours move some boxes up the stairs to her apartment, and the next month, she offered to watch my dog for 2 weeks while I went away for Christmas vacation.
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