Every community has a distinct personality created by the many different members who reside there. Some of your neighbors may love to socialize and attend community events, while others prefer to keep to themselves and have a more private life.
Regardless of the makeup of your community, there are three guidelines you can easily follow to show up as a considerate neighbor. Read on to learn more about them!
1. Abide by community regulations
The majority of communities have a set of rules established by the Conditions, Covenants, and Restrictions that every member is expected to adhere to. Ensure your members are clear on what the guidelines are by posting a copy to your website, which they can reference if a question arises. When these protocols are followed, you’ll notice there are fewer complaints from your neighbors and disputes can be more easily resolved.
As a considerate neighbor following these regulations, you would keep your lawn and gardens neat, not have trash strewn about, or old, rusty yard decorations displayed. If you have pets that you take for walks around the neighborhood, always clean up after them. When you take these small steps, you show that you care about your property, the community, and are also setting a good example of how you would like your neighbors to behave.
2. Be a mindful host
Having a party at your home for family and friends is permissable in most communities. When living in a communal setting, be a considerate host by respecting your neighbors' space and monitoring the noise level. A good idea is to provide your neighbors with your contact information or have this posted on your community's website directory page, so they can reach out to you if things become too rambunctious.
When your guests arrive, ask them to park in your driveway or on the road in front of your house only. Make sure they’re not blocking neighboring driveways or assigned parking spots, as this can inconvenience your neighbors.
Additionally, if you’re inviting other community members or hosting a community event, extend an invitation to your neighbors! This helps build relationships and encourage future community engagement.
3. Respectfully communicate
When you see your neighbor, it’s polite to wave and say, “Hello!” You can strike up a friendly conversation with them, but be wary of bringing up controversial topics. Pay attention to your neighbor's body language to see if they're uncomfortable or if they have other things they need to attend to. In that case, cut the conversation short and be respectful of their time.
For specific neighbors that you have a dispute with, don’t gossip to your fellow community members about the situation. Talking about the issue to those not involved can create unnecessary tension. Instead, speak with your neighbor one-on-one about the problem (e.g., their dog’s barking, loud music, etc.) or bring in a third party, like a board member. Wait to have the conversation until you're level-headed and can clearly express why these behaviors are inappropriate and what you’d like the resolution to be. This communicates to your neighbor that your goal is to come to a reasonable solution and they can feel comfortable coming to you with any issues they may have with your behavior in the future.
While there are several ways to be a considerate neighbor, being mindful, respectful, and following the established community guidelines are three easy ways to keep good relations with fellow members. This will help avoid unwanted hostility and improve your overall experience of living in the community. Above all, follow the golden rule and be the type of neighbor that you’d want to have!