There are many differences in living in a neighborhood residential community and living in college dorms. It’s a different environment, you most likely will not be surrounded by your age group anymore, and most of the time you will be living next to families. Here are some tips and basic guidelines on how to be a good neighbor, but it really begins with you being a good neighbor yourself.
1. Introduce yourself
This is the first step to develop a positive relationship. Share your educational and career ambitions, show the neighbors that you’re not just a college student - but a motivated young adult. Let the neighbors feel welcomed by you. Lastly, feel free to ask them questions and share information. This will help to build bonds if needed later on.
2. Noise Control
Understand that your neighbors are on different schedules than you are. Consider their lifestyles and their needs, such as sleep schedules. A good general rule of thumb is to stay quiet from 10 PM to 9 AM. A respectful neighbor = A great neighbor.
3. Have Pride In Your House
This is your living space - have pride in it! Make sure you inform your landlord of all maintenance issues, keep a secure house, abide by local laws [including noise ordinances, alcohol policies, etc.], and keep your outdoors presentable!
4. Pay Your Rent On Time
This is a big one. Paying your rent on time shows that you are a responsible individual. Your landlord and roommates will also appreciate it, which will allow you to live their longer.
5. Communication Is Key
Don’t be afraid of confrontation, it is always better to discuss problems in person. If you have a concern with a neighbor, wait to see if it was a one-time thing. If you are upset at the moment, wait until you cool off to address your concern with your neighbor. This also applies to communicating with your neighbors and giving them a heads up if you are planning a social event. Let them know if they should anticipate noise or limited parking. (This will also make them more inclined to contact you instead of the police if it gets out of hand)
6. Respect The Children
The children in your neighborhood are also your neighbors. Make sure you are mindful of your behavior and language, as well as drive cautiously through the neighborhood as they may be outside playing.
7. Follow Parking Regulation
Only park in your designated space. Do not park on the street or in front of your neighbors’ properties. Make sure your guests do the same!
8. Offer Help/Engage in Random Acts of Kindness
If you see a neighbor needing assistance - help them out! They will remember this kindness and appreciate the gesture.
9. Don't Forget Trash Day
Don’t let your trash build up and only put out your trash and recycling cans on pick up days.