From the Website “Charter for Compassion”
Being on bad terms with your neighbour can make your life frustrating, day after day. But taking the time to establish good terms with your neighbours has numerous benefits. The community will be friendlier, the neighbourhood safer, and the area a nicer and more comfortable place to live.
1. Introduce yourself. Whether you’re new in the neighborhood or new residents have just moved in on your block, introduce yourself. Say hello, offer a welcoming gift (the classic homemade pie never fails) and share or ask about the local area: “Where’s the nearest pizzeria?” or “The garbage truck comes by on Tuesdays and Fridays, usually around 10 in the morning, but sometimes he sneaks in at 8.”
2. Consider your neighbors’ lifestyle. Get to know your neighbours–what they do for a living, what their schedules might be like, and so on. Sometimes, you can remedy problems before they even start; for example, if they work nights, quiet mornings will be important for them. If they have young children, quiet evenings will be very important to them. Similarly, give them information that’ll help them be more considerate of your lifestyle. If you do a lot of yard work, or if your teenage son plays the drums, let them know in advance and mention that if it’s getting too loud, they shouldn’t hesitate to let you know.
3. Be aware of shared walls. If you’re in a terrace, condominium, semi-detached house or any structure where you and your neighbors share adjacent living spaces, position noisy household appliances such as washing machines and tumble dryers – even TVs and speakers – away from partition walls. If you live above someone, consider putting linoleum or rubber matting underneath your appliances to deaden or muffle the noise, and remember that someone downstairs can hear you walking around (so minimize how often you wear high heels indoors, for example).
4. Control your dog. Keep your dog on a leash if it has a habit of running rampant on your neighbors’ lawns, especially if they have a cat or a dog of their own, and make sure to clean up after it. If you have a particularly noisy dog, this may also become a source of contention for your neighbor. Put yourself in their shoes and imagine how upset you’d be if you or perhaps your newborn was woken from a much-needed nap by the sudden yapping of a nearby dog. If you have problems controlling your dog’s barking or whining, consider seeking advice from your local vet or a local animal organisation.
5. Practice parking etiquette. When you park your vehicle, be sure not to block anyone’s access, or make them have to pull out of a very tight spot. Don’t over-rev the engine of your car or motorcycle early in the morning or late at night. Park in front of your home, not theirs. Avoid slamming your doors or shining your headlights into your neighbor’s windows late at night.
6. Alert your neighbor to parties. If you’re planning a party, be sure to give your neighbours plenty of warning, letting them know when it’s going to start and how long you expect it to go on. Leave them a telephone number to contact if they need to ask you to turn it down. If you get on well with your neighbours, why not invite them too? When it comes to the party itself, stick to your agreed arrangements and ask your guests to be considerate when leaving.
7. Keep your garden tidy. Weed your garden regularly, because the presence of weeds in your yard is not only unsightly but can also spread to your neighbor’s yard. Mow your lawn regularly and keep your flowers, trees and bushes trimmed appropriately. Put equipment away as soon as you’re finished with it. Ask if your neighbor has chemical sensitivities, small children or pets before applying pesticides.
8. Control your bonfire, barbecue or backyard fire. Position it where the smoke and smell will least likely blow onto your neighbor’s property. As with parties, notify them in advance of your intentions, since they might have been planning to dry their clothes outside on that very same day!
9. Put rubbish/garbage out on the right day. Only put your rubbish/garbage out on the day it’s due for collection. If you accidentally miss the collection, bring it back onto your property immediately and try to contain it well. Garbage can attract vermin, insects, and other pests, and is also unsightly.
10. Communicate with your neighbor. Above all, touch base with your neighbors regularly and keep them in the loop. Remember the golden rule and if anything you are planning to do may affect them, minimize it and let them know in advance. Keep the channels of communication open by reminding them that if you’re doing anything which disturbs them, they should feel comfortable approaching you about it.
11. Be aware of your surroundings, as well as theirs. Even if you’re not in a “neighborhood watch” community, keep your eye on anyone you don’t know acting suspiciously around your neighbor’s property. When in doubt, call the police so they can quickly curtail any criminal activity.
12. Invite them to contribute to your garage sales, have them over for tea, or offer to babysit their kids/pets while they’re away. They’ll do the same for you.
13. If you hear of any neighborhood news (events, crimes, special garbage pickups, special event parking restrictions, etc.) give them a heads-up by e-mail.
14. If you have a snowblower and they don’t, spend that extra 60 seconds to clear their walkway. It will save them 60 minutes of hard work and they’ll be grateful!
15. Be nice to your new neighbors- When someone new is moving next to you,welcome them.They will be thankful to you for a jug of lemonade.
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