How to Be a Good Neighbor in an Apartment Complex?

When you’re surrounded by the right people, living in an apartment complex can be a fun, memorable experience.

However, the community will not be a welcoming place to live in if people don’t value each other and their space.

So, how do you be a good neighbor in an apartment complex?

It all starts with giving your neighbors the respect they deserve. You can show this goodwill through your words, your actions, and your respect for the property.

There are many things you can do to make life easier and happier for other people.

You can do this by respecting other people’s privacy, starting meaningful conversations, and going the extra mile to make the community a peaceful place to live.

Below, we detail several actions you can take to strengthen your relationships with your neighbors.

All of these behaviors take little effort, yet they make a huge impact.

Be Friendly

You don’t need to know your neighbors on a deep level to be friendly with them.

Simply greeting them politely will do wonders for the culture of the community. 

People love to feel valued, so taking time out of your day to say hello will mean the world to them.

Neighbors also love to feel included, and being friendly will communicate that you value them.

Return the Favor to Neighbors Who Greet You or Smile at You

You do not need to have an in-depth conversation with all your neighbors, but a small smile won’t hurt you.

There is nothing worse than ignoring someone who smiles at you. It is possible to tarnish a relationship with a neighbor by giving them the cold shoulder.

There is also a fine line to draw between saying a friendly hello and being annoying or creepy. It is essential to let your neighbors retain a sense of privacy.

Focus on saying hello during passing, not knocking on their doors, and expecting an invite.

It’s also smart to become good friends with the property management staff. It would be wise to organize a reliable contact list of important property management employees.

If you require attention for an emergency maintenance request, it is convenient to have an accessible person to reach out to.

You can also be a friendly member of the apartment complex by attending community events.

Many of the upcoming programs will be posted on the tenant portal or discussion board, where you can also participate. 

When you engage on the online forums, it makes in-person interaction that much easier.

Neighbors also know that you look after them, based on your comments in the forum.

Be Considerate of Your Noise Levels

There is nothing worse than a loud neighbor. Noisy neighbors are one of the infamous complaints conveyed to property managers. 

If you live in an apartment above your neighbor’s, you need to put in extra effort to limit your noise.

Softer shoes will create less noise than heavier footwear like high heels or boots. When you walk around your apartment at night, be mindful about thumping your heels.

If you have small children, it is important to set ground rules. Implement “quiet time” policies that are fair, but also respect the neighbors around you.

You can allow them to run around and play during the day but set a strict time for when they need to stop.

You can also encourage the children to spend meaningful time outside, like at a nearby park or playground.

Electronics are also a massive component of the noise level. You should try your best to lower the volume of televisions, radios, and speakers.

If you have neighbors on the other side of a wall, it would be wise to move electrical devices away from them.

For people who love to enjoy music at a higher volume, headphones are a good solution.

Be Mindful When Entering and Exiting the Apartment Building

It’s common to make regular trips between your door and the parking lot, but you should always be aware of how loud you are.

Limit yourself from banging your feet on stairwells, especially during the early and late hours of the day.

If you have wood floors, try to avoid walking around with shoes. You can always place them on your feet right before leaving and entering the apartment.

Good neighbors understand that not everyone works a standard “9-5” job.

There may be people who sleep during the daytime or regular hours of the day. As you walk through the hallways and stairwells, try your best to keep your voice at a whisper. 

When you open and shut your door, do it gently. Apartment doors can be noisy, so use them respectfully for people who need peace and quiet.

Be Courteous When Using the On-Site Laundry

When you utilize the laundry room, you always want to be respectful of other people trying to accomplish the same goal.

Place a timer for each machine and avoid leaving unattended clothes, which can back up other people.

A standard washer operates between 25-35 minutes on average, while a dryer will go between 45-60 minutes.

Interfering directly with other people’s laundry is also a huge red flag.

You should never pause another neighbor’s laundry when it is in the middle of a washing or drying session. You may confuse the neighbor, and they will search for their laundry.

This policy also applies to situations when the other person’s laundry is “done.”

Never place their clothes into the dryer because each person has their own way of washing their clothes.

Some people may air-dry their clothes, while others may have a specific dial setting that they like to adjust.

If you don’t see any dryers or washers available, you can remove another neighbor’s clothes if they have been resting in a usable machine.

The considerate thing to do would be to wait for at least ten minutes. Be polite by setting their clothes in a plastic bag, on a table, and never on the floor. 

You can also go the extra mile as a neighbor by wiping up spills and cleaning out lint screens.

Offer Additional Assistance or Guidance to Elderly Neighbors

Many of the things listed above are common sense and do not take much effort to apply.

However, you can go a step further by performing good deeds for the elderly or handicapped neighbors in your apartment community. 

Giving back to these types of people will set a good example for your other neighbors. It will also establish a strong culture within the community.

If you notice your elderly neighbors in the parking lot with bags full of groceries, you should offer to carry them inside the building.

You can also provide help by holding doors open for them. You can also pay attention to small details.

If you see that their mailbox is piling up, or if their lights have been off for multiple days, check in on them.

Inquire About Safety Issues and Smoking Policies with Property Management

Although smoking may be allowed in apartment homes, you should always ensure that all areas are ventilated with the windows and vents open.

If you notice that the smoke does not vent well, it might be best to set up a box fan backward within the window to vacuum the smoke out.

You should also be proactive in disposing of cigarette butts in your trash can and do not throw them out the window.

At the end of the day, it is always wise to talk with the apartment management team about safety policies.

Display Proper Dumpster Etiquette

Community dumpsters can get out of control if the residents do not show responsibility when using them.

If you throw away boxes and other compact trash, always break them down by folding them. 

It’s also a good idea to double-check that your trash bag is sealed and not leaking.

If you have items with sharp edges, be sure to wrap them in paper shopping bags or newspapers.

It is also critical to be mindful of your apartment’s dumpster guidelines. Most communities have strict rules about putting the bags into the dumpster.

Although placing bags in the correct place is common sense, one violator can cause a chain reaction. 

On the other hand, take steps not to bombard bins with bags or force a massive bundle of trash into a tight hole.

Wrap Up

Respecting your neighbors takes little effort, but the results will have a huge impact.

Showing respect to the neighbors will build trust, strengthen unity, and make your apartment complex a safe, more enjoyable place to live. 

As soon as you sign your lease, it is time to start applying the golden rule from day one.

Here is a recap of the different ways to be a good neighbor in an apartment complex:

  • Be friendly
  • Show kindness back to neighbors who say hello to you
  • Be mindful of your noise
  • Show respect when entering and exiting the apartment
  • Be polite when doing laundry
  • Provide help to elderly neighbors
  • Initiate discussions with management about smoking and safety
  • Showcase proper dumpster etiquette

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