There’s a Czech proverb that says “A good neighbour increases the value of your property”.
It’s always great to have neighbours who you get along with, especially in estate living. It is even better, though, to be a good neighbour yourself – even more so when living in a security estate.
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Living with difficult neighbours
Within the estate, you will probably have more interaction with the people living around you than in a suburban property. The need to be considerate of those around you is even more important when there is a governing body in an estate and upsetting the guy next door could lead to issues with others. Of course, sometimes the neighbour may be the problem and not you.
How to deal with difficult neighbours
Firstly, be reasonable. If this person is regularly making noise through loud music, shouting, unruly pets or renovations then that’s one thing. But if your generally quiet neighbour one day has a party with music that is a little loud, then surely you can let that go?
However, if the noise is of such nature that you just can’t deal with it, you can follow these steps:
- Approach your neighbour personally and have a calm discussion. Perhaps this person isn’t even aware that they are making so much noise.
- Alternatively, a polite letter can be written and handed to the person in question.
- If these steps don’t work then you can discuss the matter with the HOA.
Always try to resolve matters peacefully because this person will still be living next door tomorrow.
We sometimes forget when we live in an estate that with great power comes great responsibility. Don’t wait for other homeowners to show the example of how to be a good neighbour.
- Get to know the people around you. Knowing that Susan in number 45 bakes delicious cakes may be a lifesaver when you’ve planned your kid’s birthday party and remember the night before the big event that you forgot to order the birthday cake!
- Lead by example. If there are neighbourhood issues – like waste for instance – get a group of residents together and form a cleaning squad.
- Get active. Many people would love to work out but they don’t have someone to motivate them. Or perhaps there are kids that get left out of sporting activities at school. This is a great opportunity to start a community activity. Arrange exercise classes like yoga or a bootcamp. If there’s space then get the kids to join in a rugby game or soccer match on Saturdays.
- Look after them. Often your community becomes your family and family takes time to help each other out. Even if you aren’t family, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t help your neighbours. Remember when you and your spouse brought home your newborn baby and the women in your street got together to make you a few meals for the first week so you don’t have to cook? Pay it forward! Help the elderly gentleman across the road to put up new cupboards or the people next-door who need a petsitter while they are away on holiday.
- Support them. Do you know that Mike two houses down lost his job recently and is now doing carpentry from home to earn an income and look after his family? Help him out by referring people to him, perhaps go with him to a market day and help him sell his products because you are more a smooth-talker than he is.
- Be considerate. There will be a time when you will want to host a party at your house and you just know it’s going to be a bit noisy. Give those living around you a heads-up that you are hosting and it may be a little loud. You could even invite them over for the party.
It’s not that hard being a good neighbour. A little consideration and friendliness can go a long way.
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