Ten top tips for getting along with your neighbours.

One of the great thing about Owners Corporations is that you have a group of people who are all committed to protecting their investment, as well as living beside each other. The potential downside is that getting along with your neighbours can be difficult if you have different ways of life.

Here are a few tips on how to keep the neighbourhood peaceful and your Owners Corporation harmonious:

Introduce yourself.

Speak to your neighbours and get a feel for them. Knowing their lifestyle can help you both get along a little better. If your neighbour is a shift worker, you might like to keep the noise down during the day, so that they can return the favour when they come home in the very early morning.

Be a friendly neighbour.

Don’t be afraid to ask your neighbours for a favour if you need it, and return the gesture when they could use your help too. Whether it’s collecting their mail when they’re going away or bringing in their bin while you bring yours in, small gestures can really add up to a great community feeling.

Deal with any grievances calmly.

Disagreements are going to happen. It might be something small, like litter in the common area, or something fairly big, such as a safety issue, but the most important part is to keep calm when talking about it. Increasing the intensity will increase the tension, and make your neighbour more resistant to your concern.

Plan your parties.

If you’re going to have a party or gathering, let your neighbours know. Even if you’re only planning to have a few people around to watch a sporting event, or celebrate a birthday, just letting your neighbours know that you might be making more than the usual amount of noise can avoid problems later in the evening.

Speak face to face where possible.

Letters, texts, emails and even phone calls can be limited in how they can represent the tone you’re using. What was written sincerely can come across as sarcastic or condescending to others in some circumstances. To minimise the chances of this happening, speak face to face where possible. Try to spend just five minutes going through the issue, without anybody needing to run off. Put your points forward, listen to their concerns and then leave so that you can both think about it.

Make sure your tenant rules are clear and concise.

Your residence might have a communal pool with limited times of use, or rules regarding noise and power-tool use after certain times. Displaying these prominently in common areas to keep everyone aware of this is a good way to make sure that there are no misunderstandings.

Follow car park etiquette.

Car parks are another common complaint among neighbours. Try to stick to your assigned area, and make sure that the parks next to you have enough room to open their doors and get out. If there’s a visitors carpark close to your door that you need to use while unloading the shopping, that’s usually fine, as long as it’s kept to just a few minutes.

Throw a barbie.

It’s amazing how much more reasonable people become when there’s sunshine, food cooking and a nice summers day. This is especially true if your residence has grassed common areas. Fire up the barbie and invite them to bring a plate. Discussing small problems can be a lot easier over a full stomach.

Know who to turn to if you need help.

If you still find that you don’t have the time to sort these things out, or that it’s all a bit too difficult, that’s where having Mayfield Body Corporate Managers can help. We can point you to the resources you need and recommend courses of action that will help resolve the matter in the most satisfactory way possible.

Having a good community feeling in your area helps everyone. Your residence will be more secure with neighbours looking out for you, your investment will be better serviced with all owners more involved in keeping the common areas well groomed, and best of all, you might even find yourself becoming close friends with your neighbours.