Apartment rental living is a bit different than other types of housing situations. You are in closer quarters than you’ve probably been since college. Whether you are a single person, a family with children of any ages, or a retired couple, there are rules for apartment living etiquette that you should follow. Learn them and become the good neighbor you surely want to be.
- Be Approachable
Nothing is quite as unpleasant in an apartment living situation as encountering that perpetually grumpy neighbor who never smiles or seems to want to talk to anyone. If there is any gossip going on among community residents about other residents, you can be it is about the hermit-like, unfriendly neighbor. When people don’t know anything about you, including what your voice sounds like, they get suspicious, and may be equally grumpy and standoffish to you, too.
You don’t have to make friends with every person in the apartment community in order to be a pleasant neighbor. You don’t even have to know their names, much less socialize with them. Just smile at other residents when you see them in the halls and parking lots. Say “hello” once in a while. Learn the names of the people who work in the office.
If your apartment community has a residents’ association or an online message board, participate in it. All of this lets other people know who you are and that you are friendly. They will likely be friendly in return, and the investment in rapport may pay off later if any of you needs help from the other.
- Be Easygoing
Being easygoing does not mean being a pushover. It means being tolerant of minor things you may not agree with and not making issues out of small things. It’s pretty hard to go through the world without encountering people who say things you don’t agree with. In apartment rentals, the chances of running into someone like this is even higher because of the close quarters. Unless someone is insulting you personally, let it go.
This means letting that random neighbor talk about their political opinions, even if yours are just the opposite. Simply pretend to listen politely, then extricate yourself from the situation as soon as you are able to without being rude. The neighbor is probably just looking for a chance to get to know you, or is lonely and wants someone to talk to. Don’t take it personally if you don’t agree.
The same thing goes for anything else a neighbor says that you don’t care to hear, such as gossip about the management or other neighbors, or the one who wants to show you the fish they just caught (when you hate fishing). Simply realize that people have different opinions and interests, the neighbor means no harm, and leave it at that. You’ll be much more liked around the complex because of your tolerant attitude.
- Be Aware of Potential Hidden Sources of Noise in Your Apartment
Complaints about noise coming from neighboring apartments are very routine in apartment rentals. Show yourself for the good neighbor you are by making sure your apartment isn’t the noisy one. Do the obvious things like keeping the volume on the TV low, avoid playing loud music, and don’t have screaming matches with your family members or roommates.
However, you should also take the extra step toward being a courteous neighbor by looking for hidden sources of noise. According to ApartmentTherapy.com, putting rugs down can mute the noise pets may make when they run on bare floors. Avoiding wearing high heels in the apartment and not using loud appliances when other residents are usually sleeping will also help to make you a well-liked apartment neighbor.
It doesn’t take much to be a good neighbor in an apartment community. By following these tips, you will automatically receive a lot more respect from residents than you would otherwise. By being a good neighbor, you are also setting an example for others to be good neighbors, too. The more good neighbors there are in an apartment community, the happier everyone will be living close together.