The majority of individuals living in shared developments are lucky enough to enjoy good relations with their neighbours. It’s important to maintain a positive relationship with the people next door to keep a happy living situation for everyone. Being a good neighbour goes beyond lending a helping hand in the odd teabag and sugar emergency, it means living considerately and respectfully to make sure everyone within the development can enjoy their space and the communal areas as intended.
Here are our tips to keep in mind to live as a respectful neighbour.
Respect the space
It’s important to understand that not everyone lives their life the same way, and so the way people treat communal space may not be the same. There are a few things to consider to maintain the security and safety of shared developments for everyone living there:
- Keep bulky objects away from exits. Don’t leave large items such as bikes, prams or rubbish bags blocking these areas. This can be extremely dangerous in the case of a fire, or in the case of emergency services needing prompt access. Stairways and corridors should always be kept clear to ensure a safe and prompt exit in the unfortunate instance that residents have to evacuate quickly.
- Close the door behind you. Most shared main doors will close and lock automatically, but to maintain the security of all residents, make sure doors are always secure when entering and leaving the building.
- Don’t leave rubbish lying around in stairways, corridors or entranceways. As well as being dangerous, having rubbish bags lying around is simply unhygienic and can attract unwelcome smells and vermin – the type of visitors no one wants to have around their property! Always dispose of rubbish in the intended bins and contact your local council if you experience any issues with your bins. And, of course remember to recycle!
- If you have large bulky items such as old sofas or mattresses that you no longer require, ask your local council to remove them (many will do this free of charge or for a small fee). When leaving an item out, it is polite to attach a notice stating the flat it has come from and when it is expected to be collected.
- Bonfires and fireworks are not advised and can be dangerous if not managed properly. Always attend arranged fireworks and bonfire displays when possible instead of doing it yourself. These are much safer and more enjoyable than hosting them in your own space.
- Having a barbeque? Let neighbours know so they are aware there may be some smoke (nobody wants their washing smelling of sausages!). Better yet, be a good neighbour and welcome them to enjoy it with you. Don’t hold barbeques on balconies, near buildings or trees as they can pose safety threats.
It goes without saying that noise levels should be kept to a minimum when living in a shared development.
- Not everyone works or lives the same patterns, which is important to keep in mind. Keep noise levels down during nigh time hours and be considerate during daytime hours. Remember to leave and enter the building quietly and remind guests to do so too.
- If you are planning noisy DIY or works, it is well mannered to let your neighbours know in advance so they can plan ahead if need be.
- When using noisy appliances such as your washing machine or vacuum cleaner, consider the time – 3am may not be the best time to put on a wash!
- It is also advised to not let children run around during unsociable hours as noise can easily carry through wooden/laminate flooring.
- Lastly, if you are planning a gathering and anticipate irregular noise levels and more guests than usual, it is respectful to let neighbours know. This will lessen any possible irritation caused.
Please note as a residential factor, our responsibilities lie in maintaining the communal areas of a development. If you have noise complaints, these should be addressed to your local council who will have a process for handling them. James Gibb does not have the powers to handle neighbour disputes.
James Gibb’s role in shared developments
As a residential factor, it is our responsibility to maintain the communal areas of developments we manage. We coordinate and arrange repairs, maintenance and improvements to the communal areas on behalf of property owners. We may also manage communal insurance policies. Our Property Managers visit developments frequently and we appoint vetted contractors when necessary to work on the required areas. We encourage everyone within a development to take care of the space they live in, and be a conscientious neighbour. However, when issues arise in communal areas we are here to resolve them.
If you have any questions please get in touch with the relevant office using the contact details here.