How to be a good neighbour.
Neighbours, everybody needs good neighbours or so the song used to go. But what if your neighbours don’t look like Kylie or Jason, what motivation do you have to be a good neighbour?
Below I lay out a few basic rules that will lead to harmonious living for everyone concerned.
Probably the single biggest grievance between neighbours is noise pollution.
We’re all guilty of it whether it’s loud music, sticking the surround sound speakers on full blast for your favourite action movie, yappy pets, DIY or even robust rumpy pumpy, your neighbours don’t need to hear it.
In my twenties, I shared a flat with my mate and upstairs was a young mother with two toddlers. There was obviously going to be clash of cultures and we came to an agreement quite early on.
She accepted that we would go out clubbing, come in pissed and make a racket, probably waking her kids. We therefore had to accept that the next day, when we were hungover, her kids would make as much noise as was humanly possible. To this day I don’t know how they got that bulldozer upstairs.
We suffered for our misdemeanours but it was a standing joke and we got on very well with her.
You should try this approach with your neighbours. Next time you are feeling a bit frisky, it would be polite to knock on next door and advise them that “We are about to engage in vigorous copulation, you may wish to choose this moment to view The Fast and The Furious at its loudest setting.”
I guarantee that you’ll get no complaints.
Parking and nosy parking
People get very precious about parking spaces, even unofficial ones. Under no circumstances should you block a neighbour’s drive, even if you are an ambulance driver and are saving his life he may still take umbrage with you.
If you live in a street without drives or allocated parking spaces, try not to park outside of your neighbour’s house. I realise that this isn’t always possible but use some consideration.
We used to have a neighbour who parked his bus, not a mini bus, a full sized one, outside of our house; blocking the light but parking his car outside his own house so he didn’t block the light from his own home.
If you see your neighbour washing his car, under no circumstances say, “Do you want to do mine next?” Under an old English by-law, they are legally entitled to pour anti freeze over your pride and joy if you utter those words.
There is a world of difference between considerate parking and nosy parking. The former is caring for your neighbour’s well being, the latter is pretending to, so that you can gather gossip. A simple rule here is ‘keep your fucking neb out’.
Commonly known as the curse of the internet, taking in parcels for neighbours is seen in some cultures to be a bigger burden that being asked to marry your neighbour’s cow.
Nobody likes doing it unless they are the aforementioned nosy neighbours who will use a series of techniques taught by MI5 to inspect the contents without you knowing.
Similarly, nobody wants to collect a parcel from a neighbour and engage in small talk. “I must have just missed the postie, I was having a shit,” is a conversation neither of you want to have.
Delivery drivers, please note that I would rather walk five miles to the depot in the pissing down rain than knock on the door of the bloke over the road who has badges on his walking stick.
I’m going to write a separate blog on how to be a good pet owner but for now, the simplest guidance if you wish to get on with your neighbours is don’t have one.
I hope you enjoyed my first instalment on neighbour etiquette, there’s more to follow soon but feel free to sign up for my email list if you would like to receive exclusive, free content.