10 Expert Tips on How To Be a Good Neighbor

New neighbours moving in, smiling and friendly.

Whether you’re renting an apartment or moving to a new neighborhood, establishing rapport with your neighbors is a great way to ensure a peaceful community. However, you may be wondering, what is the best way to be a good neighbor? There are many ways to go about it, from approaching interactions with a positive attitude to learning how to address problems that may arise. To help you get started, we reached out to communication and etiquette experts across from Toronto, ON to Atlanta, GA for their best tips on how to be a good neighbor. Keep reading to see what they had to say.

Get to know your neighbors from the get-go

When learning how to be a good neighbor, try and get to know your neighbors within the first week of moving in. Introducing yourself shows that you care and can help create a strong first impression.

1. Introduce yourself to your neighbors early on

When moving into a new home, it is always a great idea to introduce yourself to your neighbors early on. By taking the first step to communicate with them, you get the chance to show them you care about their concerns, and both parties will be much more comfortable talking in the future if something does come up. – Epiphany Coaches

If you see your neighbor in the yard, give a smile and a wave to strike up a quick introductory conversation. Or, within 48 hours, knock on the neighbor’s door to introduce yourself and let them know you’d love to chat with them further once you’re more settled in. Now the ice is broken for future conversations. – Jackson Etiquette

2. Start with a strong first impression

First impressions last a lifetime, so craft a positive one as you join a new community. Ensure the movers (you or hired help) don’t shout at each other in the hallways or balconies while moving furniture, and smile and say hi to your neighbors, even if you’re tired from the move. Finally, enjoy the housewarming party but don’t crank the music because you won’t know the building acoustics until you’ve lived there a while, and elderly folks and children might be specifically sensitive to noise at night. – Ric Phillips, Communication Coach/Trainer with 3V Communications

3. Gift a welcome item

Remember what or how you wished you would have been welcomed into that home, apartment, neighborhood, etc. Then share it on a personal note and provide that welcome item or tip to your new neighbor. The connection will be personalized and greatly appreciated. – Professional Etiquette and Protocols

4. Plan a housewarming party

When purchasing a home and moving into a new neighborhood, it’s important to understand that a good neighbor can make your new living arrangement a positive or a negative experience for years to come. One thing my wife and I do when we move into a new place and are planning on a housewarming is we go to our neighbors and pass around a “pre-apology” and a soft invite for the upcoming festivities. While our days of wild parties are well behind us, it’s still an easy step to take to be as respectful as possible. We also do the same type of notification whenever we are undertaking renovations or construction. You can often avoid a lot of friction with your neighbors with a little bit of diplomacy and courtesy. – Ties

Be friendly, focus on concerns and communication, and always be positive

You may encounter times where you’ll have to request a favor or address concerns you may have. Use these tips to communicate with your neighbors effectively.

5. Focus on timing, clarity, and concern

To request a favor from a new neighbor (such as keeping down the noise or cleaning up the yard), success depends on three things: timing, clarity, and concern.

1) Consider both physical and emotional timing.

2) Begin with a logical reason for the request, and then ask directly and specifically for what you need—no hints.

3) End with an expression of concern for your neighbor’s needs and goals as well.

– Dianna Booher, communication speaker and book publishing expert of Booher Research

6. Lean in on kindness

My etiquette advice on being a good neighbor is:

  • Be friendly and welcoming to a new neighbor
  • Be respectful and trustworthy.
  • Be kind and helpful.

Jennifer Grant International

7. Always go in with a positive attitude

If you need to address a problem or concern with your neighbors and feel the situation is safe, do so with a positive attitude. If you’re in a bad mood and your neighbor is doing something that’s upsetting you, wait until you have cooled down. Don’t become that over complaining neighbor. If the situation seems out of your control, it’s always best to contact your local authority. – Etiquette

8. Communication is key

Communication is key to getting along with your neighbors. It can be scary to communicate something potentially upsetting to your neighbors, such as hosting a loud event or blocking an entry due to movers. But at the end of the day, your neighbors will be thankful for the heads up because it will give them plenty of time to plan ahead (and earns you the reputation as open and honest). – Leya Aronoff Coaching

Try to give more and always be curious

Going above and beyond and being curious will help build your relationship with your neighbors.

9. Try and go above and beyond

Good neighbors observe local noise ordinances without causing complaints. Great neighbors go above and beyond to respect and show consideration to others, especially if their outside noises will disrupt someone’s sleep or cause headaches to their neighbors. Great neighbors are mindful not to use noisy power tools until 9:00 am, rev up all-terrain vehicles/ dirt bike at all times of the day, nor host DJ parties past 11:00 pm, unless, of course, they have invited the entire neighborhood and notified the authorities about their event. – The Deleware Valley School of Etiquette

10. Be a coach-like neighbor

Be curious and interested in learning about them. For example, ask your neighbors what fun things they enjoy. – Center for Coaching Certification

(Originally published April 11th, 2022, on Redfin.com by Ryan Castillo, Marketing Specialist, here: