*Compliments of http://www.apsmanagement.com/, via HOAmanagement.com.
You don’t have to be friends or spend time with your neighbors to achieve a peaceful coexistence, but you should try to be a good neighbor and follow these tips:
Say hello. At the mailbox, while walking the dog or when you see a moving van arrive, introduce yourself. Learn your neighbors’ and other homeowners’ names and regularly offer a friendly greeting.
Provide a heads up. If you’re planning a construction project, altering your landscaping or hosting a big party, contact your neighbors beforehand. In the case of major construction or landscaping projects this is helpful in addition to completion of any established association approval processes. Applications for approval may even request that neighbors sign off on plans.
Do unto others. Treat neighbors as you would like to be treated. Be considerate about noise from vehicles, stereos, pets, etc. Pets are a common concern that we hear from neighbors. .
Know your differences. Make an effort to understand each other. Differences in age, ethnic background and years in the neighborhood can lead to different expectations or misunderstandings.
Consider the view. Keep areas of your property that others can see presentable. Don’t let your grass get out of control and keep the area free of litter.
Appreciate them. If the neighbors do something you like, let them know. They’ll be pleased you noticed, and it’ll be easier to talk later if they do something you don’t like. Telling a neighbor how nice their lawn or garden looks is a great way to say hello.
Stay positive. Most people don’t try to create problems. If a neighbor does something that irritates you, don’t assume it was deliberate.
Talk honestly. Tolerance is important, but don’t let a real irritation go because it seems unimportant or hard to discuss. Let your neighbors know if something they do annoys.
Be respectful. Talk directly to your neighbors if there’s a problem. Gossiping with others can damage relationships and create trouble.
Remain calm. If a neighbor mentions a problem they have with you, thank them for the input. You don’t have to agree or justify any behavior. Wait for any anger to subside before responding.
Listen carefully. When discussing a problem, try to understand your neighbor’s position and why he or she feels that way.