Being a Good Neighbor
One of the challenges of students is making the transition from living with family members or living in residence halls to living in a neighborhood or apartment community. Here are a few suggestions on how to be a good neighbor and positive member of your community:
How to be a Better Neighbor; A Guide to Lexington's Good Neighbor Ordinances by the Lexington-Fayette County Urban Government
Ways to be a better neighbor without breaking the bank by Brenda Long, Michigan State University Extension
Say hello and get to know your neighbors.
Opening the lines of communication makes it easier to talk about those petty annoyances before they become big problems. As you see them in the hallways, laundry room, lobby, or in front of the building/house, smile and say hello. If they appear to be receptive, introduce yourself.
Watch out for the safety of your community.
If you observe any suspicious behavior, report it to Lexington Police. Watch and listen for unusual things such as loud noises or suspicious or unknown people loitering.
Understand and follow the apartment community or landlord rules.
In addition to local laws, many landlords or apartment communities have rules for things like where you can park, when certain facilities are open, quiet hours, trash pickup, pets and more. These should all be spelled out in either your lease or in a supplemental set of rules and regulations. Know and follow them. Your neighbors and landlord will thank you.
Keep your noise and belongings within your own space.
Talking on cell phones in apartment community hallways, leaving trash or personal belongings in public areas or loud, late-night congregations in common areas may be a way of life in the residence hall setting, but may be disturbing to others and frowned upon in off-campus residential areas. Be conscious of your volume.
Observe reasonable hours for noisy activities.
Vacuuming, hanging pictures, moving heavy furniture, playing loud music and hosting large gatherings all produce noise that can travel beyond the walls of your apartment or boundaries of your house. Make every effort to restrict these activities to daytime hours. Check your lease or rental regulations and local ordinances and follow any specified quiet hours.
Treat your neighbors' children with respect.
Watch your words and behavior around neighborhood children and remember they may follow the example you set. Understand that your neighbors' children have the right to be there and that they are, after all, children. Treating neighborhood children with respect can go a long way to maintaining and improving your rapport with your neighbors.
Take pride in your environment by keeping visible areas neat and tidy.
Keeping your yard, porch, balcony and walkway clean and free of debris and litter makes everyone's home look appealing.
Don't let your right to party overshadow your responsibility to your neighbors.
Let neighbors know ahead of time when a party will be happening so they can prepare. It is your responsibility as host to ensure that your guests understand the rules of respect for your neighborhood (including where it is okay to park) and that they remain inside your apartment/house (or inside your own personal outside space) during the party. Remember: even when you're having a party, Lexington's ordinances regarding noise apply.
Understand that not everyone loves your pet like you do.
If your lease allows pets, be aware of the rules concerning where they can be when they are outside your apartment or house. Keep your pet on a leash unless it is in your fenced backyard or inside your home. Don't let your dog roam free in the neighborhood or shared yard and don't let it run on the lawns of others. Walk pets by the side of the road and at all times be prepared to clean up after your pet. Be aware that you'll be held responsible for any noise your pet makes while you are away at work or school. If your landlord doesn't allow pets, don't try to get away with it.