Know Your Community
Being a Good Neighbor
Making the transition from living at home or on campus to living in a neighborhood or apartment community can be challenging. The Lexington-Fayette County Urban Government has compiled A Guide to Lexington’s Good Neighbor Ordinances to help tenants understand the rights and responsibilities of being a good neighbor. Here are a few additional suggestions:
- Say hello and get to know your neighbors. Opening the lines of communication early makes it easier to talk later about issues before they become big problems.
- 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 listed 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 the 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 specific 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. LexCall 311 is your non-emergency reporting source for Lexington recycling, garbage, potholes, street signs, tall grass and weeds, trash and debris, yard waste, sewers, and more. You can make reports from an iPhone and Android by downloading the LexCall 311 app.
- 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 outdoor space) during the party. Remember that 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. All dogs in Fayette County must be on a leash, behind a fence, or on the dog owner’s property under the owner’s supervision at all times when outside. Dogs cannot run-at-large, even under voice command, and they must wear their current license and rabies tags at all times. Be aware that you will be held responsible for any noise your pet makes while you are away at work or school. If your landlord does not allow pets, don’t try to get away with it. For more information, visit https://www.lexingtonky.gov/animal-care-and-control.
Noise and Disorderly Conduct
Although residential communities do not have specific “quiet hours,” it is important to respect the differing lifestyles of your neighbors in regards to noise. The family next door may be putting their children to bed at 8 p.m., just when you’re ready to turn up the stereo. Loud parties, unnecessary shouting, and amplified sound are all examples of violations of general neighborhood common courtesies. Neighborhoods are full of working professionals, families with children, and older adults who seek respectful neighbors in their community.
Lexington’s Noise Ordinance (Sec. 14-70) prohibits any noise that can be heard outside your apartment or house that would “annoy or disturb a reasonable person of normal sensitivities.”
If you are experiencing a noisy neighbor, try some of the tips outlined in this article about 5 Ways to Deal with Noisy Neighbors. If these tips don’t work, refer to the Lexington Guide to the Noise Ordinance. If all else fails, contact your property manager, landlord, or Lexington police.
When you are selecting an off-campus neighborhood or property community, be sure to consider what transportation options will be available to you. Here are a few programs that are available to all students:
- Lextran BluPass program
- Kentucky Wildcab Late-night Student Transportation
- Seasonal Shuttles
- Ride Home Express
- Campus Bus Tracker
- Bike Voucher Program
- Spin Bike Share Program
- Wildcat Wheels Bicycle Library
- Car Sharing
- UK Transportation Services Student Parking Permits