Whether you are in your first house or you have been in your neighborhood for awhile, keeping good relations with the neighbors can make a big difference in your quality of life. Here are a few etiquette tips to reduce friction and keep the peace with your neighbors.
1. Welcome New Neighbors Be proactive and welcome your new neighbors, whether they’re on your block or next door. Make them feel welcome and make them feel reassured that moving to the neighborhood was a right decision. You never know, this could be your new best friend! Bring over a plate of fresh homemade cookies, or a bottle of wine. Let them know of upcoming neighborhood events and invite them.
2. Loud Music We all have our outdoor parties from time-to-time. Make sure to check the level of your outdoor music. It’s pretty likely that your immediate neighbors can hear the music. An easy test, is to walk out of the house, go into the alley. If you can clearly hear your music, so can your neighbors. Most neighbors don’t want to be “that” person who asks you to turn it down, or calls the police, so there’s a good chance they won’t ever say anything to you. Be kind and check the level of your music, especially after 10 p.m.
3. Screaming Kids It’s perfectly alright to send your kids out to play and let them scream and yell while playing. When it becomes iffy, is when they’re outside before 8 a.m. The weekends are meant to sleep in, but if your child is screaming, blowing whistles, ringing bells, etc. before 8 a.m., you can be assured that you’re not making friends with any of your neighbors.
4. Barking Dogs Barking dogs is a good deterrent for criminals from breaking into your house. It’s also a good way to make neighbors very mad! There is nothing worse then a dog incessantly barking whether it’s during the day or at night. The law in Dallas is that, if your dog is barking for more than 15 minutes, your neighbors have every right to call 311 and report you. If you leave your dog outside while you’re away at work, ask your neighbors if the dog barks or come home during lunch and check for yourself.
5. Yard Upkeep Make sure to mow your grass at least once a week during the summer and trim the bushes and trees. Basic yard maintenance will keep your neighbors happy. Grass in Dallas can’t be more then 12″ high. Anything higher, your neighbors can report you to the city.
6. Trash Cans Bring your trash cans in from the street on collection day. Trash cans left on the street overnight or into the next day, makes it look like you’re not home. Your laziness could cause you to be burglarized. Plus, it makes the neighborhood look “trashy” with all the trash cans in the street. If you know a neighbor will be out of town, bring their trash cans in from the street and put them somewhere in the backyard. Trash cans parked in front of a gate or garage for a few days also shows you’re not home.
7. Slow Down Summer season means one thing! Kids playing in the streets and on sidewalks. Please slow down. The speed limit is 30 in the neighborhood. I encourage you to slow down even more and put down your phones.
8. Alley Cleanup Make sure your section of alley is trimmed back, grass cut, trash picked up, etc. As the neighborhood changes, more residents are building rear entry garages. Branches scrapping cars doesn’t make neighbors very happy. Plus, overgrowth can be a perfect hiding place for criminals. More tips on cleaning the alley.
9. Invite Your Neighbors Over For A BBQ Make sure to invite your neighbors over for a BBQ, cookout or for an impromptu block party. Sometimes we have to rely on our neighbors, having a cookout and making everyone feel comfortable with each other will help make great neighbors!