Most people who enjoy apartment living understand that a beautiful space and amenities also come with a community of neighbors. While you may make great friends through chance meetings in the halls, elevators, or other common areas of your apartment building, it doesn't mean that you'll become friends with everyone living there. Here are five ways to work with your neighbors to make living together a good experience.
1. Develop a Rapport
One of the best things you can do is develop a rapport with your surrounding neighbors. This can simply be introducing yourself when someone moves in and saying "hello" when you pass them in common areas. Doing this will help you both put a name to a face and create a positive relationship from the start. It will also make it easier for you and your neighbor to communicate when it comes to extenuating circumstances. This is especially true when you're sharing walls (or floor or ceiling), and noises or smells cross into someone else's space.
If you know that an activity you're planning might interfere or spill into a neighbor's space, the best thing you can do is be considerate. Give your neighbor a heads up and let them know what to expect, especially if you'll be hosting a few friends and the noise level might increase. Better yet, set a precedent that you can knock on each other's door at any time, and talk about an issue. If you acknowledge and welcome conversation early on, you'll establish a relationship based on kindness and respect. You won't be that annoying and nameless neighbor that plays the oboe on Saturday afternoons.
3. Set the Tone
If a neighbor's visitor keeps parking in your assigned spot, it makes sense that you'd be frustrated and angry. Most people would leave a note, venting their frustration in the wording of the message. Don't do that. One hard, but effective, way to work with neighbors is to consider the long game of living next door to them. Writing a note or having a conversation that's filled with anger from the outset can have lasting effects on your interactions. You set the tone of how that conversation and future conversations might go. In the first interaction, try to remove emotions as much as possible and use the basic facts to communicate the problem. If you're up for it, throw in a little humor and you just might see the problem solved more easily and quickly.
4. Find Reasonable Solutions
If you come across a problem that you need to address with a neighbor, consider approaching them with a reasonable solution in mind. For instance, if you've got an upstairs neighbor who is practicing her tap routine at 11:00 p.m. on Monday night, you can think up a solution to the problem before you even knock on her door. Be direct and honest when you bring up the issue and mention a time frame (or alternate location) that may work better for both of you. Most people are inherently kind and reasonable, and will be happy to find a solution that works for everyone.
5. Use Management's Help
Sometimes, no matter how you approach, communicate or discuss a situation, the issue simply cannot be resolved between two neighbors. One person may not be open to a solution, the problem may have repeated itself too many times, or maybe the neighbor is simply too confrontational to try other steps. This is where having management is a huge plus for a renter. You can bring the issue to the attention of the management and they can mediate or address the problem for you.
If you're ready to live at a friendly apartment community, where there are a ton of amenities to get to know your neighbors, check out Shea Apartment Communities.