Like a good neighbor...dah, dah, is there! Many of us recognize this popular slogan. So what defines a "good" neighbor exactly? They are many ways that owners choose to manage their relationships with neighboring units. Let's take a moment to look at the more successful ways these relationships have been managed.
New ownership is the best time for owners to make a good first impression. Some immediately introduce themselves to neighboring homeowners by visiting their homes. While others, choose to write little courtesy notes with notifications about pending work that will likely prove messy and disruptive to nearby units or homes. These small acts of kindness go a long way with building a good rapport with new neighbors. There's a high probability in attached multi-family structures that an owner may have to one day confront an owner about a leak, noise, smoke intrusion, or any of the other items that may come up. An initial good rapport will make these confrontations more pleasant and better managed if the neighbors are already starting from a position of mutual respect.
Owners who have passed the new neighbor period can still strive for good rapport with their neighbors. For example, if an owner is being disturbed by a neighboring unit’s noise, then they have a couple of choices. Most owners either contact management or they confront the noisy neighbor directly. We've seen more success with owners who choose to politely address their noisy neighbor versus asking management to step in and address/handle. People are often a bit offended when management is contacting them with a report from an incident that took place a couple days prior and they are even more frustrated that management is not permitted to disclose who the reporting party is. However, when an owner chooses to confront a neighbor with an issue, it's often best if they introduce themselves and begin by saying "you may not be aware of this but...." or “probably don’t know or realize it but….” The noisy neighbor will sometimes offer their cell phone so the impacted neighbor can call or text if they hear future disturbances. Again, small acts of kindness go a long way.