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Thin walls and how to be a good neighbour

September 11, 2015

When you first move into a flat there are certain things you simply don’t know – like where to put your garbage bags or just how thin the walls really are. At first it can feel like you’re in your own little home, like the outside world doesn’t exist. But then you hear your neighbours having an argument at 2am and that illusion is shattered.

So now that you’re aware that you’re living (quite literally) on top of other people, what do you do to make sure you don’t end up with angry neighbours? Good fencing makes for good neighbours, but what do you do when there’s no space for that?

Be careful when you come and go – Different people have different sleep patterns, work shifts and lifestyles. So, be quiet when you’re coming and going. Try not to leave the apartment while you’re on the phone and when you come home at 3am, don’t make a loud noise while trying to get your keys in the lock.

Don’t bang doors – From cupboard doors to bedroom and bathroom doors, don’t bang them closed or leave them to close by themselves. Whether it’s because you’re angry or simply just forgetful, try to make a special effort not to make a noise with the doors.

Don’t throw parties – You may think you have total freedom now that you’re out your parents’ home or are finally living without a roommate, but you do still have others to consider. Of course, you can throw get togethers and have friends around, but don’t throw “parties”. The term “party” seems to get people all riled up. And if it is a special occasion and you badly want to have a party, let your neighbours know and try be done by 11pm.

Keep the music down – You may think that post-90s gypsy squatter punk is the best thing to ever happen to music, but your neighbour may not. It’s that simple. So, although you should feel free to listen to whatever style of music you want, you should always remember that they probably don’t want to hear it. So, keep the music down.

Ask about your neighbours – There is a list of things everyone should ask before moving into an apartment, but what people don’t think about asking is what the neighbours are like. Are they elderly, do they work weird hours, are they party animals? These are simple questions that your landlord should be able to answer.

You don’t want to be one of those neighbours that everyone hates. You just don’t want to. You don’t want people telling stories of how you were the worst neighbour they ever had. So keep these things in mind when you move into a flat.

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