How To Be A Good Neighbour In The UK

When living in the UK, you’re very likely to have neighbours. It could be wall-to-wall neighbours in terraced or semi-detached houses or community neighbours in detached houses in a village or small town. Whatever the location, it’s important to be a trustworthy, friendly and harmonious neighbour. 

Some of the most controversial issues with neighbours in the UK are parking etiquette, care of the house, participating in the community and noise pollution. There are certain rules and laws in place to protect neighbours from these situations so it’s best to stay on the right side of them.

Many cities have street parking and each house will have an allocated parking spot. It can become extremely infuriating when you arrive home after commuting and find your spot taken by a neighbour. When you have an allocated parking spot, it’s best to stick to it. If you don’t have a set spot but find the spaces taken up every day, have a chat with your neighbour to come to an amicable solution. When it comes to street parking, be considerate of the space you take up too. Ensure you’re only taking up the necessary space and not parking across two free spots.

Another important aspect of being a good neighbour is taking care of the house, particularly the outside. Keep your area tidy, cut back any trees or plants hanging into your neighbour’s property, don’t leave rubbish or bin bags lying around on the street and keep your windows, roof and general outside look of the house clean. Many people across the UK are extremely house and neighbourhood proud. When friends and family come to visit they like the neighbourhood to come across as safe, clean and family-friendly. When it comes to selling a house, the house price can be devalued if the neighbour’s houses appear dirty and not looked after.

Participating in the community can also be very important to neighbours, depending on where you live. If there is a strong sense of community, you may be expected to help out with or organise community events, such as bake sales, local church or school events or general community happenings. This could be as simple as helping babysit your neighbours’ kids or taking their deliveries when they’re not in. 

Last but not least, keeping noise pollution to a minimum is much appreciated. This includes babies crying, dogs barking, playing musical instruments or loud music or shouting matches. The law in the UK protects people from excessive noise during the night (11pm – 7am). If you’re heard making excessive noise during these night hours and can’t come to an amicable solution with the person making the noise, it could be taken to court. Occasionally, people call the police or make an official complaint with their local council and it can be looked into. If you’re planning a party or noisy event for a special occasion, it’s recommended to pop a note through your neighbours’ doors (or those who may be affected) in advance to warn them and provide a personal contact number in order to avoid escalating the issue.

Top Tips

Number 1

When you first move in, it’s considered polite to go round to your neighbours and introduce yourself formally. If you’re welcoming a new neighbour to the neighbourhood, most people buy or make a small gift, typically food, wine or flowers, to give to the new neighbours to make them feel welcome.

Number 2

If you are having a party or event, especially where there may be parking issues or noise, it’s always polite to inform or invite the neighbours so they can make plans in advance.

Number 3

In general, be reasonable when it comes to noise- barking dogs, musical instruments etc…

Number 4

If any issues do arise, such as an overhanging tree or loud music, the best approach is to talk to your neighbours first and have a calm discussion about it before taking it further. If they don’t know how they feel they can’t do anything about it. 

Number 5

Be friendly even if it’s a frustrating situation, such as a child kicking a ball into your garden

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