Being Neighbourly

Having good neighbours can make a big difference to our lives, and goes a long way to creating a happy, healthy and peaceful environment for all. A great neighbourhood is caring, cohesive, safe and welcoming. It is also a place where neighbours are proud of their street and take ownership of the neighbourhood they live in.

Here are some hints on how to be a good neighbour:

Get to know your neighbours

  • Introduce yourself to your neighbours
  • Invite your neighbour to a barbecue or morning tea
  • Let your neighbour know you are happy to help out with plant-watering, mail or bins when they go away.

Be neighbourly during emergencies

  • Don’t be caught out during an emergency – make time to get to know your neighbours
  • Understand your neighbour's needs before an emergency situation occurs.
  • You and your neighbours can work together to prepare your homes, provide shelter and look after pets during a disaster.
  • Neighbours can also often provide help to those who need greater assistance during emergency situations.

Be considerate of your neighbours

  • Consider your neighbours when you play loud music, operate power tools or complete renovations on your property
  • Be responsible for visitors to your property
  • Ensure you adhere to local noise and environmental pollution laws
  • Read more about neighbourhood nuisances - your rights and responsibilities.

Be a responsible pet owner

  • Consider others when leaving your pet at home for long periods of time
  • Ensure your pets are securely locked in your yard when you are not at home
  • Register your pets with Council
  • Read our tips on responsible pet ownership.

Maintain your home

  • Keep your garden tidy and ensure trees on the fence line are kept trimmed away from neighbouring properties. Read our information on tree and fence disputes.
  • If you have a pool, keep it clean and ensure fencing meets government guidelines

Managing neighbour disputes

The Queensland Government's Dispute Resolution Service provides a free, confidential and impartial mediation service as an alternative way of settling disputes before they get to court.  It can assist in a range of disputes, including conflict between neighbours involving issues such as trees, noise, boundaries and children.

Contact Far North Queensland Dispute Resolution Centre

  • Phone: 4037 2600
  • email: drc.fnq@justice.qld.gov.au

Some very neighbourly tips

  1. Start simply: say g’day when you see your neighbours – a smile and a wave can go a long way.
  2. Spend more time on your verandah, balcony or front yard as a simple way to connect with nearby neighbours and those passing by.
  3. If your neighbours are going away, offer to take in their garbage bin, mow the lawn, or water the plants until they return.
  4. Take a walk –  you’re more likely to run into people outside and a simple hello can get you started.
  5. Organise a ‘cuppa by the kerb’ – invite a few neighbours and have a chat in the street together at a set time. It’s low effort and very simple to do.
  6. Reach out to neighbours who you know are living alone, especially the elderly, knock on their door to introduce yourself, pop a note in their letterbox to let them know you are there if they ever need a hand, and then exchange numbers in case of an emergency.
  7. Share some home cooking or baking or garden produce with a neighbour as a friendly gesture.
  8. Create a contact list with your neighbours’ names, phone numbers and birthdays and maybe even useful skills or resources (mower, ice-cream-maker, ladder) that you are happy to share.
  9. Join or start a community or neighbourhood page on social media.
  10. Start up a street library – for more info streetlibrary.org.au These can become hubs for social connection and conversation.
  11. Introduce yourself to anyone that’s new to the area … a knock on the door and a warm welcome. If you can, perhaps take over a bunch of flowers, a pot plant, a box of chocolates – anything inexpensive and cheerful.
  12. Get to know your local shopkeepers – they can be a wealth of knowledge about the neighbourhood.
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Last updated: 13 September 2020