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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Some very neighbourly tips
- Start simply: say g’day when you see your neighbours – a smile and a wave can go a long way.
- Spend more time on your verandah, balcony or front yard as a simple way to connect with nearby neighbours and those passing by.
- If your neighbours are going away, offer to take in their garbage bin, mow the lawn, or water the plants until they return.
- Take a walk – you’re more likely to run into people outside and a simple hello can get you started.
- 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.
- 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.
- Share some home cooking or baking or garden produce with a neighbour as a friendly gesture.
- 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.
- Join or start a community or neighbourhood page on social media.
- Start up a street library – for more info streetlibrary.org.au These can become hubs for social connection and conversation.
- 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.
- Get to know your local shopkeepers – they can be a wealth of knowledge about the neighbourhood.