How to be a good neighbor while renting

Household 3 min read

Apartment living goes hand in hand with sharing common spaces and abiding by community guidelines. From parking and recreational rules to composting in an apartment, it’s always important to be a good neighbor when you’re living in a rental community.

Below are four ways to help you be a good neighbor and facilitate goodwill from your fellow residents.

1. Follow the community rules

Some communities are stricter than others. Our current neighborhood has very strict lanai rules (we live in Hawaii) and we cannot leave any toys outside, furniture on the grass, or towels outside to dry in the sun. It can be a challenge sometimes, especially as the mom of three young children, but I always try my hardest to abide by the rules.

They may seem silly at times, but it does help create a visually appealing aesthetic that helps set the right tone for both residents and visitors. Likewise, always abide by community rules on parking, garbage cans, holiday decorating, etc.

2. Recycle appropriately

I’ve lived in apartments with varying levels of commitment to recycling.  In my DC-area apartment, we were able to leave our recyclables outside of our doors in the evening and they’d all be collected. In other places, I’ve had to walk to a community recycle bin and sort everything myself.

If your community doesn’t have a recycling plan set up, you could ask your property manager if they can help set one up. It’s such an easy and important way to be a good neighbor and also help take care of our planet.

3. Compost bin for apartments

Are you interested in living the low (or no) waste lifestyle? If so, then composting is probably for you!

There are many ways to compost in an apartment, and you can easily compost without worms or with a DIY compost bin. There are countless online tutorials to help you get started, but one way that requires the least amount of work is to collect (appropriate) food scraps in a container in your kitchen. You can even keep the scraps in your fridge until you’re ready to dispose of them. Many communities have green waste recycling locations where you can drop off your scraps, or you can see if a local farmers market or community garden collects them.

If you’d like to go a step further and compost the materials on your own, then check with your local municipal waste management office (and apartment community) to see if you’re allowed to compost at home. (Some locations do not allow it because of fear that it will attract rodents or other vermin.)

An easy and apartment-friendly way to compost is to have a food scrap bucket (it can just be a lidded 4-5 pound bucket from a hardware store) on your balcony and add your compostable kitchen scraps daily. Be sure to add brown matter (leaves, soil, or compost) on top to help eliminate odor or flies.[1]

4. Get to know your neighbors

I’ve lived in communities before where I never even knew who lived next to me. (As a military family, sometimes we’re only in a location for a few months at a time.) The layout of some apartment buildings isn’t all that conducive to meeting your neighbors, and being transient made me close myself off a bit.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized the value of getting to know your neighbors, even if you’re living somewhere temporarily. It’s nice to see a friendly face and know their story, and when you’re cooking and realize you’re missing an egg or cup of sugar, it’s always nice to be able to ask a neighbor to lend you some.

If you find it difficult to meet people, try to spend a little extra time in the common areas. The community pool, lobby, by the grill, walking around the neighborhood, or in the workout room are all great places to make a friend and get to know your neighbors.

Apartment living can have its pros and cons, but through it all it’s always a good idea to be a good neighbor. It makes the community stronger and life more enjoyable for everyone! And as always, be sure to keep everything you love protected with Progressive. 



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