How to be a good neighbour

YOU have just bought a property - or you have moved into a new neighbourhood - so being on bad terms with your neighbour will make your life a misery.

Alice Math of Alice Properties will help you get off to a good start with your neighbours if you follow her advice:

l Introduce yourself. Whether you're new in the neighbourhood or new residents have just moved in on your block, introduce yourself. Say hello and offer a welcoming gift.

lConsider your neighbours' lifestyle. If they work nights, quiet mornings will be important for them. If they have young children, quiet evenings are a must.

lBe aware of shared walls. If you're in a terrace, condominium, semi-detached house or any structure where you and your neighbours share adjacent living spaces, position noisy household appliances such as washing machines and tumble dryers - even TVs and speakers - away from partition walls.

lIf you have one, keep your dog on a leash if it has a habit of running rampant over your neighbours' lawns, especially if they have a cat or a dog of their own. Ensure you clean up after it - and train it not to bark too loudly.

lWhen you park your vehicle, be sure not to block anyone's access. And don't over-rev the engine of your car early in the morning or late at night. Park in front of your home, not theirs. Avoid slamming your doors or shining your headlights into your neighbour's windows.

lIf you're planning a party, be sure to give your neighbours plenty of warning, letting them know when it starts and how long you expect it to go on. Leave them a telephone number to contact if they need to ask you to turn it down. If you get on well with your neighbours, why not invite them too?

lKeep your garden tidy. Weed your garden regularly. The presence of weeds in your yard is not only unsightly but can also spread to your neighbour's yard.

lControl your braai smoke. Position it where the smoke and smell will least likely blow over your neighbour's property.

lPut your garbage out on the right day. If you accidentally miss the collection, bring it back to your property immediately.

lKeep your eye on anyone acting suspiciously around your neighbour's property. When in doubt, call the police so they can quickly curtail any criminal activity. Your neighbour will be eternally grateful to you.