"My Neighbors Really Appreciated It When We Told Them": 20 Unspoken Rules Of Neighborhood Etiquette That Will Make Your Neighbors Adore You

·10 min read

Recently, we asked homeowners in the BuzzFeed Community to share their rules for being a good neighbor, and oh boy, did they have a lot to say. Here are some of their neighborhood etiquette tips:

1.I can't believe we have to say this, but don't steal your neighbors' packages or mail.

thief running away with packages

"This *should* go without saying, but my Lord, the amount of people that get the wrong package at their door and keep it is shameful. Don't do this. I have gotten someone else's things by mistake and always return it; however, I have had things 'delivered,' and I don't ever see them. RUDE.

"Mistakes happen. Don't be lazy, don't get upset, just return it to the right place. Also, just keep an eye out for packages in general. I see a package on full display on a step, I will move it closer to their door and hide it away a bit. It sucks having your things stolen, so just be mindful of that.

"If you know your neighbors well or have a good idea regarding their schedules and you know there's a package thief hitting your area, take the package in and bring it to them when they get home. I have done this a few times when we get our wave of thieves. My next door neighbors are pretty much gone every weekend when it's warm, and they get a lot of items, so I'll just take it in for them and give it to them when they come home."


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2.If you're in a street-parking situation, make sure to park so that there's room for others, too.

"We all know if you live in a rowhome/townhome, sometimes there is no 'assigned' spot. But for the love of all that is holy, if a space is wide enough to fit two cars, don’t park smack dab in the middle."


3.Wanna throw a party? Give your neighbors a heads up, and try to keep it down when it gets late.

people having a backyard party

"If you have a party, let your neighbors know. Say that you're throwing a party and to let you know if it's too loud. I saw that my neighbors really appreciated it when we told them."


"Please be mindful of how loud you, your guests, and your music are after around 11 p.m., especially if it's midweek. You probably have neighbors who need to get up for work in the morning.

"I don't begrudge anyone who wants to hang out and chat with friends late at night, just keep it to a reasonable volume. Drunkenly scream-singing 'Don't Stop Believin'' at 2 a.m. isn't going to win you any 'Neighbor of the Year' awards."


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4.Next up in rules I hope nobody needs to hear, pick up your dang dog poop, and put it in the trash.

"Don't let your pets poop in someone else's yard. If your dog goes during your neighborhood walk, pick it up. No one wants to step in a poop."


"It is FINE to throw your dog’s bagged up poo in a garbage can that is out for the pickup. It is NOT ok to bag the poo, wait until no one is looking, and toss it in a bush."


5.It can be a good idea to get to know your neighbors a little bit.

neighbors leaning on the fence having a chat

"Make sure that you have more than a nodding acquaintance with your neighbors. It means that everyone has a bit more of an emotional connection, and they're more likely to notice unusual or suspicious activity around your home if you're away.

"People who have an emotional investment in their neighborhood and neighbors are more likely to look out for each other. It also changes the energy of a neighborhood, making it seem more warm and inviting, which boosts home valuation."


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6.But don't take it personally if neighbors don't feel like chatting. Some people just really like their space.

"Controversial, but it shouldn’t be rude to not want to talk to or get to know a neighbor. I’m extremely introverted and get drained, and I just wanna get home and talk to NO ONE. I also am extremely private and enjoy my home life that way."


7.Looking out for your neighbors is great, but maybe draw the line at coming into their house when they aren't home so you can close their windows.

nosy neighbor looking through the blinds

"My neighbor who has my spare key is also nosy as all get out. He saw my window was closed but not fully latched while I was out, so he went in, locked all my windows, even the ones that are impossible to access, and put the keys in a drawer. He doesn’t rummage around in my laundry or eat my food, he just has this heightened sense of danger that causes him to cross normal boundaries when it’s triggered."


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8.When you have guests over, make sure they know where they can park and don't take someone else's spot.

"When you live somewhere with assigned parking spots, tell your guests where they can park and make sure they don't park in your neighbors' spots."


9.Uh, don't be like this person's neighbors.

birds attacking a bird feeder

"This is specific to my terrible neighbors, and I just want to vent, but don’t hang your damn bird feeder above your neighbor's window. Birds keep pooping all over the outside of our kitchen window. They have another one right above our front porch that keeps getting bird poop and bird seed everywhere. My mom asked them nicely to please move it, and the guy was such a dick about it, acted like it was no big deal, and still hasn’t moved it."


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10.And please don't do anything that this person's neighbor does.

"My neighbor is awful. Her kid screams for several hours a day, and she screams back at her with added swearing. She's also spray painted her flat number on the disabled parking spot by my door (she's able-bodied, I use a wheelchair), and two weeks ago, she left her moldy, threadbare gigantic old sofa outside and moved her bins right outside my bedroom window. I can barely get my wheelchair by her garbage. I'm too nervous to confront her about any of it because I don't like being screamed at."


11.Be mindful of how loud your vehicle is. Street noise can get pretty annoying pretty quickly.

person on a motorcycle

"If you have a loud vehicle, car, motorcycle, truck, whatever, do not let it idle in the driveway. This goes double if it is early in the day or late at night and triple if your neighbor has small children. No one wants to hear your loud car. Same goes for loud music from said car or honking the horn."


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12.And the same goes for barking dogs.

"If you have a yapping barking dog, don’t be shocked when your neighbors hate you. If you have two of them, for the love of everything, either shut them up or don’t have them at all."


13.Find out if your neighbors would like a little bit of warning before you mow the lawn or fire up the grill.

man grilling in his backyard with lots of smoke

"If you’re having a barbecue, please give your neighbor a heads-up because smoke will get into their house and you don’t know if someone has a condition, temporary or long-term, that affects breathing. Smoke from a grill could become a serious issue for them and a nuisance for anyone.

"Same goes for mowing the lawn during allergy season! We need to know so we can shut our windows in time to avoid problems."


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14.Cats are beautiful and majestic creatures, but they can wreak havoc on local birds and other wildlife, so keep 'em inside.

"Stop letting your cats roam free, especially if they aren't spayed or neutered. Buy/build a catio if you insist on letting your cats out. Also, get your cats fixed regardless, and stop contributing to the growing feral cat problem."


15.When it comes to yard maintenance, try to read the room, and don't be the house with the worst yard on the block.

woman starting up her lawnmower

"If it is very clear that everyone else on your block takes pride in their yard, please at least make an effort. Do not let your grass grow to knee high, and do not let your invasive weeds bleed into my yard. If your yard is so poorly maintained that several people have to report you? You are doing something very wrong."


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16.Don't have a massive bonfire on a hot day (and if you're in Fire Country, California like me, maybe play it safe and don't have bonfires, period).

"Save your stuff for one bonfire rather than burning it several times a week. Let us know before you start a bonfire, so we can get our clean washing off the line and close the windows. Don't have a massive bonfire on a hot day."


17.Again, this seems obvious, but don't peek over your neighbor's privacy fence. It's called a privacy fence for a reason.

nosy neighbor looking over the fence

"If there’s a privacy fence, please don’t peer over. We have a pool, and our older neighbors are always looking over to wave or say hi when we are sunbathing."


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18.Don't do dangerous stuff, like setting off fireworks. Someone could get hurt, and you could also damage a neighbor's property.

"Do NOT set off fireworks in your backyard! Fourth of July or not, DON’T DO IT. You could very easily hurt yourself or others and cause property damage. My neighbor set some off in his backyard, and they went off over OUR house, so sparks and debris came down on our roof and yard.

"Another neighbor set some off in the parking lot and caught the asphalt on fire because they didn’t know what they were doing. They nearly couldn’t put it out.

"There’s a reason there are rules and laws against it — it’s dangerous. If you want to see fireworks, go to the local firework show that every town has. Don’t put yourself and your neighbors in danger just because you want to see some pretty lights and think it’s as simple as lighting a match."


19.Unless you would like a reputation as the neighborhood witch/Boo Radley/Chitty Chitty Bang Bang villain, accept that your neighbor's kids are, well, kids, and be cool with them making some noise (within reason, of course).

kids playing in a backyard

"If you live in a house and your neighbors have kids, just let them have fun, make noise, etc. Don't get upset if they occasionally throw things over the fence (just throw it back), scream while they're playing in the yard (unless it's in the middle of the night), or leave their bikes or whatever around. Kids are more and more rarely allowed to just be kids; don't contribute to that."


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20.And finally, being a great neighbor is all about balance.

"Find the balance between minding your own business and looking out for your neighbor. Neighbors dog got out? Make some noise, and get that puppy home! Christmas lights still up in March? Shhhhh."


What do you think about these neighborhood rules? Are there any you would add? Sound off in the comments.