In this article, we touch on the subject of “Good Neighbourliness” in Community Schemes; how it impacts communal living and how it can be implemented.
Community Schemes: Community Scheme living is quickly becoming a preferred dwelling option for many South Africans. Living in a Community Scheme offers a sense of security and allows residents to lock up and go at a moment’s notice. Whether you prefer a Sectional Scheme (Body Corporate) or Homeowners Association (HOA) the reality is they have the same aspect in common, a community of people living in close proximity to one another and as such demands a certain degree of respect, consideration and general neighbourliness.
What Is Good Neighbourliness?
The first step to understanding good neighbourliness is to familiarise yourself with the conduct rules of the scheme. The conduct rules provide a specific guideline as to what is considered to be acceptable within the scheme, from the appearance from the outside, to parking, noise, alterations, pets and even refuse disposal to name a few.
More often than not the reason for tension between neighbours is because one or more parties believe that someone was not acting within the rules of the scheme. Trivial as this may seem, there is a very simple solution to the problem, General Neighbourliness!
Once neighbours know each other and are familiar with one another they are more likely to knock on the door and have a neighbourly discussion about an issue rather than sending a complaint to the committee or managing agents.
Tips for Implementing Good Neighbourliness
Introduce Yourself: Whether you are new to the scheme or basically considered part of the furniture, always endeavour to meet your neighbours a handshake goes a lot further than a nod and a smile.
Get to Know Your Neighbours: For example, familiarising yourself with what your neighbour does for a living, if they work a
Control Your Pet: If your dog barks on a constant basis, bear in mind it may be causing a disturbance to your neighbours. The onus falls on you as the owner to do your utmost to control your pet.
Share the Knowledge: Your neighbour may not read the newspaper or watch the news, so share what you have heard and keep your neighbour/s informed. In a worst case scenario it would make for a good topic of conversation.
Mind Your Parking: A regular cause of a dispute is a neighbour, or his visitors, parking in a neighbours parking bay. Regardless if that neighbour has a vehicle or not, proper etiquette suggests that you should enquire beforehand if your neighbour would mind if his/her parking bay is utilised.
Communicate with Your Neighbour/s: Let your neighbour know if you are going on holiday or to hospital, or even if you plan on having a few guests over, maybe even invite them to join the party or to pop by later for a beverage. Remember, a little courtesy goes a long way.
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