Be a Good Neighbor

Be a Good Neighbor graphic, photo of an apartment building

10 Ways To Be a Good Neighbor

Living off-campus can come with some unique responsibilities, so we compiled the list below to help you be a good neighbor in your Austin community.

1. Meet your neighbors. As soon as you move in, introduce yourself to your immediate neighbors. Consider bringing them a welcome gift, like cookies or another treat. Exchange contact information if you feel comfortable and encourage them to call you if they ever have concerns.

2. Clean up your yard. Never leave trash on your lawn, and make sure you always pick up after your pet. Your neighbors have to look at your yard, so try to keep it presentable.

3. Inform your neighbors if you are having a party. You may not notice things getting loud when you have friends over, so let your neighbors know in advance if you're planning to host guests. Make parking arrangements in advance, and lower the noise level at an arranged time. 

4. Hold yourself responsible for your guests. It is your responsibility to ensure that your guests are adhering to the same rules and courtesies as you.

5. Be a responsible host. Never serve alcohol to an underage guest, and don't let any intoxicated guests drive home. 

6. Be helpful. Look for opportunities to help your neighbor carry in their groceries or bring up their trash cans. Kind gestures like these go a long way.

7. Represent your university well. Students are expected to uphold the university's expectations for conduct. Specific information about the university’s disciplinary process, related resources, as well as the university’s rules (described in Chapter 11 of the Institutional Rules on Student Services and Activities) can be found on the Student Conduct and Academic Integrity website

8. Let your neighbors sleep. The City of Austin Noise Ordinance states that a person may not make unreasonable noise between the hours of 10:30 P.M. and 7 A.M. or create a sound or vibration more than 30 feet from a vehicle. Read more about the ordinance here.

9. Use common courtesy. If a dispute arises, have a mature conversation with your neighbor and try to find a solution that works for everyone. If you make an effort to be kind and considerate, your neighbors will likely reciprocate.

10. Learn from your neighbors. Many of your neighbors may have a lot of experience living on their own, so they can be an excellent resource if you simply walk over and ask them for help. You can also join the area neighborhood association and connect with your neighbors through social media groups.


Sources: University Code of Conduct, University of Arkansas, Washington and Lee University, Miami University