Helpful Tips on Being a Friendly Neighbour

Download the 'Dear Neighbour' cards, or read some examples of when to use them!

To help you connect with your neighbours, the City has produced a series of Dear Neighbour cards.

The ‘cards’ can be downloaded on the right, or a hard copy can be requested by contacting the City's Customer Service Team on 1300 635 845, and visiting the City of Melville Civic Centre.

It is always best to talk to your neighbour face-to-face but sometimes our individual lifestyles get in the way.

If you are finding it difficult to make contact, pick a ‘Dear Neighbour’ card that suits your needs, simply complete the details on the card and pop it into your neighbours letterbox.

Introduce Yourself!

You may be new to the neighbourhood, some new neighbours may have just moved in, or you may have never had the chance to talk to your neighbours, so introduce yourself. Say hello and ask or share some information about the area. Download the Let's Catch Up card.

Consider Your Neighbours Lifestyle

Get to know your neighbours – such as what sort of work they do and the hours they work. For example, if your neighbours work night shift, quiet mornings may be important for them. Problems can often be avoided before they are created if we are more aware of our neighbour’s lifestyles.

Similarly let them know if you have specific circumstances in your household. Maybe you are renovating your house or your teenager practices the drums regularly. Let people know in advance and ask your neighbours to let you know if things get too loud.

Download the Letting You Know Card.

Be Aware of Shared Walls

If you live in a townhouse, duplex, apartment block or any residence where you and your neighbours share adjacent living spaces, position noisy devices such as kitchen appliances, washing machines, tumble dryers and even TVs and speakers away from the shared walls where possible.

Air Conditioner Noise

Noise emissions from air conditioners must comply with the assigned levels set by the Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997 at all times. If you are planning to buy an air conditioner, the Fairair website will help you make sure the air conditioner you buy meets the noise regulations, saving you money and energy and helping to prevent potential noise issues.

Noisy Residential Equipment

Most households use noisy equipment from time to time, such as lawnmowers, power tools and musical instruments. Consider the time of day you’re using noisy equipment to minimise disturbing your neighbours.

The Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997 provide for reasonable use of this type of equipment and provide guidance regarding the hours of use. Specified equipment, other than musical instruments, may be used for up to two hours per day and musical instruments may be used for up to one hour per day. All specified equipment may be used between the hours of 7.00am and 7.00pm Monday to Saturday and 9.00am to 7.00pm on Sunday and Public Holidays.

The equipment should be used in a reasonable manner, which does not reasonably interfere with the health, welfare, convenience, comfort or amenity of surrounding neighbours.

If you’re regularly finding the noise from your neighbour’s air conditioner or other household equipment disturbing, it is a good idea to give them the heads up, as they may not be aware of this.

Having a friendly discussion with your neighbour to try and reach a satisfactory solution is the best approach, but if you are struggling to find a good time to talk to them in person, you can make contact with them using our Common Concerns Card.

Control Your Dog

Keep your dog on a leash when it is in a public place or if it has a habit of exploring your neighbours lawn or garden, especially if they have pets of their own, and make sure you clean up after it. Even if it is your own back yard, it is important to clean up after animals as apart from the horrible smell, animal faeces support breeding of stable flies also known as filth flies. These flies feed on blood and inflict painful bites on dogs, cats and humans, making outdoor living a nightmare for you and your pets!

If you have a particularly noisy dog, this may annoy your neighbours. Consider their lifestyle and imagine how you might feel if perhaps you or your newborn was woken from a much-needed nap by the sudden yapping of a nearby dog. If you have problems controlling your dogs barking or whining, consider talking to your local vet or animal organisation for advice.

If you are regularly finding the noise from your neighbours’ dog disturbing, it is a good idea to give them the heads up as they may not be aware of this, especially if it happens while they are out. If you are struggling to find a good time to talk to them in person, you can make contact with them using the City of Melville’s Bark Card.

Cat Considerations

Cats should be confined to a pen or house between 8.00pm and 7.00am. Cats are nocturnal - they will wander further at night and may explore your neighbours lawn or garden. They are also a risk to wildlife, or may put themselves at risk on the road or with other animals.

Parking Etiquette

When you park your vehicle be careful not to obstruct footpaths, block anyone’s access or make them have to pull out of a very tight spot. Please don’t park on your neighbours verge without their permission and avoid parking opposite their driveway as this can make it difficult when leaving property.

If you leave home in the early hours of the morning or arrive home late at night, try not to over rev your engine.

Party Alert

If you’re planning a party, let your neighbours know in advance, advising them the expected start and finish time. Give them a contact number in case things get too loud. If you get on well with your neighbours why not invite them too?

Make sure you stick to the agreed times and ask your guests to be considerate when leaving. It is also good idea to notify the City’s Community Safety Service on 1300 653 643 and the local police on 131 444.

If you are struggling to find a good time to let your neighbours know of your party plans in person, you can make contact with them using our Letting You Know card.

Notifying Your Neighbours

Have you seen something at a neighbour’s home that they might not be aware of? This could be a broken reticulation nozzle, a light left on at the property, or perhaps vegetation that obstructs the view of local drivers.

If you are struggling to find a good time to talk your neighbour in person, you can make contact with them using our Are You Award card.

Put Rubbish Out on the Right Day

Put your green and yellow topped bins out on the day it is due for collection or the night before if it is an early pick up. If you accidentally miss the collection, bring it back to your property immediately and try to contain it well. Refuse can attract vermin, insects and other pests and is unsightly. More information about your rubbish collection.

Dividing Fences

Fences between neighbours are a topic that often needs discussion and it is helpful to understand your rights and obligations concerning dividing fences.

If you are struggling to find a good time to talk your neighbour in person, you can make contact with them using our Common Concerns Card.

Trees on Private Property

Neighbours trees are frequently a source of concern, which can often be resolved through a friendly discussion.

The City of Melville do not become involved in most private tree issues as this is a civil matter, which means that the issue needs to be resolved between the neighbours.

If you are struggling to find a good time to talk your neighbour in person, you can make contact with them using our Common Concerns Card.

Communicate with Your Neighbours

Most importantly, take time to get in touch with your neighbours regularly and keep the lines of communication open. Maybe have an arrangement with them to keep an eye on each other’s homes while you’re away and pick up mail from the letterbox.

If there are new neighbours in the street or perhaps an elderly person who lives alone that may need to call on you in an emergency, why not leave them your phone number. They may never need to use it but many elderly people feel very vulnerable if they don’t have friends or family close by that they can call on in an emergency.

Visit your neighbour in person, or make contact using our Let's Catch Up Card.

When You Have a Great Neighbour

Has your neighbour done something thoughtful for you or are they just great to have as neighbours?

Why not let them know you appreciate having them as your neighbour by sending a Dear Neighbour Thank You Card.