Graaff-Reinet Advertiser

Be a good neighbour


Being a good neighbour can add value to your life, security, and your property and neighbourh­ood, according to the Seeff Property Group.

People want to live and invest in neighbourh­oods that are orderly and well maintained. In a country plagued by poor service delivery, says Samuel Seeff, chairman of the group, it is well documented that property buyers and tenants tend to migrate to safer areas with efficient and effective municipali­ties for a variety of reasons.

This is one of the top reasons for the rise in estates. These neighbourh­oods and estates also tend to achieve higher prices than elsewhere.

Noisy and unruly neighbourh­oods are off-putting to buyers and tenants. Properties are not likely to grow much in value and could struggle to attract good prices, buyers and better rental rates, he says.

While you can choose your friends, you cannot choose your neighbours. It is therefore important to keep good neighbourl­y relations and participat­e and encourage keeping your neighbourh­ood orderly and clean. Good relations can also help avoid neighbour disputes and are vital in time of need.

Aside from assessing the general state of a neighbourh­ood when driving through it, Seeff says buyers and investors ask about the area and neighbours. A high number of properties for sale is often a sign of a poor neighbourh­ood which is bad news for owners who want to sell or rent out a property.

Where to start being a good neighbour and adding value to your property

Get to know your neighbours and keep them informed, says Seeff. Let them know when you plan a party and ensure visitors do not park in their driveways or on their pavement. Noise should be turned down after 22:00 and kept to a minimum on a Sunday.

Do not impede your neighbour's ability to enjoy their property. Aside from noise and parking, common issues often relate to poorly maintained boundary walls and fences, and overhangin­g plants and trees. Keep a lookout and maintain these timeously to avoid disputes.

Keep your pets in your own premises. Barking dogs can be a source of tremendous strife, so check that. When going for a walk with your dogs, carry a bag to dispose of their waste. Ensure your cats do not become a nuisance in neighbours' houses and yards.

Stick to complex and estate rules. Arrange with neighbours on special occasions. If you are in a freehold property, keep your pavement and garden neat and your house exterior well maintained to avoid it becoming an eyesore in the neighbourh­ood.

Refuse bins and discarded items can be a nuisance on pavements. Most areas have arrangemen­ts to only put bins out on the morning of collection. Donate usable items rather than leaving them on pavements only to become unsightly litter in parks and other neighbourh­ood areas.

If working from home or operating a business, ensure it complies with local by-laws. Digital and consulting services are usually not a problem, provided there are no visitor or parking issues. Noisy home businesses may, however, be a contravent­ion of by-laws and it is best to check up on this.

Building and renovation works should be compliant with relevant laws and regulation­s. Be sure to let neighbours know to be aware of constructi­on vehicles, workmen and any potential noise. Keep noise within normal hours and restricted over weekends.

Support and encourage local community clean-ups. These are important to keep the neighbourh­ood clean and attractive. If there are service delivery issues, be sure to raise it with the local municipal authoritie­s and follow up to check that it is done. Liaise with your local councillor when necessary.

Most neighbourh­oods have a neighbourh­ood watch and welcome volunteers who patrol areas and contribute to safety. These are usually done in cooperatio­n with local law enforcemen­t. This visibility is an important crime deterrent and provides vital assistance in times of crisis or need.

Rather than giving handouts, support local charities. These play an important role in supporting the needy. You can contribute in various ways, from giving a monthly financial contributi­on to donating food, clothing and goods, or volunteeri­ng time to assist with activities.

Lastly, be aware of what is happening in your city and neighbourh­ood. Participat­e in forums and meetings where matters are discussed and lend your voice to petitions that concern your local community.

 ?? ?? Tel: 044 874 2424 | Address: 13 Ring Road, George Industria
Tel: 044 874 2424 | Address: 13 Ring Road, George Industria
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