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How to love thy neighbour

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Seven tips on how to avoid conflict and be a good neighbour

Homeowners need to balance their right to renovate their home with the impact the building work could have on neighbours.

A good rule of thumb, says regional director and chief executive of Re/Max of Southern Africa Adrian Goslett, is to be considerate to those around you and also to ensure your project does not incur hefty fines or a visit from your local police officers.

Here, Goslett gives you tips on how to avoid conflict and be a good neighbour:

Warn your neighbours in advance if you plan on undertaking noisy renovations.

Ensure loud construction work comes to an end by 5pm and does not start before 7am.

If building supplies (bricks, wood, frames, etc) are going to be dropped off at your property, and if these supplies are going to encroach onto the boundary line that divides your plot from that of your neighbour, you will need to get your neighbour’s permission before going ahead.

This applies to any structures which are being built on the boundary lines too.

If possible, try to avoid building structures against, or even near, to the boundary walls of a neighbour’s plot – even if you get the necessary permission – as over time this could become a source of conflict.

Avoid any renovations that will obstruct your neighbours’ views, if you want to avoid placing strain on these relationships.

Be cognisant of your outdoor lighting, so light does not keep neighbours awake at night. In particular, if a neighbour’s home faces onto your garden, motion-activated outdoor lights can be a “real nuisance”.

Choose to keep external features of a style that fits in with the overall aesthetic of the neighbourhood and avoid anything garish.


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