Being a good neighbour

Being a good neighbour

For many of you, moving into a shared house or flat will be the first time that you encounter neighbours. Suddenly you have the added responsibility of being the point of contact and the representative of that house.

These tips and hints are designed to make living independently within a community easier, and to give you assistance with some of the things you need to consider.

Being a good neighbour

On moving in, introduce yourself – go on, don't be shy! You'll be surprised how such a simple act can establish a positive relationship. Your neighbours can tell you about the local area, including important information such as when rubbish is collected, and so on.

Ask your neighbours to let you know if noise levels from your house disturb them. If they approach you, be polite and responsive.

  • Position stereos, TVs and so on away from adjacent walls.
  • Remember that neighbours may keep different hours to you – make sure you and your guests respect this.
  • Be particularly sensitive if you live alongside families with young children.
  • When coming home late keep your voices down.
  • Sound travels a great deal in the early hours – slamming car doors or the front door as you enter the house can sound like an explosion to those asleep in surrounding houses.
  • If you can hear your music from outside the room, so can everyone else. Use headphones and observe the time when playing your music.
  • If you play a musical instrument, practise it at a reasonable time and not early in the morning or during the late evening or night.
  • Speak to your neighbour and flatmates to advise them when you are likely to practise an instrument. Respect their concerns, you may decide to agree on certain days or times.

Being a good neighbour PDF 869KB

Portsmouth is a densely populated city and living independently as part of a close-knit community is an important part of University life.



Your rubbish will be collected from your home every week.

  • Put the rubbish out by 7.00am on your collection day, or after 7.00pm the night before.
  • Do not put rubbish or recycling out at any other time, you will be breaking the law and could receive a hefty fine.
  • If you are unsure as to when your collection day is, you can speak to a neighbour, phone Portsmouth City Council on 023 9283 4092 or check online at www.portsmouth.gov.uk/waste.
  • Please store your rubbish correctly. If you don't have a bin, ask your landlord to provide you with one. Food and personal waste can spill from torn rubbish bags and attract rats and mice to the street and your home.
  • Bag up rubbish carefully and don't leave it in the front garden all week.
  • Take large pieces of rubbish (old mattresses, broken furniture, and so on) to Port Solent waste collection site (turn left at the last mini-roundabout before Port Solent complex to the north of the City).


  • Portsmouth City Council will give you a recycling container that suits your household.
  • Please do not put black sacks or plastic bags in your wheelie bin or box as they cannot be recycled so will cause problems for recycling.
  • Recycling collections take place every fortnight on the same day as your normal rubbish collection.
  • On collection day leave your recycling box at the front of your property where the boundary meets the pavement by 7.00am, or after 7.00pm the night before.
  • Take glass to your local glass recycling bin.
  • If you require a recycling bin or have any questions, please call Portsmouth City Council on 023 9283 4092.

Having a party?

Having the occasional party isn't a crime (although more than one a term could be considered excessive). If you decide to hold one, do it at the weekend. Even if you call it a 'get together' it still makes a lot of noise.

  • Give your neighbours (not just the immediate ones) plenty of warning and let them know when you expect to finish and stick to that time.
  • Keep the music down. DJ decks are not appropriate in terraced housing.
  • Keep outside doors firmly shut and open sufficient small windows for ventilation.
  • If the party starts outside in the summer, move inside at an appropriate time.
  • Keep regular checks on noise levels, especially the bass.
  • Don't have lots of parties at the same house.
  • Ask your guests to leave quietly.
  • Clear up debris.
  • If you receive a complaint from neighbours, take responsibility.

If an Environmental Health Officer calls round, DO NOT IGNORE THEM. They have extensive powers and you could receive a hefty fine and have your equipment seized.


You can find the phone number of the Student and Neighbour liaison and other related phone numbers at www.port.ac.uk/aboutus/community/neighbours/universityandcommunitycontacts.