Tag Archives: Being Social

Meet Thy Neighbors

It’s the first commandment of owning or renting a house or apartment, and not abiding by it can be disastrous for both renters and landlords alike. Luckily for all you awkward internetroverts out there, the Hometown Rant has you covered. It will involve leaving the safety of your computer chair, but you could probably use the Vitamin D anyways.

As a landlord, you should know who lives around the house or apartment, since it’ll affect who you rent the place to. If you know your rental property is next to a family with young kids, you probably don’t want to rent that property to the college-age party bros or the nudist art collective. If you know that the primary demographic of your apartment complex is up and coming twentysomethings, you’ll be able to filter your applicants to find a renter who’ll fit into the community

As a renter, you should be concerned with who your neighbors are because like it or not you’re going to have to interact with one another. This goes double for renters of duplexes, apartments or condos who literally share walls with other people. The only way to facilitate a healthy and enjoyable living situation is to be able to trust the people around you, and to be able to talk to them if you have an issue. If you wait until you have a problem to bring it up, you might find that they react like this.

But how do you go about meeting these strangers living all around you? The easiest way is to walk up to their door, knock on it, and introduce yourself. Maybe bring them some sort of baked good or alcoholic beverage, depending on how old they are. If that seems too awkward to you, you could try a different approach. Spend time in that yard you’ve been meaning to do some work in, and wave in a friendly manner at people walking by. Then you’ll at least be the guy or gal who waves all the time instead of the weird Boo Radley impersonator that the neighborhood kids make up stories about.

Another good way to meet people is with a dog. It’s probably not advisable to go out and get a dog simply for that purpose, but if you already have one lying around, it’s a great way to put that lazy freeloader to work. Take your dog for a walk around the neighborhood or at the local park and let the pooch make the introductions. Dress him up. Let people pet him or rub her belly, and introduce the dog before yourself. Boom. Instant conversation starter and focal point of ensuing discussion (oh you have a dog too? What a coincidence! etc…) This will work for meeting all types of people, but it’s especially good for introducing yourself to that hot guy or cute gal who lives down the street.

You don’t have to be best friends with everyone on your block, but you do want to be known in the neighborhood as an all round good dude/dudette, or at least a reasonable individual who isn’t a shut-in freak-show, which is what people will probably assume if you don’t get out there and say hello. What are you waiting for? Get out there!

Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? Don’t be a stranger:  Hometownrant@hometownrent.com