Living off-campus means joining the Cheney or Spokane community. Your neighbors are not just your friends down the hall. They are families, professionals, and non-student residents who keep very different hours and lifestyles than students. As a part of the community, it’s important that you recognize and abide by some basic responsibilities as a neighbor.
Student Rights and Responsibilities has outlined some guidelines to build positive community relationships. We need your help in creating good and lasting neighborhood relations, abiding by city codes, and ensuring you have a great off-campus experience!
Meet your Neighbors
- Introduce yourself. Even if you have lived there for a while, it’s better late than never!
- Bring over cookies as a welcome gift and/or have your neighbors over for dinner.
- Exchange contact information.
Consider Those Around You
- Observe quiet hours between 10pm and 7am. At best, loud radios and parties may result in unhappy neighbors; at worst, the police may knock on your door.
- Be aware of shared walls! Something as seemingly innocent as watching a game or even a regular volume conversation can be disruptive to your neighbors.
- Keep in mind that noise travels farther than you think, so it’s not just next door, but also across the street and behind the house where neighbors may hear you, i.e. visiting guests, car alarms or remote entry beeping.
- Be mindful of speed limits. Obeying the speed limit in your neighborhood makes everyone safer and more secure.
- Be a responsible pet owner. Make sure your dog or cat is properly licensed. Make sure to leash your pet to prevent injury and to keep them from trespassing or causing injury to others. And most importantly, clean up after your pet.
Stay in Touch with Your Neighbors
- Go beyond first introductions and establish ongoing communication with your neighbors.
- Learn more about your neighbors’ lifestyles.
- Do they work early morning shifts?
- Do they have small kids who take afternoon naps?
- Being mindful of their schedules and helping neighbors to understand yours can help mitigate problems before they start.
- Discuss concerns with your neighbors as soon as they arise and before they escalate into larger issues.
- Keep an eye out for each other. Encourage your neighbors to report any suspicious activity to you or the police, and volunteer to do the same.
Maintain Your Home and Community!
- Practice proper yard maintenance and ensure you pick up any litter from your yard or the area around your residence.
- Remember to remove any snow from sidewalks in front of your residence.
- Check your lease to figure out who is responsible for what. Some of these tasks may be your responsibility while others may be your landlord’s.
- Parking can be a challenge for students and neighbors. Park only in your driveway, your designated parking space or on the street. Do not park illegally across sidewalks, on the grass or other landscaping. Inform your guest to follow these same rules for parking.
- Maintain the inside of your residence too. You will save money by avoiding potential charges for damages or cleaning when moving out.
- Use recycling and trash bins appropriately and keep lids on. Make sure garbage doesn’t accumulate.