Annie Smith was going into labor, and Hurricane Harvey wasn’t stopping for her. As she and her husband worriedly watched the water rise in their home, a neighbor came over to check on them. A few minutes later, this good neighbor gathered others to form a human chain to help Annie get to a nearby truck and safely off to the hospital.

Being a good neighbor may mean forming a human chain, or it may mean something as simple as giving a smile. Here are our top three things to avoid if you want to be a good neighbor: making too much noise, being too friendly (or not friendly enough), and violating community policies.

Making Too Much Noise

Unsurprisingly, noisy neighbors are one of the most common issues tenants and landlords face. From tap dancing to toddler playdates, even happy noise can drive a neighbor crazy. So, to be a good neighbor, avoid making too much noise, especially near shared walls.

But how can we keep children, spats, and pets from getting too loud? For helping children and pets keep to an inside-appropriate noise level, make sure they’re getting enough active time outdoors (while still adhering to social distancing guidelines). Getting enough active time helps them be more calm and quiet while at home. When it is again advisable to do so, check out nearby walking trails like Fullerton Loop, Hiltscher Park, and Brea Dam Park to get some energy out!

For avoiding loud spats, a great life tip in general is to be assertive—not passive-aggressive—with those who live with you. Be proactive and open about discussing expectations and issues. That way, emotions don’t build up and spill over into yelling.

Being Too Friendly or Not Friendly Enough

In an apartment community, you’re living in relatively close proximity to many other people. That means that getting to know your neighbor is not only nice but also practical. For example, if an issue comes up, knowing your neighbor means it’s much easier to have a kind, honest conversation. “Hey, Amelia is usually still finishing her nap at 3 p.m. She won’t need an afternoon nap soon, but is there any way Ben could practice his trumpet a little later for the next couple of months?”

On the flip side, don’t be too friendly. If you pass your neighbors as they’re coming or going, be respectful of their time. And don’t be a chronic borrower. A cup of sugar one evening is one thing. A new baking ingredient every other week might get annoying.

Violating Community Policy

Our community policies are there for a reason. For example, at Avignon, we have a policy that dog owners keep dogs leashed when entering or exiting their apartment or the parking structure, courtyards, or grounds. Even well-behaved dogs can get distracted by a strange smell or noise and run off unexpectedly. Keeping them on the leash helps protect vulnerable people.

Remember those neighbors during Hurricane Harvey, rallying to help each other. Be a good neighbor by not making too much noise, being friendly, and keeping community policies.