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How (NOT) To Be a Good Neighbour


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03-05-2018 - By: Victoria Woods

With the price of property in Malta skyrocketing, not many young professionals can afford to buy their own detached house. Apparently, it’s because we like to brunch far too much and don’t know what hard work feels like. 

It’s no surprise, then, that renting (or buying for the lucky few) an apartment is becoming the norm. Owners are converting their houses into flats, and purpose-built apartment blocks are going up everywhere.

If you’re on the hunt for somewhere to rent or buy, you’ll be able to find an apartment in a shared block almost anywhere on the island. Apartments in Sliema and St Julian’s are the most sought-after (and the most expensive). Close to there, and perhaps a little more affordable, you can find a flat in Gzira or Msida. On the other hand, if you prefer the north, you might look to rent or buy a place in St. Paul’s Bay, Xemxija or Mellieha.

Wherever you choose to rent or buy, if you can’t afford a detached villa or townhouse, you’ll most likely end up with a flat in a block of apartments. And with that, comes neighbours! 

Living above, underneath or side-by-side with strangers can be a rewarding experience. Sometimes, when you get along, it can lead to long-lasting friendships and a lovely, community feel. However, put together some people who don’t get along and who don’t have much respect for one another, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for some delicious tension. 

This is why we’ve put together some pointers, for those of you who are living in an apartment block, on how (not) to be a good neighbour:

  1. Play extremely loud music all day and all night. (Of course, living in Malta, you’ll know that it’s illegal for you to make noise between 11pm and 7am. That’s why you keep the volume to a minimum during that time, right? But, to be honest, it’s your duty, as a music-lover, to play your music at all times and loud enough so that you can educate your neighbours on what real music sounds like.) 
     
  2. Walk around in high-heels. (You’re getting ready to go out and it’s important for your neighbours to know that you have a social life. That’s why you put your heels on. In your bedroom, because that’s where you keep them. Obviously. You walk to the front door but, when you get there, you realise you left your bag in the bedroom. So, you walk back. But your bag’s not there. Bathroom? No. You retrace your steps to trigger your memory. It was by the front door after all! Haha. Every time! It’s almost like a tradition.)
     
  3. Take your rubbish out whenever you feel like it. (Black bag day, recycling day, whatever. And as if you’re going to get up before 8am just to take your rubbish out. Missed the truck? Oh well, just leave in in the common area. Someone else will take it out for you tomorrow.)
     
  4. Have no care for your neighbours’ post. (It’s not yours, so why should you care that it’s on the floor, getting covered in the juice that’s leaking from your garbage bag?)
     
  5. Never offer to clean the stairs or the common areas. (I mean, everyone uses them so why should you be the one to clean them? Your rubbish bag might have leaked all over the stairs but someone else trod sand everywhere and they never cleaned it up.) 
     
  6. Ignore any notices or notes. (Let’s face it, they’re just passive aggressive anyway. Your neighbours don’t have any right to tell you what to do. Especially not the uptight lady from downstairs. Who appointed her Apartment Block Queen?)

Don’t be shy to mention where you got all your tips from when you win Neighbour of the Year!