Observe Etiquette and be a Happy Duplex Resident
Living in a duplex is really nothing like having a neighborhood with a nice patch of grass in between the walls. Instead, what is a few feet of cinder block separates two entirely different living spaces packed with people with entirely different living habits. These close quarters do of course save on the rent or purchase payment each month but can lead to some tense times if the music gets too loud or the parties get too wild.
Whether you are the landlord of a duplex or the resident of one, here are a few tips that are important to keeping duplex residents happy. For the resident, these tips will help you not only enjoy a smoother stay in your duplex but will offer a smoother stay to your neighbor. That kind of consideration can engender some goodwill between you and your neighbor, something that can come in quite useful over time.
Let the Clock be Your Guide
As someone that has lived in a duplex and in other areas of close cohabitation, I can say that the most annoying habit a fellow resident could have is the propensity to play loud music late at night. This is by far one of the most common complaints had by those living in duplexes and alleviating that concern from your neighbor’s list of complaints can go a long way towards developing a happy wall neighbor.
However, loud music can be great sometimes to unwind or simply get into the music, so what are you to do? I wouldn’t advocate cranking up the volume, but I would advocate that some consideration be thrown into the mix. While everyone's sleep patterns are different, on a general level, people go to bed around 10 p.m. and wake up around 8 a.m. Obviously, there is a great deal of fluctuation in those times, but keeping your music out of the hours when most people might be asleep is the best way to compromise on a volume problem for your stereo, television, or video game system.
Take a Second to Share a Drink
It might sound silly, but sharing a drink of any kind can get you closer to your neighbor and open up lines of communication that might not have been there before. Instead of a phone call to the landlord or the police, you might get a knock on the door and a polite question instead if you take the time to forge a relationship with your neighbor in the first place. A cup of coffee or a couple of beers can go a long way toward alleviating future issues.
While I don’t think it’s necessary to become best friends with the person or family that shares a roof with you, it is important to at least have the kind of relationship where you can say hello and goodbye if you see someone at the other end of the duplex. It is amazing what a few simple words can do for a relationship and no matter what the issue might be, a neighbor is much more likely to work with you on something if you take the time to open up at the start.
Living in a duplex presents a different set of issues than living in a single-family home or even an apartment. The close proximity of the two living spaces and shared features like the yard, porch, or garage can put two groups in contact with each other much more often. Working to maintain a strong relationship with your neighbor will not only limit the problems you might have with that person but also limit the problems they might be likely to call in otherwise. Even duplex neighbors can benefit from a solid working friendship.