8 Garden Etiquette Rules to Keep Your Neighbours Happy

Thursday Jul 27th, 2023


Want to keep the neighbours on your side? Follow these guidelines.

From wafting barbecue smoke to fence painting, there are a number of garden etiquette rules you should follow if you want to be a good neighbour and avoid any disputes.

With the temperature rising around the Canada and more time being spent outside dining alfresco, now is the perfect time to brush up on the most common garden rules to keep your street – and neighbours – happy. Disputes between neighbours often start with minor niggles, but being transparent will help to ease tensions and avoid further escalation.

Here are eight garden etiquette rules to help you stay on the right side of your neighbours...

1. Be mindful when jet washing

Jet washing is a simple and effective way to clean up your property, but it's important to be mindful of neighbouring homes, whether you're using it in a front or rear garden.

It is likely to cause dirt and stones to spray around the garden at a rapid rate, potentially causing damage to neighbouring properties by scratching surfaces or even chipping and breaking windows. This can be costly as it's likely to impact the value of their property. Be careful of the pressure you use when jet washing and how close you stand to the areas that you are cleaning. This will help to avoid causing any damage.

2. Do not mow your lawn at inconvenient times

Keep the peace in your neighbourhood by cutting the grass during the middle of the day. As a rule of thumb, the best time to cut the grass is between 2pm and 4pm during the week, and after 9am on the weekend to avoid causing upset. If you aren't able to use the lawnmower during the day, try to do it before 7pm in the evening — or earlier if there are children sleeping.

3. Position your BBQ correctly

Before you fire up for barbecue season, position your grill in a safe place to avoid any thick smoke blowing into the next door's garden (it's worth checking whether they have the washing out, too).

Before you begin a BBQ, observe the direction of the wind, and position the BBQ accordingly. If your neighbour is drying their washing in the garden, be sure to alert them of your BBQ so that they may move it.

4. Place any trampolines away from shared neighbouring lines

Poorly positioned trampolines could frustrate your neighbours. In fact, last year one woman said her neighbours' trampoline was severely impacting her wellbeing and making life miserable because it overlooked her garden. If you're the courteous type and enjoy getting along with your neighbours, make every effort to place your trampoline away from their fence.

A trampoline in a garden with children has becomes the norm. When building a trampoline, be mindful that there is potential for your neighbours' privacy to be invaded, as children can peer over fences when they reach a certain heighty. Attempt to place the trampoline away from neighbouring boundary lines where they are unlikely to see or hear it.

5. Do not leave your dog unattended in the garden

Leaving a dog alone in the garden can lead to unwanted behaviours and excessive barking. Persistent barking, including the volume, duration, and time of day in which the barking takes place, can potentially lead to a council complaint and a Noise Abatement Notice. If you're a pet parent, do not leave your dog unattended outside.

The first point of action should always be to speak to your neighbour. If this doesn't work, the experts at Price Your Job suggest keeping a diary of timings and then reporting the noise to the local council. They will be able to investigate further and take action.

6. Be careful when painting your fence

If you want to change something about a fence that legally belongs to your neighbour, you should ask their permission first – even if you're only painting, varnishing or staining it. Your DIY skills might be pretty impressive, but paint could splash onto the other side.

Terry advises: 'Before you paint, or even stain a fence, you must be certain that you own the fence, even if its directly facing your garden. If you don’t own the fence, you must ask your neighbour's permission. Painting a fence that isn't yours may seem harmless, but it may cause major conflict, especially if the owner goes on to sell the property.'

7. Use your hot tub at appropriate times

Hot tubs help ease away tensions of the day, but they can also be loud once switched on. If you want to keep a good relationship with your neighbours, check in with them when using it late in the evening.

You may see no harm in a late-night dip, but the hot tub vibrations can constitute noise pollution, varying between 41- 67 decibels.

Adhere to the same rules as mowing the lawn when it comes to using your hot tub. If you plan to use it out of these hours, notify your neighbours to avoid confrontation.'

8. Keep your garden tidy if houses are for sale

'Approximately one million homes are set to go on sale in 2023, with summer being the busiest time for the housing market. When buyers purchase a property, they are not just buying into a property, but a lifestyle,' explains Terry.

'Part of this lifestyle is the company that their new home keeps. If you see that your neighbour's property is for sale, make a conscious effort to keep outdoor areas clean and tidy, especially if they are particularly overlooked.'


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