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Living in your Community

What does it mean to be a good neighbour?

​Moving into your new home & neighbourhood is exciting! As a Habitat for Humanity Northumberland (HFHN) homeowner, you have not only accessed this fantastic opportunity, but you now represent Habitat for Humanity within our community.


Volunteers, donors and sponsors in Northumberland have contributed their time and money in building or renovating your home to provide opportunities for your successful homeownership. The Habitat for Humanity model is based on building homes, community and hope.  

Here are some guidelines and tips to creating good relations with your neighbours: 


Respect your neighbour's rights 

You don’t have to like your neighbours, but you must be respectful. There are 30 fundamental human rights as noted in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Canada and Ontario also have Human Rights Acts that outline specific grounds that are protected. These are: 

  • race 

  • national or ethnic origin 

  • colour 

  • religion 

  • age 

  • sex 

  • sexual orientation 

  • marital status 

  • family status 

  • disability 

  • a conviction for which you have been granted a pardon. 

For more information, go to our Commitment to Equity, Diversity & Inclusion page on our website:



Respecting each other's privacy is an essential part of peaceful interactions with our neighbours. Everyone has the right to enjoyment of their home without fear of someone watching them or worrying that their personal info is being shared with others. 


Know the rules

Being a respectful and responsible #neighbour means following the municipal rules that govern the types of structures and activities allowed in your neighbourhood.

There may be extra rules that you must follow, if you live in a condo or townhouse. As a neighbour, you need to know all of these rules, called by-laws. By-laws are enforced by by-law officers or police.

For more info on by-laws win Northumberland check out these municipal websites:

Municipal Law Enforcement - Municipality of Port Hope

Bylaws - Town of Cobourg

By-laws - Township of Hamilton (

By-Laws - Alnwick Haldimand Township (

By-laws - Municipality of Trent Hills

By-Laws - Municipality of Brighton

By-laws - Township of Cramahe

Being a Good neighbour Campaign (1).png

Keep it down

As a neighbour, no one expects you to be quiet as a mouse, but you should also respect certain basic rules when it comes to making too much noise. Leaf blowers, loud music and barking dogs are among the types of noises that certainly can cause a stir, especially early in the morning and late at night.

A lot depends on where you live, what type of dwelling you occupy, and the habits of your neighbours. Noise acceptability can be different between rural and town living, given the space between your homes.



Being a respectful animal owner is part of being a good neighbour.

All municipalities have by-laws with regards to pet ownership/licensing as well as what animals are permitted within certain areas. It is your responsibility to train your pet so that it does not damage property or injure someone.

An out of control pet will act based on instinct and a bite could lead to injury, charges and you losing your pet. If you're training a new pet (and it's taking time), explain this to your neighbours.


Keep it tidy

A good neighbour is one who ensures that their property is tidy. Lawn maintenance including mowing the lawn & leaf pick up is important to reduce pests such as mice, rats and ticks. Basic exterior maintenance tips include:

  • Make sure that trees, shrubs, and other elements don’t creep into your neighbor’s yard.

  • Trim tree limbs, spreading shrubs, and weeds

  • Remove all bicycles, skateboards, and toys from the front yard at the end of the day.

  • Now that the cold weather has come, snow removal of common areas is also a must, especially for the safety of your neighbours.


Kindness & conflict

Sometimes disagreements occur and how both neighbours deal with that will have a big impact on the neighbourhood as a whole. If your neighbour has done something that has upset you – talk about it with them calmly. 

Being kind and helping each other can go a long way. Saying hello and smiling at your neighbours is simple. If you see your neighbour struggling with something and you can help, do. These small acts help maintain peace between you and will likely help you build a good foundation for dealing with conflict if it does arise.  


We never truly know what someone is going through at any given time. Your small gesture of kindness could have a big impact.  

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