Being a Cottage Neighbour

Neighbours can bring plenty of joy or lots of pain at the cottage.  Unless the cabin is in a remote location, getting along with the neighbour at the lake is essential for enjoying the summer.

Avoiding Problems

The best way to avoid problems with the cottage neighbour is to be courteous, communicate openly, and be understanding of the fact that the neighbour’s idea of cottage living may be different than yours.

Cottage Parties
Take the time to let the neighbours know a week or two ahead of time when you are planning to have a party.  The gesture will be appreciated.  If the neighbours plan to be at the cabin, the noise and increased water traffic will be anticipated.  Otherwise, it gives them the option of not going to the lake for that particular weekend if they don’t want to be disturbed.  Loud music will probably be tolerated during the day, but once the sun sets, turn down the tunes.

How do you deal with noisy cabin neighbours?
When the neighbours are being too noisy, don’t be shy about going over and talking to them about it. Most times, they don’t even realize they are disturbing you. Try to keep the discussion light and friendly. Approaching with a smile always helps. Give a sensible reason as to why you would like them to keep the noise down. Most people are reasonable and will respond positively.

How do you deal with problem renters at the neighbour’s cabin?
Cottage owners should inform their neighbours when they plan to rent or lend the cottage to someone else.  It avoids the embarrassment of having a well intentioned neighbour call the police when he sees strangers on your property.  At the same time, the locals can keep an eye on the place, and alert you of any problems.

In the event that there are renters next door, you can approach them when they arrive and introduce yourself. Having this quick conversation puts the renters at ease. Once they have met you they are likely to be more conscientious of their activities.

This also gives you a chance to size up the situation. During the conversation you may want to work in a few points about keeping the festivities under control if it looks like they are planning to party hard. Again, it is worthwhile to provide some specific reasons. There may be young families on the lake with children who sleep early, or maybe a trigger-happy half crazy old timer who lives next door.

If things go bad, contact the owners and explain the situation. They may not be able to fix the problem that weekend but they can make a note not to rent to the same people in the future.

Open-Door Policy at the Lake
Think twice about getting too friendly with the cabin neighbour.  Helping yourself to each other’s food, tools, and books can work out well but once that door has been opened it is very uncomfortable to close and may ruin what could have been a very pleasant but less intrusive relationship.

Respecting Private Property
Kids at the cabin are like kids in the suburb – they tend to go wherever they want.  Be considerate of a cottage neighbour’s desire for peace, quiet, and tranquility.  If the neighbours don’t have kids, odds are they don’t want yours playing tag, or driving the ATV on their property.  The same rules go for the water.  While nobody owns the lake, everyone has the right to enjoy it.

Common sense and mutual respect go a long way at the lake. You don’t have to spend time with your cottage neighbours, but you should always be considerate of their presence.

Go to the How To Be A Good Cottage Guest page.
Go to the Tips For Renting A Cottage page.
Go to the Tips For Renting Out The Cottage page.

Go to the Cottage Renters As Neighbours article.

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