How To Be A Good Neighbour

Our Advice Centre has put together some top tips to help you maintain good relationships with the local community and avoid disputes with your neighbours.

advice centre

At the Advice Centre, we, unfortunately, see instances of students getting into avoidable disputes with their neighbours. It’s now more important than ever to be mindful of those living around us, so we’ve put together some key information and tips which will help you to build and maintain good relationships with the local community.

If you want more detailed information, you can check out the University’s Be A Good Neighbour Guide.

Expectations For Living In The Community

Royal Holloway is situated between two communities, Egham and Englefield Green, both of which offer plenty of private housing for students alongside the local residents. When living in the area, your behaviour reflects on the University as well as yourselves. If complaints are made to the University about you, there can be serious consequences which may affect your studies. 

One of the most important things you can do to avoid disagreements getting to this point is to keep open communication with your neighbours. Introduce yourselves to them as soon as possible, and if you feel comfortable, exchange contact details. That way, if there are any issues, they are more likely to contact you directly at first to resolve them, rather than going directly to the University. Checking in with neighbours who you know may be facing difficulties will go a long way to building positive relationships in the community.

The University has a code of conduct which sets out the expectations for students. Any violations of restrictions which are reported to the University, on or off-campus, will be taken seriously and may result in fines being issued. With more people working from home, make sure you are mindful of the impact you may be having on your neighbours, for example, keeping any noise or disruption to a minimum during the working week. For more ideas about how to stay on good terms with your neighbours during your tenancy, check out our top tips below.

Easy Ways To Improve Your Relationship With Your Neighbours

Here are our top tips for staying on good terms with your neighbours:

  • Say hello - it’s a good idea to introduce yourself when you move in, but it’s never too late to say hi!
  • Keep open communication - if you feel comfortable, share your contact details with your neighbours so they can get in touch if there are any issues. Also, don’t be hesitant to start a conversation when you see them out and about!
  • Don’t make excessive noise - this is the most common complaint received by the University’s community team. When living in a residential area, you should not be making noise loud enough to disturb others in the area at any time - whether this is on your way home at night, or playing music in the middle of the day. Check out the University's Be A Good Neighbour Guide for more tips about keeping noise to an acceptable level.
  • Know your rubbish collection schedule - this is another common complaint, and it's your responsibility to know your bin collection schedule and keep on top of your rubbish. You can find out more on the Runnymede Council website.
  • Parking - if you drive, take care to park where permitted, not blocking any driveways or access for emergency vehicles.
  • Get involved in community groups - there are a number of residents' groups on social media that you can join and keep up to date with what’s going on in the community, interact with residents, or ask for local recommendations.
  • Support local businesses - in a time when small businesses may be facing additional challenges, it can be a nice gesture to make an effort to shop local and support the community where possible.

If you haven’t already, make sure you’re adhering to your legal obligations as a tenant by checking out our Private Housing Moving In Guide.

What To Do If You Have A Dispute With Your Neighbours

If you have a disagreement with your neighbours, the first thing you should do is to talk to them to address the issue and try to reach a resolution. We know this can be daunting, and you can contact the Community Wellbeing team by emailing for advice about how to approach your neighbours in a productive way. 

If you receive notification from the University that a complaint has been made against you, the Advice Centre can offer guidance about how to respond to this. Please get in contact at with a summary and share with them any emails you have received.

Further Support

The Advice Centre is a free, independent and confidential service for all students here at Royal Holloway. Our friendly, experienced and professional staff will provide a listening ear and offer general and specialist advice. They’re here to support you with a whole range of issues, big and small, and if they’re not the best people to help you with a particular issue, they’ll point you in the right direction.

If you have any other concerns or questions, you can email the Advice Centre at, or come along to one of their drop-ins during the week to speak to an advisor. Find out more information about the drop-in sessions on our Events Calendar.