Wednesday, 23 Jun 2021

The perfect neighbour always says ‘hello’ and signs for deliveries, Brits say

The perfect neighbour always says “hello", signs for deliveries and pre-warns the street about noise from DIY or house parties.

A study of 2,000 adults identified the top 30 attributes of an ideal neighbour, including never parking outside someone else’s home, inviting locals around for a glass of wine, and putting their bins out when they are away.

Other signs are keeping an eye on your home when on holiday, getting fences between gardens fixed quickly and sharing home-grown fruit and veg.

It also emerged more than three quarters believe they already have the ‘perfect’ neighbours and 69 per cent would even describe themselves as one.

The average Brit typically rates their neighbours as seven out of 10, with 40 per cent feeling ‘lucky’ to live next door to such people.

But not everyone is so lucky, with the signs of a bad neighbour including throwing rubbish into the garden, playing loud music and not cleaning up after their pet.

The research was commissioned by Barefoot Wine as part of its Neighbours to Knowbours campaign, which is a search for the nation’s most unique neighbourhood.

By celebrating their neighbours, Brits have the chance to win a mural dedicated to their community and the unique characters within it, created by famous illustrator Alice Skinner.

A spokesperson for Barefoot Wine said: “It’s literally luck who we end up living next to so it’s great to see how many people feel positively about their neighbours and community.

“Especially in this past year, neighbours have often been the only people we’ve communicated with face-to-face.

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"So many communities came together over a glass of Barefoot Wine, whether over the fence or popping into the garden for a glass of wine.

“We want to embrace the community spirit and encourage people to celebrate their neighbourhood as part of search for the nation’s most unique neighbourhood.

"The study found people that Brits would most like to live next door to the likes of doctors, chefs and actors, and even a wine connoisseur, so it will be wonderful to hear about the unique characters that make up communities across the country .”

The research also found other signs someone is the perfect neighbour include keeping an eye out for ‘suspicious’ behaviour, such as someone looking in your windows and simply asking how you are when they see you out and about.

Others consider offering to cut your grass when they are mowing their own lawn and lending you tools to be ideal traits.

Letting neighbours have ingredients such as milk and sugar, taking your empty bins in from the roadside and offering to get some items when doing their food shop also made the top 30 signs.

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Features that make up a perfect neighbourhood were also found to include clean streets (59 per cent), friendly people (61 per cent) and plenty of parking spaces (45 per cent).

A further 17 per cent said unique characters help make up the ideal community.

It also emerged it typically takes nine months of living somewhere before you trust your neighbours.

But almost two thirds feel they know their neighbours ‘well’ and trust them with taking in their deliveries (60 per cent), watering their plants (34 per cent) and with having a spare key to their home (30 per cent).

The study found that since lockdowns began, 27 per cent have spoken with their neighbours more often and 18 per cent have noticed improved relationships with the people they live nearby.

Neighbours have helped each other with gardening (13 per cent), thrown socially distanced street parties with their community (12 per cent) and gone for walks together (14 per cent).

Top 30 signs of a "perfect neighbour"

  1. Always says hello
  2. Takes in your deliveries if you’re not in
  3. Keeps an eye on your home when you are on holiday
  4. Signs for your deliveries if you’re not in
  5. Asks how you are
  6. Tells you if they see anything suspicious e.g. someone looking in your windows
  7. Pre-warns you about any DIY noise/renovation jobs e.g. an extension
  8. Takes your bins in once they’ve been emptied if they know you are not home
  9. Pre-warns you about a house party / loud music
  10. Parks outside their own home rather than others
  11. Gets things fixed quickly which could impact you e.g. broken fence between your gardens
  12. Offers to help elderly or vulnerable neighbours
  13. Pre-warns you about a bonfire/ fire pit
  14. Puts the bins out for you on bin day
  15. Lends you tools for DIY or gardening e.g. hammer, strimmer
  16. Cleans communal areas e.g. sweeps leaves out the front of both your homes
  17. Picks up rubbish if it’s blown onto your lawn
  18. Gives you home grown fruit and vegetables
  19. Helps jump start your car
  20. Lends you food/ingredient when you run out e.g. sugar, milk
  21. Waters your plants out the front if they’re watering theirs
  22. Invites you round for a glass of wine
  23. Offers to help with food shopping
  24. Offers to cut your grass
  25. Helps you change a tyre
  26. Pet-sits
  27. Delivers you a weekend newspaper if you’re unable to get it yourself
  28. Bakes for you
  29. Offers to wash your car if they’re washing theirs
  30. Walks your dog

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