People come into contact and communicate with each other in the street and in the buildings in which they live. Concern for the problems and needs of your neighbours and permanent respect for the privacy of others are factors that contribute to harmonious co-existence. For example, you should show consideration for elderly neighbours who live alone, for pregnant women, for the handicapped and for children.

 Residents' associations
(Comunitats de veïns i veïnes)

Everyone who lives in a building or works there (such as traders) is a member of its residents' association (comunitat de veïns) and must follow certain rules as regards their conduct. Those rules are based on good manners and are set out in municipal bylaws (ordenances municipals).

You must take particular care with everyday activities that could disturb other residents. For example:

  • Always wring clothing out before hanging it out to dry, and avoid beating carpets in the daytime.

  • Prevent pets from disturbing others and from dirtying communal parts of your building.

  • Water plants on your balcony after 10 p.m.

  • Be careful not to make too much noise (particularly between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m.), and avoid disturbing your neighbours' sleep. At night, for example, you should limit the volume of conversations (no shouting), music and the television; refrain from using electrical household appliances such as washing machines or vacuum cleaners, as well as from moving furniture around and carrying out household repairs; and avoid leaving pets in yards or on balconies or terraces.

  • It is particularly important to be careful with noise levels if you organise a family gathering or party.

Living in an apartment block involves sharing certain communal areas (espais comuns) with the building's other residents (staircases, landings, yards, passageways, rooftop terraces, cellars, etc.). You must not leave objects in or make personal use of such communal areas, other than in places set aside to serve as storage facilities. Additionally, you will need to obtain approval from the board of the owners' association (Junta de la comunitat de propietaris) for anything you want to do that entails changes to communal areas, such as installing a satellite dish.

It is a good idea to participate in your local neighbourhood associations (associacions de veïns), and to contact their representatives in order to find out about the activities that they organise and the interests of people in your community. If necessary, such associations can also support any requests you may make to institutions, such as public utilities (companyies de subministrament) or your town or city council. You can get the addresses of neighbourhood associations from the other residents in your building or from the information service run by your town or city council.