Apartment Etiquette

There are three things residents should consider when they choose to live in a residential rental building. We’re not asking that you ‘love thy neighbour’ but we certainly recommend respecting your neighbours. This isn’t just your home, it could also be home to a few people or hundreds of residents. Regardless, it can’t – and shouldn’t – be just about you. Why are we saying this? The reality is that many people live their lives with no consideration for their neighbour or their fellow man. It’s a tough statement but unfortunately one that’s true.

The number one complaint in any building is noise. There are things that people do that are just downright inconsiderate. Walking in an apartment with hard soled shoes is one of them. Noise reverberates! Walk around for a few hours wearing stilettos in an apartment and you’ll drive the neighbours below you bonkers. If you feel you need to leave your shoes on 24/7 consider buying some carpets please. There is nothing worse for people then to hear that click, click, click all day long. As for the stereo and television and parties – yes they can all be too loud as well. Rule of thumb is that if the volume dial is turned above the half-way mark on a TV or stereo then chances are you’re disturbing your neighbours. Let’s face it, you might enjoy Van Halen but that doesn’t mean your neighbours share your passion – and frankly, shoving it down their throat by playing it full volume will only make them hate it even more!

Another area, when considering apartment etiquette, is proper use of an elevator. That means an elevator stopped on any floor should never be open for more then thirty seconds. Holding the elevator while there may be a building full of people waiting to use it is rude. And no, it’s not always the children holding the elevator, we see adults do it just as often. When you’re in the elevator, the person closest to the panel should be the one offering to press the floors for others standing in a cab. And when you get on, if you know you’re going to the penthouse level please move to the back of the cab. Not everyone is comfortable walking around you when they need to get off. And yes, you should always greet your neighbours with a good morning, or some kind of acknowledgement. Check it out yourself, most people get on an elevator and do nothing but look up at the buttons until they reach their floor. Not very a neighborly way to act, is it?

Parking can be a challenge today, especially in most cities. Space is limited and demand continues to be high. If you have a designated spot in a building garage, make sure you always use it. We continually find residents parked in the visitor parking because it’s closer to the entrance and it’s easier to carry up groceries or purchases. The problem is, that a few minutes can turn into a few hours. Then we have guests getting tickets because they parked in the fire route – or even worse, in a resident’s numbered spot. Maybe they just left because they couldn’t find a place to park. We all want guests. We all want people to come and visit us. We all want to make our friends and family feel welcome. Make room and keep to your spot whenever possible.

You don’t want to inconvenience your neighbours. Once one resident becomes the bad apple it’s not long before others are affected, and soon you have chaos instead of consideration.

And of course, when talking about etiquette, an article wouldn’t be complete without comments about pets. Keep your dog on a leash no matter how cute it is. Make sure you stoop-and-scoop every single time you take your dog out. Every single time. Being a superintendent, in many ways, can be a thankless job, and we think it’s highly ignorant of people to leave it to a superintendent to clean up after a pet. It’s not their job no matter where you live. If you have a pet you must accept the responsibility that comes with a pet and that means cleaning up after them. It’s not just a courtesy, it’s an expectation.

As you can see there are so many issues related to resident etiquette that it could fuel topics for many articles. We pointed out the more notable areas of concern but there are lots of things we should all be doing. Just think about how everything you do can affect someone else living in your community. If it can have a negative impact on their living experience maybe you need to think twice.

Happy renting!