While there are a handful of common leasing provisions that tenants need to look into, there are rules that are not etched in stone. They are mostly anchored on common courtesy and mutual respect. Everyone is expected to follow them if a condo community is to live in harmony.
The same is true with living in a condo. Your responsibility goes beyond your walls. With condo living, you co-exist with many other people and you live in a residential complex that has rules and regulations. These rules have to be observed or disorder will ensue. Learn about the condo dos and don’ts that exist in your condo community, especially in common areas shared by residents.
Thou shall not be rowdy in the hallway
When you pass by the halls or corridor, do it quietly. Don’t drag your feet or make annoying sounds with your shoes. When you have a companion, keep it down. When you are talking on the phone, keep your voice low. Someone may be trying to get some sleep, trying to relax or trying to work in the units you are passing by.
Thou shall not host disruptive parties
Sure, it is your condo. But condo etiquette dictates that to be a responsible neighbor, you must remember that you could be getting in the way of other people’s business. Most condo units do not have sound proofing, and loud music and boisterous laughter can make their way into other people’s homes. And obviously, they are not welcome. One of the benefits of living in a condo community is being part of greater whole where everyone is respectful of the fact that you live close to each other—regulating your noise is simply doing your part.
Thou shall not leave trash anywhere
One of the benefits of condo living is having maintenance staff pick up your trash. But it is your responsibility to sort it (biodegradable and non-biodegradable) and find out the schedule of garbage collection. If you take out the trash late, chances are that it will be left in the hallway the whole day, reeking all across the floor.
Thou shall not leave your pet unattended
Most condos allow pets in the community. But that doesn’t mean you can just leave them anywhere. Your pets should always be on a leash when walking around the common areas. Always bring newspaper with you, just in case your pet needs to relieve itself. Make sure the pet is groomed and does not stink.
Thou shall not get drunk by the pool or bar
We get it: it’s been a long week, you’re tired, and you want to relax and unwind. You go to the common bar or by the pool for a drink. But getting drunk and exhibiting unruly behavior is a major condo offense. There are families and kids hanging around and you don’t want to cause a scene. Only drink what you can handle.
Thou shall not ride the elevator dripping wet
Do not go straight to the elevator after taking a dip in the pool. Bring a towel with you and dry yourself off before going back to your unit. There’s nothing more annoying than being stuck in an elevator with a neighbor in dripping clothes. Worse is being trapped with a group of dripping friends pushing each other around the elevator.
Thou shall not ignore elevator etiquette
Speaking of elevators, make sure you observe the unspoken rules. Wait for people to get out before getting in. If you live in one of the top floors, move back and give room to others. Hold the elevator for people rushing to get in. Don’t talk too loud because not everyone is excited about what went on at work. Same rule applies with music.
Thou shall not take forever on the treadmill
The fitness gym is among the most popular amenities in a condo. It allows residents to cut their thousands worth of monthly gym subscription. But when using the gym facilities, you have to remember that others are waiting to use them too. Equipment and facilities are limited, so don’t take forever on the treadmill.
Thou shall not take another person’s parking slot
One very sensitive issue is condominium parking spaces since slots are usually limited. If you are using a common parking area, make sure to park only where your vehicle should be. If you are parked in front of another vehicle, you may leave your key to the guard or make sure to leave your contact number so they can buzz you if the other vehicle has to go.
Thou shall not let your kids disturb the peace
The common areas such as the open field, pool, playground, and game rooms are the extension of condo units. But that doesn’t mean you treat them as part of your kingdom. Let the kids know where they can and cannot play. Tell them not to run around the halls. Tell them to keep it down.
Thou shall not treat staff as your personal slaves
Having 24-hour security and maintenance staff at your disposal is one of the things that make condo living convenient. However, do not act like a boss when you need something done. They are trying their best to make your life comfortable, so don’t boss them around. Ask respectfully and say “thank you.”
Thou shall not litter or vandalize common spaces
A top subject matter in one’s condo etiquette guide is respecting and caring for common areas such as the pool, walkways, play field, gym, game room, roof deck, etc. Do not litter in these areas. It is your responsibility as a resident to look after the things that you benefit from.
Thou shall not forget to smile and say “hi”
This is very basic but very helpful in keeping the peace. You will come across your condo neighbors across the hall or in one of the shared areas. Try to at least say “hi” and smile. If you can strike a small conversation, then go ahead.
Living in a condo comes with the same responsibilities as living in a traditional home. You are also part of a community. You have neighbors and you are expected to extend common respect and courtesy not only with the shared areas and amenities but most especially with people around you.