The beauty of condo living is having the gift of privacy in your own home and a friendly communal life with the rest of the condo community at the same time. It’s always nice to walk down the hall with someone greeting you a warm “hello” or engaging you in small talk. It’s nice to have a sense of community in a non-traditional neighborhood like a condo building.
But what if one day everything turns sour? It’s not because of something you did or your neighbors directly but a rowdy, insensitive guest of your neighbor? As in any neighborhood, these are just some of the realities of living in a condo. When you’ve had enough, how do you deal with it? How do you handle it without straining your relationship with your neighbor and getting branded in the community as “the ruthless one?” Before you come crashing down your neighbor’s door or calling the police, keep calm and try these suggestions.
Shutting The Noise.
The most common problem related to guests next door is the noise. Sure there is privacy but the walls are not soundproof. Do not over-react and try to keep your cool. Ask yourself: are they really so loud or am I just in a bad mood? Get out of your condo unit, take a stroll or see a movie. Quiet down your emotions first. This is not a permanent solution but it will help you find one.
When you get back home and you are in a better mood but the noise is still persistent, knock on your neighbor’s door and tell them nicely to keep it down. Don’t be childish and resort to giving nasty looks or leave them with cruel banters when you happen to pass by. Trust that they are good neighbors and chances are they might not even be aware that their noise is coming through the walls. They will most likely apologize.
Acknowledge that everyone has the right to invite guests over. Be nice and tell your neighbors that you do realize they have guests and that they should not worry about you. Compromise with a schedule and let them know what times are sensitive for you. Ask them too what times of the day they are most likely home with their condo guests so it feels like meeting halfway.
If you are not the confrontational type, you may just attempt to soundproof your condo. A fan or white noise machine will drown out the noise from outside. Curtains and drapes are also good insulators.
It’s Not The Guests, It’s Their Dog.
You have a better chance of hitting a compromise with people, but chances are slim with dogs. Knowing that pet ownership is the deal these days, most condominiums in the Philippines have allowed their tenants and guests to bring pets to their units.
But what do you do when suddenly the guest from next door has a dog that barks like a wolf in the middle of the night, poops in front your unit, or has a cat that loves scratching your door? You know that the pets won’t stay forever but if you can’t simply stand it, check the house rules for bringing in pets. Condos usually have very strict guidelines regarding this. Go to your neighbor and talk to them about it. If you are such a darling, you may even surprise them with a “pet gift” that could help in taming the four-legged visitors.
Hey, That’s My Slot!
Not all condo owners can afford to buy a parking slot. Not all condo renters are lucky to have a landlord with a parking slot as well. It is nice that some condominiums offer common parking areas for tenants that are usually on a first-come first-served basis.
Condo parking is a serious concern and it doesn’t help if guests of your neighbors join the parking wars. If one day you come home and your usual slot has been taken, not by another tenant but a guest, you are well within your right to raise your concern. Remember to keep calm though as parking woes tend to really start nasty fights.
Ask the parking management who owns the vehicle with the intention to discuss the matter amicably and possibly arrive at a compromise. Get down to your neighbor’s unit and tell them that their guests may be having problems with the condo parking. Bear in mind that the guests won’t stay forever so there is no point in damaging relations with your neighbors for good. Let them know when you are out and the parking is free for their guests to use in the meantime.
When Do You Speak to Management?
When your neighbors’ guests are too much to handle and your nice requests to your neighbor have fallen on deaf ears, it’s time to defer to management. This is a responsible way to handle it. If you are a condo owner, it is within your right to speak with the condo property management office. If you are renting a condo, it would be better if you let your landlord into the situation and have him talk to the management about your concerns. Be sure to check your ownership contracts and lease agreements so you keep your complaints within the bounds of house rules.
If you are worried about being the bad guy in all these, ask the management to keep you anonymous. Authorities in your condo building will be glad you reported such situations to them because no one wants to tolerate unruly behavior.
Keeping a harmonious condo community is always an effort from all tenants. Remember that if you complain over unruly or noisy guests of your neighbors, then you must make sure that you are in control of yours. Chances are, if you are pissed, then so are they.