Party on … without making your neighbours hate you

It’s probably a little late in the day for this – it appeared in the Flat Chat slot in the Australian Financial Review last week –  but it applies to every party so you might keep it in mind for your next soiree.

Fireworks, dancing, drinking, super-surged Ubers, singing the only five words of Auld Lang Syne that you know, over and over, kissing strangers and eventually falling over (hopefully in a bed).

That’s New Years Eve and it’s also when all your housey friends (who “wouldn’t live in an apartment for quids”) suddenly acquire an urge to spend an evening in a unit block – especially if your flat has a balcony with a good view of fireworks.

But how do you persuade apartment newbies to behave appropriately without seeming to be the worst party-pooper on the planet.

And then there’s your own behaviour.  It’s only one night a year, but do you have to go from being a model citizen to the neighbour from Hell?

As in most things in life, a little preparation goes a long way.  Take the time when you are still sober and not running back and forth to your intercom to let people in, to take some simple precautions.

  1. Turn the bass on your music system down.

There is a dial, or a button, or a digital display that allows you to turn the doof-doof down to a biff-biff. Yes, we know that’s how the music sounds in a club but you are in a multi-occupancy dwelling, not Studio 54

Bass notes travel further through concrete slabs more efficiently than any other sound and will annoy more neighbours, more profoundly than just loud music. To quote Scotty from Star Trek: “Ye cannae defy the laws o’ physics.”


  1. Put a ‘no-no’ notice on your bathroom mirrors.

It doesn’t have to be too restrictive, just a list of pleas that everyone who goes to the toilet can read at their leisure.

  • Please don’t flick cigarette ends or drop ash off the balcony.
  • Don’t perch bottles or glass on the balustrade.
  • Don’t try anything drunk that you wouldn’t do sober (like planking or tightrope walking on the afore-mentioned balustrade).
  • Don’t turn the music back up if it has been turned down (probably because of complaints about the doof-doof).
  1. Tell your neighbours you’re having a party

Even better, invite them to yours, then they are less likely to complain.  At the very least their reaction –  from ‘Oh God, not again!’ to ‘We’ll be in Aspen anyway’ – will give you an idea of how far you can stretch the limits of neighbourliness.

  1. Beg your guests not to drive

Uber ‘surge’ charges notwithstanding and despite inadequate public transport being as inevitable as a hangover, try to get your guests not to bring their cars and, especially, not to park in your car park.

Either they will block someone in, or someone will block them in and nothing tells you the party’s over quite like two drunks fighting over the right to be the first RBT fail of the new year. That’s why many building make you book parking in advance – and charge you for it.

One more thing – have a Happy New Year, everyone.

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