The big ticket complaints in strata, like pets, parking and parties, are easy to deal with. It’s the little things that may seem inconsequential to you that drive your apartment block neighbours nuts.
Water Music: You love hearing pumping music as you prepare for a day’s work or a night on the town. So you turn the stereo up to 11 so you can hear it in the shower … and your neighbours can hear it five floors away.
What a load of rubbish: The garbage in your kitchen bin is stinking the place out. You are on your way out so you park it outside the front door of your unit. Then you get a phone call, and send an email, and get a hilarious text, and need to update Facebook … and who’s that banging angrily on your door?
The Long Goodbye: Your dinner guests are leaving. But there’s so much still to talk about that the lift arrives with a “ping” and then goes … again and again and again. And your neighbours lie awaking wondering if you also drive waiters mad by never getting round to reading the menu.
Just chute me: That sign in the garbage room about not putting bottles, newspapers, coat hangers or umbrellas (umbrellas?) down the chute doesn’t apply to you, right? Because a bottle dropped from 15 storeys won’t do that much damage. And gravity will take care of blockages. And ‘the strata’ will pay for the damage. What do you mean, ‘higher levies’?
Grand Slam: Apartment doors have automatic closers on them, for fire safety reasons. So, as some self-centred morons come and go, they let the door slam. And slam. And slam. “It’s the door thing” they wail when you complain. “It’s too strong.” No mate, it’s the idiot who is too lazy to hold on to the door handle till the door is closed, that’s the problem. Think about your neighbours and close it quietly.
My Friend Flicka: You don’t smoke so your friends considerately puff away on the balcony. Oh no, you don’t have ashtrays. But that’s OK, cos they can just flick their ash and even their cigarettes ends down on to the terrace below. Not.
Free parking: The lift lobby is common property so that means you can park your bike, giant 4WD baby buggy or recycled shopping trolley there. Look, it will only block the fire exits if there’s a fire … and how often does that happen?
This originally appeared in Flat Chat in Domain in the Sydney Morning Herald and on Fairfax online.