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Keeping the peace in apartment complexes

23 January 2020 Grace Ormsby
People having barbecue

With a long weekend looming, communication of “house rules” can help keep the peace and prevent bad behaviour in strata communities, a strata expert has advised.

Grant Mifsud, a partner with Archers the Strata Professionals, has noted that apartment festivities can often strain relations between neighbouring unit occupiers in strata communities – particularly where people of diverse demographics live in close proximity.

“Unfortunately, there will be parties where guests behave badly and excessive noise and other issues cause tensions between neighbours, resulting in complaints, but there are many strategies to prevent these disturbances.”

Reminding residents and visitors of the need to abide by community by-laws is one way to calm tensions and prevent rowdy behaviour, he advised.

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He outlined that “highlighting and distributing house rules around the property, particularly in common areas such as the communal swimming pool and the barbecue areas can be an effective weapon against bad behaviour”.

 Giving an example, Mr Mifsud said, “Clearly written rules that no alcoholic beverages, food, glass, other breakable items or pets are allowed within the pool area can be a healthy deterrent.”

“Similarly, people using the BBQ facility can be reminded that it is for the enjoyment of all residents and their guests who must be accompanied by them when in use,” he added.

The partner noted such a facility “is a communal area” and therefore cannot be monopolised by any one party.

Cleaning fees may also be imposed if the area is not left in an acceptable condition for use by others, he added.

Highly visible and clearly written house rules that are in line with the strata community’s by-laws will help building managers and committees in enforcing such regulations.

“Sometimes you need a direct approach such as a sign saying ‘don’t smash bottles in the pool’, which the building manager or body corporate committee member can point to and say to an offender: ‘Please obey the rules!’”

Keeping the peace in apartment complexes
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