Here are 10 ways that you can be an upstanding member of your strata community and help promote harmony in your body corporate.
1. Accept that you are going to have to share
Strata living is all about sharing and compromise. This applies to both your investment interests, your body corporate responsibilities as well as the shared spaces in your complex.
A good strata resident will accept that they can’t have it all their way and they need to work collaboratively with other residents to limit noise, park in designated areas and obey by-laws to promote harmony in their body corporate community.
2. Treat shared spaces with respect
Respect the gardens and don’t trample on the lawns. If using any common facilities, clean up any mess you make and leave the common property in the same condition you found it. Equally, if the common property is in bad shape do not use this as an excuse to treat it poorly yourself. Either report it to the appropriate person or clean it up yourself. The Body Corporate may pay people to do this job, but it is vital that each owner/occupant also takes personal responsibility and pride in their scheme.
3. Keep the exterior of your lot tidy
Keeping up the appearance of your lot is a vital responsibility of any strata resident. When you purchase in a body corporate you are buying into a shared investment where the failure of one lot to maintain appearance standards can have a detrimental impact for the value of the entire scheme. Keep of the exterior of your lot clean, tidy and uncluttered.
4. Park in the proper places
This one really is simple. Don’t block anyone, or anything with your vehicle and park in your assigned parking spot. It does not matter if you will “only be a minute”, that minute could inconvenience someone else.
5. Try to keep the noise down
A fact of strata living is that there are more people in less space. Subsequently noise can be more of an issue than stand-alone houses. While sometimes it will be impossible to avoid, a good strata resident will do everything the can to keep the noise down particularly after 11pm and in the early morning especially on balconies.
6. Apologise when you make a mistake
So, the party you had last night got a bit noisy and went until too late at night. You got carried away and made a mistake. Everyone does at some point and it’s not the end of the world. Apologise to your neighbours and let them know it’s not a regular occurrence. Acknowledging your mistake and apologizing will go a long way to promoting harmony in your scheme.
7. Don’t hold grudges
So, your neighbour had a big party last night and you got zero sleep. Even if they don’t apologize like a good strata resident (and person) should, it will do no one any good for you to hold a grudge the rest of the time you live in close proximity. You don’t have to like all your neighbours but acting hostile towards them for a slight will not achieve anything positive.
8. Discuss and listen to issues calmly and rationally
When discussing issues with neighbours always stay calm and rational even if they are not. While you might think your neighbour is being pedantic when confronting you with complaints about a minor parking issue or the noise you make, don’t make a war of it. On the other side if a neighbour is repeatedly doing something that annoys you it most likely is not because they want to annoy you. They may have no idea their activities even affect you. Discuss issues with them in a friendly manner and see if it can be calmly resolved.
9. Observe the by-laws, even if others don’t
Other people’s bad behaviour does not excuse yours. The worst reason you can give for not following the by-laws is “well everyone does it.” Adherence to By-laws is vital for a harmonious scheme. Set a good example and others will follow as well as leaving the offenders no excuse.
10. Don’t be a bully (and call out bad behaviour)
Disagreement will happen in strata living and arguments may become heated. That is natural and acceptable. What is not acceptable is to bully and disrespect other people or use threats or intimidation tactics to get your own way. It is also vital to call out this behaviour if you witness someone else doing it. While strata living is shared living, it is also home in, and every person has the right to feel safe and supported in.