01 October 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Apartments Winnipeg: 7 Neighbourly Etiquette Tips

Apartments Winnipeg: Annoying NeighboursThe other day I went out to relax on my 2nd floor balcony and was immediately confronted with the only thing wrong with my apartment in Winnipeg – my downstairs neighbours. The instant I walk out there to catch some fresh air, the husband yells up to me, “Excuse me, have you seen my tent?”

His six man tent, that has been set up on their spacious balcony all summer, plays host to rowdy 5-year-old slumber parties complete with jump rope, toys and you guessed it – a filthy old mattress.

I look down at this neighbour of mine. He’s standing in this tent-shaped clearing, surrounded by piles of empty 2L pop bottles, broken toys, McDonalds wrappers, garbage bags and dead plants.

It feels like I’m living in an episode of Trailer Park Boys. Only instead of spacious trailers and yards, I’m living directly above these people. The floors and window barely muffle the sound of them screaming at their kids to “UNLOCK THE DOOR!” and “GET IN THE HOUSE!”.

If you’re dealing with annoying neighbours, send them a note with these 7 apartment etiquette tips:

1. Music
Listening to some tunes is completely acceptable in an apartment, but know your limits. Observe exactly how much noise you can hear from next door and how thin the walls and floors are. Adjust your volume accordingly. Weekends are a bit more slack when it comes to playing music, but if you’re coming home from the bar and are wanting to fire up rock band, better think twice my friend. In general your safest bet is to assume quiet hours are from 10pm to 9am.

2. General Noise and Personal Behaviour
This one relates to #1, but is slightly different. Apartments in Winnipeg have a wide range of noise tolerance so you have to be aware of exactly which sounds can be heard from next door. Know your building’s noise threshold, and live your day to day life with respect. Don’t walk around with high heels on. Don’t let your kids run wild. Don’t stomp or jump on the floor. Don’t loiter in the hallways. Do not talk loudly outside near other tenants windows. Don’t vacuum or run the washer or dryer after 10pm or before 8am. Do not hang pictures late at night. And if you’re having “intimate” time, make sure you, uh, keep it at a volume that won’t disturb your neighbours.

3. Common Areas.
Hallways, the lobby, courtyards and other common areas are meant for everyone to use and enjoy. So pick up your litter, control your pets and children, and don’t invite 25 friends over to swim in the pool. And don’t walk down the hallway to do your laundry wearing your skimpy pyjamas. I’m talking to you Mrs. 75-year-old grandma who I live next door to.

4. Smells
This one pertains mostly to cigarette smoking. If you’re a smoker living in an apartment for rent in Winnipeg, try to be considerate of the non-smokers who live around you. If you have a balcony, smoke outside. And if you’re smoking indoors, open up some windows and turn on some vents to keep the apartment smelling fresh. You’d be surprised how far cigarette stench can travel.

5. Pets
Apartments in Winnipeg that allow pets are pretty strict when it comes to etiquette so don’t mess around with this one. Not everyone is going to love your pet as much as you do so pick up their “business”, keep them on a leash, and control their barking as much as possible. If not, you might find your self looking for a new place to live.

6. Laundry
Nothing more annoying than heading down to the laundry room, only to find that every single machine is full, but the cycle is finished. Do you take someone else’s underwear out of the washer to make room for your stuff? Do you move someone’s weird clothes from the dryer to a pile in the corner? Yuck. Do everyone a favour and rotate your laundry in a timely fashion.

7. Drugs
Sadly, many of the apartments Winnipeg has to offer include tenants that take, sell, or even produce illegal drugs. The smoke from drug use, and the chemicals from drug production are toxic and hazardous. If a you’re a tenant who simply can’t part with your illegal habits, please make and/or take your drugs off the property so neighbouring tenants will not be disturbed.

Tips for landlords

If you’re a landlord, and sick of dealing with problem tenants, take action to encourage good apartment etiquette. Set detailed rules about tenant conduct and make them a part of the lease. When showing an apartment, make sure to tell prospective tenants about these rules, and explain which things will not be tolerated. This will hopefully discourage people like Mr. and Mrs. Trailer Park Boys from applying to live at your apartments or rental homes.

PS. As for my neighbour, turns out the wind blew his tent two balconies over. Maybe it was a sign from Mother Nature to get rid of the darn thing.

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