I live in an apartment. The other day, I got home at 7pm to find the parking lot full. Our parking slots are numbered according to our houses, but my neighbour had parked his second car in my space. I had to park on the pavement, and was furious!
Apartment living is not the easiest life, especially when it comes to dealing with neighbours. So, how do you maintain a courteous relationship with your apartment neighbours?
• Parking: If you have assigned parking slots, it is important that you respect other people’s parking spaces. Never double park, and if you have guests, find suitable parking for them. Just because a neighbour rarely uses their slot does not mean that you can just use it as you wish.
• Friendliness: Be friendly to your neighbours, even if you don’t know them. A simple “Habari yako?” goes a long way. Friendly relationships make it easier to communicate in case there is need for some engagement in future.
• Noise: Walking from the parking lot to your apartment is normal, but how loud are your footsteps? Spare your neighbours the agony of your stomping all the way to the fourth floor.
If you need to do any repairs that require some banging, do them on a weekday when many people are at work. You may enjoy jazz music but it is only sweet to your ears, so keep the volume down. Don’t bang your doors.
• Laundry: Apartments usually have assigned clotheslines. Don’t use your neighbours’ lines without permission.
• Smoking: This is my opportunity to vent: My neighbour smokes outside his door, and the cigarette smoke comes right into my house. Why can’t he smoke in his house or go to the parking lot?
• Dumpster: I have a neighbour who leaves his garbage on the staircase, yet we have a store where tenants should dump their garbage before the truck comes for it. This is wrong.
• Guests: It is courteous to alert your neighbours when you intend to have guests so that they prepare psychologically for some potential noise, especially if you are having a party. If you don’t mind, invite your neighbours over, too. Of course, a weekday is the most inappropriate time to have a party.