Community information services
How to be a good neighbour in Mutual Heights
People living in Mutual Heights come from many different backgrounds, some down-sizing from houses in the suburbs, some coming to stay from overseas, and some living the city life flitting from one building and one apartment to another. Living in such close proximity can be difficult when people fail to recognise their responsibilities, perhaps because they are used to running around in a freehold suburban property with a garden, or they are coming from a poorer environment, or they simply come from a place with different norms and standards of behaviour. Perhaps they come from a loud apartment block where people have always behaved badly. Problems can be avoided with a little attention to etiquette, and here we offer a few tips on living in close proximity with your neighbours, in Mutual Heights. It was prompted by similar guidelines to be found on the web - our thanks to the sometimes anonymous and usually uncontactable original authors.
- Be friendly towards others in the community. You don't necessarily need to know them, but a simple hello or greeting goes a long way. We are not so large that it is impossible to know names, faces, and who-owns-that-car-parking-place-downstairs (or across the road). Having friendly relationships makes it easier to acknowledge and sort out problems, and to deal with questions or concerns. Get to know the property management team in the office and the security staff, cleaners and others. Remember that the web site provides some contact information for people you might need to be in touch with. Letting other people know who you are is the first step towards a more rewarding relationship.
- Be quiet when entering and exiting the lifts and your apartment. Avoid clattering up and down stairs, especially in the quiet hours between 10pm and 7am - some people work strange hours and need to sleep. Keep your noise at whisper-level in the common areas. Loud laughter and conversations while people are relaxing or sleeping are a real nuisance. We have some difficult old doors and old closing devices - take care not to let them slam, especially when the wind is howling through the building, and don't leave them to slam by themselves.
- Be conscious of the noise level inside your apartment. Why not walk around your apartment in slippers or soft shoes? Boots and high heels on parquet floors make a real impact, not only on the floor but on the people below as well. If a neighbor asks you to keep the noise down, don't argue, try to negotiate on a solution based on what you actually have to do, how you do it, and when you must do it. Vacuuming and washing machines should be run when you know neighbours are out or at work, and never at night. Noise and vibrations goes right through our steel and concrete structure. Children are not often seen in the building, but when they are they can be extremely noisy and have been known to run around screaming. By all means let them run around but they must understand that they have to be considerate of others.
- Think about where you put things when setting up your apartment, for example your sound system and speakers, preferably not on common walls, and then turn the volume down on your radios, televisions, gaming stations and music system. For the sake of your adjacent neighbours, you should move them away from those specific walls.
- Have proper etiquette when using our shared facilities such as the gym and the car parking. Always respect the community's rules about common areas and facilities. Respect all parking spaces (they are much smaller than many of us are used to!), make sure your vehicle is completely within the designated area, and don't double park. Explain to your guests what they can and can not do when visiting the building, for example about nearby city street parking and the Grand Parade. Other users have the right to report parking violations to the management office and the clamp will be used without hesitation. Just because a person never uses their space, it is never appropriate to assume that you can use it without asking.
- We do not seem to have many elderly occupants, but when you find them offer your positive assistance if it seems to be necessary. If you see disadvantaged residents in the parking, with groceries for exmaple, why not ask them if they need help? You might just make their day with a moment of kindness.
- Remember that this is a NO SMOKING building in the common areas. Although smoking is allowed inside your apartment, make sure that the area is completely ventilated with the outside windows and vents open (unless the wind is coming in on your side. Properly discard cigarette butts in your own trash, do NOT fling them out onto the street. Also remember that you need PERMISSION to have pets, they must be small, and outside the apartment they must be on a leash.
- Use the dustbins with care and consideration. This is one of the primary causes of noise nuisance for this living near even though they are mostly tucked out of the way in the stair wells. If you're moving in, with a lot of boxes, or if you hvae a lot of empty bottles (now, why might that be?) and used newspapers (do you remember them?) use the recycling facilities in the parking area on the ground floor. Be sure to securely close your garbage bags before disposal in the bins.
- Think carefully when you have guests. Reckless behaviour and disputes with guests are the owner's responsibility and complaints are followed up. It is a good idea to give your neighbours due notice about any potential noise, when holding a party, if you think the neighbours would enjoy themselves too and might be good company, consider inviting them. If you are faced with unreasonable behaviour and an argument, it is better to try and drop the topic by making peace: give yourelf and the others space suggest to deal with the problem in the cool light of morning. It may feel urgent, usually it's not. Experts recommend that you choose your battles with neighbours and others wisely, because continued fighting with others is almost always a lose-lose situation.
- Finally, live the golden rule: treat others as you'd like to be treated.
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14 January 2019
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of the Mutual Heights Body Corporate