With Holiday Season (Christmas and New Year) fast approaching, vertical communities all over Melbourne are preparing for the festive season.
Apartment blocks and townhouse developments can become interesting places as residents host various end of year holiday celebrations. Perhaps your Owners Corporation is planning a celebration of its own.
For those who live the strata life, these times can also quickly turn into stressful ones.
However your building, its owners and its residents choose to celebrate the holiday season, there are some simple steps everyone can follow to ensure the period is enjoyable for everyone within the property – owners, tenants and visitors alike.
Additional visitors and noise can lead to increased strain on a building’s assets and frustration from occupants as temporary car spaces fill up on an increasingly regular basis.
But it does not always have to be like this.
Everyone has a right to a good time and to enjoy the festive season with friends and families, but in apartment buildings or townhouse complexes, it’s important that everyone does so in a respectful manner.
By applying simple common sense and respect for others, your strata space can be an oasis of happiness and enjoyment this holiday period.
Mind the noise during the holiday season
No one says you can’t have a good time, but if you’re going to be blasting the tunes until 2 am, maybe you could consider hitting the clubs instead.
While the majority of people may be taking a break, some people are working right through the holiday period and others might just want to get a good night’s sleep anyway.
Enjoy yourself, but keep in mind strata living is communal living. If everyone respects one another, then there should not be any issues.
If you are planning on having a few people over, maybe let your immediate neighbours know. Or just invite them, whatever works!
If someone is keeping you up, try politely asking them to turn it down before running straight to the police or Strata Plan.
There won’t be much Strata Plan or your Owners Corporation can do at the time and there is some truth to the cliché that you catch more bees with honey.
If you’re dealing with a troublesome resident who refuses to comply with Owners Corporation rules, you can kick off the dispute resolution process by lodging a formal complaint.
Share the car spaces, share the love
The rules are pretty simple:
- If you have a car park, park your car in it.
- If you have more cars than spaces, park additional vehicles outside.
- If it’s not your car space, don’t park there.
- If it’s a visitor space, don’t let your guest park there for more than 48 hours (or less if that is what your Owners Corporation’s rules state) and don’t be annoyed if someone gets there first.
Obeying those four simple rules will go a long way to ensure your living space is an amazing one.
At the end of the day, it comes to having some respect for your neighbours and guests.
In the spirit of the season, if you are going to be vacating your property over the break and you have an empty car space, why not offer to lend it to a neighbour who might need a spot for a few days? Of course, if your property has a car stacker, it’s best not to lend your space to anyone unless they have been properly inducted.
If there is a repeat offender who isn’t sharing the love, make sure you report it to Strata Plan. If you do feel the need to report it, please note the amount of time the car has been parked in the space for, if it’s a visitor spot and any other supporting evidence you can muster.
The processes available to breach repeat offenders aren’t always the most efficient, but knowing who is responsible ensures your Owners Corporation will get a head start on stopping the behaviour.
Book shared spaces
If you’re lucky enough to live in a building with shared amenities, such as barbecues, rooftop terraces, dining rooms or theatres, make sure you follow due process.
Each building will have its own booking system. If you don’t know how to book, just give Strata Plan a call on 1300 278 728.
Booking spaces ensure everyone knows who has priority for which areas and for how long they will be there for.
Once you’ve booked your place, make sure you have a great time with your friends and family, but be mindful of noise, particularly later in the evening or first thing in the morning.
Common spaces are there to be enjoyed- especially during the holiday season- but not at the expense of everyone else.
Once you’re done, do the right thing and clean up after your group. If there were an accident and damage has occurred, report it to Strata Plan.
You would hate it if the first hour of your booking was spent cleaning after others, so extend others the same courtesy.
Watch your waste
Make sure you dispose of your rubbish properly and ensure you do not contaminate your recycling bins with landfill. This not only hurts the environment, but it will most certainly hurt your back pocket.
Every time a recycling bin is contaminated, it is processed as landfill. This is a sure-fire way to ensure your Owners Corporation blows its budget for waste management and spends more than it needs to.
If you’re keen to keep levies down, make sure you dispose of rubbish correctly.
While we’re on the subject, make sure you dispose of hard waste properly. Dumping hard waste is another extremely effective way to blow the budget. If you see someone dumping hard waste, tell them to take it elsewhere and report it to Strata Plan.
If you notice the bin room is getting full or the chutes are getting blocked, call Strata Plan to see if an additional pick up can be arranged.