Canada's Condominium Magazine
If you have any experience living in condos and apartments, then you know that living in such close proximity to your neighbours means getting to know them on a really personal level, whether you like it or not. You see and hear far more than you anticipated, from rambunctious children and barking dogs to midnight arguments and everything in between. It can lead to awkward encounters and even resentment between neighbours, but it does not have to be that way.
Being proactive in communicating with your neighbours can go a long way in building trust and having a more peaceful and happy life in your condo community.
Be honest about any difficulties you are facing and any noise level they should anticipate. Offer to make agreements that benefit you both. If you have a child who is prone to night terrors or a toddler who has just reached her terrible two’s and developed a habit of stomping through your home whenever she does not get her way, then let them know.
Perhaps you can offer to walk their dogs, babysit for them on occasion, or tutor their child in a subject in which they struggle. They may reciprocate the favour and offer you help in return for being accepting of their little quirks.
Build a neighbourhood watch
Building a foundation of trust is important, and so is maintaining the safety and well-being of your family and community. Set up a neighbourhood watch if one does not exist and you do not have security guards on duty. Reach out to the elderly and disabled so that they know they can come to you if they ever need anything. Compile a list of names and contact information, then hand them out to all your neighbours so that they can reach someone in case of emergency.
Set up a buddy system so that all neighbours have accountability partners who will ensure their health and safety during fires, natural disasters, etc. These emergencies are terrifying enough as it is, and it is even more frightening for someone who is alone or somehow unable to get themselves out of danger. Look out for one another and make sure that everyone is aware of those who may need a little extra help during those situations.
Create a system of community volunteers who work together and offer their time and skills to help one another. If one of your neighbours is handy with electronics, then he could offer his assistance setting up entertainment centres or fixing computer problems for neighbours so that they do not have to pay to have it done. Then if he is wants to take his wife out for date night sans children, he can call his neighbour whose teenage daughter is offering free babysitting. If he needs help with holiday shopping, he can call on his neighbour who is a gift-giving phenom.
Perhaps you or someone in your family could offer trash valet if it is not already available. Make weekly rounds collecting trash and recycling from your neighbours so that they do not have to take it out themselves. You could also offer to wash vehicles or clean your neighbours’ condos. These types of services are especially helpful for those who are unable to get out and do these tasks themselves. If you have a specific skill that could be useful, then utilize that and offer them something that only you could provide.
Another option could be to simply ask your neighbours what type of assistance they would find most beneficial. The point is to get involved and build a network of people who are supportive and reliable. If everyone contributes and gets involved in the community, then they will never have to worry about being alone or going without something necessary. Having that support system is really important. It builds character. It builds trust.
In addition to working together and supporting one another, neighbours should also be able to have fun together and enjoy one another’s company. Conduct monthly events in order to encourage community involvement amongst your fellow tenants. They can be holiday themed or entirely random. Getting the community together in a way that allows them to mingle and have fun will go a long way in boosting morale and making condo living that much more enjoyable.