Community Relations Matter

Posted on Monday November 02, 2015

People choose the condominium lifestyle for many reasons. Affordability, security, downsizing, a high-end urban experience, lock-and-leave convenience and investment are just a few of the factors that draw people to purchase a condominium.
Along with the benefits a shared environment offers, there are also shared responsibilities for the community and its financial well-being.
In order to promote harmony in a multi-family situation, it is important for all residents to make themselves aware of the rules and restrictions that govern the condominium and abide by them. Unfortunately, sometimes this utopia does not exist.
Following are some common sources of frustration for condo dwellers.


The sources of noise are many: loud music, parties, heavy footsteps or children running and playing in an apartment, musical instruments, home crafts that involve noisy machinery, loud voices, cupboard door slamming and more.
While a degree of tolerance is necessary, so too is respect and consideration for others. Residents need to be aware of the noise they make and the impact it may have on others. Strive to contain the sounds you make to your personal living space as much as possible. If a behaviour of yours impacts someone else, and it is brought to your attention, do your best to resolve it.


Pet owners love their animals as members of the family, but everyone does not feel the same way. Some people are afraid of, or just don’t like them.
Before you bring a furry pal to your condo, read the bylaws and ask about policies that are in place.
Some communities don't allow pets at all. Others allow cats, but not dogs. Sometimes only one cat or dog is permitted. The size or breed may be restricted. Get written approval from the board in advance.

Once your pet is approved and you bring it home, be a responsible owner. Always pick up pet feces and dispose of them properly. If your pet damages common property, you will be charged the cost to repair it. If it is a nuisance ─ runs at large, barks, or is allowed to contravene bylaws ─ the board may remove its approval for the animal and evict it.

If you plan to live in a condo and have a pet, or want to get one, all the above applies.

Common Areas

As a condominium owner, you share everything in the corporation that is not part of your unit with the other owners. This includes the foyer and hallways, parkades, mechanical rooms and elevators in an apartment building; the roadways, surface parking stalls and landscaped areas in a complex; garbage rooms and enclosures; amenities rooms and any buildings located on the property.
Most times decks, patios, driveways and private yards attached to a unit, are common property, with exclusive use granted to the unit owner by the bylaws.
The board of directors of the condominium corporation is responsible for the maintenance of the common areas. They often have policies in place, in addition to the bylaws, to protect shared property and ensure fair usage for all.
It is important for everyone to respect these rules. For example, visitor parking is usually for visitors only. For safety and aesthetic reasons, what you can keep on a deck, patio, storage locker or parking stall may be regulated.
Doing spring cleanup, renovations, or moving? The garbage area is not a place for residents to dump old mattresses, furniture, appliances and such that they should be taking to the landfill. This common practice costs all condo owners as the corporation has to pay, out of the owners’ operating budget, to have the items removed.

So be considerate and responsible. In the end, it's all about being a good neighbour. For more information on how to build a great community, contact FirstService Residential, Alberta's property management leader.

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