Apartment Living: How to Share Outdoor Spaces with Neighbors

apartment livingOne of the most challenging things about apartment living is dealing with neighbors.  Some renters get lucky and live next to friendly folks who will happily lend them a cup of sugar and say “hello” when they pass on the stairs.  Others… not so much.  Often renters may not interact with their fellow tenants at all during day-to-day apartment living.  If this is the case, it can be especially tedious to navigate shared outdoor areas that are common to both neighbors or open to the apartment at large, like patios, balconies, playgrounds, rooftops, or even front and backyards.  Here are some tips to smooth things over with the neighbors and make your apartment living in outdoor spaces more harmonious.

Say “Hello, Neighbor”

Break the silence with your fellow renters and consult them before making any major changes to an outdoor space you share.  If you want to add furniture, plants, or other décor to your shared space, keep in mind that your neighbors might not share your taste, so it’s best to ask.  You should also let them know if you’ll be having any guests over.

Clean Up the Space

Your mama always told you to leave a space cleaner than you found it, and an outdoor apartment living area is no exception.  If you make a mess, clean it up.  That applies to dog parks, cookouts, picnic areas, personal patios, and any other space you temporarily take over.  Throw away your trash and return any communal furniture to its original location before you leave.  Your neighbors will appreciate your consideration (and hopefully follow suit).

Keep It Down

Noise can carry easily inside an apartment complex, so if you are talking to friends or listening to music, be mindful of how sound carries.  This applies doubly at night, when your neighbors may be trying to sleep.

Be Polite but Firm

Outdoor spaces are meant to be enjoyed, so don’t feel like you need to stay inside if your neighbors never make an appearance.  If you find yourself in a predicament that requires you to confront your neighbors about something, don’t panic.  Bring it up politely but stand your ground, and let them know that if they have a problem to talk about, they should feel free to do the same.

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