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Condo Living and Getting Along

Posted by Richard Robibero on January 5, 2015
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Condo Living

Unless your live on a 100-acre plot of land somewhere up North the things you do will affect your neighbours. No where is this more evident than in condominiums.

Many people, including yours truly, have made a condominium their first home purchase and for good reason. They are affordable and make sense when it is just one or two of you. No need to shovel snow or conduct exterior home maintenance. Just come home from work and enjoy your little slice of paradise. But what happens when your neighbours are “bad neighbours”? What if you’re the bad neighbour and what constitutes “bad neighbour-syndrome”? Here are some examples.

I was showing a condo unit the other day when I heard blaring music coming from around the hall. Taking a peek I saw that this person was not only blasting their music way louder than it needed it to be but he also had his door propped open with his shoe. Why? Don’t do that!

Another potential annoyance lies in the fact that unless you are enjoying penthouse living you will have someone in the unit above you. If that person is wearing heels you may quickly get annoyed by the “tik-tak” of the person walking around before heading out. In these cases I would recommend to try and live with it. I doubt they’re walking around 24/7 in heels but if so you can try a very polite letter. On a side note heels ruin hardwood floors so I always find it curious that someone would do that.

In addition to noise strong scents are also a concern. I recall one unit where upon arriving at the door I was overcome with a strong smell of incense. Entering the unit I saw no less than 10 incense candles lit which was definitely overkill. Although the intentions were good in terms of wanting to stage her condo the results went the other way, not to mention very dangerous as no one was home to tend to the lit candles.

One thing that I have noticed a huge change in is cigarette smoke. I am glad to see that I encounter very few units in which the owners smoke inside. Despite the fact that it is your home and you have the right to smoke the statistically proven notion that cigarette smoke will lower your property value is a message that is getting through to people.

That being said, condo units today are built in such a way that air flow actually restricts and prevents many of these odours from escaping from one unit into others. Also, most issues can and will be resolved by either the 24-hour concierge if there is one onsite or by the property management office.

In a recent edition of OREA’s Realtor Edge publication an article by Mervin Burgard told the tale of a condo unit holder from hell. She consistently and intentionally disobeyed condo rules and even went so far as to make physical changes to her unit in order to rent out a portion of it. When taken to court the judge ruled that she had to change her unit back to it’s original configuration, sell her unit and move, and also pay the condominium corporation’s legal costs of almost $50,000. Yikes! In short, break the rules enough times and you can be held liable.

Condominium living is great for the vast majority of homeowners. In fact, not a day goes by where I don’t miss at least one aspect of condominium living whether it be the low maintenance aspect, the amenities, or the interaction with others in the elevators or common areas. Just be mindful of your own actions and realize that all condo owners together form a community in which you all must live.


Considering Condo Living? Call Richard at 416-277-8025 to help you determine if the condominium you are considering has a good history and is a good fit for you and your family.


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