Study Shows Condo Rules Rule

By: Mark Hostetler

For many people considering condo life for the first time, having to 'obey rules' may sound intrusive to personal liberty. It is interesting therefore, to note that the large majority of condo residents approve of living under management rules and even think that their lifestyle is enhanced by doing so. A recent study shows hat 74% of condo residents like living by the rules.

Perhaps it is not so surprising that condo owners prefer to live by rules. They are designed to enhance the lifestyle of everyone in the building. Many of the requirements are simply the type of rules that once used to be the norm in society, for instance, no noise after eleven at night.

The secret of choosing a condo that lists the type of rules that you can live with, is to choose a condo where the people have a similar lifestyle to you. If you are a person who is naturally considerate of your neighbors, then you probably already self-impose the type of rules that you will find in a condo block.

For instance, many people keep their music quiet after ten o'clock as a matter of courtesy. The same people probably make sure that if they get up early one morning, they make as little crashing and banging noise as possible.

However, there are also sections of society who just do not think this way. They often do not realize how noisy they can be. These people need to have rules so remind them to be considerate of others.

Some rules can be very complex and puzzling in their origin, for instance in many condos, you cannot put anything outside your front door. But, you may put what you like on the balcony!

The front door is often in a corridor which is considered to be one of the 'common areas'. Because it is able to be used by anyone, it must be kept clear and free of other people's clutter. There may also be fire laws involved, for the safer passage of fleeing residents in an emergency.

It may sound unreasonable not to be allowed to put an umbrella stand outside your own front door, but if the rule were relaxed it may be difficult to draw the line.

Imagine if there was no rule, and your neighbor then stacked his kids' bikes outside his front door, plus his big sack of bird feeding seed and the wife's shopping buggy. You may feel embarrassed if friends came to visit you and had to get past all that clutter to reach your front door!

Sometimes in condos, especially units built at ground floor level, even the patio is considered to be 'common but exclusive'. This means that other people can walk through your patio area if they need access through it to move large items etc.

All condo units should have a committee or board which has a fair, unbiased mechanism set up for receiving complaints. Even without complaints the board should be meeting once a month or so, to check on any rule enforcement and related issues.

Sometimes the condo environment changes and agreement may be needed to adjust a rule. Boards are usually selected from the residents and are elected once a year, though even this is optional and different condos will have their own arrangements for board appointments.

Having rules in place makes condo life sound very trouble-free and civilized, but even the simplest agreement over barking dogs, parking or late night parties can turn into nasty disputes. Choosing a condo where the rules suit your lifestyle will avoid much of this.

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