Apartment living can be cost effective and convenient, however, you need to be aware that by living with other residents, decisions you make for your home may not just affect you. Here are the top five mistakes to avoid when it comes to apartment living.
#1: Asking your owners corporation manager to repair your apartment.
Often what exists inside your apartment is NOT common property, and therefore may be your responsibility to maintain and fix. Common property may include things such as shared swimming pools, driveways, etc., and individual property may include items such as stoves, ovens and light switches.
It is very important that you check your plan of subdivision and the boundaries with your owner’s corporation manager as common property is defined differently for each strata property.
If you are unsure what is common property, consult your owner’s corporation manager before you do any repairs.
#2: Keeping a pet without checking your building’s rules.
While you may have the right to keep a pet, you need a valid reason to do so. You may need to seek approval from the owners corporation committee in order to keep a pet.
Before you pick up your new furry friend, look into the rules and regulations specific to owning a pet in your building.
#3: Assuming you may smoke on common property.
Most buildings condemn smoking inside an apartment, but you may be prohibited from smoking on common property too. If the smoke drifts into another resident’s apartment, they can file a complaint and get you into trouble.
Find out what the smoking rules are for your apartment, and what areas in your building are determined as common property.
#4: Altering your backyard without asking your owners corporation manager first.
A common problem that can occur is that a person purchases a unit under the belief that the backyard belongs to the unit, yet it is actually common property. What happens is that over time people install fences on common property to create private backyards for themselves. This can be an issue when the backyard isn’t actually their property.
Consider asking your owner’s corporation committee to lease or license the area to you, that way you have a level of control over your backyard. In such cases, you may also need to check with your strata manager if you are responsible for maintaining it.