Live in a unit? Here’s how to not annoy your neighbours

Peace on earth and goodwill to all during the holiday season, right? Not if you’re a unit dweller, according to a Queensland body corporate firm.

More complaints are made about unit owners or tenants during the Christmas season than any other time of the year, says Archers the Strata Professionals partner Grant Mifsud ??? and they’re most commonly due to “less than thoughtful acts”.

“Everyone is ready to let loose at the end of the year,” Mr Mifsud said.

“It’s Christmas, friends and relatives visit frequently, there’s the odd party and people will be staying over. But it’s also the time to remember to be a good neighbour.”

To avoid the most common complaints being made against owners or their tenants, Mr Mifsud has five useful tips:

Go easy on the Christmas decorations

You may be tempted to light up everyone’s life, but when you live in close proximity to your neighbours, then both discretion and consideration are called for.

Make sure you only decorate on your own property or common property with prior approval and turn your Christmas lights off after 10pm if close to neighbouring bedrooms.

Remind your visitors to park thoughtfully

Don’t block access for other tenants and visitors. If there are time limits on visitor parking, remind your visitor/s when their time is up to move their vehicle.

Better still, encourage them to park on the street or in a safe spot nearby. If your property’s body corporate wants to deal with parking issues and particular towing options, it should first carefully review the relevant laws.

Be considerate when using shared facilities

You and your visitors may be having a barbecue, picnic or a pool party in a common area. Make sure you familiarise yourself with the rules for using the area beforehand and clear away any evidence of your event afterwards.

You should also be aware of how your guests conduct themselves while drinking and ensure you minimise their risk of injuring themselves or others. Don’t let drunk guests disturb the peace.

Watch the noise levels

Whether you are outside, on a balcony or even inside your apartment, loud noises will carry. There will be property bylaws to be observed, requiring any noise able to be heard by the neighbours ending by a certain time, usually before 10pm, and not starting until after a decent hour.

If you do adjourn inside to keep partying, be aware that heavy foot traffic on floors above other units will carry quite loudly. Avoid any clatter and stomping from dancing or party shenanigans disturbing the occupants of the unit below and neighbouring.

It may also be necessary to remind Uncle Fred, who is down from the country, not to start making loud noises on your balcony until at least four hours after the sun rises.

Take the garbage out or to the tip

Don’t be the person who tosses the prawn shells into the garbage chute late on Christmas night, knowing that the bins won’t be collected for days.

Queensland’s summer heat does evil things to prawn scraps and the smell will constitute a nuisance to everyone. Wrap any leftover seafood scraps in newspaper and freeze them until the night before collection.

Then put them in the bin in the common area or drop them at the tip. If you have a tonne of Christmas wrapping and gift boxes, drop them at the tip while you’re there, rather than clog up the shared bins.