Condo living -- getting along with neighbors

Getting along with your neighbors has always been an art unto itself. Whether you are renting, in your own house, or in a condominium apartment, there are a number of common approaches to a peaceful coexistence.

In your condo, there is one major difference, however. You have a number of relatively close neighbors who are not as likely to move, compared with those who rent. Also, there are more of them, usually, than in the single-family- owner neighborhood.

There are some obvious no-nos. Don't, for example, drill holes in your high-rise patio if you have a neighbor beneath it. Don't keep a dog that barks. Play the stereo so that only you, not your neighbors, can hear it.

Beware of being too aggressive the first time you complain. Remember that the condo bylaws will probably protect you in the end if you can't solve the problem by yourself. Avoid emotional confrontations.

Little acts make big impressions. You do not need to manipulate anyone, but there is nothing wrong with accepting a UPS package for an absent neighbor, offering to water the plants, or holding the mail for him. Working people always seem to meet at the mailbox after work. Introduce yourself.If you work nights, don't practice your piano lessons when you get home.

Don't hang wind chimes on your balcony. Some people like them; some don't.

Planning to steam-clean your carpets? Why not rent the machine in conjunction with your neighbors? Everyone gets clean carpets as a bargain price.

Painting? Why not do two places at the same time and save compared with two separate jobs?

Do your mailbox labels look like graffiti? One labelmaker can present a cleaner, more attractive lobby.

People will remember you as a cooperative person even if they are not interested at the time in your proposal. Thus, if you ever have a request of them, they will be predisposed to cooperate with you. Develop a good-neighbor policy.

It's fun, it's productive, and it's on e way to more fully enjoy the condo experience.

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