Our guest article this month is from our friends at Melbourne Building Management, a leading Melbourne facilities manager with experience managing some of Melbourne’s biggest residential complexes.
How to be a perfect strata resident
Guest feature by Melbourne Building Management
When you stay (live, visit, reside) in an Apartment, you are living in a “shared environment (community)”, with hundreds of other people. They must respect your privacy and rights, just as you must respect theirs. Your enjoyment and satisfaction will depend on how they behave towards you, and how you behave towards them.
The following hints and tips are designed to help you achieve your best behaviour, to maximize your happiness and satisfaction with your stay…
Access and Security – you will likely be given a key or electronic fob that will enable you to enter the premises. This will be keyed to your room, and enable you to use the Lift, and access Common Areas like the Car Park, Pool, Spar, and other Facilities (if your Apartment has them). Keep them secure, in the interests of your own personal security. If you lose or misplace your keys or fobs, contact your Building Manager immediately.
You will notice that your building has numerous CCTV cameras – in the Car Park, Lifts, Common Areas, Hallways, Entrances, Garbage Disposal areas, and other areas of interest. The Cameras are for your security and comfort, and all CCTV footage is stored and is available to local Authorities on demand (Police).
Meeting Other Residents – SMILE, this is an opportunity to share your happiness with your community. You don’t have to say anything if you don’t want to, but don’t hesitate to say, “Hello, how are you?” or “How are you going?” or even, “How has your day been?” You share your building with hundreds of other people, and how they feel will often be a refection of what they see in you. Be happy, be polite, and enjoy your shared community.
How Noisy do you want to be? – an important issue in any shared community – and while everyone makes a little noise at some time or another, think about what would annoy you – loud music, yelling, screaming, banging, thumping, bashing, and just generally uncomfortable loud noises and all at the wrong time – when you are relaxing, or just trying to sleep. Keep it down, and think of your neighbors beyond your walls. Also, as you move around your shared community, keep your voice down in conversation, and be aware of those around you and what they are doing.
Using the Car Park – there is usually a car space allocated to a specific apartment, and your Agent should have made you aware of where it is. Remember you are sharing your community with hundreds of other people, big and little, and they might not be as agile or as aware as you are. Drive carefully – never more than 10 KPH – and watch out for opposing traffic. Also remember that should you park in the wrong spot, your car may be towed at a large cost to you for recovery. Dry rubbish should not be stored in your car space, as that will become a fire hazard.
When the Fire Alarm sounds – DON’T PANIC, collect your wallet, keys, and small PERSONAL items, leave everything behind except your family or visitors, and walk calmly down and out of the building via the nearest Fire Stairway, to the Evacuation Point highlighted on the Evacuation plan on every floor. Unless there is an announcement saying, “This is a test”, treat every ALARM as REAL. DO NOT STAY IN YOUR APARTMENT IF THE FIRE ALARM GOES OFF.
Pets and Smoking – this is at the discretion of the Owner, and your Agent can advise you on what you can do with Pets and where you may smoke (if at all). Smoking is prohibited in all Common Areas, Lifts, Access Areas, and generally in proximity to any apartment, and can attract heavy penalties if reported. If a neighbor can smell your smoke, they will report it to the Building Management, who will take the appropriate action.
Everyone has Garbage – and the means for disposing of it vary from Apartment to Apartment. Some have garbage chutes on each floor – others have a room dedicated to holding the bins. It makes no sense to jam over-large boxes or bags of garbage into a chute, and jam it up. Imagine how you would feel if you were denied the use of a chute because someone had been careless and jammed your chute – not happy! And bin rooms usually have yellow and red tops – with instructions on what type of garbage goes where – recyclables in Yellow – normal waste in Red or Green. Think of it this way – the shared environment you help to keep clean is the one you live in and enjoy.
Your Balcony – if you have one attached to your apartment, enjoy it and the view, but don’t cover it up with washing or drying or clothes hung all over the place. This is a definite No-No in most Apartments.
Party Time – and everyone wants to have one at some time – just slip a note under the door of your neighbors, and let them know the time and location of your Party. Make sure you think about any NOISE issues, and be prepared for a GARBAGE run once you clean up – maybe the day after, if it was a really good party!
Common Areas – Pool and Spa – read the directions posted at the Pool or Spar area, and follow them. Specifically with regard to showers and managing children. Never take water for granted. Lounges and Recreational Areas will have Rules for their use, which should be available at the time you book them.
Moving In and Out – you will have to book a time with the Building Management, and due to the fact that you may be tying up a lift and access, the available times may be restricted. Again, ask your Building Manager if you need any help or guidance.
Who you going to call? – For common area problems your building manager is a great first-call if you have one, otherwise your owners corporation or strata manager for common area problems. If you are a tenant your first call for problems inside your apartment is usually your property manager.