A Love/Hate Relationship with My Condo Association
One of the things I both love and hate about living in a condo building are the condo association rules. Most of the rules are designed to protect residents and maintain some semblance of order. We can't always assume that everyone will be considerate towards their neighbors or play nice in the sandbox. But every once in a while, I stumble across some obscure rule, and wonder 'what in the world'?!?!
Yesterday, our building management office distributed a helpful reminder of our some of our condo association rules, just in time for spring:
- Only electric, propane, and natural gas grills with a hinged top are allowed on the balconies or terraces. No other cooking devices, including charcoal grills, are permitted. I own a gas grill, so this isn't a biggie, but I gotta confess, I don't really understand the reasoning behind this one. Are they afraid that someone will accidentally leave a bunch of live coals burning and set the building on fire? But the building exterior and all of the balconies/terraces are made of stone, concrete and brick. And isn't it just as dangerous to have a bunch of propane tanks lying around? If one of those develops a leak and blows up, you're going to have a much bigger mess on your hands.
- Dropping, sweeping or throwing any objects (debris, plant maintenance products, water, pet excrement, cigarette butts, cans, bottle caps, glass, etc.) from the balconies is not only prohibited but also a safety hazard. This one is a no brainer, right? But apparently, back in the day, some of the residents were too lazy to actually walk their dogs. Instead, they would let their dogs run around on their balconies and do their thing. And then the owners would fling the poop over the side of the building. Can we say 'ewwwww'?
- Glass top tables are not permitted on the balconies and terraces. I think my friends have the dubious distinction of being the root cause of this one. Before I moved into the building, one of my friends bought a patio set with a glass table top. She and her husband complained that it was a complete waste of money because it didn't get much use. Well, one day, it was stormy outside. And the high winds literally lifted the entire table over the metal railing and sent it crashing down onto the terrace of a neighbor 4 stories below, where it shattered into a thousand pieces. Thankfully, no one was hurt. But it was definitely disconcerting for both my friend and her neighbors. Still, I think that it would be just as bad to have one of those plastic, resin tables come crashing down on you. So perhaps the rule should really say that all patio furniture needs to be weighed or chained down somehow? That's what I did with my gas grill after it scooted across my balcony and fell over during a particularly nasty storm.
- Planters must be hung on the inside of the balcony railings. Okay, this is related to one of my pet peeves. If you're going to hang planters on your balcony railings, please do not over water your plants! I have a neighbor upstairs who drowns her plants each morning, thereby sending a virtual cascade of dirty water over her balcony and onto my terrace. The first time I accidentally walked under that cascade, I let out an involuntary yelp. She definitely heard me because when I looked up, she immediately withdrew inside.
- Pet relief is prohibited on all condo property, including the flower beds. Again, a no brainer, given the exorbitant amount of money we spend each year on landscaping.
- Bicycles and roller blades may not be transported through the lobby. Hmm....it's okay for irresponsible pet owners to let their dogs run through the lobby, but I have to go out of my way and use the rear entrance to park my bike in the bike storage locker room? Um, okay.
As with everything in life, I guess you have to take the good with the bad. The rules are a bit annoying at times, but all in all, I do enjoy living in my condo building. The neighbors are generally quite friendly and the management company does an excellent job of maintaining common areas.