How to have a party without being an animal

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Every Christmas and New Year party season we remind apartment residents about the steps you can take to have a great time without ruining everyone else’s “peaceful enjoyment” of their homes.

And every year we find life around apartments has evolved a little, in different ways and to varying extents.  So it’s up to you or your tenants to think about what your idea of fun means to the Brady Bunch grid of neighbours above, below and to the sides of your units.

What’s different this year? Thanks to changes in laws and attitudes, there are probably more pets in apartments than ever.  Also there may well be more restrictions on what is considered antisocial behaviour with, for instance, smoke drift from balconies being targeted by by-laws and tribunal claims.

Also, with Covid a distant memory, Airbnb and similar short-term holiday letting (STHL) platforms will be ramping up again at this, their most lucrative time of year.

One of the problems with STHL guests is that they don’t know your by-laws and care even less. But for them – and for you – there is little in the way of instant justice in strata. There are no Stratakops to came racing around to enforce the rules.

However, if your or your guests’ misbehaviour crosses the line, don’t assume your neighbours will file it under to “be forgot, for the sake of auld lang syne”. In strata, the possibility of payback is always just around the corner.

So here are a few festive tips to keep yourself, your family and your friends on the right side of the naughty ledger.

SMOKING:  A lot of strata schemes now have smoke drift by-laws which, apart from anything else, means there may be dozens of eagle eyes watching for smouldering cigarette ends being flicked from balconies. Provide ashtrays and tell your friends to behave.

PETS: The increasingly liberal pet by-laws that have come through in the last year or two apply to residents’ pets, not guests’ fur babies.  If you have hypervigilant anti-pet residents in your block, ask your friends to leave their pooches at home.

Also, remember that your own pets may be alarmed by strangers and terrified of fireworks, so make sure they have a safe place to run to and hide when things kick off.

BARBECUES: There are few culinary experiences better than a freshly grilled fish fillet on a taco; there are few food fails worse than coming home to find your apartment stinking from the smoke and smell of burnt prawns and cheap burgers from below. 

Clean your barbie with a wire brush, soap and water before you fire it up.  Burning off the fat from your last BBQ is a crime against cuisine and community.

KIDS: Every apartment block, in fact, every apartment has a different level of sound insulation in its flooring.  So don’t let kids charge around like they would if they were in a house.

Also, if your building has a by-law that says kids can’t play in common areas unsupervised (or at all), assume it’s there for a good reason. If you think the rule is stupid, the time to challenge it is at your next AGM, not Christmas Eve. 

PARKING: Most buildings have limited visitor parking; some even charge a fee for booking spaces on high usage evenings.  Find out what the chances are of your party guests having trouble finding a car space and plan accordingly.

Also, be aware of road closures and public transport changes that might make it tricky for your guests to get home.

Finally, have a great festive season, be nice to your neighbours and good to yourself.

This column first appeared in the Australian Financial Review.

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  • This topic has 3 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 2 months ago by .
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  • #71966
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

      Every Christmas and New Year party season we remind apartment residents about the steps you can take to have a great time without ruining everyone els
      [See the full post at: How to have a party without being an animal]

      The opinions offered in these Forum posts and replies are not intended to be taken as legal advice. Readers with serious issues should consult experienced strata lawyers.
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    • #72035
      Ziggy
      Flatchatter

        Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy! Please rewrite your comments about cleaning BBQs! Residents in strata should never, ever clean the barbie with a wire brush. My partner was a hairs breath away from dying after eating a spatchcock bone and getting sepsis. It took them 15 months to recover from the complications. The specialist said that sepsis was common, not from small bones, but mainly from the wire in BBQ brushes!

        #72037
        Jimmy-T
        Keymaster
        Chat-starter

          This is news to me.  Can I now use it as a reason to ban barbecues from balconies altogether?

          The opinions offered in these Forum posts and replies are not intended to be taken as legal advice. Readers with serious issues should consult experienced strata lawyers.
          #72056
          Ziggy
          Flatchatter

            No way, Jose! We love our BBQs! Sitting outside, sipping wine, chewing the fat, so to speak! Clean up is simple: just use vinegar! No nasty wire brushes.

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