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Condo Etiquette – How to be a Good Neighbour

Condo Etiquette – How to be a Good Neighbour

More new home-buyers are considering condos than ever before.

If you’re one of them, you’ve probably wondered what living in such close proximity to so many neighbors will be like, and how to get along best with them.

Since many condo-residents may be from other countries and cultures with different practices, it is important to be aware about what being a “good neighbor” might mean.

This article provides some helpful tips to start.

Private vs Shared Spaces

First off, understand what isn’t shared space – the inside of your suite is your private space.

Everything else in a condo building, including your balcony, is a shared space.

Hallways, recreational facilities, stairways and elevators are all shared with every other resident.

Shared spaces are owned and managed by the condominium corporation for every residents’ benefit.

Keep it Quiet

Since noises and vibrations in one suite can easily be heard in adjacent suites, it is important to not be too loud in your unit.

The same applies to the hallways and shared spaces adjacent to people’s homes.

Avoid stomping around, playing your TV or Music at very high volumes, or banging on the walls.

Also, try to keep your voices at a reasonable volume when speaking in person or on the phone. This is especially true on the balcony, or late at night.

If is good to periodically check with your neighbors if they hear your music, TV or any other noises from your unit, so that you can adjust accordingly.

Don’t leave Hardwood Floors Uncovered

Since many condo units have hardwood floors, it can become quite disruptive to neighbors when you walk around, move chairs or just do your daily tasks.

If you want to be a great neighbor, consider using carpets or rugs to mitigate the noise.

In fact, many condos buildings have rules to mitigate the sound. Be sure to follow them!


Many condos these days allow pets on premises, albeit with rules to avoid inconveniencing other residents.

Never allow your pets to use shared spaces (including your balcony) as a bathroom!

If they do by accident, it is your responsibility to clean it up as soon as possible.

You should brush and groom your pet in your private space, and should not dispose of fur excess fur in a haphazard way (such as over the balcony).

Avoid leaving your pet at home alone, especially if they are prone to barking or loud noises.

Manage your Smoking Habit

For better or for worse, smoking inside a condo can be a source of much grief.

Smoke can travel easily from one unit to the next, through vents, plumbing, walls, windows and the balcony.

Remember that the law protects your neighbors from being exposed to second hand smoke, and condo management is obligated to ensure the “quiet enjoyment” of your neighbors in their own homes.

As a result, many condo buildings have strict rules about smoking, which you should definitely follow.

The best place to smoke would be outside the building. If you do smoke in your suite, use whatever means possible to remove odors before they leave your unit.

Also, don’t throw butts off the balcony, and avoid leaving exposed ashtrays outside.

Be Responsible with the Garbage Chute

For everyone’s convenience, garbage chutes are usually available on every floor.

Avoid leaving your garbage beside the chute; be sure to push items down so that no one else has to deal with your trash.

If something doesn’t fit, take it down yourself to the main trash area of the building.

If something gets stuck in the chute, do the right thing by informing management so that they can deal with it before anyone else faces problems.

Entertaining Guests

In addition to keeping noise down on a day to day basis, it is important to be respectful of your neighbors rights to peaceful enjoyment when entertaining guests.

Many condos have quiet hours, which usually start at 10 pm or 11 pm. Avoid making loud noises during that time, and bring the party off the balcony. To be safe, avoid serving alcohol too late into the night.

Keep the guest count reasonable, considering the size of your suite. And don’t let your guests make too much noise in the hallway as they enter or leave your suite.

The Final Word

Although living in a condo does mean you have to be more considerate about your conduct than if you lived in a detached home, the rules are designed so that every resident (including yourself) can enjoy a peaceful environment.

Remember that your neighbors are under the same obligations, and they’re doing it for your benefit. The best way to be good neighbors is by being respectful of each other’s rights.

If you’re on the lookout for a new, pre-construction condo in the GTA, get in touch with us and we’ll help you find the perfect home.

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