Note that this article was originally published in WB’s 2019 Q4 – Condo Connection Newsletter, before COVID-19 affected many of the “normalities” of our lives. While some subjects in the article may have been altered by COVID, such as the way condo communities access amenities, others have not changed – for example, being a good neighbour is always a good policy. More so, other points are actually more relevant than ever, such as knowing and respecting the rules, especially those surrounding COVID, and we are sure many can relate to how staying connected during the pandemic has become more important, and challenging, than ever.
Millions of people around the world live in condominium corporations. The types of communities can differ by location and building type, but in general, being a condo owner provides a unique set of opportunities. If you’re looking to enhance your community living experience, then we’ve identified five simple ways to get the most out of your condo community.
1. Know the rules and respect them.
Hopefully, you got to know the rules before buying your condo, but if not, it’s never too late to start. Take a close look at your governing documents and familiarize yourself with your community’s rules and regulations. If anything is unclear, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Your Board of Directors or Condominium Manager will be happy to answer any questions you have and fill in any missing details. Once you have a proper understanding of the rules, do your best to follow them. Almost all potential problems of living in a condominium will be avoided by living within the rules.
2. Try to be a good neighbour.
Following the rules will also help keep a good relationship between you and your neighbours. If you suspect your neighbours of ignoring neighbourhood guidelines, like parking or noise violations, don’t jump to any conclusions. It may be wise to talk to your neighbour face-to-face before ever reporting them to your association. Either way, keeping open lines of communication between you and your neighbours is always a good idea. Also, don’t hesitate to reach out to them and invite them to condo meetings and activities.
3. Get out and enjoy everything your community has to offer.
Living in a condo community isn’t free, but often it does have some perks. If you’re paying monthly dues to help maintain neighbourhood parks, pools, or other amenities, then get out and enjoy them with your family. One of the main reasons people want to live in a condo is to take advantage of the added events and amenities. Getting out and enjoying the extra things your community offers will likely improve your sense of community and make your experience of living there far more enjoyable.
4. Actively participate and volunteer with your community.
If you’re looking for additional ways to get involved in your community, your condo may provide volunteer opportunities. Start by attending your corporation’s AGM and getting to know your current board members. Often, your board will have additional committees for activities that you can help run. Likewise, you may want to consider volunteering on the Board.
5. Stay connected and communicate often.
Condo communities are always changing and adapting to meet the needs of their residents. While your Board may try its best to keep you informed, it’s a good idea to do all that you can to stay connected. Make sure you are signed up to receive any community communications, whether it be through the mail or emails. Additionally, many communities will also use online apps and websites to send out notifications. Whichever way your community communicates, make sure you are plugged in and not missing any relevant news or announcements.