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Many residents enjoy their balconies and with winter looming, many residents have already begun ‘winterizing’ their decks by packing away those glorious sun chairs and giving their balconies a wash. This is great however, some dirt and water can easily land on neighbours below so we suggest following some of these tips to prevent anyone below from receiving a rain shower of dirty balcony water.
- Sweep the dirt into the middle of your balcony, then use a dustpan to sweep it up and place it into your garbage.
- Use a mop and bucket to wash the surface of your balcony.
Tip: A handheld wet/dry vacuum just for outdoors is a helpful tool!
- Avoid the edges! Do not sweep the dirt over the edge of the balcony. This causes the dust to fall on the balcony below.
- Do not overuse the water as this will cause it to run off the edges.
- Do not push the dirty water over the edge.
Tip: If you are concerned about water dripping over the edge, roll up towels and place them around the perimeter of the balcony.
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More Tips On Balcony Etiquette
Once Spring kicks back in, it’s important to remember that balconies are a space that is owned by the condo corporation or the apartment building owner, not the resident in the unit (be it the condo owner or a rental tenant), and what takes place in this space might negatively affect neighbours so there are a few things to note.
If pets are allowed, it’s important that owners do not allow them to use the balcony space as a bathroom. Pets should also not be brushed or groomed on the balcony as the excess fur can affect the neighbours. Keep in mind that noise can travel easily through a complex, so owners should be aware that there is no excess barking coming from their furry friend.
Patio Furniture and Plants
Patio furniture can really transform a balcony space but it’s important to ensure that it can withstand the elements, such as wind. Anything that could blow off and potentially cause damage or harm would be the owner’s responsibility. This also relates to plants. Planters that are placed sturdy on the ground are generally okay but those that sit on the balcony railings may not be safe.
Garbage and Storage
Absolutely nothing should be thrown off a balcony, this includes any garbage and cigarette butts (if the condo allows smoking). Most condo corporations do not allow the balcony to be used as a storage space as this can be an eyesore.
Every owner is entitled to peaceful enjoyment of their space therefore it’s important to note that anything said on the balcony may be heard and cause disturbance to neighbours. Many condos implement quiet hours, which typically start at 10 or 11 pm, which is when owners should be especially respectful of their neighbours.
Cooking and BBQ’s
Condo Corporations can prohibit the use of BBQs on balconies as they can present both a fire hazard and a disturbance to neighbours (smoke and smell). Some may prohibit the use as the insurance policy may not allow for it. It’s important for owners to verify the specific position of the corporation before firing up the grill. Some restrictions may include the use of electric BBQs only or restricting them to only being hooked directly to the building’s natural gas supply.
Are you a condo owner? We encourage all owners to read their condo specific by-laws relating to what can and cannot be kept on balconies. A lot of by-laws do not allow this space to be kept as storage for bikes and tires, for example.
Living in a multi-family complex residents have to be even more considerate of their surroundings since everyone is living in closer proximity to each other, compared to living in a detached house. The rules and regulations are put in place to ensure that all residents can enjoy a peaceful environment that benefits all. Since these rules apply to everyone, it encourages the community to be respectful of each other’s rights.