Love thy neighbour – when to check your residential lease

When living in a block of flats, there are times when a neighbour can either become your best friend, or someone you’d rather avoid when putting the bins out! Sharing a living space can sometimes lead to disputes which is why you’ll find in your residential lease agreement guidelines about what you can and can’t do.

It’s always good to have a reminder of these so you don’t land yourself at the heart of a complaint! Here is a quick summary of some of the common rules and regulations that you may have in your own residential lease to help you ‘love your neighbour’ – after all, February is St. Valentine’s month!

  1. Smoking is now illegal all communal areas including any porch area – not to mention being bad for your heart. If smoking outside the property please stand well away from the building as other residents may have windows open through which your smoke will travel. Also do not throw your cigarettes in the garden/car park area which may rile others, not to mention your gardener who works hard to keep the grounds clean and tidy.
  2. Communal areas are to be left unobstructed – bikes, prams, boxes, valentines cards and other objects are not to be left in communal areas. Not only is this for health & safety and insurance concerns but also, could you imagine if EVERYONE left a bike in the hall – the poor cleaner would never work their way around them all.
  3. Shhh…Quiet in the hallway – if you’re arriving home late (from a night out maybe?) please remember to keep the levels down. Also, you may find that your lease states that no loud music or noise is permitted within these areas and/or the flats between certain hours (to ensure your neighbours get their eight hours sleep).
  4. No animals are allowed – before buying a pet dog, cat or bird– remember to check your lease, it is very common for the lease to forbid animals, however cute they are.
  5. Wooden Floor boards are usually not allowed – consider your neighbours when redecorating. Wooden floor boards may be restricted due to the noise when walking on them which reverberates to the floor below. Furthermore, we have previously received reports that passionate conversations between partners may be heard by your neighbours once wooden floors have been installed!
  6. Take care of the bins! Residents should ensure the bins are used correctly to avoid attracting rodents or even the council refusing to empty them – remember that the recycling bins never love plastic bags.
  7. Parking – if there are no visitors spaces left then visitors/residents must park off site. Avoid irritating others by ‘borrowing’ someone else space because you think they don’t use it often!
  8. Close the front door – Don’t give burglars a chance to love your belongings, ensure that your main communal door is closed at all times – this is not only a security risk but can affect your insurance should the worst happen.
  9. Satellite Dish – check your lease as often you will find that individual television dishes are not permitted. You may need approval from the management company before installing one, or they may already be a communal dish in situ.
  10. If you’re selling – don’t put a sign up! Your lease may prohibit marketing boards so as to avoid cluttering the development with advertisements – avoid upsetting the agent and others by adhering to any restrictions.

We know that it can sometimes feel like a lot of rules, but they are in place to promote harmonious communal living. A good rule of thumb is to always show consideration for the other residents, callers and contractors visiting your home environment. By taking a few moments to remind yourself what’s in your own lease can avoid any clashes with neighbours.

If you need any help understanding what is / isn’t permitted then we would be happy to help! As residential block managers operating in North London and the surrounding areas, including Coulsdon, Maida Vale and Ruislip and St Albans, we make sure that you are always kept informed, and if any neighbours have a dispute – we’re quick to resolve matters!